Middle Level ISEE

The middle level ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam) is a standardized test administered to students currently in grades 6 and 7 who are applying for admission into select private schools for entrance to grades 7 and 8. The middle level ISEE is available in both an online and paper format.  There are 5 sections that make up the exam: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, mathematics achievement and essay writing. Each section has an allotted amount of time and students must complete each section in the time given.  All the questions in the first four sections are multiple choice and there is no penalty for incorrect answers. Students will receive a score report with a scaled score for each section of the exam ranging from 760-940. Although the essay portion will not be scored, it will be scanned and sent to the schools the student is applying for.

Test SectionOverview of SectionNumber of QuestionsAllotted Time
Verbal reasoningThe verbal reasoning section contains two parts: synonyms and sentence completion questions.

The synonym section focuses on word recognition. It tests the students’ ability to reason by choosing the answer closest to its meaning.

The sentence completion section measures the students’ ability to understand word function. The answers will be based on a logical connection in the sentence.
40 questions (20 synonym questions and 20 sentence completion questions)20 minutes
Quantitative reasoningThe quantitative reasoning section consists of word problems and quantitative comparison questions that do not require complex calculations. This section focuses more on mathematical thinking and reasoning.

Quantitative comparison questions require students to compare two quantities from two separate columns (column A and column B).

The answer choices for the quantitative comparison questions are as follows:

A) The quantity in Column A is greater.
B) The quantity in Column B is greater.
C) The two quantities are equal.
D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.

Some concepts covered in this section include:
- Estimating values
- Comparing and contrasting quantities
- Analyzing data and graphs
- Finding probability
- Understanding measurement

Calculators are not allowed during this section.
37 questions (20 word problems and 17 quantitative comparison questions)35 minutes
Reading comprehensionThe reading comprehension section consists of 6 passages in the areas of literature, contemporary life, history, and science. The passages will be grade level appropriate and of high interest to the students. Students will answer 6 multiple choice questions for each passage.

Reading Comprehension questions may include:
- Main idea: focuses on the overall message of the passage.
- Supporting details: focuses on specific ideas that support the main idea or important concept.
- Inference: focuses on drawing conclusions that are not explicitly stated.
- Vocabulary: focuses on the definition of a specific word in the passage.
- Organization: focuses on identifying the sequence, pattern or structure of the passage.
- Tone of passage: focuses on understanding the mood tone and author’s message in the passage.
36 questions35 minutes
Mathematics achievementThe mathematics achievement section contains curriculum based content associated with the standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). This section assesses the students’ math skills and requires more calculation than the quantitative reasoning section. Question items may require more than one mathematical step to achieve a correct answer.

Mathematics achievement questions generally focus on grade level mathematics in the following subject areas:
- Numbers and operations
- Algebra
- Geometry
- Measurement (students do not need to memorize measurement conversions)
- Data analysis/probability
- Problem solving

Calculators are not allowed during this section.
47 questions40 minutes
EssayThe essay section includes one essay prompt of high interest to the students. Students are given 2 lined pages to complete the essay and it must be written in blue or black ink (erasable pen okay). Students taking the online version will be required to type the essay.

Essay prompts usually focus on persuasive and opinion writing or personal narrative writing.
1 prompt30 minutes
Total time:
2 hrs 40 min
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Boston Public School Exam Schools:

Boston Public Schools has 3 exam schools that require admission through the ISEE.  The three schools include Boston Latin School, Boston Latin Academy, and John D. O’bryant.  6th grade students applying for admission to one of these schools for 7th grade will be required to take the middle level ISEE.  This version of the exam will consist of 4 sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension, and mathematics achievement.  The essay portion will not be administered. Students applying to the exam schools must register and take the ISEE in November of the current school year.  The ISEE is free to Boston residents who are applying to one of these exam schools.

Registering for the test:

Students are only able to take the ISEE once per season or 3x per year.  Please keep in mind of private school admissions application deadlines when registering for a testing session. 

FallWinterSpring
August-NovemberDecember-MarchApril-July
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For registration information and to register for the ISEE please visit the ERB website.

Additional Resources

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Copyright @ 2019 Tyger Learning
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Contact

Boston, MA United States

Tyger Learning™

Copyright @ 2019 Tyger Learning
All rights reserved

Contact

Boston, MA United States

Tyger Learning™

Copyright @ 2019 Tyger Learning
All rights reserved

Contact

Boston, MA United States

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