Getting into a top independent school can be very competitive, even at an early age. Prospective students must show that they have the skills to succeed at these top-flight institutions. Students entering grade 7 or 8 may take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) Middle Level test.
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The ISEE exam is offered by the non-profit Education Records Bureau (ERB), an organization that offers PreK through Grade 12 testing. The test ranks a student’s skills against others in the same grade and is one part of the admission process. How can students prepare for the test? What are the best study tools? This guide will help.
Which schools use the ISEE Middle Level test?
More than 1,200 independent schools across the world use this admission test.
When can I take the test?
The test is available in three testing windows — Fall (August through November), Winter (December through March) and Spring/Summer (April through July). Students may take the test up to three times in each 12-month admission cycle.
ISEE Middle Level Practice Test
Where can I take the test?
Candidates can take the test at an ISEE test site school or an ISEE testing office. ISEE also uses a third-party test center with hundreds of locations across the United States.
How many sections are on the ISEE Middle Level test?
The test has five sections designed to assess student readiness for academic work. The first four test sections contain multiple-choice questions.
The first two sections, verbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning, each measure a student’s ability to reason.
- Verbal reasoning tests reasoning ability in vocabulary and sentence completion. Students have 20 minutes to complete 40 questions.
- Quantitative reasoning assesses reasoning ability in word problems and quantitative comparison. There are 37 questions, and students have 35 minutes to complete them.
The next two sections, reading comprehension and mathematics achievement, test whether a student can correctly answer curriculum-based concepts.
- In reading comprehension, students will read a passage and then answer questions. Students have 35 minutes to complete the 36 questions.
- The mathematics portion tests math skills that the students have so far learned in their school career. There are 47 questions, and students have 40 minutes to complete them.
Students will write their essay in their own handwriting in cursive or print. Students will be given a question (a writing “prompt”) and will answer in their own words. Students have 30 minutes to complete this portion of the exam.
How is the test scored?
The test is scored in percentile ranks, measuring an individual student’s performance against a “norm” group. The group is comprised of students in the same grade who have applied to independent schools over the last three years. There is no “passing” or “failing” score. In general, each school has a score range that indicates whether a student is a good fit at that institution.
The essay isn’t scored. The essay – along with the score report — goes to the school that student has applied to.
When is the score available?
The score is available approximately 10 to 14 days after the test.
What do I need to bring with me on the day I take the ISEE Middle Level test??
There are several important things to know:
- Don’t bring any personal items with you. They’re not allowed in the test room. That means no calculators, papers, books, mobile phones, to name a few items.
- Bring your test verification letter that confirms your test day and time.
- Bring identification. A library card, social security card, birth certificate, and school report card are among acceptable forms of ID.
- Please note that ISEE’s third party vendor has different identification requirements, so please check if you’re using that service.
- The test is offered via computer and paper. Any student taking the paper test may bring four sharpened pencils (No. 2 or HB), four erasers (if they’re not part of the pencil), and two black or blue ballpoint pens.
How much is the test fee?
Students who register by mail or online pay $120. Students who register by phone pay $145. Students who register for online testing through the third-party test vendor pay $200.
What materials can I use to prepare for the test?
Look at the study guide and flashcards offered by Mometrix. These materials have been designed by test professionals who understand the ISEE Middle Level test. Our study guide contains step-by-step video tutorials, practice test questions, and much more. Our flashcards will help students solve difficult questions, but it also makes it easy for mom or dad help during study time. Just take out one of these handy cards and study anywhere. Our study tools take the stress out of test preparation.
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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: April 5, 2019