The test prep process for the ISEE can be daunting. For most students, the process takes three to six months. With all of the schoolwork, extracurriculars, and life events that students already have to juggle, trying to manage the test prep process can be overwhelming and stressful. But don’t worry! Not only do we offer comprehensive workbooks, each with over 2500 practice problems and three-full length practice tests, for all three levels of the ISEE (ISEE Upper Level Workbook, ISEE Middle Level Workbook, ISEE Lower Level Workbook), we’ve also put together some of our top tips for reducing stress and making your test prep process as painless as possible.
Start early and give yourself plenty of time.
Starting the test prep process early is the easiest way to reduce stress. If you start the process six months or more in advance, you can prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed. Starting early allows you to break up your prep process into small and manageable chunks. Studying about one or two hours a week for six months or more is more than enough to get you ready for the big test and is manageable for most students.
Figure out your strengths and weaknesses.
Before you start preparing for the test, determine your strengths and weaknesses. The easiest way to do this is by taking a diagnostic test. You can find official ISEE practice tests for all three levels at www.erblearn.org. After taking this diagnostic test and grading your answers, go through the questions you answered incorrectly and understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Set a reasonable goal for yourself.
After taking a diagnostic test to determine your strengths and weaknesses, you need to set a reasonable goal for yourself. Your target score will depend on a few things: your starting score, how much time you have to prepare, and the schools you are applying to. Some private schools accept students in the 50th-60th percentile range for the ISEE, while more competitive schools are looking for scores in the 80th-90th percentile range. To find out what scores a school is looking for, you can contact their admissions department. Many schools will provide parents with information about how much test scores matter.
Set up a practice plan.
Once you determine your strengths and weaknesses and set a goal for yourself, you’re ready to set up a test prep plan. Planning out your test process in the beginning will make the entire process less overwhelming. When setting up your plan, determine what topics and concepts you’ll need to study, and then determine how much time you will need to dedicate each week to learning these new concepts. Once you figure that out, determine which days you can study based on your after-school activities. When making your plan, don’t forget to factor in practice tests! Taking two or three full-length practice tests will help you feel confident on test day. While it may seem overwhelming to map all of this out, having a clear plan will help reduce your stress throughout the prep process!
Give yourself breaks.
The prep process is long. And to be completely honest, it’s not very fun. You need to give yourself breaks to stay focused and motivated. If you are studying for two hours in one day, break it up into smaller chunks and take breaks in between. You can also take longer breaks throughout your process. If you are studying for six months or more, take a few days off every two months or so to give yourself time to refocus and destress.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
There is a good chance you won’t know everything that shows up on the ISEE, and that’s ok! You don’t have to go through the prep process alone. If you have a parent or older sibling that can help you, that’s great! If not, look into getting a tutor or using online resources to help you prepare. At Elevate Prep, we offer comprehensive workbooks, each with over 2500 practice problems and three-full length practice tests, for all three levels of the ISEE: ISEE Upper Level Workbook, ISEE Middle Level Workbook, ISEE Lower Level Workbook