What is on the Primary Level ISEE?

  • Posted By: Celena Alduenda
  • December 23, 2020
  • 0 Comments

The Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) is a test many independent schools use as part of their admissions process. The Primary ISEE is taken by students applying to grades 2-4.

The Primary Level ISEE has three levels: Primary Level 2 for students applying to 2nd grade, Primary Level 3 for students applying to 3rd grade, and Primary Level 4 for students applying to 4th grade. The Primary Level is only administered on the computer. With the exception of the Essay, all of the questions are multiple choice with four answer choices.

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

Primary 2

Section

Questions

Time

Auditory Comprehension
6 questions
7 minutes
Reading
18 questions
20 minutes
Break
5 minutes
Mathematics
24 questions
26 minutes
Writing Sample
1 prompt
untimed

Auditory Comprehension

During the Auditory Comprehension section, you will listen to a passage; the text of the passage is not displayed on the computer screen. After listening to the passage, you will listen to six questions; the text of the questions is displayed on the screen.

The questions are about the main idea and supporting ideas, details, organization, vocabulary, and tone of the passage. Additionally, some questions will ask you to make inferences based on what you read.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Reading

The Reading section consists of three passages, both fiction and nonfiction. Each passage has six questions.

After reading the passage, you will be asked questions about the main idea and supporting ideas, details, organization, vocabulary, and tone of the passage. Additionally, there will be inference-based questions about the passage.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Mathematics

The Mathematics section is aligned with national mathematics standards, so it covers topics that students have learned in school. The topics covered are algebraic concepts, data analysis & probability, geometric concepts, measurement, and number sense & operations.

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

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Writing Sample

The Writing Sample presents you with a picture prompt to respond to. The Writing Sample gives you the chance to show something about yourself, your writing style, and your creativity.

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

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Primary 3

Section

Questions

Time

Reading
24 questions
28 minutes
Break
5 minutes
Mathematics
24 questions
26 minutes
Writing Sample
1 prompt
untimed

Reading

The Reading section consists of four reading passages and each passage has six questions.

After reading the passage, you will be asked questions about the main idea and supporting ideas, organization and logic, vocabulary, and tone of the passage. Additionally, some questions will ask you to make inferences based on what you read.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Mathematics

The Mathematics section is aligned with national mathematics standards. It covers topics that students have learned in school, including algebraic concepts, data analysis & probability, geometric concepts, measurement, and number sense & operations.

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

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Writing Sample

The Writing Sample presents ask you to respond to a picture prompt. The Writing Sample gives you the opportunity to show something about yourself, your writing style, and your creativity.

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

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Primary 4

Section

Questions

Time

Reading
28 questions
30 minutes
Break
5 minutes
Mathematics
28 questions
30 minutes
Writing Sample
1 prompt
untimed

Reading

The Reading section consists of four reading passages and each passage has seven questions.

After reading the passage, you will be asked questions about the main idea and supporting ideas, organization and logic, vocabulary, and tone of the passage. Additionally, some questions will ask you to make inferences based on what you read.

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Mathematics

The Mathematics section is aligned with national mathematics standards. It covers topics that students have learned in school. The topics include algebraic concepts, data analysis & probability, geometric concepts, measurement, and number sense & operations.

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

Example:

Test Innovators ISEE practice platform

Writing Sample

The Writing Sample asks you to respond to a personal writing prompt, which gives you the chance to showcase something about yourself. The Writing Sample gives you the chance to show schools something about yourself, your writing style, and your creativity.

Note: The Writing Sample 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 Lower Level, Middle Level, and Upper Level.