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Q: What is the ISEE? 

A: The ISEE is an admission test developed and administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) and was developed for ERB member schools. It serves as an entrance exam by several independent and magnet schools (a magnet school is a public school with a specialized curriculum and courses) throughout the U.S. as well as abroad. The ISEE test provides a standard assessment of each applicant’s skills as well as ranking of abilities and achievements compared to other applicants. 

Q: What do the different levels mean?

A: The ISEE is administered at four different levels:

Q: What are the different sections of the ISEE and what kinds of questions are found in each section?

A: There are five different sections (4 + 1 essay) on the ISEE Test:

The verbal and quantitative reasoning sections assess the student’s reasoning abilities, while the reading comprehension and mathematics achievement sections assess the student’s ability to respond correctly to curriculum standards.  Sections 1-4 are completely comprised of multiple-choice questions.

Q: How is the ISEE Test scored?

A: The ISEE provides four different scores, one for each section, except for the Essay. The majority of schools take into consideration each separate score as well as the average of the four scores: raw score, scaled score, percentile ranking, and stanine score. The raw score indicates the amount of questions answered correctly and then translates to the scaled score, which has a range of 760-940. The percentile ranking is used to compare students to others in the norm in the same grade and age group who have taken the test of the three years prior. 

Q: How is the essay scored?

A: The essay, also known as the writing sample, is not scored. A copy is sent to the school(s) to which a student specifies at the time of registration. Evaluation is based on each individual school’s criteria.

Q: How many times can my student take the ISEE Test?

A:  You may only take the test once within a testing season as designated by the ERB. 

Students may take the ISEE up to three times (once in each defined period) in order to secure their best possible score: August – November, December – March, April – July (usually for transfers only).

Q: When will I receive my child’s scores?

A: Scores will be received either via the mail, 7-10 business days after the test is administered, or, for an additional fee, scores can be posted online the Monday following the ISEE Test. If the test is taken online, the scores will be posted once the test is scored.


DO NOT add any schools to receive the score report until you have had a chance to digest the results.  You are only able to submit one set of scores.  The test is not “superscored.”  An A-HTS® team member is available at any time to consult with you about which set of scores to submit.

Q: How do I register my student to take the ISEE Test?

A:  Access the parent portal on www.erblearn.org, make an account and schedule testing dates and locations.  A-HTS® recommends scheduling your first ISEE in mid to late November and your second test at least 10 days before the earliest admission deadline for the schools where you are applying your student.


(Example: If one school has a January 1 deadline and another school has a January 10 deadline, tack back 10 days from the January 1 deadline)


We recommend you check the parent portal very frequently so you can obtain an ideal testing date and location.  The testing books up quickly and you do not want to find yourself driving outside of your desired radius because the dates are sold out.

Q: What score does my student need to obtain in order to be admitted to their selected schools?

A:  A-HTS® has empirical data about the scores A-HTS® students receive each testing season and their admitted schools.  We recommend you contact each school to ascertain their opinions about the minimum scores your student needs to be considered for admission.


It is impossible to know the holistic reasons a committee may or may not admit each student.  At A-HTS®, we believe a student should mitigate the risk of being denied at a school based on low test scores by reasonably preparing for the ISEE Test.

Q: How frequently should my student book tutoring sessions?

A:  We recommend sessions at least once per week starting no later than the beginning or middle of the August preceding the testing season.  In general, our statistical analysis shows that students’ stanines increase when students attend 8 – 20 sessions before each official testing date.  


The information provided here is intended to offer general guidance and support regarding the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination) testing process. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, please be aware of the following: 

  1. Subject to Change: Policies, procedures, and test formats related to the ISEE may change over time. It is essential to verify all details directly with the official ISEE test administrators, such as the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) or other authorized sources.

  2. Individual Variability: The ISEE is a standardized test, but individual experiences and results can vary based on various factors, including test preparation, test-taking conditions, and individual student abilities.

  3. Admissions Criteria: Please understand that the ISEE is just one part of the admissions process for independent schools. Admissions decisions are based on a combination of factors, including the ISEE scores, academic records, recommendations, interviews, and other criteria determined by each school.

  4. Official Resources: For the most accurate and current information regarding the ISEE, including test dates, registration procedures, score reporting, and sample questions, refer to the official ISEE website or directly contact the Educational Records Bureau (ERB) or the relevant school admissions offices.

  5. Liability: We do not assume any liability or responsibility for the outcome of the ISEE testing process or admissions decisions made by independent schools. Our aim is to provide information and support, but final decisions rest with the schools and relevant authorities.

Remember that accurate and detailed information is crucial when navigating the ISEE testing process. Stay informed, seek expert advice when needed, and consult official sources for the most reliable information.

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