ISEE Mid Level – Example Problems and Solutions

Here are a couple examples of problems you might see on the Mid Level ISEE along with their solutions.

In context, the word “hailing” (line 9) most nearly means
(A) denying
(B) criticizing
(C) praising
(D) originating

In this reading comprehension question, the student is asked to identify which answer choice best defines the word in the context of the passage.

In order to answer this question, the student must locate the word in the passage (line 9), and read enough of the passage surrounding the word to gather contextual clues about the meaning of the word. Most of the time, this requires that a student read at least the sentence before and after. For this problem, the relevant sentences are:

In spite of the ridicule that various newspapers aimed at the women’s movement, Frederick Douglass continued to lend it his active support. Indeed, few women’s rights conventions were held during the 1850s at which Douglass was not a featured speaker and whose proceedings were not fully reported in his paper. Invariably, the notice would be accompanied by an editorial comment
hailing the meeting and expressing the editor’s hope that it ‘will have a powerful effect on the public’s mind.’ In 1853, when Douglass was considering changing the name of his newspaper, he rejected the proposed title, The Brotherhood, because it ‘implied the exclusion of the sisterhood.’

From the context presented in the first, second, and fourth sentences, we learn that Douglass was a champion of women’s rights. In the first sentence, we learn that most papers ridiculed the women’s movement, but Douglass’ paper “continued to lend [the women’s movement] active support.” The second sentence shows us how Douglass supported the women’s rights movement. We also learn that Douglass’ newspaper reported the proceedings of the meeting. Because we know that Douglass’ paper supports (positive connotation) women’s rights, we can conclude that the editorial comment in his paper would be praising (positive connotation) the meeting, which is answer choice (C). Clearly, it would not be denying or criticizing the meetings — those two words have negative connotations. The answer is not (D) because originating makes no sense in the context of the sentence.

William is preparing a new flower garden for his yard. He designed the garden to have 225 square meters of space and four sides of equal length. If William were to walk around all the edges of his garden, how many meters would he walk?

William’s garden has four sides of equal length — thus, we can assume that the garden is in the shape of a square*. If the garden is a square, then we know that the area of the garden is equal to the length of one side of the garden squared.

A = s*s

The problem tells us that the garden has an area of 225 square meters. Therefore,

225 = s*s
s = 15

Now we know that one side of William’s garden is 15 meters in length. If he walks around his garden once, he has walked the length of the garden’s perimeter. The perimeter of a square is defined as the sum of the lengths of each side.

P = s + s + s + s = 4s
P = 4(15) = 60 meters

Therefore, William will walk 60 meters.

*Technically, the information presented in the problem only allows us to assume that the garden is a rhombus. Without telling us that all four sides AND all four angles are equal, we technically can’t assume that it’s a square. However, without assuming that the garden is a square, we cannot solve the problem!

Source by Andrew Thatcher

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