What to Expect on the ISEE
Understanding the Individual Student Report
The norm group for this test is a very competitive group of students who are applying to independent
schools. Therefore, a student is compared only to other students in the same grade who have applied to
independent schools in the last three years. Given that this is a competitive group of students, a student’s
performance may be less than what it has been on other tests where the comparison group is less
selective. Admission offices are aware of this difference in the norming populations and do not expect
all applicants to be “above” the norm.
ISEE scaled scores for each section range from 760 to 940. The scaled score is derived from the raw
score—the number of questions the student answered correctly—but is more useful than the raw score
because the scaled score has the same meaning regardless of which version of the test was used. ERB
administers many different versions of the test each year. The scaled score takes these slight differences
into account and allows ERB to report a score on a common scale that has the same meaning for all
students, regardless of the version taken.
The percentile rank shows the student’s standing when compared to other students in the norm group for
this examination. The rank is based on scores obtained from all students in a given grade who have
taken the test over the past three years. Percentile rank scores range from 1 to 99. A percentile rank of 61
on Mathematics Achievement, for example, as depicted in Figure 2, indicates that the student scored as
well as or better than 61 percent of all students in the norm group and less well than 38 percent (out of a
total of 99 percentile points).
Small differences in percentile ranks on different tests may or may not represent significant differences
in performance on those subtests. For this reason, ISEE scores are also reported as stanines.
A stanine is a score from 1 to 9, with 5 as the midpoint. Stanines are derived by dividing the entire range
of students’ scores into 9 segments, as follows: