What is ERB and ISEE?

The ISEE test (aka "Independent School Entrance Exam") is an entry-level test for students attempting to gain admission into certain private or independent schools in the U.S. This test is created, administered and scored by ERB, a well-known educational services organization in the U.S. Going forth in this article, the ISEE test will be referred to as the ISEE ERB test, in order to highlight the role of ERB in ensuring the test's continued success. This article explains the profile of ERB and the key characteristics of the ISEE ERB test.

The Profile of ERB:

ERB is a non-profit educational institution that specializes in creating custom achievement and entrance tests for schools students, starting from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th Grade in both public and private schools; not only in the U.S, but across the world. The achievement tests that are conceptualized and administered by ERB include the CPAA (Children's Progress Academic Assessments), the CTP (Comprehensive Testing Program) and Writing assessment tests such as WrAP (Writing Assessment Program) and WPP (Writing Practice Program). Besides these tests, ERB offers 2 admission tests; namely, the ECAA (Early Childhood Admissions Assessment) and the ISEE ERB that we will be discussing in detail in this article. ERB has developed several professional assessment methods, advanced test scoring and test reporting methods that are backed by years of research.

The Key Characteristics of the ISEE ERB tests:

  1. What is the Objective of the ISEE ERB Test?

    The main objective of the ISEE ERB test is to provide independent schools with a yardstick to screen their applicants for certain essential academic skills and knowledge.

  2. What Are the Different Categories of the ISEE ERB Test?

    The ISEE ERB test has 3 categories, namely; Lower-level, Middle-level and Upper-level tests. The Lower-level test is meant for the students who are seeking admissions into Grades 5 & 6, the Middle-level test is for the students who are seeking entry into Grades 7 & 8 and the Upper-level is for students who are seeking admissions into Grades 8-12, in private or independent schools.

  3. What Are the Different Sections and Question Types of the ISEE ERB Test?

    The ISEE ERB test consists of the following 5 test sections - Verbal Reasoning, Mathematics Achievement, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Essay Writing. The Verbal Reasoning section comprises of synonyms and sentence completion questions. The Quantitative Reasoning section consists of quantitative comparisons and problems, whose difficulty levels correspond to the test category. The Reading Comprehension section consists of one or more reading passages, along with questions that evaluate the ability of students to comprehend, analyze and draw inferences from the given passages. The Mathematics Achievement section assesses the mathematical skills of the students, with questions relevant to the syllabus of their respective grades. The Essay section assesses the competency of the students in writing well-structured and coherent essays with the proficiency that is expected at their grade-level.

  4. What Format is the ISEE ERB Test Offered In?

    In all categories, the ISEE ERB test is available in 2 formats - paper-based (PBT) and computer-based (CBT). In both these formats, the types of questions, time limits, test rules and requirements etc. are essentially the same. The only difference between the 2 formats lies in the way in which the essay should be submitted. In the PBT test, the essay should be written by hand; while in the CBT test, it should be typed online.

  5. What Are the Time Durations Stipulated for the ISEE ERB Test and Its Sections?

    The Lower-level ISEE ERB test must be completed in 2 hours and 20 minutes, whereas; the Upper and Middle-level ISEE ERB tests are given 2 hours and 40 minutes. Besides, each section of this test has a particular time limit. The list of time durations for all sections of the test can be found in this document -

  6. How is the ISEE ERB Test Scored?

    Except the Essay section, the rest of the ISEE ERB test sections are scored electronically. It must be noted that the essays are sent directly to the preferred private schools for their individual assessments. The ISEE score report of a student consists of a total scaled-score, a percentile ranking and a "stanine" ranking. These rankings are a measure of a student's performance against a group of peer test-takers, who have taken the test in the last 3 years from the testing date.

Thus far, we have discussed all the chief characteristics of the ISEE ERB test. We hope that this article has provided the parents (and students) with a lucid discernment of this test, thus helping them plan their future course. For more details on this test, you could visit the official ISEE website -

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