ISEB Set 3 English

Independent Schools Pretest


40 Questions

25 minutes



1. Answer each question by choosing an answer from the answer choices on the screen.

2. Candidates must answer each question to be able to proceed to the next question.

3. You cannot skip a question or go back to previous questions.

The Wall

  1. “Remember,” said the art teacher, Mr. Ramirez, “our class has volunteered to paint a mural for the school beautification project. We’re looking for a few good ideas, and then we’ll vote on the best one. Any suggestions?”

  2. I thought about the sketchbook in my backpack. When Mr. Ramirez announced the mural project last week, I drew my idea. Every time I went to submit it, though, my stomach tied up in knots. So each day I slipped out of class with everyone else, my sketchbook tucked away in my backpack.

  3. Mr. Ramirez stood by the blackboard with a piece of chalk in his hand, waiting. The class looked around uneasily. Josh, the boy who sat across the table from me, spoke up first. “That’s easy, Mr. R. You should paint me.”

  4. A few of Josh’s friends on the opposite side of the room snickered. Others in the class rolled their eyes.

  5. “Seriously,” Josh said. “I’m good-looking. I’m a model student. I’m well-loved by all the girls. I’m a regular icon of everything this school represents.”

  6. “You are a regular icon of modesty, Josh,” said the teacher.

  7. Alana Jackson raised her hand. “Mr. Ramirez,” she said, “I have an idea that I think would represent more than just one person.” She glared at Josh, then turned away. “Let’s make a rainbow. The colors could represent the diversity of our school.”

  8. As Mr. Ramirez wrote “rainbow” on the blackboard, Josh called out, “Way to go, rainbow girl. Did you think of that all by yourself?”

  9. I pulled my sketchbook from my bag. The class was silent. This was my chance to speak up—but I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t. Instead, I buried my head in my arms.

  10. “Don’t be upset,” Josh said to me, “pretty soon we’ll have a lovely rainbow mural in the courtyard to cheer everyone up.”

  11. A few people had other ideas, but none reflected the whole school. The bell rang, and as everyone filed out of the room, Mr. Ramirez called out for us to keep thinking and bring more suggestions tomorrow.

  12. That night at home, I opened my sketchbook and looked at my idea for the mural. I had stayed after school one day to brainstorm mural ideas that would reflect the life of our school. At first everything had seemed quiet, but then I came across some boys playing basketball behind the gym. I sketched the outline of one of the boys leaping into the air for a slam dunk. The girl’s softball team was practicing out in the field, so I drew the outline of my friend Maggie at bat. In the art hall, I found a girl working on a painting. I sketched another silhouette of her with canvas and brush. I also found a boy in the library with a pile of books, a few students working on a science lab, and the drama club rehearsing lines. Silhouettes of all these people wound up in my mural sketch. I thought I was finished, but as I waited for my mom in the parking lot, I saw a few boys practicing skateboard tricks across the parking lot. One of them was Josh. I added one last outline to my drawing.

  13. I sat on my bed looking at the sketch. Who was I kidding? No matter how pleased I was with my idea at home, no matter how resolved I felt to share it, I always chickened out when surrounded by blackboards and classmates. How was tomorrow going to be any different? I was tired of being a spineless jellyfish, though. I packed my sketchbook in my bag and placed the bag by the door.

  14. The next day, the class added a few new ideas to the list, but no one was excited by any of them. I held my sketchbook on my lap, like a soldier ready for battle. Now was the time, this was the day . . . but nothing happened. My hand didn’t go up in the air. My voice didn’t speak up. I just sat there.

  15. After a few minutes, Mr. Ramirez looked over at me. “Marianna, do you have an idea to share?”

  16. “Me?” I said. Everyone was looking. The walls were laughing at me. “No, not me. Sorry.”

  17. I melted. It was over. For good. As Mr. Ramirez reviewed our list of ideas, I opened my sketchbook to the mural silhouettes. It didn’t matter now, did it? I took a deep breath and prepared to tear the page out.

  18. “Hey, that’s not too bad,” someone said behind me. It was Josh.

  19. I slammed the sketchbook shut. I had thought he was asleep.

  20. “Come on,” he said, “let me see it again.”

  21. I don’t know why, but I handed the sketchbook to him. The next thing I knew, he winked at me and flew to the front of the room.

  22. “Mr. R!” he announced. “We have a winner! I have our mural right here!”

  23. I turned redder than any can of red paint. Oh, to be some kind of burrowing creature that could dig a hole and hide in the sand!

  24. When Mr. Ramirez asked if this was my idea for the mural, I felt my thoughts were peeled away by my classmates’ stares. I sat up straight. “Yes, it is,” I said.

  25. The class voted, and my idea was chosen for the mural. Afterward, Josh patted my shoulder. “I can’t believe you were going to let us get stuck with the rainbow,” he said.

  26. I smiled.

  27. “No need to thank me,” he said. “It’s just another day’s work for the best-looking guy on campus!”