Many students struggle to understand or complete all the questions on the ISEE, and that’s normal. The ISEE is a challenging examination taken by students who may not have learnt all the test material in school yet. However, with good time management, students can boost their score without spending an undue amount of time on test prep. What are some ways students can manage their time to maximise their ISEE score?


  • Spend the same amount of time on each question. Each question on the ISEE carries equal weight, so even students feel worried upon encountering a question they do not know, they should not dwell on it. Instead, they can circle the question number on their scantron or question booklet so they know to come back to it later, and move on to the next questions.


  • Make an answer choice, even if it’s a guess. The ISEE does not penalize students for guessing, neither does it look at the amount of logic or methods that went into obtaining an answer. As such, it is in students’ best interests to put down answers to each question and give themselves the chance to earn more points.


  • Spend time checking answers. For example, the middle level ISEE Mathematics Achievement section lasts 40 minutes, in which students must answer 47 questions. With the time crunch, students might forget to answer every question, or might accidentally shade an unintended answer on their scantron. It’s important to take at least 3 to 5 minutes towards the end of the test to make sure all answers have been filled in, and are the ones the student intended to choose.


  • Lastly, take actual practice tests before the exam. Time management is something that is partly individual – different students may be stronger at different sections. Although the test is 3 hours long, simulating the actual test makes students aware of how they can better manage their time in each section to better prepare for it.


In summary, here’s how students can work their way through the test: Answer every question they know of, skipping ones they don’t know. Then, return to those questions and make answer choices, even if they have to guess. After that, check their answers to make sure all questions have been answered as intended.