10 Traps to Avoid on the ISEE

If your child is interested in attending an independent school, they will likely need to take the Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) in order to apply. The test isn’t easy, and there are traps to avoid that you should learn about before sitting for the test. You’ll be set to go once you read our list of ISEE don’ts. Here are our best tips about traps to avoid on the ISEE test. 

  1. Don’t try to “cram” for the test. Take multiple practice tests over time.
  2. Don’t ignore the clock. The ISEE is a timed test, so you will only have a certain amount of time to fill out each section. There are five sections total: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and an Essay. The timing per section varies depending on which level of the test you are taking. Click here to see a breakdown of the timing on the ISEE.
  3. Don’t wait until the last minute to prep. Starting early is essential to understanding and becoming comfortable with the test format, which in turn is essential for a good score.
  4. Don’t miss the official information on the test from ERB Learn: click here.
  5. Don’t skip the practice tests. Boston Tutoring Services partners with Test Innovators to provide practice tests to our clients.
  6. Don’t rush. If you try to go too quickly on the test, you are more likely to make mistakes. Since the ISEE is timed, however, finding the balance between rushing and taking too much time is important. Professional test prep can help with this.
  7. Don’t get confused about the essay. While the essay portion of the exam is not graded, it is still important to do your best because each student’s essay is sent directly to the schools to which she is applying, where it will be read by the admissions team.
  8. Don’t skip questions. There are no deductions for wrong answers, so there’s no reason to leave questions blank! Make educated guesses when possible, but even if you can’t eliminate any options from the multiple choice, you should still fill in something.
  9. Don’t go right from the question to the provided answers in the verbal reasoning section. Try to come up with your own answers after you read the question. As this website says, the test tricks aren’t in the questions; they’re in the answers. Once you’ve come up with your own answer, try to pick the provided answer that most closely matches your own.
  10. Don’t forget a tutor. Our tutors have outstanding credentials in preparing students for the ISEE and SSAT tests. Through one-on-one instruction, students will learn how to attack the test so that they can make the most of their time, and answer the questions with a deeper understanding of how the test is constructed. They can help you develop more focused strategies for avoiding traps on the ISEE test.

For more information on our ISEE test prep programs, please click here.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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