5 Critical Things to Know about the ISEE

1. The ISEE is a unique test.

The format and content of the ISEE differ significantly from that of other standardized tests you may have taken previously. Knowing what to expect on test day is the most important reason to prepare. Preparation helps relieve testing anxiety and ensures that you are already familiar with the types of questions on the test, so there are no surprises on test day.


2. The ISEE is a long test.

Sitting for so long is already an inherent challenge. This is likely the first time you’re taking a high-pressure standardized test too. Building up test-taking stamina will help you to stay focused for the duration of the test.


3. The ISEE is a competitive test.

It is taken only by students applying to competitive private schools and is designed to distinguish excellent students from a pool of above-average students.


4. The ISEE is a challenging test.

This is especially true for students at the younger end of the age range for any given level of the test. The Upper Level test, for instance, is meant to challenge an 11th grader, but is also taken by 8th graders. Simply knowing how to remain calm when presented with unfamiliar content is an important skill.


5. The ISEE is a learning opportunity.

The ISEE provides a concrete goal and clear learning objectives for students. It gives them an opportunity to set goals, practice, and achieve, just as they might in sports or music. Regardless of students' academic journeys or ultimate career paths, the skills they learn in practicing for the ISEE will serve them well in the future.