ISEE Practice Essay Topics

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The ISEE essay requires students to write a descriptive essay in thirty minutes. The essay is not scored, but a copy of the writing sample is sent to the admissions officers of the schools to which the ISEE score report is sent.

 

Tips:

  • Follow directions! Make sure you rewrite the prompt on the top of the first page of your answer sheet.
  • Budget your time! Make sure to save time at the end to edit for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
  • ISEE Essays tend to be descriptive essays. A descriptive essay requires you to write about a person, place, thing, idea, or event in a way that makes it possible for your reader to properly visualize or understand it. You might be asked to offer your own definitions or explanations.
  • Make sure your essay has a clear introductory paragraph, two or three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
  • While you will be asked to write about a specific topic, the topics themselves tend to involve broad subjects: books, school, community service, role models.
    • Choose a subject that appeals to you.
    • Choose subjects about which you know a great deal.
  • Identify two or three important qualities about the subject you choose.
    • Example: Two qualities of a good teacher are expertise and organization.
  • Write about two or three reasons why you chose the subject you chose.
    • My favorite author is William Shakespeare because he vividly recreates history and he writes humorously.

Here's a list of essay topics with which to practice:

 

Lower Level (grades 5 and 6):

Topic: Describe your favorite subject in school and explain why this subject is your favorite.

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.

Topic: Think about some of the books you have read. What is one character you admire and why?

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.

Middle Level (grades 7 and 8):

Topic: Describe one important lesson you learned in the last year.

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.

Topic: What is your favorite thing to do when you have free time? Why is this important to you?

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.

Upper Level (grades 9 and up):

Topic: Schools offer many extracurricular opportunities. Describe one extracurricular opportunity you would like to pursue.

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.

Topic: What three words would you use to describe yourself and why?

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.

For all students:

Topic: What is the most important problem facing the world today and what is one thing you can do to help solve it?

Assignment: You have thirty minutes to plan and write an essay on the assigned topic. Do not write on another topic. An essay on another topic is unacceptable. Please write this essay topic on the first few lines of your answer sheet.