Interpreting Your Scores

What do these scores mean and how do I read them?

The numbers you see beneath the Stanine Analysis heading are your stanine scores for each section. Each stanine correlates to a percentile range, and the percentile compares your performance to all other same-grade students who took the same test.

For example, a score in the 20th percentile indicates a better performance than 20 percent of other students, but a poorer performance compared to the remaining 79 percent. The following table shows the correlation between stanines and percentiles:

Stanine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Percentile Range 1st - 3rd 4th - 10th 11th - 22rd 23rd - 39th 40th - 59th 60th - 76th 77th - 88th 89th - 95th 96th - 99th

Not happy with your score? Remember that ISEE takers are already a very elite group applying to competitive private schools, and a 50th percentile score means that you’re testing right in the middle of this talented pack. In fact, if you receive a 50th percentile score on your first practice test, it means you’re in great shape for continued improvement.

What are all these colors?

If you’ve selected one or more ISEE-accepting schools, you’ll see that we break down the score range into three colors: red, yellow, and green. We have collected data from thousands of students applying to hundreds of competitive private schools. Based on this data, the tri-colored bars represent how certain scores tend to affect applications to the schools you've selected.

Red: These scores are usually detrimental to applications. We’ve seen students get into just about every school with just about every score, but students with scores in this range need the other parts of their application to be very strong.

Yellow: Scores in this range neither help nor hinder applications.

Green: Scores in this range help applications by demonstrating test-taking proficiency above the usual applicant pool. They show the school that the student has significant academic capability and promise.

How important are the scores?

We don’t believe that any student gets into a school based solely on standardized test scores. The application, interview, recommendations and other components are all critical for successful applicants. With that being said, we have seen that low scores can be an obstacle to admissions, especially for competitive schools that receive a very large number of applicants.