The Educational Records Bureau (ERB) developed three Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) test levels to assess competency in English and mathematics. Independent schools throughout the country accept ISEE scores for admission. Students in grades 4 and 5 take the Lower Level test, grades 6 and 7 take the Middle Level test and grades 8 to 11 take the Upper Level test. ISEE tests are comprised of four sections containing multiple-choice questions -- verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, reading comprehension and mathematics achievement -- plus an essay section. Multiple-choice sections are reported as scaled scores, percentile ranks, stanine scores and stanine analyses. The essay is not scored.

Confirm your personal information on the report. Locate the verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning and mathematics achievement sections under the test profile part of the ISR. Scaled scores range from 760 to 940, percentile rankings range from 1 to 99, and stanine scores range from 1 to 9.

Observe the scaled score, which is your raw score converted into a numerical scale. The scaled score is useful because it accounts for slight differences across various versions of the test. Observe the percentile rank, which shows your standing in the group. If your percentile rank is 75, for example, you scored equal to or better than 75 percent of the students in the group.

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View the stanine score, which is the percentile rank converted into a scale. The stanine score accounts for differences in percentile ranks across different versions of the test. A stanine score of 7 to 9 is above average, 4 to 6 is average, and 1 to 3 is below average.

Observe the stanine analysis band, which reflects the range of your "true score." Compare the bands between the ability and the related achievement tests. For example, if the band for mathematics achievement lies to the left of the band for quantitative reasoning, it shows that the performance was below your potential.

Locate the sections and subsections under the analysis part of the ISR. Classified by type of question, section scores provide more information about your relative strengths and weaknesses. Observe section scores within verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, quantitative reasoning and mathematics achievement sections. Scores show the number of questions answered correctly (+), answered incorrectly (-), skipped (S) or not reached (N).


  • Application to independent schools is often competitive, with schools admitting only the higher-scoring students. Hence, your ISEE percentile ranks may be lower than your ranking on similar tests taken by students with a wider range of abilities.

About the Author

Leon Becker has a master's degree in engineering with specialization in bioinformatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has over 10 years of research and technical writing experience. Becker has published in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society conference proceedings and has recently assisted MIT and Harvard University professors in a biomedical informatics book project.