Independent School Entrance Exam Lower Level

ISEE Lower Level is an Independent School Entrance Exam developed by the Educational Records Bureau for children in grades 5 and 6.

The ISEE Lower Level has five sections. Each section has three levels that evaluate the verbal, quantitative reasoning and achievement skills of children in grades 4-11, who are looking to get into grades 5-12 at an independent school. Those testing into grade levels 5 or 6 take the lower level exam.

ISEE Lower Level Study GuideISEE Lower Level Flashcards

Students are able to sign up to take the ISEE Lower Level a maximum of three times in a one-year admission cycle. During the testing seasons, Fall (August-November), Winter (December-March), and Spring/Summer (April-July), they can only register once.

Each student’s performance is paired against a group of students in the same grade level who have applied to an independent school within a three-year time period.

What’s on the ISEE Lower Level?

The ISEE Lower Level has five sections. Four of the sections are multiple-choice and the fifth is an essay. The two initial sections are Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning, testing the student’s ability to reason.

  • The Verbal Reasoning section requires the student to select the most appropriate word or phrase that answers the question asked or completes the sentence provided.
  • The word problems of the Quantitative Reasoning section require little to no calculation. This section tests whether or not the student knows and understands the rules related to the problem.
  • Reading Comprehension consists of five short passages followed by a selection of questions related to that passage.
  • In Mathematics Achievement, the student must calculate the answers to problems written according to the national mathematics standards. Some of the problems will require multiple steps.
  • The final section of the test is an Essay in which the student must respond to a grade-level appropriate writing prompt. This essay is not scored, but a copy is included with the scores when they are sent to the designated schools.


The ISEE Lower Level offers different methods of testing.

  • The exam is available online
  • Paper and pencil test may be taken at an ISEE Lower Level test site, testing office, or Prometric Test Center.
  • Individual schools across the country also offer test sites.

Two breaks are given during testing, one after Quantitative Reasoning and another after the math section. Students are allowed to bring four #2 pencils and two black or blue ink pens. Anything other than writing materials are prohibited. Cell phones and other electronics are not allowed during testing.

Allotted Time

Students are given 140 minutes to complete the ISEE Lower Level. Below is the number of questions in each section and how much time should be spent on each.

  • Verbal Reasoning – 34 questions, 20 minutes.
  • Quantitative Reasoning – 38 questions, 35 minutes.
  • Reading Comprehension – 25 questions, 25 minutes.
  • Mathematics Achievement – 30 questions, 30 minutes.
  • Essay – 30 minutes.

My Test Scores

The Individual Student Report (ISR) may be emailed to the parent, ERB members, or both after the scoring is complete. It will be available to parents online within 10-14 days after the exam. The written essay isn’t scored or given to parents, but it is uploaded online and provided to ERB members.

ISEE Lower Level Study Guide

Mometrix Academy is a completely free ISEE Lower Level test resource provided by Mometrix Test Preparation. If you find benefit from our efforts here, check out our premium quality Independent School Entrance Study Guide and Independent School Entrance Lower Level Flashcards to take your studying to the next level. Just click the ISEE Lower Level study guide link below. Your purchase also helps us make even more great, free test content for test-takers.

ISEE Lower Level Study Guide
ISEE Lower Level Flashcards

ISEE Lower Level Study GuideISEE Lower Level Flashcards

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 16, 2019