The Mathematics Achievement section of the Lower Level ISEE exam tests the overall grasp that a young student has on the fundamental mathematical concepts that he or she has learned throughout his or her studies heretofore. Unlike the test’s Quantitative Reasoning section, this section focuses more on the actual math skills learned throughout elementary school instead of the more complex “higher-order” reasoning tested on the Quantitative Reasoning section. It would be incorrect to think that this means that the Mathematics Achievement section requires little thought or reasoning, for these are certainly necessary in any mathematics work. However, the key difference between these two sections is the fact that the Mathematics Achievement segment focuses on calculation skills in a more direct manner than does the Quantitative Reasoning section. The test presumes mastery in a number of categories of mathematical skills, including those pertaining to arithmetic, basic pre-algebra, and geometry. It also asks students to make use of their skills in taking and manipulating measurements, analyzing data, doing basic probability calculations. The section also asks students to demonstrate basic problem-solving abilities using these skills as applied to more complex situations.

The arithmetic and algebraic skills presupposed for this exam are not difficult, but they are focused on a number of important topics key to later mathematical success. The test-taker will be examined for skills in manipulating whole numbers, using all major operations (addition, subtraction, etc.) as well as understanding the ways that estimations are made intelligently. Furthermore, the general properties of numbers and arithmetic operations are tested. These same skills are applied to fractions and decimals, and students are likewise examined on their abilities to interpret such fractional values and their relationships to each other. Though basic, the algebra concepts found in this section test the student’s ability to recognize and interpret abstract numeric patterns as well as manipulate basic single-variable equations.

The geometric concepts tested on the Lower Level ISEE’s Mathematics Achievement section presume knowledge of coordinate geometry as well as the general properties of 2D and 3D figures. The content pertinent to measurements extends the geometry concepts examined, presenting the student with questions that require him or her to analyze figures that have various lengths labeled and to provide calculations of area and perimeter based on the data thus presented in the figures. This will require general mastery of the equations for perimeter and area in basic geometric figures. Likewise, the student will be required to have skills in unit conversion.

The data interpretation problems test the ability to aggregate sets of information as well as the ability to interpret data in chart form as presented to the student. Such interpretation will also require use of basic statistics concepts such as the identification of the mean, median, and mode of a set of data. In addition to these interpretive skills, the student will also be tested on the basics of probability, particularly as pertaining to uncomplicated sets of data that define events and their sample spaces.

By providing examination content for all of these problem types, the Lower Level ISEE’s Mathematics Achievement section tests the overall skills of the young student, providing admissions boards with an excellent indicator of the composite mathematical skills that he or she has gained throughout his or her studies. If your student is stumbling on problems that address a particular topic, our Lower Level ISEE Math help page can assist. On it, you can find Lower Level ISEE Mathematics Achievement content organized by topic from general areas of math to specific concepts. Each has linked associated example problems with revealed answers and full explanations. Walking through some of these problems can help a student identify exactly where he or she is erring in his or her approach to questions testing a given concept. With the example problems serving as a stable starting point, students can then progress to answering practice questions on their own using the other Lower Level ISEE Math resources available on the Learning Tools website. By making use of all of these free tools, you can help your student in preparing to face his or her Lower Level ISEE with confidence in his or her mathematical abilities.