Understanding the ISEE Essay Segment

Description of ISEE Essay

Many private day schools and boarding schools across United States accept the results of the Independent School of Entrance Exam (ISEE) which is designed by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). This test is taken in order to ensure that each grade has students with similar learning potentials.

About the ISEE Exam:

The ISEE consists of five sub-tests which are the Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning tests, the Reading Comprehension and Mathematics tests and the Essay Writing test. The same pattern is conducted for students from grade 4 to grade 12. Therefore, this test is divided into three levels i.e. the Lower Level, the Middle Level and the Upper Level.

It should be known that all the questions, except the Essay Writing test, are in the multiple-choice format. The essays written by students are not scored by ERB; in fact, the test’s results do not include scores of the Essay Writing test.

Understanding the Essay Test of ISEE:

The testing pattern involves the knowledge of the concepts of the Standard English language and Mathematics. Thus, there are two sub-tests based on Mathematics and three sub-tests based on English Language in this test.

It should be known that the students are required to write the essay within 30 minutes and this timeframe is the same for all the levels. All essays are photocopied and sent with the result to those schools which students have mentioned during the registration. These essays are evaluated by school faculties and counselors and their score is clubbed with the other scores in order to arrive at the final test result.

Since the Writing test is scored by schools, the criteria for its scoring would differ. Therefore, it becomes even more important for the student to do well on this test. There are many study resources available for preparing essay writing skills required for this test.

ERB has published a study guide “What to Expect on the ISEE” which can be availed for free online at http://isee.erblearn.org/default.aspx?level=unknown . However, you can get the hard copy of this book at a specific charge. This study guide contains essay writing tips and sample topics. Apart from this guide, there are other study resources available in the online and offline markets which contain helpful writing strategies.

For example, you can purchase the SSAT & ISEE for Dummies at http://www.amazon.com/SSAT-ISEE-Dummies-Vince-Kotchian/dp/1118115554/ref=cm_lmf_tit_1.
This study guide contains essay writing strategies which have proved to be beneficial for many students. Alongside, the most recent edition of Cracking the SSAT & ISEE which is available at http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-SSAT-Edition-Private-Preparation/dp/030794493X/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_2_SPYB is another helpful study resource.

Helpful Tips for Essay Writing:

  • Organize Your Thoughts: It is important to organize your thoughts once the topic is given. One should have a fair idea of what he or she wants to write and think of relevant examples which would support the viewpoints.
  • Prepare an Outline: Since students would get only 30 minutes for this section, it is suggested that an outline of the essay is prepared before writing it. This would ensure a proper flow throughout the write-up.
  • Preparing the Final Draft: It is better to prepare the final draft as soon as the outline is in place. One should use simple words and construct proper sentences in order to write a good essay.
  • Recheck for Errors: Students should manage their time in such a manner that there is time left to go through the essay once again and recheck for any grammatical errors. It is suggested that you minimize errors in order to produce a neat copy.

This section is a basic written skills test and the topics mentioned would be fairly general and simple. Since these essays are sent to schools directly, it becomes important for students to create a good write-up in order to get a good score. It is important to remember that attaining a high  score would help students to obtain admission in their desired schools. Therefore, it is suggested that students work hard and utilize the right study resources to achieve their goal and brighten their schooling career.