The first section of the ISEE is Verbal Reasoning, which presents 34 questions to be answered in 20 minutes. At 35 seconds per question, it is fast-paced, and it is all about the strength of a student’s vocabulary and their ability to apply it.
Students will encounter two types of questions – synonyms and fill-in-the-blank sentence completions.
For the synonym questions, students will be presented with a single word in all caps followed by four additional words. They must choose the word that is most similar in meaning.
The difficulty of this section comes from having to know all the various definitions of a word without context, including some very difficult ones that many adults don’t even know.
The second set of questions are sentence completions where students are presented with a sentence that has a single missing word or phrase. Relative to synonyms, the context clues given by the sentences tend to make these questions a little bit more manageable for students.
Each question in Synonyms consists of a word in capital letters followed by four answer choices. Select the one word that is most nearly the same in meaning as the word in capital letters.
Each question in Sentence Completion is made up of a sentence with one blank. Each blank indicates that a word or phrase is missing. The sentence is followed by four answer choices. Select the word or phrase that will best complete the meaning of the sentence as a whole.