Taking a test to get into a school might not be something everyone has to think about until they go to college, but for students looking to go to a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school, taking an extensive test is inevitable. One of the most common school entrance exams out there is the ISEE or the Independent School Entrance Exam.
If you are taking the ISEE in the next year or so, you have come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to study for this exam. We’ll be covering a handful of great study tips to help set you up for success when you take the ISEE.
Is the ISEE Test Difficult?
The ISEE test, or the Independent School Entrance Exam, is designed to test your readiness to enter a rigorous schooling environment. This means that you should expect the test to be at least a little challenging. This test does have different levels, though, so the test is scaled for your age group, meaning that it shouldn’t be overly complex.
You will likely find the test challenging because this is more than likely the first extended test or exam that you will be required to sit, meaning that it is something that you have never done before. Since the goal of the test is to judge your readiness and see where you are in terms of academic performance, it is designed to push you. The ISEE is not, however, designed to break you.
What is on the ISEE?
The three levels of the ISEE all cover similar topics, just scaled in difficulty to the grades that they are aimed at. The ISEE lower-level, middle-level, and upper-level exams all cover reading comprehension, essay writing, and general math skills. They all also cover your verbal and quantitative reasoning.
Think of the ISEE as a different version of something like an SAT or ACT. It is designed to cover all sorts of various topics that you might study in school. Like most other standardized tests, the ISEE will take a while to complete, and each section that you take will focus on a different subject or, in this case, the various skills that the test covers.
The best way to figure out what exactly is on the ISEE and what to expect is by taking a practice test. Taking a practice exam will allow you to judge for yourself what areas of the test will be easy for you and what areas of the test will be more challenging for you. This can also help you understand what the test makers mean when they say they are testing your verbal reasoning or any of the other general topics.
How Long Should You Study for the ISEE?
It is up to you to determine precisely how long you should study for the ISEE, but it can be challenging considering the test covers many different grade levels. In general, the younger a student is, the less they will need to study since their test will be more straightforward, and their attention span will not be as long as someone taking the upper-level ISEE. This doesn’t mean that someone taking the ISEE lower level shouldn’t study at all, though.
Since there are only three times a year that you can take the ISEE, it is essential to look at your timeframe when determining how long you should study for your exam. If you are on a tight timeframe and really need to be pleased with your first result, it might be best if you set aside a few months to dedicate weekends to study for the test. This will minimize the need for cramming right before the test but will spread out the studying enough that it won’t overwhelm the child.
If you feel like you have plenty of time to retake the exam, you may want to spread your studying even more if you are not pleased with your initial results. Take less time in each sitting, but have more study sessions over a more extended period of time. In general, most students will likely study for a few months, but their intensity will vary significantly with which they study over this time.
If you want more guidance on figuring out how long to study for your upcoming ISEE test, look at our article on that subject.
5 Best Ways to Study for ISEE Test
There are so many different ways to study for any exam, and the ISEE is included, so we’re only going to have our top tips here in this article.
Make a study schedule
Step one to studying for any extensive exam is to make a study schedule. This will help you plan out your studies and make sure that you stay on track to meet your goals. This will also help you balance your studying, school, and extracurriculars.
When making a study schedule, think about which days you have the most mental energy on and plan your most considerable amounts of studying on those days. This will help minimize the feelings of exhaustion that can sometimes come from lots of studying. For example, if you tend to have lots of homework on Tuesdays and Thursdays, maybe think about planning your studying on Mondays and Wednesdays so you don’t get stressed over it all.
In general, studying for more small chunks of time is beneficial. If you try to sit down and study for five hours straight, you won’t retain the information that you studied at the start of your session. Instead, try to study for five one-hour sessions or even ten half-hour sessions. This will help you keep your brain engaged and not get burnt out.
Invest in good practice tests
There are tons of places where you can get access to ISEE practice tests. Some ISEE study guides come with practice tests, but you can also find practice tests online. If you choose to get a practice test from a book, it might be worth it to copy the test first, so you have a blank copy to work off. That way, if you want to retake the test later, you can always make another copy.
Finding ISEE practice tests online can seem easy since there are tons of them out there, but not all tests are created equal. Some places will have better tests than others, but they may require that you pay for them. ERB learn and TestInnovators are known to be the best places online to get your hands on a good ISEE practice test.
Invest in a good ISEE preparation guide
Finding the best ISEE study guide can seem challenging, but there are lots of good study guides out there. One of the most common study guides is the ISEE For Dummies book. This book is also relatively easy to get your hands on, making it an excellent tool for students looking to study and prepare for the ISEE exam.
Other study guides include the Princeton Review ISEE study guide and the Momextrix test prep books. The Mometrix books are categorized based on the different levels of test that you are taking. This means that they offer great ISEE lower-level prep books, ISEE middle-level prep books, and ISEE test prep books for the upper level.
If you want more information about finding the best ISEE study guide for you, feel free to check out our article on the topic.
Take care of your body and mind
It might seem simple, but if you don’t take care of your well-being, there is no way you will do well on the test. This means that you need to make sure you eat good food that fuels your brain, gets plenty of sleep, and make sure you stay hydrated. If you aren’t providing your brain with the resources it needs to keep working, no amount of studying is really going to sink it at all.
Overall, the best way to study for the ISEE or any test is to set aside time to study and to take good care of yourself in the process. You won’t be able to perform well on the exam if you aren’t in your peak condition. Taking time to learn how to study can be tricky, but it can really make tests like the ISEE easier as well as help you when it comes to studying for regular school tests.
Wrapping Things Up: What are the Best Ways to Study for ISEE?
The ISEE can feel like a lot to study for, especially since the test itself takes over three hours total, but with the proper preparation, anyone can crush this test. From investing in the right study guides to creating a study schedule that works for you, there are so many ways that you can give yourself the best chance of success when you take the ISEE.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our other entrance exam resources here.