The purpose of ISAT is not so much to test your knowledge of specific academic subjects, as to assess your ability to understand and analyse material you will be given. ISAT questions typically require candidates to read and think about a passage of writing, to interpret graphical displays of information, to use mathematical relationships and to reason about tables of data. All the information required to answer questions is contained in the stimulus material.

The ISAT test is a 3 hour computer-based multiple choice test. The test is presented in units, with stimulus material followed by questions. There are 100 questions with 4 or 5 answers from which the candidate is asked to choose the most appropriate response. There is only one correct answer, with no marks deducted for incorrect answers. ISAT is not a test of subject specific knowledge. Rather, it aims to assess a candidate's 'critical' and 'quantitative' reasoning skills.

  • 'Critical Reasoning' (CR) - involves comprehending and analysing information; understanding, applying and extending ideas; drawing appropriate conclusions; and evaluating arguments. These questions use material from the humanities and social sciences.
  • 'Quantitative Reasoning' (QR) - involves analysis and application of information; drawing conclusions and making decisions; and solving problems. These questions use material from the mathematics and sciences.