ISEE Test Overview: Details and Timing

Description of the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE)

The ISEE is an admission test that has three levels:  A Lower Level, Middle Level, and Upper Level.  The Lower Level is for students currently in grades 4 and 5 who are candidates for admission to grades 5 and 6.  The Middle Level is for students in grades 6 and 7 who are candidates for grades 7 and 8.  The Upper Level is for students in grades 8 through 11 who are candidates for grades 9 through 12.  The ISEE has different forms at each level for security purposes.

At all levels, the ISEE consists of three parts: (a) carefully constructed and standardized verbal and quantitative reasoning tests that measure a student's capability for learning; (b) reading comprehension and mathematics achievement tests that provide specific information about a student's strengths and weakness in those areas; and (c) an essay section.

The ISEE essay is timed and written in response to a prompt.  The essay is not scored; it is photocopied and sent only to the schools you requested.

Test Sections and Timing

Please click here for a list of ISEE test sections and associated timing.  Students will receive a 5-minute warning before the end of each test section.  In the essay section, the students receive both a 15-minute warning and a 5-minute warning before time is called.  Once time is called, students may not return to a completed test section.

Testing policy

Practice administrations of the ISEE are not allowed. You may test only when making a formal application to a school.

You may be tested only once within a six-month period.  If you test a second time during that six-month period, results of the second administration cannot be reported, and the test fee will not be returned.


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