ISEE Verbal Reasoning Overview

The Verbal Section is composed of two types of questions: Synonyms and Sentence Completions.

Synonym questions look like this:

(A) align
(B) fathom
(C) rejoice
(D) salivate

Students are given a word and then asked to find its closest synonym in the answer choices. If you don’t immediately know the correct choice, consider if the root is familiar or if you’ve heard it in a specific context before. Find more in-depth Verbal Section strategies here!

Sentence completions look like this:

The farmers were wisely ------- to use the damaged farm equipment.
(A) desperate
(B) eager
(C) happy
(D) hesitant

Students are given a sentence with a blank and asked to find the answer choice that best completes the sentence. Upper Level students will see questions with two blanks, and Lower Level students will see questions where a phrase is needed to complete the sentence, rather than just one word.

Tip: Cover the answer choices, read the question, predict the answer, compare your prediction with the answer choices, eliminate the worst answers, and pick the answer that best matches your prediction. Check out our Verbal Strategies below for more tips!