The Student Success Blog

ISEE Test Prep: 7 strategies for success

Posted by Milken School 9/1/2017
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When applying to private schools in LA, students are required to take an entrance exam known as the ISEE. For some students, standardized tests like the ISEE can be a stressful experience. But, students who plan for the test and have strategies in mind are often more successful. Check out these 7 simple ISEE test prep tips for success may help students do their best on the exam day.


  1.  Try a Practice Test.

The best way to prepare for a test is to practice. Find practice questions online and simulate a test-taking experience using a timer and someone reading instructions out loud. Putting yourself into an environment similar to what you’ll experience when you actually take it, will help put you at ease when the actual day comes.


  1. Follow the test directions exactly.

Hopefully this seems like an obvious step, but it’s easy to skip over the instructions and just dive into the test, especially with a time limit looming. However, it’s important to listen to the test proctor read the instructions, and be sure take a minute to thoroughly read through the instructions within the test itself, which may contain important information. The test directions might actually help you make the most of your ISEE test-taking experience.


  1. Read the entire question carefully before answering.

Don’t assume you know what the question is asking after just a few words. Sometimes, test questions can have tricks in them or clues to the answer can be found within the question itself. Skimming a question instead of fully digesting the words may mean that you miss important details about the answer. Pay attention to the wording to know exactly what is being asked of you, and avoid being tricked into picking the wrong answer.


  1. Save the hard questions for later.

When a test is timed, like the ISEE, every passing second is valuable time that could be used to tackle questions. But, if you spend too much time going over just one challenging question, you might miss out on the chance to answer three easier questions. Go for the questions that you can more easily answer first, and then go back to spend time tackling the more challenging questions at the end, if there's time.


  1. When you skip a question, make sure to skip the corresponding answer line on your score sheet.

This crucial step can make or break your entire test-taking experience. Skip one question early on and forget to skip the answer line, and you've thrown off the rest of your test. Make sure that your recorded answers align with the proper questions. As you progress throughout the exam, take time to periodically compare your answer sheet and test to make sure you're on the correct line.


  1. Use extra time to go back to the hard questions

If you finish the test before your time is up, be sure to go back and review the hardest questions again, or attempt to answer them again if you initially skipped them. Use this extra time to work through problems more carefully, allowing yourself to hyper focus on one question, now that you’ve completed the questions that you were able to address more easily.


  1. Answer every question

There is no penalty for a wrong answer on the ISEE, so even if you have no idea what the answer is, take a guess. Always try to make an educated guess and eliminate at least two options first. Make sure you don’t leave any questions blank, but also make sure you’re making an effort to answer the questions well.


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Topics: Applying to Private School, Application tips, ISEE

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The Student Success Blog

by Milken Community Schools

Welcome to Milken's Student Success Blog! We use this space to share information that we think will be helpful to all students at each stage of their middle and high school journey. 

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