Students applying to an independent or boarding school usually need to take either the SSAT or the ISEE. The Independent School Entrance Exam is created by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), which also offers grade-level assessments for students who attend independent schools.
Should my student take the SSAT or the ISEE?
What are the different levels of the ISEE, and which one is right for my student?
What content does the ISEE cover?
Does my student really need to prepare for the ISEE?
How is the ISEE scored?
When are the ISEE test dates, and how does one register?
Should my student take the SSAT or the ISEE? Check with the schools you're considering; some prefer the ISEE for lower and middle school admissions and the SSAT for upper school, while others will consider either exam across grade levels. Our educational consultants would be happy to speak with you about differences between the exams.What are the different levels of the ISEE, and which one is right for my student? The ISEE is given at three levels: Lower, Middle, and Upper. The Lower Level ISEE is administered to students entering 5th & 6th grade, the Middle Level to students entering 7th & 8th grade, and the Upper Level to students entering 9th - 12th grade.
What content does the ISEE cover? Every level of the ISEE has four multiple-choice sections. Two of these sections are in Math. The Verbal section tests vocabulary through a combination of synonym and fill-in-the-blank questions. Finally, there is a Reading section that contains short passages and accompanying sets of comprehension questions. At the end of the exam, students write a short essay based on a given prompt.
Does my student really need to prepare for the ISEE? Most young students have little experience with this type of test, and we have found that familiarizing them with the format can help ease their way. The confidence your student will gain through this experience will very likely carry over to future standardized tests.
We also measure your student's baseline in reading, vocabulary, and math and determine whether help is needed in specific content areas. Inspirica's test preparation will give your child a more solid footing in reading, vocabulary, and math.
In short, there are many excellent reasons to prepare for these tests—and they go far beyond the benefit of succeeding at an admission requirement.
How is the ISEE scored? The ISEE is scored by taking the number of correct answers out of the total number of questions. There is no penalty for answering a question incorrectly. This "raw" score is converted into a scaled score, which is placed on a bell curve to compare students of the same gender and grade level. The bell curve is divided into nine segments, called stanines, numbered 1 to 9. Stanines are not divided equally: a 5 (the high part of the bell curve) represents approximately 20% of test-takers, whereas only 4% receive a 1 or a 9 (the extremes of the curve). Schools use stanines for admissions. The essay does not receive a score but is forwarded to schools as a writing sample.
When are the ISEE test dates, and how does one register? Given at least once at the school to which the student is applying and through independent testing sites. Also given once a week after October 1st in the NY ERB office.