ISEE Test Day: Do You Know What to Expect?

Families should try to keep the ISEE test day as stress-free as possible. They should give themselves plenty of travel time to avoid any undue anxiety from rushing. Families should also confirm that they have all the required testing materials handy for ISEE test day. Students should get a good night’s sleep, eat breakfast or lunch before the test, and refrain from any last-minute cramming.

WHAT TO BRING: Do not bring any personal items or materials to the ISEE test day besides those listed below. Students may not bring any books, papers, rulers, calculators, or cell phones of any kind into the examination room. If a student does not comply, he or she will be excused from testing and the test will be invalidated. Calculators are permitted only if the student was approved for a testing accommodation that explicitly allows for calculator use.

Verification Letter
A Verification Letter is required at check-in on the day of testing. The Verification Letter confirms a student’s test date, time, and location. After registration, it may take up to two weeks to receive your letter. When you receive your Verification Letter, read through the letter carefully to confirm test day instructions and verify that all student information is correct. Your test date is not confirmed until you have a Verification Letter. The Verification Letter is available in your online account and may be printed out. It is required in hard copy when checking in at a test site. 

Student identification is required at check-in on test day. Photocopies are acceptable at all testing locations except Prometric testing offices. Approved forms of student identification include a library card, birth certificate, social security card, school report card, school ID, passport, or green card. If a student’s identity is in question before, during, or after the exam, ERB will not release test scores and reserves the right to investigate the matter at the expense of the family. In addition, ERB may, at its discretion, disclose the results of any such investigation to the schools to which the test results were to be sent and to all appropriate government regulators.

Materials for Paper Testing
Students may bring the following materials into the testing room only if they are taking a paper test: four sharpened #2 or HB pencils; four good erasers, if not part of the pencil; and two black or blue ballpoint pens (erasable pens are permitted). 

WHEN TO ARRIVE: Arrive at your testing location by the check-in time listed on your Verification Letter. No one is permitted to enter the testing room after testing begins. Late arrivals will have to reschedule and incur a rescheduling fee.


Frantic, last-minute “cramming” for the test is not helpful. Students should listen very carefully to the test administrator’s instructions. They should keep in mind that no one is expected to answer every question correctly. Students in a lower grade taking the same test as students in a higher grade are expected to obtain fewer correct answers. Remember, a student’s test performance is compared only to the performance of students at his or her grade level.

Students should not spend too much time on any one question; it is better to move on to the next question as omitted questions can be returned to within a given test section if time permits. Students should also remember to select the best choice for each question and attempt to answer every question as there are no penalties for incorrect answers.

A student’s ISEE Individual Student Report will not be sent to schools in cases where there is clear evidence of communication with other students during the test, using materials or objects not allowed in the testing room (including cell phones), testing irregularities such as working in a section of the test after time is called or before permission to do so is given, questions surrounding a student’s identity, or disruptive behavior of any kind. 

For more information, visit the official ISEE website by clicking here.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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