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Learn about the SSAT
The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is developed and administered by the Secondary School Admission Test Board (SSATB). The exam was designed as an aptitude test to measure a student’s ability in core subject areas independent of a student’s school record.
The SSAT is administered on three levels:
|Current Grade||Appropriate Test Level|
|Grades 3-4||SSAT Elementary Level Test|
|Grades 5-7||SSAT Middle Level Test|
|Grades 8-11||SSAT Upper Level Test|
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.
The 2012-13 SSAT test fee is $116 ($40 late fee, $35 change fee). The international fee is $225(outside the US, Canada, Am. Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, USVI).
The SSAT is offered several times per year nationally. Students may take a national test as often as they like or up to 8 times per year.
Families are encouraged to register online at www.ssat.org.
All questions on the SSAT are equal in value. Raw scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly minus one-quarter point for each question answered incorrectly.
The SSAT score report will include multiple sets of scores and percentiles:
Scaled score for each section (Verbal, Quantitative, Reading, and Total):
- Grades 5-7 (Lower Level): 440-710 (V/Q/R), 1320-2130 (Total)
- Grades 8-11 (Upper Level): 500-800 (V/Q/R), 1500-2400 (Total)
SSAT Percentile Ranks for each category (1-99%)
The SSAT percentile ranks compare your scores to those of other students who have taken the SSAT in the past three years. For example, if your Math SSAT Percentile is 75%, you scored equal or better in the Math section than 75% of students (of your gender and grade) who took the SSAT in the past three years
Estimated National Percentile Ranks (grades 5-9 only)
The national ranks (1-99%) compare your performance to the national student population, not only students who have taken the SSAT.
Predicted 12th Grade SAT Score (grades 7-10 only)
NOTE: While the Essay section is not graded, a copy of the essay accompanies each SSAT score report that is sent to a school or consultant.
SSAT At A Glance
Are you new to the SSAT? Read the following articles:
Interested in taking the SSAT and want to prepare for it? Our SSAT Test Prep courses are here to assist you. Contact us if you need more information.