ISEE is an entrance exam used by many independent elementary and high schools  in the United States. International students are also eligible to take the ISEE if they wish to apply to schools in the United States. The ISEE has four levels: the Primary level (entrance to grades 2–4), Lower level (entrance to grades 5–6), Middle level (entrance to grades 7–8) and Upper level (entrance to grades 9–12).

    All levels of the test consist of five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and a 30-minute essay.

    The ISEE is similar to the SSAT in structure and purpose.

  • TEST

    Verbal reasoning

    This section has two parts: synonyms and sentence completions. Verbal reasoning section measures the student’s vocabulary level and reasoning ability.

    Quantitative reasoning

    The Lower Level consists of Word Problems, and the Middle and Upper levels consist of Word Problems and Quantitative Comparisons. Topics included are:

    • Numbers and Operations
    • Algebra
    • Geometry
    • Measurement
    • Data Analysis and Probability
    • Problem Solving

    Reading comprehension

    The types of questions are: Main Idea, Supporting Ideas, Inference, Vocabulary, Organization/Logic and Tone/Style/Figurative Language.

    Mathematics achievement

    The Mathematics Achievement section is the longest part of the ISEE. You will have 40 minutes to answer 47 word problems, and you are not allowed to use a calculator. This section is very similar to Quantitative Reasoning, except that it does not have any quantitative comparison questions.


    On all three levels, students have to write an essay to provide a sample of his or her writing. A random topic is given and students have 30 minutes to write an essay. The essay is not scored, but is sent to schools to which the student is applying.


    All questions on the ISEE are equal in value, and a raw score is generated based on the number of questions a student answered correctly. There is no penalty for incorrect answers on the ISEE. The score ranges from 760 to 940.

    The ISEE score report provides a student’s percentile ranking. This is where the student stands relative to the ISEE norm group. The norm group is composed of all students in the same grade who took the ISEE test within the past three years.

    The ISEE score report also provides a student’s stanine score, which ranges from 1 to 9.

    The United States high school application process can be as challenging as the university application process. Nearly all schools require either the ISEE or SSAT, some schools may require SAT/ACT scores for higher grades (9-12) in addition to TOEFL scores.

    At Puza Academy, we offer to help students prepare for the mathematics and English sections of ISEE and SSAT while focusing on their essay writing skills through private lessons and tutorial classes.