ISEE Test Program

Home Page About MLES ISEE Tests ISEE Schedule IQ Tests Ed Evaluations Contact Page Links Directions

ISEE Test Program

The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) is a three-hour secure admission test given to students entering grades 5 through 12. Developed by Educational Records Bureau, the ISEE results are accepted most independent boarding and day schools in the U.S. and abroad. 

How long is the test?

The ISEE takes about three hours. There are two breaks, during which you may leave the testing room.

The test consists of multiple choice questions in the following areas: Verbal Aptitude, Reading Comprehension, Math Aptitude, and Math Achievement. In addition, you will be asked to write an essay on an assigned topic. You will be given time to write a draft, but the final copy must be written in pen on your answer sheet.

For a complete outline of the ISEE Testing Program, with a description of each section and sample questions, see the ISEE Student Guide, available on-line at  

ISEE Overview

What do I need to bring with me to the test center?

If you are taking the test at a school test center, each test taker should bring two sharpened, #2 pencils, and a black or blue pen. However, in our offices, we will provide you with pencils and erasable pens.  

It is also a good idea to dress comfortably, so you can be relaxed during the test. Sometimes the testing centers are warmer or cooler than you like, so dress in layers so you can adjust to the room temperature.

You may also want to bring a snack and something to drink to consume during your breaks.  No food or drinks will be allowed in the testing rooms, although chewing gum is permitted.

You will also need to bring the Verification Letter from ISEE confirming your registration, date, and test location. When coming to our offices, parents also need to complete and sign the MLES registration form, granting us permission to test your child.   Payments for the test will be made online during the registration process.  Parents who are unable to drop off or pick up their child will need to make arrangements with Main Line Educational Services prior to the test date in order to secure a parental release form allowing someone else to drop pff and/or pick up your child.

What if I need ...?

For students who require accommodations, the parent must complete the Application for Accommodations, found at the ERB website, and contact the ISEE Director at ERB to obtain permission first. Please contact ERB's ISEE Director at 1-800-989-3721, ext. 9813 or use the e-mail link on the Contact page.  Additional information can be found on the ISEE Website.

What is the ISEE?

The ISEE consists of carefully constructed standardized tests and an essay, which measure a student's verbal and quantitative ability, math and reading achievement, and writing skills. Except for the essay, which is not scored, test results are reported as scaled scores, independent school percentiles, and stanines. The score report and essay are sent directly to the applicant's choice of schools. Parents receive the score report only.

Scoring is conducted by the ERB operations office in Durham, NC. The report is sent to the applicant's family and as many as six ERB-member schools, counselors, and/or educational consultants.

How to I schedule an ISEE?

Students can take the ISEE as part of a group at local sites on weekends, or inidivually at the Main Line Educational Services offices. Both locations require the parent to register their child through the ISEE Admission Portal.

Parents of students requiring accommodations must complete the application for accommodations and register through ERB.  These students can be tested at Main Line Educational Setrvice and some of the weekend group tests, depending upon availability.

Individual testing, with or without accommodations, is offered only at Main Line Educational Services in the Philadelphia region.

Appointments for individually administered tests are made for mornings, Monday through Friday, at 9 am. Your student will be finished usually by 12:15 pm.  Students requiring extended times will usually finish at about 1:30 pm.

All registrations for the ISEE are made online at the ISEE Admission Portal.

   A. For a listing of the local goup test sites, search under the Philadelphia Area Consortium.  Once you have entered your search terms, the list of dates and locaton will appear below the search page; you need to scroll down to see these results.

    B. For individual test sessions at MLES, enter your student's grade and search for Pennsylvania or, specifically, Main Line Educational Services. If no date appears open, call us at 610-525-8127, and we can open a date for you.   All testing fees must be paid when you register online.  Scholarship waivers do not apply for individual tests at MLES.

To browse for open dates at Main Line Educational Services, use the Test Date Browser here: Browse Test Dates.

 To begin the registration process, click here:  Register for ISEE


NOTE: The ISEE can also be taken at a Prometric site in various areas across the country and abroad.  Parents might want to assess their local Prometric site prior to registering younger students. 


May I take the test twice?

The ISEE test may be taken only once during a six-month period. The scoring program will not accept a second test within six months and your work will be lost.


To view samples of the ISEE, and practice items, go to the Preparing for a Test, and link onto the appropriate test and level.