ISEE: An Overview of the Verbal Section

The ISEE (Independent School Entrance Examination) is used for admissions to private and independent elementary and secondary schools throughout the United States. The ISEE includes five sections: Verbal, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading, Mathematics Achievement, and an Essay. This post will take a closer look at the first and fastest paced section of the test—the Verbal section.

The ISEE Verbal section is quite similar across all three levels of the exam—the main difference is the total number of questions. The Upper and Middle Levels consist of 40 questions, while the Lower Level only has 34 questions. All three levels of the Verbal ISEE section must be completed in 40 minutes.

Within the Verbal section, students are asked to tackle two types of questions: Synonyms and Sentence Completions. For the Synonym questions, students are presented with one vocabulary word and four answer choices as possible synonyms. While the words are often similar and more than one choice may be tempting, only one answer can be correct. For the second question type, Sentence Completions, students are asked to fill in the missing blank with a word or phrase that best completes the sentence.

The ISEE Verbal section requires that students work quickly: with roughly 30 seconds per question, students do not have a great deal of time to make their final decisions. There is no guessing penalty on the ISEE and students should therefore answer all questions in each section; this fact, combined with the brisk timing of the section, means that students may run out of time if they don’t pace themselves properly. Inspirica Pros’ team of expert test prep tutors can help students strategize the ISEE Verbal section so they can maximize their time spent per question in the most effective way possible.

Need help with Synonyms or Sentence Completions? Reach out and talk with one of our Program Coordinators today.