Most students applying to an independent junior high school take the Middle Level ISEE in or around January of their 6th grade year. Therefore, we recommend that students start preparing the summer before their 6th grade year starts. The time consuming part of test preparation is simply ensuring that students have a firm grasp of the tested academic material in math and English. For example, if your child is weak on fractions or reading at a 5th grade level, that will take some time to remediate.