Details About the Lower Level SSAT

All About Lower Level SSAT

The SSAT stands for the Secondary School Admission Test. It is a standardized test that is taken by those school students of USA who are planning to enter into private or independent schools across the country. The test is taken at three levels depending on the grades. These levels are:

  • Elementary Level: For grades 3 and 4
  • Middle Level: For grades 5 to 7
  • Upper Level: For grades 8 to 11

This particular article focuses on one of the three levels: the Elementary Level. Read this article to get an insight into the Lower Level test.

Format and Structure of the Lower Level of SSAT

The Lower Level or the Elementary test is taken by students who are currently studying in grades 3 or 4. By making your child take this test, you can give him or her a chance to enter into any of the more than 900 private and independent schools across USA and even Canada. Basically, it is an admission test that is designed to evaluate how well your child can process information and solve problems. Here is a brief overview of this test and its design:

    • There are four sections and these are:
        • Quantitative (Math)– There are 30 questions here that have to be answered in 30 minutes.
        • Verbal – 20 minutes are given to answer the 30 questions contained in this section.
        • Reading– There will be 28 questions in this section and your child will be given 30 minutes to solve these.
      • Writing Sample – There is one picture prompt provided in the test section on which your child has to write a description. The total time provided for answering this section would be 15 minutes.
  • Including a 15-minute break after the first two sections, the total time allotted for this test is 110 minutes. You must also note that snacks and beverages are allowed in the 15-minute break.

Content Areas of Lower Level SSAT

As mentioned earlier, there are four sections and the content of these areas is described below:

    • Quantitative Section
      • Number concepts and Operations:
        • Mathematical Operations among fractions, whole numbers and decimals
        • Odd, even, prime and composite integers
        • Estimation, place values and rounding off of decimals
        • Ratios and proportions
      • Algebra, Geometry and Other Math
        • Patterns, equalities and inequalities
        • Shapes, areas, volumes, perimeters
        • Graphs, charts and tables
        • Weight, capacity, time, distance, money
        • Logic and probability
    • Verbal Section
      • This section will assess your child’s knowledge of word roots, word origins, synonyms, prefixes, antonyms, suffixes, homonyms and words with multiple meanings.
  • Reading Section
      • This section will test your child’s ability to understand and comprehend written information. There are mainly four types of questions that will be asked in this section. These are:
        • Based on content,
        • Based on context,
        • Based on inference and
        • Based on analysis.
  • Writing Sample
    • Your child will be given a picture prompt and he or she has to describe the prompt in his or her own words within a time period of 15 minutes. The response should be in form of a short story. Please note here that the writing response is not scored or graded. However, a copy of the response is sent to those schools the names of which you have mentioned at the time of registering for the test.

Registration and Scoring Information for the Lower Level SSAT

The registration process consists of the following steps:

    • First go to and create an account under your child’s name. Remember that one account is for one child only. So, if you have two children, you need to create two separate accounts.
    • Next, you need to indicate your child’s grade level. After this, you need to designate the score recipients who will receive your child’s scores free of cost.
    • The fee is 80$ and it is payable by credit card. This is the last step of the registration process.

For more information on the registration process, you may visit the link:

Once you get the scores of your child, you will see the number of items in the test, number of items attempted correct and the percentage of correct responses. The scaled score for this test ranges from 300 to 600 per section (for three sections). Hence, the total scaled scores range from 900 to 1800. Depending on the number of other applicants who have scored less than your child, your child will also be assigned a percentile rank from 1st to 99th.

A free copy of the score report will be available online under the account that you created while registering for the test. For information on the scoring pattern, you may visit the link:

Hence, it can be concluded that this test level contains four sections out of which three are scored on a range of 300 to 600 each. The links for registration and score reporting have already been mentioned in the article. Your next step should be to register your child for the upcoming test and start his or her preparation for it, so that he or she may get the best scores in it.