Tips For Beating The ISEE

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Tips For Beating The ISEE


When your student sits poised to take the ISEE, feelings of apprehension and self-doubt may begin to creep up. These foreboding feelings probably stem from the fact that your student may not know what to expect on test day.

The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) is an entrance exam used by many independent and magnet schools around the country and tests students in grades 2-12. With so much riding on this exam, students, parents, and teachers should know some basic information and tips for the test so that they can rock it on test day.

1) Get Familiar With The ISEE

The ERB’s official statement about the exam states that the “ISEE consists of carefully constructed and standardized verbal and quantitative reasoning tests that measure a student’s capability for learning, and reading comprehension and mathematics achievement tests that provide specific information about an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in those areas.” That’s certainly a mouthful. Let’s break down the ISEE into something easier to understand.

The ISEE has four levels, which include the Primary Level for entrance to grades 2-4, the Lower Level for grades 5-6, the Middle Level for grades 7-8, and the Upper Level for entrances to grades 9-12. Each of these tests consists of five sections that measure a student’s capabilities in the areas of Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and a 30-minute essay.

The test is available online and in paper testing formats. Both versions of the test contain the same amount of questions, the same amount of time allotted for each section, and the same level of difficulty. On test day, students should arrive early with a Verification Letter confirming the student’s test date, time, and location. In addition to this important document, students will need to provide a form of ID at check-in. Acceptable forms of ID include a library card, a birth certificate, social security card, school report card, school ID, and passport or green card.

2) Start Practicing For The ISEE Now

Students can eliminate feelings of apprehension by practicing for the ISEE well in advance. How much time in advance? The sooner, the better! Keep in mind that the ISEE test is an accumulation of important concepts and skills, so students may struggle to adequately prepare and review concepts right before the exam. Students should begin practicing a few months before the test and treat all in-class work as if it will help to directly prepare students for the upcoming test.

But for extra help, a qualified ISEE tutor can whip your student into shape. A tutor offers expert advice, test-taking tips, and strategies, and boosted confidence for each student on test day. Important tests can be a huge source of stress for younger students, so the more prepared the feel, the more comfortable and less stressed they will be for the ISEE.

3) Strategize For The ISEE

By becoming familiar with the exam, students can begin to build a comprehensive strategy to tackle the ISEE. For example, students may be unaware that they won’t get penalized for incorrect answers on the ISEE. This means that students should answer every question, and make an educated guess when necessary. Students should be aware of the time allotted for each section so that they can judge how much time to spend on each question and when it is time to go back and mark an answer for the remaining questions.

Students should arrive at the ISEE testing site early, with all necessary materials, and having had a healthy breakfast. They should also get plenty of rest the night before the exam and leave cell-phones and study tools at home. Some students may experience test-taking stress or anxiety. If this is the case, students should come equipped with methods to relieve their anxiety on test day. For a lot of students, this may be breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation prior to the test start.

Through the culmination of hard work, preparation, and help from a test prep tutor, students will rock the ISEE exam and feel confident about their scores. The ISEE is an important entrance exam that can determine a student’s future. Keep your student’s future looking bright by seeking help from a test prep tutor near you today.