Frequently Asked Questions


The ISEE (Independent Schools Entrance Exam) is an admissions test administered by the ERB. Many private schools in North America, and a handful of international schools, use the ISEE as a crucial part of the admissions process for grades 2 through 12.

  • Students applying to 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade will take the Primary Level ISEE

  • Students applying to 5th or 6th grade will take the Lower Level ISEE

  • Students applying to 7th or 8th grade will take the Middle Level ISEE

  • Students applying to 9th, 10th, 11th, or 12th grade will take the Upper Level ISEE

The ISEE is scored based on the grade for which your student is applying, so performance is only compared to other students applying to the same grade.

ISEE stands for Independent School Entrance Exam. It’s a test taken by students applying to private schools in the United States, and a few international schools. The test is also required for students applying to Boston’s three public exam schools: Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science. There are four levels of the test that students take, depending on their grade level. The Primary Level ISEE is for students applying to 2nd through 4th grade, the Lower Level ISEE is for students applying to 5th or 6th grade, the Middle Level ISEE is for students applying to 7th or 8th grade, and the Upper Level ISEE is for students applying to 9th through 12th grade. The test is administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and can be taken once per ISEE testing season. Many private schools will accept either the ISEE or the SSAT, and some schools will accept both.

The official Lower, Middle, and Upper Level tests—and our practice tests for those levels—have five sections. The first four sections include multiple-choice questions with four answer choices. These sections are: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics Achievement. The fifth section provides a writing prompt for an essay which will not be graded, but will be sent to schools along with your scores.

The Primary Level test has three sections: Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and a Writing Sample.

Admissions departments see the ISEE as the best way to assess your student’s academic preparedness compared to that of other applicants. An excellent ISEE score gives your student a crucial advantage in the admissions process.

Preparing for the ISEE is critical regardless of the time before the test. Your student will benefit greatly from taking at least one full-length practice test to gain familiarity with the format and content of the test.

We recommend starting six to eight months prior to your test date, which will give you enough time to work on any areas of weakness identified by our system.

Our adaptive online platform makes ISEE test preparation easy. Here is the process:

  1. Identify your target schools.

  2. Take a full-length practice test.

  3. Once the test is complete, you will receive an immediate normative score report and actionable insights into your student’s performance.

  4. Based on your student’s practice test results and target schools, Test Innovators will deliver a personalized prep plan for test success.

  5. Our adaptive online platform identifies areas for improvement, and our question banks provide further targeted practice to hone skills. If you want or need more support, we provide access to world-class tutors.

  • Most accurate full-length practice tests. Our veteran test writers use test feedback to continually update our materials, which are used by top tutors and tutoring companies worldwide.

  • Immediate scoring and actionable insights. You’ll receive an immediate score report with stanines and percentiles, along with in-depth diagnostic insights about your student’s performance.

  • Contextual data.Your child’s practice test scores are compared to those of successful applicants to your target schools.

  • Test timing. Data on time spent per question will demonstrate your student’s time management ability.

  • Personalized prep plan. Based on the practice test results and target schools, Test Innovators delivers a personalized prep plan for test success.

  • Proven results. Students who use our adaptive platform score 70% higher than average on the ISEE.

Finally, our adaptive platform is available as soon as you purchase—no need to wait. Your child can start prepping with practice tests immediately, online or in printed format.

As soon as your child completes a practice test, you’ll receive an immediate score report, including data on how your child’s scores compare to those of successful applicants to your target schools.

In addition to the scores, you'll receive actionable insights about your child’s performance on each section:

  • How did they manage their time?

  • How well did they perform on each specific subject and question type?

  • Are they missing a lot of easy questions, or only the more difficult ones?

When you go back through your student’s test, you’ll see the correct answers, the answers they chose, and explanations for every question.

You will receive a personalized prep plan based on your child’s test results and the scores needed to be a competitive applicant at your target schools. The plan will identify areas for improvement, specify which practice materials are most important, and provide information on effective exam strategies. If needed, we may also recommend a tutor, and we offer a free 20-minute consultation with a top ISEE tutor.

Check out our Store page for details about our prep packages!

We recommend that your child take the first practice test online, so you can gain valuable insight into his or her time management. For many students, time management is one of the hardest parts of the ISEE, so it’s best to find out quickly if your child needs help in this area.

It is important to take practice tests under conditions that mimic the official test. The ISEE can be taken on paper at a school testing site, or on a computer at a Prometric testing location. With our platform you can practice both ways and decide which is right for your child.

To score a paper practice test, follow our directions on the last page of your printed test. It will take you about 3-4 minutes to input an entire test, and you’ll receive immediate scores and insights.

We recommend that your child takes his or her first practice test online, because you’ll receive additional insights about time spent on each question.

We work with the best ISEE specialists in North America and the world, and we offer our clients a free 20-minute chat with one of these expert tutors. The tutor will help you determine the best ways to prepare based on your child's personal ISEE practice test results. They also offer additional tutoring sessions if your child could benefit from extra help.

To schedule a free chat, please click here.

Yes! To take advantage of our bulk discount rates, or for information about joining our tutor referral network, please call us at 1-800-280-1857 or send an email to

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