Understanding your Score Report

Your score report contains a lot of information. Here’s how to understand it.


A student’s score is based on the scoring metric for actual exams. Some exams have multiple scores, such as the ISEE, which gives a percentage, a scaled score, and a stanine (1-9) score. We list the score that schools use for admission. For the ISEE, this means the stanine score.

Scoring curves change yearly, so no one can claim that their tests are 100% accurate. That said, we believe that our scoring is as accurate as possible.

A “good score” depends on where you want to go to school. Check online to see the average incoming score for the school you want to attend and use that to determine if your score is acceptable.


Overall Test Readiness

Overall test readiness (OTR) is a combination of different categories mixed with a student’s score and their performance on specific levels of difficulty. Understand that this is a general measure and may not coincide with your expectations or your child’s expectations. The target score that your child entered at the beginning of the exam factors heavily into this metric.

An OTR of 80% is very good. Understand also that you can hit your target score with an OTR of below 80%.

Performance by Level

This metric shows how a student performed on questions at different levels of difficulty. Test questions are scaled from 1 (easiest) to 5 (hardest). To obtain these rankings, we use a modified version of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Difficulty, reinforced by the percentage of students who have answered this question correctly when taking the exam.


Grit measures a student’s willingness to work through difficulty to find the right answer. Questions that are both difficult and require more than two steps are classified as grit questions. An example of a grit question is below:

The width of a rectangle is increased by 20 percent and its length is decreased by x percent. If these changes decreased the area of the rectangle by 16 percent, what is the value of x?

(A) 12
(B) 30
(C) 32
(D) 36

As you can see, this isn’t a question that can be answered quickly. Students must put in the work to find the correct answer, which is (B).

There are questions designated as grit on every subject of the exam. A student’s score is the percentage of these questions they answered correctly. As these are usually the most difficult questions on the exam, 70% or higher is a very good grit score.

Time Awareness

Time awareness is a combination of different factors: did the student finish the section? How much time did they spend on the first 80% of questions versus the last 20%. Did they spend more than 3 minutes on a question before they finished every other question? A time awareness score above 75% is good.

Vertical Fluidity

Vertical fluidity measures how often students reread reading comprehension passages when answering questions. This is a crucial component of doing well on reading comprehension and one that many students just don’t do. A vertical fluidity score over 75% is good.

Test Equanimity

Test equanimity measures how students recover after struggling on a question. It also factors in recovery time after a pulse rate spikes (if it spikes). A test equanimity score over 75% is good.

Performance by Subject

This score shows how a student performed on each general topic, such as math or reading. Keep in mind that standardized tests are much more difficult than school exams, and the percentages should not be equal. A 70% on a school exam means a student needs to improve considerably. A 70% on a standardized test can be a good score, depending on the test and the subject.

Performance by Topic

This score shows how a student performed on specific topics within a section, such as verb tense, triangles or science reading comprehension. Sometimes, a test will contain only one or two questions of a specific topic, so a 0% or a 50% doesn’t necessarily mean a student is horrible on that topic. It’s best to go over the exam to see which questions caused the most trouble.

Three terms in this section are not self-explanatory. The first is grit, which is explained above. The second is transference, which is a student’s ability to transfer their knowledge to new types of questions they most likely haven’t seen in school. An example follows:

A circle has a radius of 2/p feet. How far does the circle have to roll to make five full rotations?

(A) 10 feet
20 feet
(C) 10p feet
(D) 20p feet

Most students have studied circles in school, but few have seen a question like this. To solve, students must be able to transfer their knowledge of circles to determine that a circle will roll its circumference in one full revolution. The answer to this question is (B).

The second term that’s not self-explanatory is close reading. Certain questions require students to read closely. Attention to detail measures a student’s performance on these questions. An example is below:

Find the smallest even number that satisfies the equation. Newark High School needs to hire photographers to take portraits of the senior class. Each photographer can take 15 portraits an hour and work for 5 hours straight. After 5 hours, they need a 1-hour break and can then work for 2 more hours. If there are 250 students in the senior class, how many photographers must they hire to finish taking all senior portraits in one day?

(A) 2
(B) 3
(C) 4
(D) 5

It’s very easy, by the time you finish your work on this question, to forget what it says in the first sentence. The smallest number that satisfies the equation is 3. The smallest even number is 4.


This report shows your child’s pulse and blink rate. It also shows right and wrong answers, time per question, and how quickly students moved from question to question.

You can isolate a specific time period of your chart. Move your cursor to the beginning of the time period you want to isolate, click your mouse or track pad and move to the end of the time period you want to isolate, then release the mouse/track pad. The chart will isolate that period.

A slide (marked in light blue) shows each time a student moved to a new screen. This is useful to see how quickly students move through questions. For example, if you see that your child spent only a second on a math question before moving to a new question, you can assume they did not attempt to solve it.

The best way to use the chart is to look for changes and cross-reference them with the questions asked. For instance, if pulse rate jumped at 3:15, see which question your child was working on at this time (scroll over the red or green rectangle at the bottom of the chart for this information).

At the beginning of the exam, your child takes a short test to calibrate their camera. If the accuracy calibration percentage was low, the pulse rate may be incorrect (we’ve found that it skews higher in this case). The pulse feature is still useful, however, as actual pulse rate does not matter as much as changes in pulse rate.


This shows the total time a student spent on each question and on each reading passage. In the last column, we list the average time of all students for this question or passage.

For this metric, we advise you to look for patterns. How does your child do on geometry questions as a whole versus the average? How much time do they take on reading passages versus the average? One problem or one passage could be the result of many factors, but patterns give a more accurate view.

Keep in mind that timing shows the total time spent on a question. If a student looked at a question four times, each time for 10 seconds, the timing for the question will be 40 seconds. Also, the average time for the last question in a section will most likely not represent the time students actually spent working on that question. Students cannot move to the next section before their time for the current section is finished. Some students who finish early and don’t check their work on the section just sit on the last question until the section is over. This skews the average upwards.

Eye Tracking

This report lets you see if your child is re-reading passages when answering questions on the reading comprehension section. Going back to re-read passages is crucial for doing well on the reading comprehension section, and a lot of students don’t do it. We’ve found that a number of students reread passages during practice or when working with a tutor, but don’t reread passages on an exam. Now we can know for certain.


Video is a recording of the test in which you see the test taker. This can be helpful if a score is surprisingly low, as you can quickly scan through the test and see if a student left the testing area during the exam.

As you can imagine, these files are very large and may take time to load.

Answer Key

The answer key shows a student’s answer for each question and the correct answer for each question. If a student answered a question correctly, you’ll see a + in the row for Your Answer. If they answered incorrectly, you’ll see the answer they chose.

Underneath each question is a blue circle with an i inside. Clicking on this will bring up the video explanation for that question. The only questions that don’t have video explanations are synonym questions on the ISEE and the SSAT.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind that performance can fluctuate depending on how a student is feeling, what they ate before the exam and how they slept the night before. Be careful of reading too much into one test, especially if it’s the first test a student has taken. We suggest multiple exams to get a more accurate reading of what a student most needs to improve.

To your child’s success!