What are ISEE Essay Prompts?

Understanding the ISEE Essay

The ISEE, Independent School Entrance Examination, is an entrance test conducted by the ERB (Education Records Bureau). It is used by numerous independent and magnet schools across the USA. You can visit the official website to gather more information pertaining to this test (www.erblearn.org).

One of the five sections in this test is the essay section, which requires the students to provide responses for the given essay prompts. This article discusses in detail about the essay prompts and the section as a whole.

The Essay Section

In the ISEE for all the three levels, the students must make an outline and write an essay in order to demonstrate a sample of their writing skills to those schools to which they are applying. The topic that is given is random and the time given to the students is 30 minutes. There is no scoring procedure for the essay. It is photocopied and then directly sent to the schools to which the student is applying.

The test can be given in both paper-based and computer-based formats. In case of a paper-based format, you need to write the responses to the prompt by hand. However, in case of a computer-based format, you need to type the essay responses.

About the Essay

As mentioned earlier, the essay section is the last or the fifth section of the test. There are many prompts, out of which one will be assigned to you. One essay prompt is randomly selected for each test date.

The essay prompts generally include topics that are of interest to the students. These give you an opportunity to demonstrate your writing skills and through these, you can show how well you organize and express your thoughts and ideas. You are expected, within the 30 minutes duration of this section, to:

- organize your ideas and thoughts coherently,
- prepare an outline, and
- write your final draft.

Important Points to Consider

Here are some important points you need to consider:

  • You need to write on the topic provided. Any essay on another topic is unacceptable.
  • How well you write is more important than the quantity of what you write.
  • In case of a paper-based test, write in the handwriting that will be legible for any reader.
  • You need to copy the essay prompt in the top section of the answer sheet.
  • You may write in a cursive handwriting or you may even print.

Hence, it can be concluded that you should practice well for this section in advance to get a fair idea of how you are supposed to write the essay. Remember that the essay should be well-planned out and written in a legible handwriting. Also, you cannot use a pencil and have to use either blue or black ink while attempting this section of the test.