The ISEE might be the first extensive, standardized test that you are required to take, and it can seem pretty daunting to prepare for. Understanding how to even start studying for something this large can be confusing to many students, so trying to figure out how long to study for is way over many people’s heads. That’s why we are here!
In this article, we’ll be breaking down how you should think about preparing to take your upcoming ISEE test. We’ll be talking you through everything from how long you should study to how to prepare the night before the exam and so much more. If you are concerned about your ISEE test and how on earth you will prepare for it, then read on to find out.
What to Expect on the ISEE Test?
The ISEE test covers several sections ranging from reading to math. In general, it is designed to help test your academic readiness to enter a new and potentially quite rigorous school. The test will test your basic math ability, reading comprehension, your verbal and quantitative reasoning skills and require you to write an essay.
Since the ISEE covers so many topics, it is essential to dedicate a good amount of time to prepare for the test. Understanding precisely what to expect in terms of both material and structure is crucial to your success on the test. Taking plenty of practice tests and questions and dedicating yourself to studying for a few months before the test are the best ways to prepare for the ISEE test.
How Long is the ISEE Test?
The ISEE test is either 2 hours and 30 minutes for the lower-level test or 2 hours and 50 minutes for the middle-level and upper-level tests. A lengthy test like this can seem hard, but the ISEE is designed to test your readiness for a specific school. If you are wondering if the ISEE is hard, it is worth noting that these long, standardized tests are often hard simply because of how long they are. This means that if you are prepared for a test this long, you are well on your way to crushing the ISEE.
When Should You Start Preparing for ISEE?
In general, you should start to prepare around four months before you would like to take the test. This gives you plenty of time to pick a test date and find a testing location near you. Invest in a good study guide to aid in your studying and create a practical study guide to follow. By the time you are fully ready to launch into your studying, you will probably have about three months to study for the exam.
Preparation for the ISEE test isn’t just studying, though. You will need to make sure that you are prepared for the test day and that you are ready for studying. Neither taking the test nor studying for the test is something that happens without its own amount of preparation, so make sure that you are fully ready for everything that comes.
Exactly How Long Should You Study for the ISEE Test?
Although this answer is different for every student, you should think about following some rules of thumb. It is always best to prepare yourself plenty of time when it comes to studying for an extensive test, like the ISEE. Cramming in the week or month before a big test will make you more stressed and probably not help you out too much. In fact, it might even hurt your score.
The best way to prepare for the ISEE is to study frequently and regularly over a few months. Most people recommend that you study for around three months, but if you want to study for four or even five months, that’s great too. Two months would be a little bit too short of an amount of time to fully prepare, but it is much better than one month.
There is such a thing as studying for too long and, although it might sound odd, it’s not generally recommended to start studying more than six months in advance. If you want to start gathering your study materials and doing some research about the test before that, you totally can. Just know that if you study too much, you are more likely to stress yourself out than actually help yourself.
5 Ways to Prepare for the ISEE Test
There are so many ways to prepare to take the ISEE test, but we’re going to break it down into five main ideas. Breaking down the whole preparation process can be a lot easier to think about and organize both in your mind and on paper. Below are our five best ways to make sure that you show up prepared to take the ISEE test.
Create a study schedule
Creating and following a study schedule is essential to your success, both on the ISEE and any other test you might take. Although creating an effective study schedule might sound easy, it can be challenging. Make sure that your study schedule is reasonable given any other commitments you might have since you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin.
When creating a study schedule, one thing to pay attention to is that you are frequently studying for short amounts of time. Studying for too long in one sitting won’t help you retain much information and is more likely to make you detest studying altogether. Instead, try studying for more frequent, shorter amounts of time throughout the week.
If you feel like you are lost when creating a good study schedule for you, please check out our articles on study schedules to help you.
Invest in a study book
A good study book can really help you prepare well for the ISEE, but picking the right one can seem a little overwhelming. It can be hard to know which one will work best for you with so many books out there.
You’ll want to make sure that your study guide has ample questions to help you prepare for the ISEE test. One massive benefit of getting a good study book is that it will come with practice tests and practice questions. These practice materials will be vital when it comes to using your time wisely when studying.
If you need some help finding the best study guide for you, please check out our article on the best ISEE study guides.
Study the test itself
At first glance, it might seem like you should study material more than the test itself, but one of the biggest challenges students come across on extensive, standardized tests is not understanding the test itself. If you come to the test fully understanding precisely what will be asked of you and know how to best approach the types of questions included on the ISEE, you will be well set up for success.
Studying the material the test covers is only half the battle. If you go into the test and think it will be like any test you take at school, you will likely be surprised by the time frame, the structure, or both. Make sure you take plenty of practice tests and use good practice questions to help you prepare for the test.
Get ready the night before the test
The night before you take the test, you might be nervous or anxious, but you will do better the next day if you can calm yourself and get a good night’s sleep. The first step to calming yourself down is making sure that you are prepared for the next day and that you won’t be rushing.
Take some time the night before to pack the bag you will bring to the test. Put all the materials you will need in the bag, fill up your water bottle, and pack any snacks that you won’t for before the test, during the breaks, or after the test. Even laying out the clothes you will wear to take the test can help ease your mind and allow you to get some good rest right before the test.
Show up early for your test
Being late can stress you out. After putting in months and months of studying and preparation, you wouldn’t want to risk doing poorly just because you didn’t leave the house early enough. Especially if you are going somewhere you’ve never been before, make sure you leave plenty of time to arrive, find parking, and find the room you will take the test in.
It can often be really calming to find the nearest bathroom and water fountain, so you won’t ever wonder about those when you are taking the test. Arriving early is the best way to finish your long preparation process and really set yourself up on the best foot when it comes to your success on the test.
These steps only touch the surface of tips and tricks for preparing for your ISEE, but they cover many big bases. Understanding the general timeline of things you should get done is super important to seeing the big picture of the exam and preparing for all aspects. Something as small as what you are going to do the night before is likely to get overlooked in all the chaos, but it can really help get you fully prepared for your exam.
Wrapping Things Up: How Long Should You Study for ISEE?
Ultimately, learning how to study for something like the ISEE that takes months of preparation is a great skill that will serve you well throughout your education so just think of this as practice for the future. Making sure that you create a good study schedule to help guide the two to four months leading up to the exam and that you stick to that study schedule is crucial for your success.
Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for your ISEE test. Although three months works well for most people, it might not be perfect for you. Make sure you pick a timeframe that works for you and hold yourself accountable to your study schedule. We know you will do great on your ISEE test if you do this!