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ISEE FAQs

  1. What is the ISEE?
  2. Who creates the ISEE?
  3. When is the ISEE given?
  4. When should I register for the ISEE?
  5. How do I register?
  6. How much does it cost to take the ISEE?
  7. How long does it take to get my scores back?
  8. How many times can I take the ISEE?
  9. What is a good score on the ISEE?
  10. When should I start preparing for the ISEE?
  11. How much high school math do I need before I can start preparing for the ISEE?
  12. Should I use an educational consultant?
  1. What is the ISEE?

    The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) has three levels:

    • The Lower Level is for students currently in grades 4-5
    • The Middle Level is for students currently in grades 6-7
    • The Upper Level is for students currently in grades 8-11

    The test is used by prestigious private middle and secondary schools, boarding schools and military academies to help determine a student's admission qualifications. The test has five sections, including Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement and an Essay. The essay is not included in your test score, but a copy is sent to the schools you request to receive your scores.

  2. Who creates the ISEE?

    The ISEE was constructed to specify to the guidelines provided by a national committee of independent school directors of admission and faculty, and was developed for the Educational Records Bureau by the Educational Testing Service.

  3. When is the ISEE given?

    The test dates vary by year and location. For specific test dates in your area, visit http://docs.erbtest.org/pdfs/ISEE_Student_Guide_07_08.pdf.

  4. When should I register for the ISEE?

    Regular registration deadlines are three weeks before each test date. Late registration (phone or fax only) deadlines are two weeks before each test date. You may want to register at least 6 - 8 weeks ahead of time to avoid late fees and ensure that you can take the ISEE at your preferred test center.

  5. How do I register?

    Register one of four ways:

    • Mail: The paper copy of the mail-in registration form is only found in the center of the student guide between pages 26 and 27 inside the envelope. Contact iseeremote@erbtest.org to have a Student Guide mailed to you.
    • Phone: Call 1-800-446-0320 (there is an additional $20 phone registration fee, payable by credit card only)
    • Fax: Contact iseeremote@erbtest.org to have a Student Guide mailed to you, then get the fax registration form from the ISEE Student Guide and send it to 919-682-5775 (there is an additional $20 fax registration fee, payable by credit card only)
    • Online: Go to www.iseetest.org
  6. How much does it cost to take the ISEE?

    Registration MethodCost
    Mail$75
    Online$78
    Phone or Fax$98
    Late Registration
    (less than 3 weeks prior to test date)
    $95
  7. How long does it take to get my scores back?

    Your Individual Student Report (ISR) and a copy of your essay are usually released to your chosen schools 7 - 10 days after your test date. Your parents will also receive your scores within two weeks from your test date.

  8. How many times can I take the ISEE?

    You may only take the ISEE once in a six-month period. Additionally, you may not take practice tests - you must make a formal application to a school for each administration of the test.

  9. What is a good score on the ISEE?

    A good score is one that will get you into the secondary school of your choice, so the answer depends on which school you want to attend. While there is not a "passing" score for the ISEE, it is important to know what the average admissible score is for the schools to which you are applying. Following are a few reference websites for private schools with contact information so you can find out the average score of students accepted.

  10. When should I start preparing for the ISEE?

    It is always best to start preparing as early as possible. This allows more preparation time to achieve score goals.

  11. How much high school math do I need before I can start preparing for the ISEE?

    The mathematic portion of the ISEE is similar to computations you make in school, in accordance with the Lower, Middle and Upper Level tests.

  12. Should I use an educational consultant?

    Educational consultants counsel students and their families in the selection of educational programs, based on the student's individual needs and talents. The need for an educational consultant can vary based on the students; we recommend starting with arranging a meeting with your counselor as a research base, they can give you some general information as a starting point for your research. You can also approach the career services or counseling departments within the institutions that you are considering applying to. You may want to find out ahead of time if they charge and what the fee is before committing to a service.