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How the ISEE Entrance Exam Breaks Down

Part of the SSAT & ISEE For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) is a standardized test, which means its goal is to test your achievement level based on the performance of other students in your grade level. The ISEE focuses only on your ability to read and answer questions about the passage, to handle English language questions, to write effectively, and to do the math. The ISEE is divided into four basic sections:

Section Questions Time Limit
Verbal Reasoning 40 questions 20 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 37 questions 35 minutes
Reading Comprehension 36 questions based on about 6 reading passages 35 minutes
Mathematics Achievement 47 questions 40 minutes
Essay One writing prompt 30 minutes

The ISEE has three different versions: The upper level test is for students entering grades 9 through 12, the middle level test is for students entering grades 7 and 8, and the lower level test is for students entering grades 5 and 6. The only difference between these three ISEEs is the difficulty. The upper level test is more difficult than the middle level test, and the middle level test is more difficult than the lower level test. Other than that, the tests are exactly the same in terms of the number and types of sections, although they do vary just a bit with the number of questions and time limits on the lower level test.

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