Winning Strategies For Taking The ISEE

Organization Tips
5 Easy Ways to Keep Organized
June 10, 2019
Summer Studying
How to Keep Your Child Productive During the Summer
July 8, 2019
Show all

Winning Strategies For Taking The ISEE


The Independent School Entrance Exam, or ISEE, is crucial for any student seeking entrance into competitive, private middle or high schools. Like most standardized exams, students feel the pressure once test day rolls around. But through proper preparation, students can leverage 100% proven strategies to conquer the ISEE. For parents looking to set their child up for success, teach your kids these winning ISEE strategies.

What is the ISEE?

Before we dive into unbeatable ISEE strategies, let’s examine the ISEE exam. The ISEE is a standardized test made up of four multiple-choice parts: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics Achievement. Additionally, there is one ungraded essay that allows students to showcase their unique voice and perspective. There are three kinds of tests, depending on your grade level: Lower Level, for students in grades 4 and 5, Middle Level, for students in grades 6 and 7, and Upper Level for students in grades 8 through 11. Each test covers the same five general topics, but each level has varying time limits and difficulties.

Preparing For The ISEE Test

If your child plans on tackling the ISEE, efficient preparation is the golden ticket to a top score. This test is no walk in the park. It’s meant to challenge and push your child to their academic limits. Thus, it’s crucial that your child follows the necessary steps to prepare ahead of time. At the very least, make sure to familiarize your child with the test’s structure because practicing still remains the best method of preparation.

Make sure your child completes mock tests so they know what to expect. Your child should also keep track of their scores so they can pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. You may even want to consider hiring a tutor to help your child prepare for the ISEE. An experienced ISEE tutor knows the types of questions that appear on the exam and the best methods for overcoming them.

Answer Every Question On The ISEE

Unlike other standardized tests, students won’t lose points for incorrect answers. Therefore, your child should try to answer every single question, even if they’re unsure about the correct answer. In fact, unanswered questions will penalize test-takers. A 25% chance is much better than a 0% chance when there is no deduction for wrong answers.

Create Your Own ISEE Answers

We’re not going to sugarcoat this: the ISEE is difficult! In fact, some of the answer choices mean to confuse test-takers. Before students glance at the provided answers, they should come up with their own answers to the questions. This will provide some clarity and give them hints to look for in the answer choices. They can then pick the one most related to their initial thoughts.

Track Your Time When Taking The ISEE

The number of questions and allotted time varies based on grade level, but it is always necessary to watch the clock and know how much time remains. Test-takers should do their best to stay on top of the clock and focus on how much time they should spend on each question. It can be tough, but they should not let that stress them out too much. As time is running out, remember that incorrect answers cannot hurt their scores. When the clock begins winding down, students should fill in all the remaining questions.

Read and Build Your ISEE Vocabulary

Questions on the ISEE change all the time, but if your child reads and builds a large vocabulary, they’re more likely to perform better. Reading leads students to increased comprehension. The more advanced their vocabulary is, the better chance they will have of receiving a high score.

Reading can also help them understand how to write better, and teach them proper grammar techniques that can help with the essay. Even though the essay isn’t graded, it shows schools that your child knows how to clearly express their ideas through writing. In short, students must ensure their language and grammar skills are exceptional.

Harness These Tips For ISEE Success

Getting into a private school can be an exciting and great experience, but if your child wants to get there, they need to know how to master the ISEE. It can be scary, but the more they prepare, the better off they will be on the big day, and they will receive a higher score.