How is the ISEE Test Scored?

How is the ISEE Test Scored?

The Independent School Entrance Exam is a standardized test for students in grades 2 to 12 that is used in many private schools. The ISEE consists of five sections at three levels designed to measure the quantitative reasoning and verbal and achievement of students in grades 4–11 seeking admission to grades 5–12 in independent schools. Students seeking admission in grades 2–4 receive the Primary Level, and students looking for admission in grades 5 or 6 receive the Lower Level. Students applying for admission to grades 7 or 8 receive the Middle Level, and students seeking admission in grades 9–12 get an Upper Level.

ISEE score reports are known for having a lot of information, most of which are not very intuitive. Here is some information about the ISEE scoring system.

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How is the ISEE score calculated?

The ISEE test offers four different scores for each part, except for the essay section, which is assessed by the school that your child is applying to. Most schools take into consideration each separate score as well as the average of the four scores.

ISEE raw score:

The raw score is the number of questions that are answered correctly, and each question answered correctly is +1 point. Neither incorrectly answering a question nor skipping it will lower the score. For instance, if out of 160 questions, a child answers 120 questions correctly, skips 15 and, answers 25 incorrectly, the child has a raw score of 120.

ISEE scaled score:

During the school year, your child may take multiple versions of the ISEE test. The ISEE scaled score, which is in the range of 760-940 and applies to each of the ISEE sections, is a way to deduce a solid score, while considering the small differences in points within your child’s various tests results. No matter which version runs, the scaled score means the same meaning and considers these small differences, and allows the Educational Records Bureau to provide a score on the same scale for all students.

ISEE percentile ranking:

The percentile is used to compare students with each other as well as to the scoring norm of the same grade and age group over the three years before the test. This form of scoring is provided for each part of the test. For instance, out of 99 percentile points, if a child scores a percentile rank of 60 on one section, this conveys that the child scored as well or better than 60% and lower than 39% of the students in the norm in the same grade and age group.

ISEE stanine score:

Stanine’s score simplifies scores in the range of 1-9, with 5 as the midpoint and 9 as the highest possible score, and is also used comparatively. The stanine score is a way to report a percentile and is derived by taking the student’s scores into nine segments. The following table shows how the ranks and stanine are distributed annually:

Percentile RankStanine
1–31
4–102
11–223
23–394
40–595
60–766
77–887
89–958
96–999

The stanine analysis allows parents to compare child performance across all ISEE parts (not including the essay).

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What is a “good” percentile score?

The concept of “good” is relative and may only be defined by a particular school. Please consult with them for more information on how to plan to use ISEE scores in the admissions process.

ISEE test scores and the admissions process

There are many factors to consider when attending school, including teacher recommendations, interviews, application essays, and grades. Proper preparation for the ISEE test is a great way to increase your child’s chances of being accepted to his or her program of choice. A high score on the ISEE can lead to a higher percentile ranking and help your child stand up to other candidates.

When will you receive your scores?

For students who take the exam on paper:

If you pay $40 for “expedited scoring”, families can access online scores (2-3 days) – this option can be used in the online registration process. If you do not pay the fast online scoring fee, you can access your online report within 7 days after the test.

For students taking the test on a computer at a parametric site: 

Scores are available online after the test is graded (2-3 days after the test). This is the only positive aspect of computer-based testing. Many students avoid the foreign computer-based testing format.

When do schools receive ISEE score reports?

If a family decides to send their grades automatically to schools (families can choose as many schools as they like), they are usually available to school staff 2-3 days after the test date. If families do not want their grades to be sent automatically, they can check their grades, determine which test administrations they’d like to submit, and send the results to as many schools as they want. Electronic submission is instant.

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