About the SSAT

Q: What is the SSAT?

A: The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is administered the Enrollment Management Association, formerly known as the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB). Several independent schools require students to take the SSAT test in order to gain admission to the school. The SSAT Test is administered at three different levels:Elementary, Middle, and Upper. The SSAT Test contains quantitative, verbal, reading comprehension, and writing sections, as well as an experimental section on the Middle and Upper Levels. The SSAT Test supplies independent schools with valuable information about a candidate’s potential for success in the classroom.

Q: What is the importance of the SSAT Test?

A: The SSAT Test is used for admissions purposes at independent schools all over the world. It provides a standard assessment so that admissions departments are able to objectively compare applicants of various educational backgrounds. 

Preparing for the SSAT

Q: How can I help my child prepare for the SSAT?

A: Help your child become familiar with the format and content of the SSAT Test through preparation. It is important to practice for the SSAT in order to succeed, so be sure to allow plenty of practice and prep time. It may be difficult to determine the best way for your child to practice. With TestPrep-Online’s comprehensive, grade-specific SSAT Practice Test, your child will come to the test ready to succeed.

What Is on the SSAT?

Q: What do the different levels mean?

A: The SSAT is administered at three levels:

Each level adheres to the respective grade levels and what students in those grades are supposed to know and understand. The length of the SSAT Elementary Level is shorter than the SSAT Middle and Upper Levels, as can be seen in the charts below:

Elementary Level

SSAT Section Question Type(s) Total Amount of Questions and Time
Elementary Level
SSAT Quantitative Word Problems 30 questions 30 Minutes
SSAT Verbal Synonyms + Analogies 30 questions 20 minutes
Break 15 minutes
SSAT Reading Comprehension Passages + Relevant Questions 7 passages + 28 questions 30 minutes
SSAT Essay Essay Prompt 1 essay 15 minutes
Total 89 questions 110 minutes

Middle and Upper Level

SSAT Section Question Type(s) Total Amount of Questions and Time
Middle + Upper Level
SSAT Essay Essay prompt 1 prompt 25 Minutes
Break 5 minutes
SSAT Quantitative Word Problems 25 questions 30 minutes
SSAT Reading Comprehension Passages + Relevant Questions 40 questions 40 minutes
Break 10 minutes
SSAT Verbal Synonyms + Analogies 60 questions 30 minutes
SSAT Qunatitative Word Problems 25 questions 30 minutes
Experimental   16 questions 15 minutes
Total 167 questions 3 hours + 5 minutes

Q: What are the different sections of the SSAT, and what kinds of questions are found in each section?

A: The SSAT consists of four different sections:

  1. The SSAT Quantitative section is made up of word problems that measure a student's ability to solve problems involving quantitative concepts.
  2. The SSAT Verbal section is made up of synonyms and analogies and is used to assess verbal reasoning and one's understanding of language. 
  3. The SSAT Reading Comprehension section requires students to read passages and then answer relevant questions.
  4. The SSAT Writing section provides students with a prompt (a picture prompt for elementary level) from which the students are to write an essay in response.

Q: How many questions are on the SSAT Test, and how much time is given to complete the test?

A: The amount of questions and time allotted differs between the SSAT Elementary Level and the SSAT Middle and Upper Levels.

SSAT Test Scores

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I used the Wonderlic BST pack. This practice really helped me to pass my test.
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I'm happy to report that my 3rd grade niece took her SCAT test and passed the quantitative math portion with flying colors - 44 of 50 correct! Your test preps were a huge help. Please give my thanks to everyone there who supported us through the process.

Q: How is the SSAT Test scored?

The score reports of all the SSAT Levels include the scaled and percentile scores. The SSAT Middle and Upper Level score reports include a Personal Score Range and the SSAT Elementary Level score report include the number of items on the test, number of questions answered correctly, and the percentage of questions answered correctly. Click here to learn more about SSAT scoring.

Q: When will I receive my child’s scores?

A: Scores are available online, via your SSAT account, about two weeks after the test is administered.

Q: What is a good SSAT score?

A: Acceptable SSAT scores vary from school to school, as some schools require higher scores than others. Most independent schools are interested in scores above the 50th percentile, however, the expected score for admission to more competitive programs is generally higher (above the 75th percentile). Schools generally take into consideration several things in addition to SSAT scores when considering a student for admission, such as recommendations, grades, extracurricular activities, etc.

Prepare for the SSAT with TestPrep-Online

To get the score your child deserves on the SSAT, a consistent studying routine is highly recommended. To help you and your child along the way, TestPrep-Online offers a collection of studying tools designed to mimic the actual test as closely as possible and provide your child with the opportunity to grow more confident and more comfortable with the testing material

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