What is on the Middle Level ISEE?

  • Posted By: Celena Alduenda
  • December 16, 2020
  • 0 Comments

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is a test used by many independent schools as part of their admissions process. The Middle Level ISEE is taken by students applying to grades 6-8.

The Middle Level ISEE is administered on the computer and on paper. It consists of five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and the Essay.

Section

Questions

Time

Verbal Reasoning
40 questions
20 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning
37 questions
35 minutes
Break
10 minutes
Reading Comprehension
36 questions
35 minutes
Mathematics Achievement
47 questions
40 minutes
Break
10 minutes
Essay
1 prompt
30 minutes

All of the questions, with the exception of the Essay, are multiple choice with four answer choices. Within each section, there are experimental questions that may be used for future versions of the test. These experimental questions are randomly distributed and are not scored.

Keep reading for more information about each section, including sample questions from the Test Innovators ISEE practice platform.

Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section consists of 40 questions: 17-23 synonym questions and 17-23 sentence completion questions. Of the 40 questions, 35 are scored and 5 are unscored.

Synonym questions give you a word and ask you to choose the most similar word from four options.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Sentence completion questions ask you to fill in one blank in a sentence with the best word.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning section focuses primarily on problem-solving skills and critical thinking. There are 18-21 word problems and 14-17 quantitative comparison questions for a total of 37 questions. Of the 37 questions, 32 are scored and 5 are unscored.

It’s important to note that calculators are not allowed.

Word Problems are 1-3 sentences long and cover a variety of subjects, including algebraic concepts, data analysis & probability, geometry, measurement, and number sense.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Quantitative comparison questions give you two quantities (A and B) and ask you to evaluate the relationship between them. Many questions require no calculations or only simple calculations.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Reading Comprehension

The Reading Comprehension section consists of six reading passages, and each passage is followed by six questions. Of the 36 questions, 30 are scored and 6 are unscored.

After reading the passage, you will be asked questions about the main idea and supporting ideas, organization & logic, vocabulary, and tone of the passage, as well as inference-based questions.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Mathematics Achievement

The Mathematics Achievement section is aligned with grade-level standards, so it covers topics that students have learned in school. The topics covered are algebraic concepts (9-13 questions); data analysis & probability (5-9 questions); decimals, percents & fractions (7-10 questions); geometry (4-6 questions); measurement (4-6 questions); and whole numbers (7-11 questions). Of the 47 questions, 42 are scored and 5 are unscored.

It’s important to note that calculators are not allowed.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Essay

The Essay section asks you to respond to a personal writing prompt, which is an opportunity to showcase something about yourself. The Essay gives you the chance to show schools how well you can express yourself, organize your thoughts, and address a prompt in a logical manner.

Note: The Essay is not scored. Rather, a copy of your essay is sent along with your score report..

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform


The best way to familiarize yourself with the ISEE is to take full-length practice tests! Get started with your prep today.


Preparing for a different level? Check out a breakdown of the Primary Levels, Lower Level, and Upper Level.