The Anatomy of the SSAT

Total testing time is 2 hours and 35 minutes for the middle and upper level tests, plus two short breaks. Each of these SSAT tests includes a 155-minute standardized test consisting of a series of multiple-choice questions divided into four scored sections and one (unscored) Essay section.


Section Number of Questions Question Types Section Length
Quantitative 25 questions (2 Sections) Arithmetic, Elementary Algebra, Geometry and Concepts 30 minutes
Verbal 30 synonym and 30 analogy questions Vocabulary, Verbal Reasoning, Ability to Relate Ideas Logically 30 minutes
Reading Comprehension 40 questions based on about 7 reading passages Reading Comprehension 40 minutes
Essay One question (unscored) Topic statement which you will be asked to respond to (support or argue), using specific examples from personal experience, current events, history or literature 25 minutes

While the Middle and Upper Level test structures are the same, the types of questions used on the Upper Level Test are more challenging than those used for the Lower Level Test.

Testing normally begins at 9:00am, while test dismissal normally takes place between 12:00 - 12:30pm.


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