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answer_sheet1What is the SSAT?

The SSAT is a timed, multiple choice test for students in grades 3 through 11 and is administered on three levels:

  • Elementary (for students currently in grades 3-4) *Test available in U.S. only
  • Middle (for students currently in grades 5-7)
  • Upper (for students currently in grades 8-11)

Both the Middle and Upper level SSAT consist of verbal, quantitative (math) and reading comprehension sections. The verbal questions test your vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and ability to relate ideas logically. The quantitative (math) questions test your ability to solve problems involving arithmetic, basic algebra and geometry, and concepts. The reading comprehension section tests your ability to understand what you read. All tests are printed and administered in English.

In addition to the sections listed above, the test includes a writing sample portion. The style of the writing sample will differ depending on which level test you take. Your essay is not graded, but a copy will be sent to schools or consultants.

Administrations of the SSAT in 2012-13 will also include an experimental section of 16 questions. This section is unscored, but features questions that may appear on future versions of the SSAT.

Reasons for Taking the SSAT
The SSAT measures student’s ability. It is not an achievement test; therefore, it acts as a common denominator for schools in measuring a student’s academic capabilities, regardless of school record. When used for admission by independent schools, the test is only one piece of information that is considered. Schools also review the applicant’s school grades, extracurricular participation, teacher recommendations, essays and interview results. SSAT scores, however, do carry some weight in varying degrees among independent schools. Consequently, you should be as prepared to take the test as possible.

Since the SSAT provides predicted 12th grade SAT scores for those students taking the test in the 7th through 10th grades, participation in this testing exercise will also provide you with valuable information regarding your educational strengths and weaknesses.

Types of SSAT Administrations

  • SSAT “Standard Test” – A Standard test is a group administration held at many sites worldwide on 8 Saturdays each year (see Test Calendar).
  • SSAT “Flex Test” – A flex test is a group or individual administration on any date other than the standard test dates.