Our program is customized to the needs of first time test-takers to develop the skills necessary for success on this test day and all test days to come.
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First time navigating a standardized test?
While this may be your child’s first experience with standardized testing, it won’t be their last. We can help you start off on the right foot.
Determine when your child needs to take the test.
The list of ISEE test dates corresponds to your location. Since the ISEE can only be taken once per season, early preparation is critical to your child’s success. Furthermore, it takes the ISEE 7-10 business days to report scores, so be sure you schedule your child’s final test date to meet application deadlines appropriately.
Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam
The ISEE features the following sections: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics Achievement, and Writing. There are three versions of the ISEE corresponding to the grade level of your child: a lower test for 4th and 5th graders, a middle test for 6th and 7th graders, and an upper test for 8th through 11th graders. While the exam sections remain the same, the length and difficulty of the test increases with grade level.
Have your child establish a baseline on a practice test
Establishing a baseline score is an important first step in the process of studying for the exam, as it helps reveal your child’s natural strengths and weaknesses. We recommend that your child take a full-length diagnostic exam under timed conditions and in one sitting.
Create a preparation plan
The ISEE is highly coachable, patterned, and predictable. We have found that a systematic tutoring program leads to dramatically superior outcomes, and we recommend a minimum of 12 sessions to cover the entirety of either test. Most of our students space these sessions out over the course of three months with a Comprehensive Package.
Start tutoring, and later practice testing
Once we’ve matched your child with a tutor, the real work begins! Your child will meet with their tutor regularly (ideally, once or twice per week), complete homework in between sessions, and take practice tests. Practice tests are the best way for your tutor to understand your child’s performance and to gauge progress during the course of tutoring. Based on the results of these practice tests, your tutor will adjust their approach and make sure your child is getting as much out of the process as possible.
We are a cooperative of writers, historians, and mathematicians who provide exceptional one-on-one tutoring and standardized testing support to our students.Meet everyone
We are a cooperative of writers, historians, and mathematicians who provide exceptional one-on-one tutoring and standardized testing support to our students.
Colleen earned a PhD and MA from Harvard University in History, an MA in Modern European History from St Andrews, and a BA in History and Art History from University of Notre Dame. Currently, she is a researcher at Johns Hopkins.
Graham holds an MD (Vanderbilt University Medical School) and MBA (Harvard Business School). He earned his BS from MIT in Materials Science & Engineering. Currently, he is an Emergency Medicine Resident at Vanderbilt Medical Center.
After Ezra graduated from Harvard with a BA in Social Studies, he received the Trustman Traveling Fellowship and went to Peru to study the Chinese diaspora. He is now the Artist-in-Residence at the Signet Society at Harvard.
Joyce is currently an MD candidate at Harvard Medical School. She also graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Anthropology from Harvard, where her thesis won the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize.
Bassel received an MS in Civil Engineering from MIT and a BS in Engineering from Harvard. He has taught college courses on topics ranging from probability and statistics to modern history.
Jonathan is an MPA student at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He earned his Bachelor's from Tufts University, where he double-majored in Politcal Science and Economics.
Julia holds a BA from Princeton University in English Literature, with certificates in Theater and Music Theater. Her thesis won the Alan Downer prize for research in English and drama. Currently, she works in theatrical costuming.
Sof A E.
Sofa majored in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard. After graduation, she was awarded the Harvard Traveling Fellowship to conduct research in Amsterdam. She holds a Master's in Social Work from Smith College.
Paul holds a BA in History (Yale) and MA in Global Affairs (Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University). A recipient of the Fulbright and Schwarzman Fellowships, Paul is currently a Presidential Management Fellow in Washington DC.
Mike attended Darmouth College, where he won numerous awards for his creative and critical writing. He earned his BA in English, and went on to become a secondary school teacher.
Maya is an MD student at Harvard Medical School. She graduated summa cum laude from Tufts with a BS in Biology and Community Health, where she was also a member of Tufts' oldest all female a cappella group.
Rana earned her BS in Biology and Molecular Biology at Brown, and then spent two years working in ovarian cancer research at Mass General Hospital. Currently, she is an MD student at Harvard Medical School.
Dan is a PhD student in Mathematics at Ohio State University. He attended Bard College and graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Mathematics and a minor in Physics.
Troy graduated from Yale with a BA in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. After serving in Teach for America, he attended Harvard Law. Currently, Troy works for an education technology startup focused on preparing students for college.
Matty earned a JD from Harvard Law. He graduated magna cum laude from Amherst with a BA in Geology. He has experience as a tax attorney working in corporate law in New York.
Jeremey studied Music and Mathematics at Tufts University, and graduated summa cum laude with the Charles F. Seymour Prize for Business and Musicianship. He has been a music performer and educator for over ten years.
Alex earned his Master's in Musicology from Oxford University and his Bachelor's, with a double major in in Mathematics and Music, from Harvard University. He has been tutoring students for over eight years.
Joy is an MD/PhD candidate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She earned a BS (Biochemistry, Molecular Biology) and BA (Anthropology) from Brown, and completed a postbacc fellowship at the National Cancer Institute.
Sam graduated with honors from Middlebury with a BA in English and a minor in Spanish. He went on to work in the film and tech industries for over a decade. Sam now specializes in private academic tutoring and exam prep.
Natalia received her BA in History from the City College of New York. She went on to earn a Master's of Science in General and Special Childhood Education at the Bank Street College of Education.
