On all levels of the ISEE, the student receives one point for each multiple-choice question answered correctly. Students are not penalized for incorrect answers or for omitted answers. Speed in completing each ISEE section is not considered in scoring. Correct, incorrect, and omitted answers are tallied for each test section to produce a raw score. The total number of correct answers is the raw score.
Raw scores are then converted into scaled scores, using a formula used to compensate for any differences in difficulty from test to test. The ISEE is graded on a scale of 760 to 940. The scales are derived from specific tables produced by the test maker. Once scores are converted to scaled scores, they are compared with the scores of students of the same grade level across the country. This is done using a 3-year rolling pool of test-taker scores.
Program percentiles compare students with peer test-takers within the same age and grade group.
- Scores between the 50th percentile and 74th percentile are considered to be "barely above average."
- Scores at or above the 75th percentile are considered to be "very strong."
A student who always scored above the 50th percentile on other tests may place below the 50th percentile on the ISEE, and students who normally score above the 90th percentile on other tests may score barely above average on the ISEE. For example, parents are frequently surprised when they see a 75th percentile score for a child who scored at the 95th percentile last year on a test based on state or national norms. This difference is due to the high-achieving population of students taking the ISEE, which makes the ranking very competitive.
ISEE Essays are not scored and are therefore not factored into the score report. Instead, the Essays are forwarded to the same schools that will receive the ISEE score report. Admissions committees from each school will individually assess the applicant’s writing capabilities.
ISEE Score Reports are released to the schools, educational consultants, and education organizations that a student selects on the registration form. Scores remain active for one academic year. The scores required for admissions vary by school. Contact the schools directly for admissions information.