How is the ISEE Scored?
Like the SSAT, the ISEE will give you a raw score and then convert it into a scaled score. However, unlike the SSAT, the ISEE does not penalize for guessing. This means that you will not lose (or gain) any points for a wrong answer. Your raw score will then be converted into a scaled score in a range of 760-940.
Also like the SSAT, your scaled score will be converted into a percentile. Your percentile is based on the students over the last 3 years in your grade who took the ISEE. In general, the ISEE is more competitive, because it is a more specialized test with a higher achieving pool of test takers. Once you have your percentile, The ISEE takes it one step further. You will be given a Stanine score of 1-9. Your Stanine is basically a broader percentile range. The Stanines are as follows:
- 9th Stanine: 96th-99th percentile
- 8th Stanine: 89th-95th percentile
- 7th Stanine: 77th-88th percentile
- 6th Stanine: 60th-76th percentile
- 5th Stanine: 40th-59th percentile
- 4th Stanine: 23rd-39th percentile
- 3rd Stanine: 11th-22nd percentile
- 2nd Stanine: 4th-10th percentile
- 1st Stanine: 1st-3rd percentile
To get into the top schools, you will need to be in the 8th or 9th Stanine. More likely, you will need to be in the 9th. Remember, 9th Stanine does not mean a perfect score, it just means that you need to be in the 96th percentile or higher. This is similar to the percentile range you will need to score on the SSAT to have a strong application to a top school. A score in the 9th Stanine means that you did better than at least 96% of the students in your grade who took the ISEE over the previous three years. On the ISEE, schools are more interested in your Stanine than your actual scaled score or percentile. It is an easy way to categorize and divide potential students into different groups.
Remember, like the SSAT, a Stanine score of 8 or even 7 will not automatically disqualify you from admittance. However, since test scores are a way for admissions officers to categorize what kind of student you are, the higher your ISEE score, the stronger consideration you will have for acceptance. On the other hand, don’t think that being in the 9th Stanine will get you accepted. High test scores are just one step in the application process.