ISEE – Independent School Entrance Examination

The ISEE is a standardized test that may be used to apply to the best boarding schools in the USA. The ISEE is very similar to the SSAT, but is less popular in Hong Kong, mainly because registration procedures and testing locations change significantly almost every year. That being said, IST tutors have taught ISEE test taking strategies to students applying to Hong Kong International School (HKIS) and Harvard-Westlake School (Los Angeles). Both the ISEE and the SSAT test reading comprehension, vocabulary, mathematics, and writing. To test vocabulary, the SSAT uses analogies, while the ISEE uses in-context sentences. The ISEE also uses data sufficiency questions to test math reasoning, while the SSAT does not. Students should be scoring above 95 percentile if they hope to receive offers from the top boarding schools in the USA. To achieve 95 percentile, students should begin preparing as early as possible. Most Hong Kong students struggle with the new vocabulary because there are so many difficult words that need to be learned. On the other hand, Hong Kong students usually do very well on the non-verbal mathematical sections. When preparing for the ISEE, IST tutors often use SSAT resources because both tests are so similar.

To successfully prepare, students should start as soon as possible by doing as many practice questions as possible everyday, focusing on getting every question correct. Once students can score above 95%, they should begin to focus on working more quickly to ensure that they can answer all the questions correctly within the time limits.

ISEE English and Math Principal Tutor, 2005 – present

Mr Don Ho is the Principal of IST and has helped many students score above 95 percentile on the SSAT and ISEE since 2005. These students have gone on to receive offers from Milton Academy, Choate Rosemary Hall, Harvard-Westlake, and many other top US boarding schools. One of Don’s secrets to success is to begin preparing as soon as possible, and to continue studying everyday. Another secret is to make learning as fun as possible, so that students enjoy learning. Memorizing new vocabulary by staring a long word lists is extremely boring and often leads students to tears of frustration or boredom. The development of daily revision habits will pay off in the short run and especially in the long run, when preparing for the SAT or ACT.

ISEE Math Senior Tutor, 2009 – present 

Mr Daniel Chan has studied at Sydney, New South Wales, and Cambridge. He has been tutoring at IST since 2009. Daniel also tutors SSAT, SAT, ACT, BMAT, UKCAT, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, and Mathematics.

ISEE Math Senior Tutor, 2009 – present 

Mr Calvin Chan has tutored the mathematics sections of the ISEE, SSAT, ACT, and SAT, and the MAT, STEP, at IST since 2009. Calvin has degrees in mathematics from Chinese University of Hong Kong and Imperial College.

ISEE English Tutor, 2018 – present 

Mr Ian Thomas has been tutoring English at International Scholars Tuition School since 2018. Ian is a retired Magistrate of Hong Kong, who graduated with a Master of Law from Hong Kong University and Bachelor of Law from Queen Mary. In addition to tutoring ISEE English, Ian is able to teach lessons in English Literature, History, Economics, and Law.

ISEE Math Tutor, 2019

Miss Yenga Yan has been tutoring Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Chemistry at International Scholars Tuition since 2018. Yenga’s excellent reading and writing skills helped her graduate with Honours from the University of Cambridge. As a secondary student, Yenga also won the Senior UK Maths Challenge (UKMT) Gold.

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