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Varsity Tutors is here to help your student get the San Diego ISEE prep they need to reach for their academic potential. The ISEE is a high-stakes exam that gives private and independent schools a quantifiable, objective data point to consider in their admission process. It is divided into four "levels" based on which grade a student is going into: Primary (grades 2-4), Lower (5-6), Middle (7-8), and Upper (9+).

Few schools use ISEE scores as the sole factor in their admission decisions, but a good score could be a step in the right direction. We provide a comprehensive San Diego ISEE prep course to help students who learn best in a structured classroom environment. Alternatively, we can refer you to a private San Diego ISEE tutor who can design study sessions around your student's unique needs for optimal efficiency. Keep reading to learn more about how we may be able to help you.

What topics will my student study during their San Diego ISEE prep?

The Primary Level ISEE has a completely different format than the rest of the exams. It is split by grade (Primary 2, Primary 3, and Primary 4), with each test having multiple-choice Reading and Math sections that assess a student's skills at the appropriate level. Primary 2 also has an Auditory Comprehension section that requires students to answer questions about a listening passage. All three tests conclude with a picture prompt for a writing assignment.

The Lower, Middle, and Upper Level ISEEs all follow the following structure: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Math Achievement, and Essay. While the formatting is the same, the content becomes more difficult as test-takers get older. Here is a closer look at the content on each section of the test:

1. Verbal Reasoning

The Verbal Reasoning section consists of 40 multiple-choice questions over a testing session of 20 minutes. There are two key question types: synonyms and sentence completions. In addition to grade-appropriate vocabulary, Lower Level test-takers are expected to use context clues to figure out what unfamiliar words mean. Students at the Middle Level work with Greek and Latin word roots, prefixes, suffixes, and word clues (if, although, etc.). Students taking the Upper Level ISEE don't have any new question types but are expected to know more words.

2. Quantitative Reasoning

The first of two ISEE math sections, Quantitative Reasoning places a greater emphasis on mathematical thinking than actually working out math problems. Students at the Lower Level get questions about addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, while Middle Level test-takers add concepts such as square roots and percentages to the mix. The Upper Level ISEE asks students to evaluate data sets and works with algebraic variables. Students have 35 minutes to answer 37 multiple-choice questions on this section.

3. Reading Comprehension

The ISEE's Reading Comprehension section measures a test-taker's reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Students taking the Lower Level exam must identify the main idea, its supporting details, and an author's intent. Students taking the Middle Level ISEE must draw inferences from the material they've read and analyze cause and effect relationships. The Upper Level ISEE requires students to compare works across literary genres in addition to the topics covered on the other tests. Students have 35 minutes to answer 36 multiple-choice questions.

4. Math Achievement

The second of the ISEE's math sections places a greater emphasis on quantitative problem-solving. Topics include estimation and fractions on the Lower Level ISEE, prime factorization and the geometry of quadrilaterals on the Middle Level ISEE, and Pre-Algebra concepts on the Upper Level ISEE. Students have 40 minutes to answer 47 multiple-choice questions on this section.

5. Essay

The ISEE's writing portion allows students to talk about themselves as an introduction to each of the schools they are applying to. They have 30 minutes to plan and construct their response. This section is not scored, as schools evaluate a student's work for themselves.

Can you explain the benefits of each San Diego ISEE preparation option I can choose from?

If you opt for a San Diego ISEE prep class, your student will attend regular class sessions and discuss both academic concepts and test-taking strategies to increase their self-confidence heading into the exam. Every class we provide takes place on our live virtual platform, an online classroom that makes students feel as though they are in the same room even if they are on opposite sides of the country. Real-time interaction with both the teacher and their classmates is supported, allowing your student to ask for help whenever necessary.

You might think that other students in the room are nothing more than a potential distraction, but in truth studying in a collaborative learning environment offers several important advantages. Completing group assignments can force students to think about things differently, potentially allowing them to approach their studies in a new way. Similarly, students can help each other out to reinforce key concepts. Having multiple students in a class also allows everybody to split the expense, making test prep more affordable than you might think. If you think your student needs individualized attention to overcome a particular obstacle, you also have the right to arrange private study sessions with the teacher outside of your class meeting time.

If you would prefer a private instructor, we can help set that up as well. Studying in a one-on-one learning environment allows sessions to be tailored to your student's specific needs. Some students also take practice exams during tutoring sessions so that they know exactly what to expect on the actual test. Time management is important on every exam, and experiencing what the time available feels like may help a student budget it more effectively.

We also try to make all of our products as convenient as we can. For instance, we offer two-week and four-week courses to make it easier to find one that works for you. Likewise, private study sessions take place on our exclusive Live Learning Platform so you don't need to worry about driving anywhere.

How do I sign up for formal San Diego ISEE prep?

Simply use the contact info below to get in touch with a knowledgeable educational consultant who can walk you through each of the San Diego ISEE prep options Varsity Tutors offers in greater detail. We look forward to hearing from you!

Contact us today to connect with a top San Diego ISEE instructor