Why you have to use our online scoring system

  • Posted By: Geoff Dennis
  • December 3, 2014
An ISEE score report with percentile scores, stanine scores, and raw scores.
In this post, we answer the question: “where are the answer keys?

The simple answer to this question is that “percentage correct” raw scores are not useful and are often misleading.

Here’s an important refresher: although there is a correlation between your student’s percentage of correct answers and their percentile score, these measures are not the same thing, and cannot be equated. The percentile score measures the percentage of same-grade students whose scores were lower than your students’ (so for example, a percentile of 75 indicates that your student scored better than 75 percent of students in the same grade taking the same test).

This point is especially important when it comes to tests like the ISEE or SSAT, where the exact same test is taken by kids in a range of grades (take the Upper Level ISEE or SSAT, which is administered to students applying to 9th through 12th grades).

The test is designed to be challenging for everybody taking the test, so there will be subjects that a current eighth grader likely won’t see in the classroom for several more years. There are questions that the vast, vast majority of 8th graders are supposed to get wrong. Depending on their grade level, some students who answer 75% of questions correctly might receive a phenomenal score, whereas for others it could be quite the opposite.

With these considerations in mind, our scoring system gives you a realistic representation of your student’s stanines and percentile scores as they’ll be delivered to you on the official ISEE or SSAT.

When you input your student’s answers into our online system, they are automatically compared with data that we’ve collected from thousands of students who have taken our practice tests. You also get instant feedback about your child’s performance in terms of question type, subject, and difficulty.

All of this will help you know where you stand and find the best route to prepare!