The Quantitative Reasoning section is often considered the most difficult part of the ISEE, and the Mathematics Achievement section is the longest part of the test. Plus, you are not allowed to use a calculator for these two sections. Sounds fun, right? You will have 35 minutes to answer 37 questions in the Quantitative Reasoning section.

(Skip this how-to guide and go straight to a practice quiz)

Quantitative Comparisons

Each question contains two quantities that you must compare. Some questions will include extra information to help answer the question. Each answer choice designates a particular relationship between the two quantities:

  1. The quantity in Column A is greater.
  2. The quantity in Column B is greater.
  3. The two quantities are equal.
  4. The relationship cannot be determined from the information given.


Expectations for Mathematic Competency on the Upper Level ISEE

The ERB follows the standards set forth by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) to determine how the ISEE will test a student’s ability in mathematics. Students taking the Upper Level ISEE should be familiar with the following concepts, as stated by the ERB:


Systematic Approach to Quantitative Comparisons


The hardest part about Quantitative Comparison questions is where answer choice D might be the correct answer. Don’t automatically assume something is unsolvable!



Let’s Practice

Piqosity allows you to take free practice quizzes and receive analysis of your performance including details on question difficulty level and a comparison to how your peers did on the same question. You can use questions already on Piqosity or upload your own.

The sample quiz below includes 20 quantitative comparisons, 2 of which are easy, 2 of which are hard, and 16 of which are of medium difficulty. Note that on the actual test, the quantitative comparison questions will appear throughout the Quantitative Reasoning test and not in one section.

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This How-To Guide is excerpted from “Upper Level ISEE Prep Guide with 6 Full-Length Practice Tests, 3rd Edition” by Stephen Hayes and the Staff of General Academic. You can buy it on Amazon for about $50.