The Independent School Entrance Exam® (ISEE®)

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE®) is an admissions exam used for entry to many independent, private and boarding schools in the United States, including prestigious and competitive private schools in New York City. The ISEE® is developed and administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB).

The ISEE® has three levels:
  • Lower level: for grades 5 & 6 entrance
  • Middle level: for grades 7 & 8 entrance
  • Upper level: for grades 9, 10, 11 & 12 entrance

All levels consist of five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an unscored 30-minute essay sent to the applicant’s school.

The ISEE® is intended to measure a student’s ability to learn as well as assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses in mathematics and reading.

Students should begin ISEE® preparation at least 3-5 months before taking the exam since unlike the SSAT®, they can only take the ISEE® once in a six-month period. This means that it is important for a student to test well when they first take the ISEE® since they will not have a second chance during the same admissions period. Schools typically request students take the ISEE® between October and January the school year prior to the intended matriculation year.

*ISEE® is a registered trademark of the Educational Records Bureau *SSAT® is a registered trademark of the Secondary School Admissions Test Board

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