Important Points About ISEE Math

6 Important Points about the ISEE Math Section

The Independent School of Entrance Exam (ISEE) is published by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and is utilized as a screening tool by many private day schools and boarding schools across United States during their admission process. The aim of this test is to ensure that each grade has students with similar learning capabilities.

Preparing for the Math section is important since there are two sub-tests based on Mathematics. Moreover, this gives the student the opportunity to enhance his overall score of the ISEE.

About the ISEE:

The ISEE is conducted for students from grade 4 to grade 12 and is divided into three levels. These are the Lower Level, the Middle Level and the Upper Level. It consists of five sub-tests which are:

  • Verbal and Quantitative Reasoning Tests
  • Reading Comprehension and Mathematics tests
  • Essay Writing Test

It should be known that the questions in all sections, except the Essay Writing test, are in the multiple-choice format and there is no negative scoring done in this test.

Understanding the Math Tests in 6 Points:

  1. ISEE Math Sub-Tests: The Quantitative Reasoning test is one of the two sections based on Math which are designed according to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Standards. Alongside, the Mathematics Achievement test is the second sub-test designed on similar standards.
  2. Competencies Tested: Through these sections, a student is evaluated for his or her capability of estimation, comparison, analysis and logical reasoning. The Individual Score Report (ISR) would be calculated on the performance of these sections.
  3. Portions: You can get more information on the portions for these sections from the official site by visiting for all levels. In general, the portions contain:
    • Numbers and Operations
    • Algebra and Measurement
    • Geometry and problem Solving
    • Data Analysis and Probability

    You can also take the practice test mentioned at this site to understand the difficulty level of this test.

  4. Time Duration: The Math sub-tests have different number of questions with different time durations for each level.
    • Lower Level: There are 38 questions for the Quantitative Reasoning test at the lower level, which has to be completed in 35 minutes while there would be 30 questions for the Mathematics Achievement Test, which has to be completed within 30 minutes.
    • Middle and Upper Level: Similarly, in the middle and upper level tests, there are 38 questions for the Quantitative Reasoning test, which has to be completed in 35 minutes while there would be 47 questions for the Mathematics Achievement Test, which has to be completed within 40 minutes.
  5. ISEE Math Preparation Resources: There is a study guide “What to Expect on the ISEE” provided by ERB on its official website for all levels. The soft copy for this guide is free; however, students can order the hard copy of this guide as an option, which would be chargeable. This guide contains portions for all the sections of the exam along with sample questions and practice tests. It is suggested that students get access to this guide in order to gain firsthand information on the Math syllabus.

    There are other preparation study guides which are available in the online and offline markets. For example, the Math Workbook for ISEE, SSAT, & HSPT Prep which is available at for purchase. Similarly, there are other study guides which contain good content material like
    Master the SSAT & ISEE ( and
    Cracking the SSAT & ISEE ( which can be purchased online.

  6. Solving the Math Sub-Tests: It should also be known that calculators are not allowed for any level of this test. Hence, it is important to practice solving the Math problems through manual calculations. Moreover, time management for these sections is very important since students get only a minute to solve each question.

The test results, moreover, the scores in the Math sections would determine the future of a student’s schooling career. Therefore, it is important for students to utilize good quality study resources and be well prepared for this test in order to attain a high overall test score.