Step-Wise Preparation Plans for the ISEE

Prepare for ISEE in 7 Easy Steps

Before you begin preparing for the ISEE test, you must have a clear-cut plan. This article saves your time by providing you with a ready-to-use itinerary that is simple and easy to follow. This plan covers all the crucial aspects of preparation for ISEE.

The 7-step ISEE Test Plan:

Step #1: Know the Test

This is always the first and foremost step in any exam's preparation plan. It is important to begin your studies by learning all about the ISEE test itself, including its structure, format, question types, time limits and finally, rules and regulations. What better way to learn this than browse through the material available on the official website ( The website has published a collection of test guides called "What to expect in the ISEE test". These free download-able manuals provide a detailed preview of the test at all levels. Apart from these manuals, there are several other web-pages on this website that provide details about the question types, scoring patterns, duration and other aspects of the test.

Step #2: Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses

The next step of preparation is to take a diagnostic ISEE test to know which subject-areas are your strong points and which ones are your weak points. The ISEE website provides sample questions and practice tests for every level and section of the test. We recommend that you try these. At the end of this diagnostic exercise, you must note down your scores and prepare a consolidated report of your performance. This will serve as a guideline to you on how much effort you will need to dedicate for studying for each section.

Step #3: Select Your Study Methods

The study methods that you choose for the test depend on two things; namely the cut-off scores of the schools that you are applying to and your scores in the diagnostic tests. The former tells you what scores you need to achieve and the latter gives you an idea of where you stand at present with respect to your subject knowledge. If there is only a small gap between the expected and diagnostic scores, then you may choose self-study methods such as guides, books, online practice tests etc. However, if there is a wide gap, then you may need to look at ISEE prep courses or one-on-one tutoring options to achieve your goal. If you are applying to schools that require a "stanine" rank of 8 or 9, then we recommend that you consider personalized coaching and intense preparation.

Step #4: Research and Collect Relevant Study Materials

After you have decided what study methods to use, do your research on the relevant study materials available. We recommend that you buy or borrow only those resources that are well-reviewed and cost effective. Below is a list of resources that you could review and consider for your studies. You may also use a combination of these study methods to prepare for the test.

Study Books:

  1. Kaplan SSAT & ISEE 2012 Edition (Kaplan SSAT & ISEE for Private & Independent School Admissions) by Kaplan.

  2. SSAT & ISEE For Dummies by Curt Simmons.

  3. Cracking the SSAT & ISEE, 2012 Edition (Private Test Preparation) by Princeton Review.

Prep Websites:

Prep Courses:




Step #5: Create a Study Plan

With the information for the previously-mentioned steps, create a clear-cut study plan. The plan must contain a start date, an end date, a list of milestones and the number of hours required for each study item. It is good to allocate a few hours of studies every day right up-to the testing date in your plan.

Step #6: Follow Your Study Plan

Now is the time when you actually get to work. You must follow your study plan diligently and track your progress every day. You should also check off items in your milestone chart, as and when you reach them. We recommend that the students remain positive throughout this phase of preparation and reach out to teachers, experts or their parents whenever they need help.

Step #7: Review the Test Requirements

This is the last step of study schedule . At-least 2 weeks before the actual test appointment, you must thoroughly review the ISEE test rules and requirements. Also, you should review the testing rules for the format you have selected by taking the computer-based or paper-based tutorials that are available on the ISEE website. Finally, make a list of all the essential items that you are required to take to the testing center, such as your admission ticket, ID documents, stationery etc. and keep them handy.

We hope this easy-to-use planner serves as an excellent tool for all the ISEE applicants and their parents. We recommend that parents and students also talk to their private school counselors for their valuable advice and preparation tips.