If you want to help your student make the most of the educational opportunities available to them, Varsity Tutors can set you up with professional ISEE tutoring services today. The ISEE, or Independent School Entrance Examination, is a standardized test that allows private and independent schools to compare prospective students using objective data points. Most schools consider factors beyond ISEE scores in their admission decisions, but doing well could be one way to help your student's application stand out in a crowd.
The ISEE is offered to students entering grades 2-12, but it would be silly to give a second-grader and a ninth-grader the same exam. Therefore, the ISEE is split into four levels according to the age group it is intended for: students entering grades 2-4 take a grade-specific Primary Level ISEE, students entering grades 5 or 6 take the Lower Level ISEE, students entering grades 7 or 8 take the Middle Level ISEE, and students entering grade 9 or above take the Upper Level ISEE. We can help you find an ISEE tutor who specializes in any of these exams, so reach out today to get the process started.
How can ISEE tutors help my student develop a more comprehensive understanding of academic concepts?
In a traditional classroom environment, it's virtually impossible for a student to receive individualized attention. Not only does the teacher have multiple students to consider, but they also have a strict time limit during which they need to cover everything. In contrast, ISEE tutors allow their pupils to study in a one-on-one learning environment that revolves around their needs. Your student will be their instructor's sole priority during their study sessions, allowing them to work at their own pace. If your student already understands a particular topic, their instructor can move onto something else to keep study sessions engaging. Alternatively, a private instructor can keep providing fresh explanations and examples until your student is ready to leave a more challenging topic behind.
Some students are too shy to admit when they need help. A private ISEE tutor can foster a learning environment where questions are encouraged, making students feel more comfortable asking for assistance. Any questions asked can also be answered in a timely manner, ensuring that a slight misunderstanding does not snowball into a significant learning obstacle.
A private instructor can also design ISEE tutoring sessions around your student's unique learning style to help them improve their study efficiency. For instance, a visual learner might want to use sight-based mediums such as counting cubes, graphics, and flashcards to understand key concepts, while a more auditory student might benefit from recording their study sessions to listen to again later. If your student is a more practical kinesthetic learner, their instructor may provide interactive lessons to keep every session stimulating.
Many students also work on their broader study skills while preparing for the ISEE. For example, let's say that the student in your life tenses up a little at the prospect of writing an essay. Their instructor can demonstrate how to sketch a quick outline so that they have a roadmap to follow if they get stuck. Their instructor can also provide feedback on their work, letting your student know what they did well and how they could improve moving forward.
Similarly, many students could retain more of the information they read. Your student can practice active reading skills such as note-taking to feel more engaged with the material, allowing them to remember more of what they read when it's time to answer reading comprehension questions.
Can ISEE tutors help my student prepare to take the ISEE itself?
Sure. Since a lot of learning takes place in the primary grades, the Primary Level ISEE is divided into grade-specific Primary 2, Primary 3, and Primary 4 exams. All three tests contain a Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Writing section, though the Primary 2 incorporates Auditory Comprehension into the Reading Comprehension component. Everything is multiple-choice except the Writing sample, which is untimed, unscored, and submitted with your student's application for schools to evaluate directly. Young students might want to be done as soon as possible, so their instructor may actively encourage them to take their time and write the best piece possible.
All three of the other ISEE exams consist of the following five sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and Writing. Here is a closer look at the types of material covered by each one:
1. Verbal Reasoning
The Verbal Reasoning section assesses a student's vocabulary skills through a series of synonyms and sentence completions. While expanding your student's vocabulary is a good idea for this section, it isn't feasible to remember every word in the English language. As such, a professional ISEE tutor may concentrate on concepts such as common Anglo-Saxon, Greek, and Latin word roots; prefixes, suffixes, word clues, and parts of speech to help a student figure out what a word might mean from the information available. Students taking the Lower Level ISEE have 20 minutes to answer 34 multiple-choice questions on this section, while Middle and Upper Level test-takers have 20 minutes for 40 items.
2. Quantitative Reasoning
The Quantitative Reasoning section stresses mathematical thinking over actually performing operations. Sample topics include basic probability and the four operations at the Lower Level; fractions, decimals, and square roots at the Middle Level; and algebraic variables and exponents at the Upper Level. Your student might solve practice problems during their ISEE tutoring sessions to feel more comfortable with any of these concepts. Students taking the Lower Level ISEE have 38 questions to answer in 35 minutes, while older test-takers only have 37 in the same time frame.
3. Reading Comprehension
The Reading Comprehension section consists of both fiction and nonfiction reading passages to measure how well a test-taker digests the information they read. Students at all levels are expected to identify a passage's main idea, its supporting details, and use context clues to define unfamiliar terms. Older test-takers are also asked to evaluate an author's intent, draw inferences based on what they've read, and differentiate between literal and figurative language. Students taking the Upper Level ISEE also face different literary genres, including compare/contrast analysis across genre lines. Your student's instructor may encourage them to read the questions before the associated passage on this section so that they know exactly what they are looking for. Lower Level test-takers have 25 minutes to answer 25 multiple-choice items, while older students have 35 minutes to answer 36 questions.
4. Mathematics Achievement
The Math Achievement section evaluates how well a student can perform mathematical operations. Possible topics include estimation and percentages on the Lower Level ISEE, the geometry of triangles and quadrilaterals on the Middle Level ISEE, and introductory algebra and statistics on the Upper Level ISEE. Students have a total of half an hour to answer 30 multiple-choice questions on the Lower Level ISEE and 40 minutes for 47 questions on the other two tests.
All ISEE test-takers have 30 minutes to compose a response to one essay prompt on this section. A student's work is not scored but is instead sent with their independent school applications as a writing sample. Students talk about themselves, but English language conventions such as spelling, grammar, organization, and punctuation are also considered by most schools.
Many students take practice tests under realistic conditions during their ISEE tutoring sessions to get a sense of what they can expect on the actual assessment. If your student deals with test anxiety, understanding exactly what to expect may help mitigate it. Similarly, completing practice exams can help your student and their instructor identify their academic strengths and any areas of potential growth. Most importantly, understanding how the exam words things can make it easier to identify meaning-altering keywords such as "except" and "not."
Why is Varsity Tutors the best resource for finding ISEE tutors?
If you try to find your student an instructor independently, you need to verify that each candidate is familiar with the exam your student is studying for, decide if your schedules are complimentary, and ensure that they know how to work with students of the right age. That's a lot of work for you! Instead, trust us to match you with a certified instructor in as little as 24 hours. The tutor we recommend to you will be a knowledgeable ISEE expert with a passion for helping students work toward their academic goals.
Better yet, your student's study sessions can take place on our proprietary Live Learning Platform. This online classroom software facilitates digital study sessions so that you don't need to worry about driving your student anywhere. Powerful features such as video chat functionality and a virtual whiteboard ensure that your student's instruction is just as efficacious as meeting in-person would be, so you're not compromising quality for convenience.
Whether you have any further questions or are ready to get started, please use the information provided on this page to speak with an Educational Consultant today. Varsity Tutors has helped countless students connect with ISEE tutors, and we would be delighted to help you and your student as well.