We Help You Decide
Is the ISEE for me?
The first step along the ISEE path is deciding if it is in fact an optimal or pertinent exam for students. We explain the distinctions between the ISEE and SSAT, and guide students towards selecting the ideal option to suit their specific needs.
When to start prep?
Ideally, students have 4-8 months of consistent test prep leading up to their first ISEE. Students ought to aim to take the test twice: once in November and again in December. We are very careful to pace our prep programs properly, ensuring that students neither burn out or peak too early.
How to sequence the prep?
The first goal is to get students comfortable with the features, expectations and format of each section of the ISEE. We then move onto strategies, both in the realm of general test-taking as well as how to tackle particular question types. Lastly, we turn to content, and create personalized curricula for students to master. All of these elements come together during our group test simulations, which allow students to continuously refine their abilities in real time.
Facts about the ISEE
Location, and time
Students may register to take the ISEE one time in any or all of three testing seasons, at a variety of testing locations. The ISEE testing seasons are defined as Fall (August–November), Winter (December–March), and Spring/Summer (April–July). Application deadlines for most independent schools are in late January or early February. Accordingly, students will want their final sitting to take place in December or January in order to meet these deadlines. Paper score reports are mailed to families 2-3 weeks after the exam; however, online score reports are ready and can be viewed online the week following the exam.
What is the test like?
There are five sections of the ISEE: Verbal Reasoning (VR), Quantitative Reasoning (QR), Reading Comprehension (RC), Math Achievement (MA), and the Essay.
Verbal Reasoning tests a student’s vocabulary, and the ability to deduce the meaning of words both with and without contextual support passages.
Quantitative Reasoning is composed of math problems that are assembled in various ways. On the Middle and Upper Level tests, there are both straightforward questions as well as questions that rely on a student’s ability to deduce a relationship between two quantities. On the Lower Level, the QR is essentially a conventional math test.
Reading Comprehension: This section contains reading passages, followed by questions that combine careful reading skills with subjective inference abilities.
Math Achievement is composed of traditional math questions, and is often expected to be more challenging than the QR in terms of content.
Essay is based on a grade-appropriate, open-ended prompt. The primary intent of this test section is to evaluate the ability of the students to compose a well-structured personal essay, with equal emphasis on content and mechanics. The essay is not graded, but a copy is provided to schools along with the student’s score report.
How is the ISEE scored?
Stanine: This is the feature of the scoring report that admissions directors use as the most prominent determining factor when considering a student’s success on the ISEE. Each section (except for the essay) is scored from 1-9, with 1 being the lowest and 9 being the highest. A score of 4-6 is widely considered average for test-takers in NYC.
Our tutors are prepared to shape our ISEE program to fit every individual student’s learning and personality type. Our programs are malleable, and our experience has equipped us to lead every student towards achieving his/her personal best on test day.
We approach test prep from a child-centric perspective, and are sure to cater to the needs of the human we’re working with, not only the student. We don’t try to make a child’s life fit into a test prep program; we make sure that test prep fits comfortably into a child’s life.
Our esteemed executive functioning program is interwoven into our test prep, ensuring that students will gain lifelong skills on their way to achieving their optimal ISEE score. We’ll help you change schools, and we might just change your life along the way.
The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is a standardized test used by admission officers to assess the abilities of students seeking to enroll in an independent school. There are four main levels of the exam: Primary Level for application to 2nd-4th grades, Lower Level for application to 5th and 6th grade, Middle Level for application to 7th and 8th grade, and Upper Level for application to 9th through 12th grade.
Jesse helped pair my son with a tutor who helped him get through 6th and 7th grade, and then helped him with his ISEEs. John is a hard working kid, and his tutor really brought out a whole new side of him that helped balance his schoolwork with his studying for the test. And then it was all said and done, John was accepted to every school on our list. Thank you Hartman Tutoring! We're so lucky to have found you.
8th grade, ISEE