The first section of the ISEE is Verbal Reasoning, which presents 40 questions to be answered in 20 minutes. At 30 seconds per question, it is the fastest paced part of the test, 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, 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 either 1 or 2 blanks (2 blanks are Upper Level only and the only major difference between the Middle and Upper Levels as far as structure is concerned). Relative to synonyms, the context clues given by the sentences tend to make these questions a little bit more manageable for students.
TO SCORE THIS TEST - Click to the last question of the exam, which is the submit page. Students using PDF printouts must also score the test online; there is no paper answer key.
For synonyms, each question 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.
For sentence completions, each question is made up of a sentence with one or two blanks. One blank indicates that one word is missing. Two blanks indicate that two words are missing. Each sentence is followed by four answer choices. Select the one word or pair of words that best completes the meaning of the sentence as a whole.