FAQs

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 ISEEInterpretation@erblearn.org 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.

When can families register for the at-home ISEE testing solution?

Registration for the ISEE At Home via remote proctoring (ProProctor) is open as of July 14th! Choose this option by selecting 'ProProtor' where prompted when registering for the ISEE.

How soon after registration can students take the ISEE At home?

Students may take the ISEE At Home as soon as 24 hours after registration.

On what days and times can students take the ISEE At Home?

ISEE At Home tests are scheduled on-demand, including at night and on weekends. Exams are proctored by real people, however, so seating for each administration is limited.

How are ISEE At Home tests secured? Are they valid?

ISEE At Home tests through ProProctor follow the same security procedures as testing at a Prometric Test Center, and the on-demand solution has been in use for years for multiple exams. Exams are proctored by a live person who is trained in remote administration and has passed a background check, and environmental scans are done via webcam at the start of each exam session and after all breaks or test disruptions.

How much does the ISEE At Home cost?

The fee for ISEE At Home exams is $200, which is the same as testing at a Prometric Test Center.

How do we register for the ISEE At Home?

The same way you would for any ISEE exam! Please visit https://iseeonline.erblearn.org/, log in or create an account, and simply select the ProProctor option during the registration process.

Is there a User Guide to help us set up and prepare for an at-home test?

 

For additional questions about ISEE, please contact ISEE Operations at (800) 446-0320 or isee@erblearn.org.