Tess earned her BA in Psychology at Harvard College. After a few years working in entertainment, she's now pursuing a Master's in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University's Teachers College.
Tiwa earned a BS in Biomedical Engineering at Yale. Afterwards, she participated in clinical research at the Yale Fertility Center and volunteered at a children's health non-profit. She is now an MD candidate at Harvard.
Sophia holds a BA in English (Williams College) and an MS in Education from Johns Hopkins. After serving as a Princeton in Asia Fellow, she taught English in Baltimore Public Schools for four years.
Cassandra attended UVA on a four-year, full cost of attendance scholarship with a double major in Human Biology and Spanish. After graduating in May 2020, she went straight into the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, with dreams of becoming an adult or pediatric oncologist.
Alice studied English Literature at Wellesley College and graduated cum laude with honors. Currently, Alice is studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in Teaching and Curriculum. She's conducting her practicum at Arlington High School, where she teaches 9th grade English.
“Troy worked well with our daughter. He was on time, friendly, and funny, as well as communicative and quick to respond if I had questions. He also wrote details about the session and kept me in the loop about homework. Our daughter did so well on her ISEE test the first time around that she did not need to take it again.”
What’s on the ISEE?
There are three versions of the ISEE: the lower test for 4th and 5th graders, the middle test for 6th and 7th graders, and the upper test for 8th through 11th graders. All three versions of the ISEE contain a Verbal Reasoning section, a Quantitative Reasoning section, a Reading Comprehension section, a Mathematics Achievement section, and a writing sample.
How is the ISEE different from my child’s tests at school?
These standardized tests are designed to be more difficult than the exams your child is currently encountering in school. Consequently, your child’s score on the ISEE is not supposed to reflect their current scores on school exams or grades.
I’ve heard of the SSAT as well - which test should my child take?
While there is considerable overlap in content between the SSAT and ISEE, some schools will state an explicit preference for one over the other. Check the “Admissions” section of your target schools’ websites to get an idea of which test your schools prefer. If a given school requires one of the two exams, then you don’t have a choice, take that one! If you do have a choice, have your child take a practice SSAT and a practice ISEE exam. You can find practice tests at the back of most standard SSAT/ISEE prep books. Compare your child's scores and think about which exam they felt played more to their strengths, or simply, which felt more accessible to them. Most students perform similarly on the two exams, but if they are scoring much higher on one of them, it is better to focus on preparing for that one.
How is the ISEE scored?
Each question is worth one “raw” point. Unlike the SSAT, there are no deductions for wrong answers. Your child will receive a scaled score, a percentile rank, and a stanine, which is a grouping of percentile scores. The ISEE stanines range from 1-9.
When should my child take the ISEE?Most private school application deadlines are in January, though it varies from school to school. While the date you choose to test should ultimately be guided by how much time needed to prepare, we often recommend setting November or December as targets. Why? A September test date would only offer two months over the summer to prepare, which might not be enough, especially bearing in mind summer travel plans and extracurricular activities. October is usually busy with midterms or schoolwork (i.e., important grade determinants), and early January is often busy with prepping application materials and traveling for interviews. So, November or December it is! And, since the ISEE score report takes about 7-10 business days to arrive, be sure you schedule your child’s final test date to meet application deadlines appropriately.
How long should my child take to study for the ISEE?As the ISEE is most likely the first time your child will encounter a standardized exam of this nature, it's recommended they start preparing as early as possible to get comfortable with the content, timing, and format of the test. The summer prior to a fall sitting of the exam tends to be the best time to begin prep, as your child will likely have more downtime outside of school.
Can my child take the test more than once?
Yes, but note that the ISEE can be taken only once every testing season, for a total of three times per school year. There are three testing seasons: Fall (Aug-Nov), Winter (Dec-Mar), and Spring/Summer (Apr-Jul). For example, if your child takes the ISEE in December, they cannot take it again until April.
We’ve created a structured yet flexible pricing plan that offers everything you need to succeed on test day.
Hourly Rate1 Hour
All of our tutoring is available on an hourly basis. If you're not sure how much tutoring you'll need or when you plan to test, you can enroll in our "pay as you go" option.
First Time Package3 Hours
The three session package is a good way to get a student's feet wet, evaluate the amount of tutoring they’ll ultimately need, and see if they feel comfortable with a tutor. Most students use this package to gauge their preliminary strengths and weaknesses so that the tutor can chart a longer term plan.
Comprehensive Package12 Hours 5% OFF
Our preferred approach to the ISEE offers complete coverage of the test. Our students learn all sections of the test in detail. We review general test strategy and time management extensively. Students will be instructed to take full length practice tests throughout the program to help their tutor gauge their strengths and weaknesses.
$ 1368 You save $72
$ 1824 You save $96
$ 2736 You save $144
$ 3306 You save $174
Planning Ahead Package16 Hours 10% OFF
Because the ISEE heavily rewards repetition and coverage, we offer this package to students who would prefer to space their preparation out over a longer duration. Some students find this package useful if they need to spend more time preparing for particular sections of the test or getting acclimated to the pressures of standardized testing.
$ 1728 You save $192
$ 2304 You save $256
$ 3456 You save $384
$ 4176 You save $464
We have 4 tiers of coaches. The coach’s tier is based on the experience level of the coach with our team. All coaches begin working with Cambridge Coaching at the Standard tier.