ISEE Practice Test

The ISEE is the most trusted entrance test used for private school admissions. It measures the academic readiness of students seeking admission to primary, lower, middle, and upper schools by evaluating their skills in the core subject areas. The ISEE can only be taken once per testing season – Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer – for a total of up to three times a school year.


  1. The main sections of the ISEE are verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, mathematics achievement, and essay writing. 
  2. Quantitative reasoning tests a student’s ability to think and analyze data using their mathematical understanding and logical reasoning. It does not require too many calculations. 
  3. The mathematics achievement section tests an applicant’s ability to identify and solve problems using fundamental operations, algebra, geometry, measurement, probability, and problem-solving. Unlike the quantitative reasoning section, students will perform calculations and mathematical operations to determine the correct answers.
  4. The upper-level math section is particularly challenging, as it goes over material most 8th graders have not seen in their classes (matrices, trigonometry, and imaginary numbers).
  5. In the essay section, students are given a writing prompt to which they are asked to write a short essay. The prompt is randomly selected and changes each testing day. The topics are carefully selected so they are relevant to students at different grade levels.

ISEE Scoring: 

  1. The ISEE test results are given in the form of an Individual Student Report. 
  2. The raw scores are converted by the ERB into scaled scores which range from 760 to 940.
  3. The percentile rank indicates how the student performed on the test in comparison to the same age group population in the last three years. A percentile rank of 75 would mean the applicant did as well or better than 75% of all students who also took the test. 
  4. The stanine score places a student’s score on a scale from 1-9. A higher stanine score means the student performed well. 

ISEE Tutoring: 

  1. Our ISEE test prep program prepares students by developing test-taking skills and strategies, time management, and mastery of concepts in math, reading, and writing. 
  2. Our expert tutors and coaches are very well versed in the different sections of the ISEE and know the types of questions that are asked so they can give similar exercises.
  3. Our ISEE practice tests identify a student’s weak points and they are given supplemental materials and exercises to work on.  
  4. Our materials replicate the questions in the different sections of the ISEE test to familiarize the student and be confident in taking the test. 
  5. We prepare students in math by preparing them for challenging problems they may encounter on the test with our rigorous math problem sets. 
  6. Our writing program specifically teaches students the basic elements of writing and how to organize their thoughts and effectively put them into writing.  

The table below shows the different sections and levels of the ISEE, the total number of items as well as the allotted time to answer all of the questions. 

Lower Level Middle & Upper Level
Section Number of Questions Time Limit Number of Questions Time Limit
Verbal Reasoning 34 20 minutes 40 20 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 38 35 minutes 37 35 minutes
Reading Comprehension 25 25 minutes 36 35 minutes
Mathematics Achievements 30 30 minutes 47 40 minutes
Essay 1 prompt 30 minutes 1 prompt 30 minutes
TOTAL 2 hours 20 minutes 2 hours 40 minutes

The ISEE is extremely hard because it is designed to test the cumulative knowledge and skills in the core subjects that the student should have acquired over the years. A good academic foundation is vital for success, but an intensive test prep program will help prepare your child not only academically, but emotionally and psychologically as well. More than having academic skills and knowledge, test-taking behavior, strategies, and technique play a big part in achieving great scores in all sections. 

The ISEE can only be taken once per testing season – Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer – for a total of up to three times in a 12-month admission cycle. 

A score of 5 is considered average and accepted by most private schools. However, most top-tier schools take in students who have a score of 7 or above.

The math section of the ISEE is more difficult than that of the SSAT because it tests for more advanced and comprehensive mathematical concepts and includes problem-solving and critical thinking questions. However, the verbal section of the SSAT is more difficult than that of the ISEE because it has more analogy questions and contains passages of fiction and poetry. So depending on a student’s stronger suit, whether in reading or math, either of the two tests will be more difficult than the other.

Take a diagnostic assessment test to know which areas you need to focus more on. Enroll in a test prep program to gain more knowledge about the exam and learn different strategies and techniques on how to navigate the test confidently. Experienced coaches and tutors will give you exercises to review content in mathematics, reading, comprehension, and writing. Practice tests will determine your readiness to take the test and make you familiar with the content and flow of the test giving you the confidence to take the exam.