The purpose of ISAT is to assess your abilities in a range of cross-curricular skills. ISAT measures skills acquired over a period of time, including the ability to reason, make logical deductions and form judgements.
The test does not draw on any particular subject knowledge. There would therefore be little benefit to be gained by ‘cramming’ or coaching. Your best preparation may be to read widely and to think critically about what you read. However, some familiarity with the question types typically presented in ISAT is an advantage.
Purchase practice test 1 and 2 via the registration portalMore information
Test format and preparation
There are 100 questions with 4 or 5 answers for test takers to select the most appropriate response.
You answer the question by clicking the radio button beside your chosen option, and navigate using "Next" or "Back" buttons at the bottom of the screen.
After Question 100, the list of question numbers and your responses appear, and you can check and revisit any questions.
The testing time runs for 3 hours (180 min) and there is a timer in the top right-hand screen.
Test taking strategies
Tips for working through questions:
- It is not advisable to spend too much time on any one question. Pace yourself by keeping an eye on the timer e.g. by the time 90 minutes have passed, you should have completed 50 questions.
- Read the stimulus material for a unit several times before starting the questions.
- Read through all the alternative answers to a question, even if you think the first one is correct, before marking your chosen response. See if there are any options you can discard immediately because they are obviously wrong.
- If you think you know the answer to a question, mark it, even if you are not certain. Go on to the next question and come back later if you have time. This will prevent you from getting your answers out of sequence with the actual questions, and will give you some chance if you run out of time.
- Be careful not to spend too much time using your bilingual dictionary to look up the translation of every word that you are uncertain about.
Points to note
- All questions have the same value. It is recommended that you attempt as many questions as possible in order to maximise your score.
- 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 test taker's ‘critical’ and ‘quantitative’ reasoning skills.
The ISAT Practice Tests are available in the form of an e-book (PDF watermarked with your name and email address). The Practice Tests are equivalent to half a test but contain roughly the same balance of question types found in a full test.
The Practice Test is designed to give examples of the types of question, skills and knowledge contained in ISAT. Answers are given for all questions.
Should I attend an ISAT preparation course?
ISAT preparation courses are not recommended, authorised by, or in any way associated with, ACER. They are unregulated. You will need to assess for yourself whether any particular preparation course is able to supply objective and reliable evidence that participation is likely to improve your score to justify the often significant cost associated with them, and whether representations they make about themselves are accurate.
There are sample questions available in the information booklet.