ISEE Quantitative Reasoning

For the Upper Level and Middle Level

The Quantitative Reasoning section is often considered the most difficult part of the ISEE. You will have 35 minutes to answer 19 word problems and 18 quantitative comparison questions, and you are not allowed to use a calculator. This section is very similar to Mathematics Achievement, except that it contains quantitative comparison questions.

Seconds/ Question

To learn about what level of math you should know for the ISEE and for quick tutorials on the 48 most tested concepts, click on the button below.

Math Review Guides

Word Problems 

Each word problem is followed by four answer choices. Choose the answer choice that best answers the word problem. Several of the word problems may be solved without actually doing any math on paper.


Systematic Approach to Mathematics Word Problems 

General 5-Step Approach

Step Question Yes
1 Do I understand the question? Write out the necessary information to the side of the problem. SKIP IT! Circle the question in the test booklet and come back to it if time permits.
2 Do I know which formulas I should use? Quickly write out the necessary formulas to the side of the problem. SKIP IT! Circle the question in the test booklet and come back to it if time permits.
3 Will the question take me a long time to complete? SKIP IT! Circle the question in the test booklet and come back to it if time permits. See if you can solve the problem without performing any math.
4 Can I input values to solve the question? Use simple values such as -1, 0, and 1. If the answer chances, then choose D. Keep in mind all properties of algebraic and geometric concepts.
5 Can I make an educated guess with what I know? Eliminate portions of each value that are the same in both columns. DO NOT leave it blank. Choose the answer that makes the most sense.

For Example:



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.


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!


Full-Length Practice Tests

Piqosity offers 10 full-length practice tests each for the ISEE Lower, Middle, and Upper Levels. Learn more and and take a free diagnostic test at  
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