Parent FAQs





The Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners (AABL) is a creative, interactive approach to learning that schools use to support admission and placement decisions for applicants PreK – Grade 1.



What is AABL?

Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners (AABL) is an online, child-friendly assessment providing quality insights into a child’s development in Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning, Early Literacy, and Mathematics for children who are applying to Pre-Kindergarten/Jr. Kindergarten, Kindergarten, or Grade 1. Children taking AABL must be at least 4 years, 0 months and less than 7 years, 0 months on the day of testing. AABL uses iPad technology that is intuitive and fun for young learners.

How long does it take to complete the AABL?

The administration is untimed and may take approximately 30 to 40 minutes for children applying to Kindergarten and Grade 1 and approximately 40 to 50 minutes for children applying to Pre-Kindergarten. 

Will there be any on-site preparation for applicant test-takers?

Yes. Test administrators will review the directions with the child before beginning the test. This will ensure that each child receives on-site tutorials on how to respond to the three types of questions: multiple-choice, drag and drop, and touch. Families can go here to access free online guides and videos for each level, to help prepare for test day.

Are there breaks during the assessment?

Yes. The total testing time estimate includes a short break in between the Reasoning and Achievement sections. ERB recommends a break between two to five minutes; however, the test administrator has control of the break time and may choose to shorten or lengthen the break time based on the needs of the children in the test session. 

What should my child take to the assessment?

You will be required to bring your child’s Verification Letter to the test session. The Verification Letter will be emailed to you following your child’s online registration.  If testing takes place at ERB Office, you or the child’s authorized care giver will also need to present a photo ID to enter the building. 

Since AABL is administered on an iPad, pencils and/or pens are not needed.  A child will not need anything and we will ask that he/she leave all personal items with his/her parent or care giver during testing. 

Whom do I call to change the schools to which I am sending scores or to add more schools?

You may add schools to your list at any time by logging into your account at or by calling the AABL Operations Office. Please consider your list of schools carefully. A school may only be removed from your list up until the child tests.

My child is ill. What do I do?

If your child is sick, you should use your best judgment as AABL strives for optimal testing conditions for each child. A child may not test more than once in a six-month period. Therefore, if you need to postpone testing due to illness, please contact the AABL Operations Office as soon as possible.

My child cannot go to the test that day and I need to change the test date. What do I do?

You should call the AABL Operations Office as soon as possible to reschedule testing. Please note that we cannot reschedule testing for test sites that are filled to capacity or for test dates where registration has closed. There is a $25 fee for change of test site and/or test date. If you wish to cancel the assessment, please call the AABL Operations Office within four weeks of your scheduled test for a refund. All refunds have a $25 processing fee deducted. 

In the event of inclement weather, how do I find out if the test will be held?

Please check the school's website or call the AABL test site directly to see if testing is still in session or if required to reschedule.  If your child is testing at the ERB office, please check the ERB website at


For additional questions about AABL, please contact us.





The ISEE is an admission test that has three levels:  a Lower Level, Middle Level, and Upper Level. The Lower Level is for students currently in grades 4 and 5 who are candidates for admission to grades 5 and 6. The Middle Level is for students in grades 6 and 7 who are candidates for grades 7 and 8. The Upper Level is for students in grades 8 through 11 who are candidates for grades 9 through 12. In addition, there is a Primary ISEE for students applying for grades 2, 3 and 4.



What role does the ISEE have in the admission process?

Schools use the ISEE scores as one piece of the overall student profile for applicant consideration.

Can I view more detailed information about the ISEE?

Yes. An overview of the test with sample questions, a full-length practice test, an actual answer sheet, and an explanation of the Individual Student Report (ISR) is available at no cost by downloading What to Expect on the ISEE here.

How quickly will I receive my scores?

