ISEE Test Preparation

ISEE is a testing system that tests students at various levels. It evaluates the skills acquired by students in their coursework so that the befitting candidates can be granted admission in higher grades. Schools use this exam to gauge the capabilities of incoming students and predict their success in school on the basis of the scores received. This makes it customary for students to prepare for this test.

Content-based Preparation for ISEE
ISEE is a test of five content areas at three levels. The difficulty of the content that is tested goes on increasing with each higher level. A candidate preparing for the Lower level will have to prepare for comparatively easier and basic topics that are suitable to his mental level, while those appearing for the Upper level will have to prepare for advanced topics under the same content area.

All the different tests evaluate certain skills of students which should be understood well before one starts to prepare for them. For example, the Mathematics Achievement test tests the subject specific knowledge of students. On the other hand, Reading Comprehension does not require any subject specific knowledge, but requires students to have the skills of comprehension.

Similarly, the Quantitative Reasoning test is a test of the logic and reasoning abilities of students, and requires only basic mathematical knowledge. The Verbal Ability test is a test of vocabulary and other verbal skills. The fifth test, which is the Essay Writing test, is a test of composition skills of students.

What can be understood by the content areas of the five tests is that it is possible to acquire the skills and learn the content tested in these tests with persistent efforts. It is the preparation that goes before one takes the test that can do wonders in mastering the skills required, and thus help in getting high scores.

Mastering the Required Skills during Preparation
Preparation gives you an opportunity to undergo the required training and make optimum use of your time and resources. The following are some techniques that help in gaining proficiency to excel in ISEE.

Diagnose your Weak Spot – One weak area can mar your complete attempt in this test. Many times such a weak spot goes unnoticed during preparation. Hence, it is very essential to identify it in time and work towards improving in that area.
In order to identify the weak spot, you can undertake a diagnostic test or take the guidance of an expert. Diagnostic tests are offered at many coaching centers. Some websites also offer such tests to diagnose the weaknesses. Once the weakness has been identified, it is possible to strengthen it with giving more time and practice to the preparation of that area. The end result of such a diagnostic study is that the candidate is equally well prepared for all the sections and is able to put up a consistent performance in the test.

Optimum Utilization of Preparation Time – While having good knowledge of the subject matter with the years spent in lower grades adds to the preparedness, there is a lot that one can gain from optimum utilization of preparatory time. Most of the average students take about 5 to 6 weeks of preparation to bring up their level of preparedness to the required level. Those who are slow learners might need more time for effective preparation. However, what is important here is that time should be spent in quality preparation instead of aimless squandering.
In order to manage time it is best to prepare a timetable to chalk out sufficient time for preparation of each test. The schedule of the timetable should include the following:

  • Preparatory time
  • Time for recapitulation
  • Time for practice

Optimum Utilization of Sources – At the initial stages of education, students may not be competent for carrying out preparation by themselves. Hence, there is a very essential role of various sources of preparation. The following are some sources that have a significant role to play during the study period:

  • Parents/guardians – Parents play a vital role in the education of a child. For preparation for ISEE as well it is the parents who provide the initial guidance. This is especially so for students preparing for the Lower level. Parents can do their duty by showing interest and helping in making the right decisions regarding the study material and the coaching to be followed during preparation.

  • Study material – While the syllabus might include the topics that the candidate has been studying in lower grades, it is essential that these topics are studied in the light of the ISEE. It is essential to understand the type of knowledge and skills required for the test to answer the questions effectively. Hence, the study materials selected for preparation should be such that they help the students to learn to answer the questions well.

  • Coaching classes – How-much-ever the parents might be interested in helping their children, it is not in the capacity of many to teach them all that is required for the tests. Hence, coaching classes are one of the best options that are available to help students prepare.

  • Online courses – This is one of the most comfortable sources of preparation which can be accessed with an internet connection at home. Online courses are extremely popular since they offer flexibility in terms of time as well as learning speed.

  • Tutoring – Private tutoring is yet another option for those who need extra guidance. Slow learners and those seeking exclusive attention of the tutor benefit the most from such tutorials.

Importance of Practice – There is considerable importance of practicing the skills learnt during preparation. This makes the new lessons learnt last for a longer time in memory. Practice also helps to identify follies committed during preparation. For example, if you are going wrong with the required content areas or skills required for the Mathematical Achievement test, you will not be able to solve the practice questions of the test well. Practice sessions of this test will help you realize the loopholes in preparation, which can be mended when time is in your hand.
Various techniques of practicing for ISEE are as follows:

  • Practicing through solved sample practice questions for all tests.

  • Recapitulating and reproducing the learnt material at the end of each day of preparation as well as the start of the next day.

  • Practicing through unsolved question banks, along with the answer key and explanations for the answer options for better understanding.

  • Going through solved writing samples for practice of the essay writing questions.

  • Solving full length and half-length practice tests in simulated conditions.

Official Assistance - What to Expect on the ISEE
This is a preparation manual published by Educational Records Bureau.  It helps those who have no idea about the nature and structure of the test.

  • It contains explanation of the format and the function of the exam.

  • The manual contains sample questions of the test items of all the three levels. It also contains explanations of the answer options for complete clarity.

  • There are half-length practice tests for the Middle and the Upper levels.

  • There are numerous sample questions for the Lower level for sufficient practice.

This manual can be ordered and purchased for $15.

Put your Best Foot Forward
It is essential to put up an impressive application to attract the attention of admission authorities. With a good performance you will manage to make the most of the opportunity given to you to approach these schools. With bright scores in this test even the topmost schools are bound to take notice of you. Hence, ISEE is your chance of winning the race of admissions, and you must make the best of it by quality preparation.