7 Important Things about SSAT

The SSAT stands for the Secondary School Admission Test. It is conducted across the USA by the SSAT Board. The SSAT is given by those school-students across USA who are planning to continue their studies in any private or independent schools. Depending on the grades in which these school-students study, the SSAT is conducted at three levels:

  • Elementary Level: for students who are currently studying in classes 3 and 4
  • Middle Level: for students who are presently in grades 5 to 7
  • Upper Level: for students who are in grades 8 to 11 presently

This article gives you all the important information that you need on the SSAT test.

  1. Format of the SSAT Test

    The format of the SSAT is similar at all the three levels. It is only the level of difficulty that varies. The details of the format of the three levels of the SSAT are mentioned below:

    • Elementary Level: There are four sections in this level of the SSAT test.

      • Quantitative Section: There are 30 multiple-choice questions in this section that have to be attempted in 30 minutes.
      • Verbal Section: This section contains 30 questions that have to be completed in 20 minutes.
      • Reading Section: You have to attempt 28 passage-based questions in a time period of 30 minutes.
      • Writing Sample: You will be given a picture prompt and you have to write a short story on that prompt in 15 minutes.

    • Middle Level and Upper Level: The sections of this level of the SSAT test are described as follows:

      • The Middle and Upper Level test of the SSAT test are timed and are divided into five sections.
      • You are given 25 minutes for the Writing Sample, 30 minutes each for one Verbal section and two Quantitative Sections, and 40 minutes for the Reading Section.
      • Thus, the total time allowed for solving these two levels of the SSAT test is 2 hours and 35 minutes each.

  2. Content Areas of the SSAT Test

    • The content areas that are tested in the SSAT are more or less similar for each level of this test. The only difference lies in the level of difficulty and the way in which the questions are framed.

    • Quantitative Section: The main areas that are tested under this section at the Elementary Level are problem solving abilities and mathematical operations involving basic numbers. Some basic concepts such as algebra and geometry are also tested in this section. In the Middle and Upper Levels, there are additional content areas tested such as daily-life based computations.

    • Verbal Sections: Synonyms and analogies are the areas tested in this section of the SSAT test at all the three levels.

    • Reading Sections: At the Elementary Level of the SSAT, you will be given four short passages and you have to answer about four questions based on one passage each. At the Middle and Upper Levels, you will be given 7 reading passages and you have to answer 40 questions overall.
    • Writing Sample:

      • Elementary Level: There is a picture prompt given to you, based on which you have to frame a short story in 15 minutes.
      • Middle Level: You have a choice of attempting one of two creative prompts. The time you are provided is 25 minutes.
      • Upper Level: You have 25 minutes to respond to either a creative prompt or an essay prompt. The choice is yours to make in the test.

  3. Register for the SSAT

    In order to register for the SSAT, you may go to the link For normal registration, you need to create an account online and using the credentials of the SSAT account, you can book your date, make changes to your existing schedule, cancel your test or even view your scores online later.

    However, you must keep in mind that one account is active only for one child. While online registration is the common form of registration, there are other options available such as:

    • Sunday Testing: This is applicable if you observe a Sunday Sabbath and want Saturday Testing. For such an arrangement, you need to register by mail or fax.

    For more information on this testing and the other registration options available, you can visit the link mentioned above.

  4. How the SSAT is Scored

    • Elementary Level: For the SSAT at the Elementary Level, the scaled scores range from 300 to 600 for all sections except the Writing Sample (for which no score is generated). Thus, the total score ranges from 900 to 2400. The percentile score ranges from the 1st percentile to the 99th percentile.

    • Middle and Upper Levels: For these two levels of the SSAT test, the scaled scores range from 440 to 710 (grades 5 to 7) and from 500 to 800 (grades 8 to 11) per section except the Writing Sample (which is not scored in the SSAT). Thus, the total scores range from1320 to 2130 (grades 5 to 7) and from 1500 to 2400 (grades 8 to 11).

    You need to note here that the Writing Sample is not scored at any level. However, a copy of the Writing sample is sent to the schools to which you apply for evaluation.

  5. SSAT Score Reports

    The scores are released to the schools (the names of which at the time of registration) approximately two weeks after the test date. You can also view the SSAT scores online by logging in to your account. The scores are not sent by mail or over the phone for reasons of confidentiality.

  6. How to Prepare for the SSAT

    There are a number of ways by which you can prepare for the SSAT. However, the best sources would be the SSAT official study guide which is available at the link The cost of this guide is 35$ excluding shipping costs. You may even try some sample questions for each topic by visiting the link

  7. How the SSAT Scores are Used

    The SSAT scores are used by schools to determine whether applicants to their courses are eligible for admission or not. Using the SSAT scores, these schools can compare various candidates on a common standardized platform. Thus, it is very important to score high.

    Hence, it can be concluded that these seven points are very important for you to consider if you are targeting the SSAT soon. Follow the links mentioned above for any issue that you may have regarding the SSAT test. However, remember that an early start would be the best start!

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