ISEE Levels and Timing

Levels & Timing

The ISEE has four levels. All levels of the ISEE test include both reading and mathematics multiple-choice questions as well as a writing prompt*. The number of questions and test timing vary.

*Writing sample is not administered for New York City applicants when taking the ISEE Primary only.

Primary Level (entering Grades 2 – 4)

Primary Level 2 (entering Grade 2)

Section Questions Time Allotted
Auditory Comprehension 6 7 minutes
Reading 18 20 minutes
Mathematics 24 26 minutes
Writing Sample* 1 picture prompt Untimed
53 minutes + writing sample time

Primary Level 3 (entering Grade 3)

Section Questions Time Allotted
Reading 24 28 minutes
Mathematics 24 26 minutes
Writing Sample* 1 picture prompt Untimed
54 minutes + writing sample time

Primary Level 4 (entering Grade 4)

Section Questions Time Allotted
Reading 28 30 minutes
Mathematics 28 30 minutes
Writing Sample* 1 prompt Untimed
60 minutes + writing sample time

*Writing sample is not administered for New York City applicants when taking the ISEE Primary only.

Lower Level (entering Grades 5 and 6)

Section Questions Time Allotted
Verbal Reasoning 34 20 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 38 35 minutes
Reading Comprehension 25 25 minutes
Mathematics Achievement 30 30 minutes
Essay 1 prompt 30 minutes
2 hours, 20 minutes

Middle Level (entering Grades 7 and 8)

Section Questions Time Allotted
Verbal Reasoning 40 20 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 37 35 minutes
Reading Comprehension 36 35 minutes
Mathematics Achievement 47 40 minutes
Essay 1 prompt 30 minutes
2 hours, 40 minutes

Upper Level (entering Grades 9 – 12)

Section Questions Time Allotted
Verbal Reasoning 40 20 minutes
Quantitative Reasoning 37 35 minutes
Reading Comprehension 36 35 minutes
Mathematics Achievement 47 40 minutes
Essay 1 prompt 30 minutes
2 hours, 40 minutes

 

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