ISEE Scoring

Understanding the ISEE Scores

The Independent School Entrance Exam or ISEE is an admission test for those lower, middle and high-school students, who are looking to join independent or private schools in the U.S. There are 3 levels to this exam based on the grade of the applying students and in every level of the test there are 5 sections namely; Reading, Math, Essay Writing, Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning . Apart from learning about the exam design, the students must also get a good understanding of the ISEE scoring criteria. This article presents a detailed summary of the ISEE score calculation and reporting methods.

  1. The Calculation of ISEE Scores:

    Except the Essay section, the ISEE scoring for the remaining exam sections is done electronically, wherein the answers to the multiple-choice questions are scanned. The total number of correct answers in all these sections is summed up to arrive at a raw ISEE score. It must be noted that negative points are not awarded for incorrect answers. Thereafter, the raw score is converted to a scaled ISEE score in the range of 760-940.

  2. The Reporting of ISEE Scores:

    The ISEE score report is called the Individual Student Report (ISR) and it consists of the following sections:

    • Test Profile Section: This section lists the total raw score, scaled score, percentile and 'stanine' ranks of a candidate. We already know how the raw and scaled scores are calculated. Now, let's look at the meaning of the rest of the ISEE scoring components in this section, as follows:

      • A percentile rank is a comparison of a student's scaled score against a group of all students who took the ISEE exam in the last 3 years. Every year, this rolling norm group is consolidated using the scores of all the students who appeared for the test in the previous 3 years, irrespective of their gender. Hence, a percentile rank of 95% means that the student performed in par with or better than 95% of the students in the applicable ISEE norm group. The percentile ranks range from 1 to 99.

      • A stanine rank is a shorter version of a percentile rank. The 99 percentile ranks are categorized into 9 possible groups for more condensed reporting.

    • Analysis Section: This section of the ISEE scoring report provides a breakdown of the raw scores, scaled scores and the number of omitted questions across all the sections and question types of the ISEE exam. Thus, it provides an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate's performance.

  3. The Distribution of ISEE Score Reports:

    A copy of the Individual Score Report (ISR) and the essay are sent to about 6 schools/counselors that may be selected during the registration process. Another copy of the ISR is mailed to the parents of the test-takers. These score reports are sent across in about 7-10 working days from the actual exam date. However, parents may request for a faster ISEE scoring option by paying an additional fee during registration. Those who opt for this expedited scoring facility will receive their score reports on the immediate Monday, Wednesday or Friday following the date of the exam.

  4. The Significance of the ISEE Scores:

    The most important aspects of the ISEE scoring process are the stanine and percentile ranks. Most schools consider these ranks to screen their applicants. Hence, the performance of a student is always viewed relative to the competitiveness of all the students in the corresponding norm group. Therefore, there may be cases where some students find that their ranks are lower than the ones from the previous year in-spite of better overall scores. This happens when the current-year students turn out to be a highly competitive bunch, thus changing the best scores of the norm group.

We hope that this article has given the students and their parents all the details regarding the ISEE scoring process, including the calculation methods, reporting procedures and its other crucial aspects. All of this information, we anticipate, will provide them the required guidance and plan for their ISEE exam preparation efforts.

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