If you intend to take the Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) in Walnut Creek, you may be wondering what you need to do to be prepared. The ISEE is a test that gets an objective view of the student’s level of knowledge and skill as it relates to educational subjects.

There are three versions of the ISEE currently available. These are the Lower Level (for students entering 5th and 6th grades), the Middle Level (for students entering the 7th and 8th grades), and the Upper Level (for students entering 9th – 11th grades).

Each ISEE, regardless of level, contains the same five sections. The test, as a whole, is intended to take almost three hours (165 minutes), with each section having its own time limit for completion.

The Verbal Reasoning section is a test for knowledge of synonyms and sentence completion. It has a 20-minute time limit for its 40 questions.

The second section is Quantitative Reasoning, and examines the student’s understanding of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and similar concepts, applications and higher order thinking, and quantitative comparison. The second section has 35 questions and students are expected to be answered in 35 minutes.

Reading Comprehension comprises the third section, with several passages to be read from humanities, science, and social studies. 40 minutes are allowed for its 40 questions.

The fourth section, Mathematics Achievement, will test the student’s knowledge and skills regarding arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, computation and comprehension. It allows 40 minutes for 45 questions.
The fifth and final section, with 30 minutes allotted, is an essay.

When you go to take the ISEE, there are some things that will help you, if you will remember them:

  • Keep going! You have limited time to finish, so go through and do the ones you know first, then go back and work through the ones you didn’t know immediately.
  • If you don’t know, and can’t easily find out, guess! There is no penalty for getting a wrong answer, so at least try.
  • Use the process of elimination. If you know which answers are wrong, you can more easily guess which is right. It also helps if you have an idea what the answer might be before you look at the choices.
  • Stay calm and double check your answer sheet. Make sure when you work on your booklet or scrap paper that you mark your answer on the answer sheet.
  • Study! If you put in some time to make sure you know as much as you can, it is sure to show up in your score.

The better you are prepared when you go to take the ISEE in Walnut Creek, the better your score is likely to be.