Details of ISEE as Per ERB

Importance of ERB ISEE and its Test Content Breakdown

The Independent School of Entrance Exam (ISEE) is a standardized screening test created by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). The results of this test are utilized by schools during their admission process. The scores are accepted by many private day schools and boarding schools in the United States.

About the Test Pattern:

  1. Test Sections:

    The ERB follows the standards created by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the International Reading Association (IRA), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) for the ISEE. Therefore, this exam has five subtests: the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning Tests, Reading Comprehension and Mathematics tests and Essay Writing test.

  2. ISEE Test Levels:

    This exam is conducted for students who are studying in grade 4 to grade 12 and the test's duration for each level varies.

    • The Lower Level test is conducted for students who are already in grades 4 and 5 and are seeking admission in grades 5 and 6.

    • The Middle Level test is for those students who are presently in grades 6 and 7 and are applying for admission in grades 7 and 8. The test's duration is 2 hours and 20 minutes.

    • The Upper Level exam is for all the students who are in grades 8-11 and require admission for grades 9-12.

  3. Format of the ISEE Test:

    All the questions, except the essay section are in multiple-choice format. It should be noted that there is no negative marking done for this test. It is suggested that you visit for more information on this test. Moreover, this test is available in both, computer-based and paper-based formats.

Understanding the Test Scores:

  1. Scorecard: The scoring method for this test is unique. After the successful completion of this test, a scorecard is provided which contains extensive and detailed information about the student's performance. This is called Individual Score Report (ISR) and is sent to schools along with the student's application for admission.

  2. Scoring Method: A student's performance is mapped on a scale of 760-940 for every level. Additionally, another percentile rank is given to students based on their performance in their group. All students who have taken this test in the past three years for the same level are considered to be a norm group. This unique feature of this test enables counselors to understand the student's learning potential. However, this is often confused with the student's performance on the test.

    For example, if a student receives a scaled score of 800 and a percentile rank of 51%, it means that his/her performance score is 800 and this student has performed better than 51% of students who have appeared for this test-level in the past three years.

    Interpreting the scoring pattern for this test might seem daunting. You can visit in order to understand the scoring method and how to interpret ISEE's scores.

  3. Applying to schools using the ISR: During the registration process for the test, students are required to mention 6 schools to which they desire to send their test's result. It should also be known that all the test's sections would be scored by ISEE except the essays. The essays written by students would be photocopied and sent to those schools for evaluation where they would be scored by school faculties.

    Additionally, parents/ guardians would receive a separate copy of the ISR through mail after 7-10 days from the date of the test, which they can utilize for applying to more schools. Alternatively, they can send the ISR through ERB for an additional charge.

    It should be known that retakes are allowed in this test only after a gap of six months. In case the student is retaking the exam after the mentioned gap, then the new score report would be sent to the requested schools.

Conclusively, it can be said that this test is extremely important for students as the results of this test decide their schooling future. Hence, it is suggested that you understand all the requirements beforehand and register early. Moreover, it is essential that students are well prepared for this test and attain a high score in order to brighten their future.