Quantitative Reasoning is the second section of the ISEE and is generally considered the most difficult. In this section, students have 35 minutes to complete 37 questions or just under 1 minute per question.
There are two question types – word problems and quantitative comparisons.
Word problems present math questions in paragraph format where students must correctly translate words into mathematical functions.
Quantitative comparisons are what most students probably say is the most difficult part of the ISEE. In this section, students are presented with values in two columns, column A, and column B, followed by four options:
A) The quantity in Column A is greater
B) The quantity in Column B is greater.
C) The two quantities are equal.
D) The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.
For both word problems and quantitative comparisons, the Upper Level tested material comes from algebra, geometry, and higher level math concepts such as trigonometry and statistics. Our experience is that most 8th graders should have seen most of the tested concepts by the end of December of their 8th grade year.
Calculators are not allowed on any level of the ISEE.
For Word Problems, each question consists of a word problem followed by four answer choices. You may write in your test booklet; however, you may be able to solve many of these problems in your head. Next, look at the four answer choices given and select the best answer.
For Quantitative Comparisons, all questions are quantitative comparisons between the quantities shown in Column A and Column B. Using the information given in each question, compare the quantity in Column A to the quantity in Column B, and choose the appropriate answer.