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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the SSAT?

    The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is an admissions test used for private and independent schools. The SSAT is administered at three different levels: Elementary, Middle, and Upper. There are differences among the levels, but all four include a writing sample, a verbal section, a reading section, and at least one math section.

  • How long is the SSAT?

    The Elementary Level SSAT is about 2 hours long and involves one math section, one verbal section, a break, one reading section, the writing sample, and an experimental section. The Middle and Upper Level SSAT is about 3 hours long and includes an additional math section.

  • What is a good SSAT score?

    While your child’s SSAT scaled score is important, it’s not the most important number on the score report. The schools evaluate the score report holistically, so you should think about overall performance as opposed to aiming for just one good SSAT score. Pay close attention to percentile ranks, and think about your child’s test scores as a whole.

  • What do SSAT scores mean?

    The SSAT counts each correct answer as +1 point and each incorrect answer as –1/4 point. These points are combined to create a raw score, which is then converted into a scaled score, which ranges from 300–800 depending on exam level. Scaled score relate to percentile ranks, which compare your child’s performance to the performance of other SSAT students who took the test.

  • How to prepare for the SSAT?

    First, do some research to find out what score your child will need for the school(s) your family has selected. Next, find a starting score by having them take a full-length practice test. The testmaker’s official guides include practice tests. Use this score to decide whether a book, self-paced prep, or a private tutor will be the best fit for your child.