Is the ISEE essay section actually important? You may be wondering what the point is of having to write an essay on the ISEE if it won’t be graded.  Why bother practicing for this section of the exam? The essay portion is equally as important as the rest of the test and here’s why.

Often times, students will focus on the essay section last because you don’t actually get scored on it.  Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Mathematics Achievement become a priority.  Yes, the essay section on the ISEE will not be graded and you will not receive a score for it on the score report.  However, the essay does get sent to the schools that your child is applying for.  Therefore, someone WILL look at it. The essay could be the deciding factor of whether your child gets admitted into the school.

Here’s an example:

Two students are applying for the same private school.  They both have good grades in school and both do extracurricular activities such as soccer, playing an instrument, volunteering, etc. They both studied for the ISEE for months and when the time came to take the test, both received very similar scores on Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics Achievement. Even their private school application and interview were similar.  Both of these students are excellent choices for the school, but there is only one spot left.

What do the admissions officers look for when trying to decide which student to admit? They look at the ISEE essay.  They take a look at both essays.   One student spent time practicing how to write an essay on the ISEE and wrote a complete, well organized, thoughtful essay during the test.  The other student didn’t spend as much time practicing how to write an essay and ended up having a difficult time organizing his thoughts and finishing the essay in the time given. At this moment, the decision the admissions officers made was clear.

In the academically competitive society that we live in today, students need every edge they can get to stand out from the rest.  The ISEE essay can be that edge that makes them stand out.  This is why the ISEE essay section is just as important as the rest.

For registration information and to register for the ISEE please visit the ERB website.

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