After paper testing, schools send the ISEE answer sheets and essays to the ISEE Operations Office for production of an Individual Student Report (ISR). Scoring takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The ISR is posted to a family's online account right after scoring and an email is then sent to notify the family that this has taken place.  Copies of the ISR are also emailed to ERB schools and consultants, only if the family has listed them as recipients. The essay, which is not scored and is released only to ERB schools, accompanies the ISR. Score reports to schools do not list any other school recipients.


For online ISEE testing at a school or Prometric site, score reports will post online as soon as the test has been scored. An email will be sent to the email address indicated in your child’s registration information to let you know the report is ready. A hard copy will not be sent to the home address.

How often may a student take the ISEE?

Starting in August of 2016, students may register to take the ISEE up to three times in a 12-month admission cycle, once in any or all of three testing seasons. The seasons are Fall (August–November), Winter (December–March), and Spring/Summer (April–July). ISEE does not encourage multiple testing, but we do offer students and families that option.

What is a raw score?

A raw score is the number of questions a student answered correctly. There is no penalty for incorrect answers on the ISEE.

What is a scaled score?

A scaled score is a common scale, derived from the raw score, that has the same meaning for all students regardless of the edition or form taken. The scaled score is used to control slight variations among different forms of a test. It enables us to report a score on a common scale that has the same meaning for all students. The scaled score range for all sections and levels of the ISEE falls between 760 and 940.

What is the composition of the ISEE norm group?

The norm group consists of all students in the same grade who took the ISEE test over the past three years for entrance to an independent school or a specialized public school. Students are not ranked regionally, and they are not compared to other testers on the same day of testing. All students in the 2016–2017 season are compared to the same “norm” group of students who took the ISEE for the same grade over the past three years.

What is a percentile?

A percentile is a ranking of where a student stands relative to the ISEE norm group. (It is not the percentage of questions the student answered correctly.) For example, a percentile rank of 63 on an ISEE test section indicates that the student scored as well as or higher than 63% (and lower than 36%) of all students in the norm group. Percentile rank scores range from 1 to 99.

Does your percentile ranking reflect a competitive group of students?

Yes. The ISEE percentile rank reflects a competitive group of applicants to independent schools, most of them generally high-achieving students. The reference group is the group of students testing for the same grade who took the ISEE over the last three years. It is not a national norm to which students may have been compared on other standardized tests. Thus, your child may find his or her percentile score to be lower than it was on previous tests.


A student who always scored above the 50th percentile may find himself or herself below the 50th percentile, and students who normally score above the 90th percentile on other tests may find themselves barely above average on the ISEE. For example, parents are frequently surprised when they see a 75th percentile score for a child who scored at the 95th percentile last year on a test based on state or national norms. This difference is due to the nature of the high-achieving population of students taking the ISEE.

What is a stanine?

A stanine is an abbreviated version of the percentile. While there are 99 percentile ranks, which are ideal for fine distinctions among students, the stanine has only nine possible values and divides students into nine groups.

What information does the Analysis section of the Individual Student Report (ISR) provide?

In the Analysis section of the Individual Student Report, each section score indicates the number of questions answered correctly, the number of questions answered incorrectly, and the number of questions omitted or never reached. Each section score is broken down by type of question, providing more specific information about a student’s relative strengths and weaknesses.

Whom may I contact with additional questions or to discuss a student’s score report?

At any point, you may request information or review of a score report. If you just received your child's ISEE scores and have some questions, please contact us at or call (800) 989-3721 ext. 2620.

Do tutors work with actual ISEE tests?

The ISEE is a secure test. Actual test questions are not released to tutors, schools, or individuals.


ERB has created our own preparation materials (the What to Expect on the ISEE books) which may be downloaded from our website at no cost. These books provide the best information on the ISEE since they are written by the testing company itself. These materials are the only up-to-date, consistent, and accurate materials that are sanctioned by ERB for the ISEE.

Do score reports indicate how many times my student has taken the ISEE?

No. This information is not included on the score report. 


Why didn't I get a copy of my student's essay?

Student essays are not shared with families because of the high security of ISEE essay prompts.


For additional questions about ISEE, please contact ISEE Operations at (800) 446-0320 or