SSAT Test Scoring

Evaluation or assessment is inherent to academics. As soon as one enters the education line, one is subjected to different measures of evaluation. It is impossible to get rid of or keep yourself aloof from these measures. One however, needs to realize that evaluation techniques are a blessing in disguise. For SSAT as well, the system of scoring the performance comes as a blessing due to the number of purposes it solves. Therefore, you must prepare yourself to get evaluated and also to emerge successful in it so that the purpose of scoring the test is solved.

Benefits of the Scoring System of SSAT

  1. It is an objective evaluation of candidates.
  2. The test does not measure achievement of candidates, but helps to measure the ability and skills of students through its scoring system.
  3. The test result helps in diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of a student. Hence, it helps to identify a problem at the right time, so that it does not cause any permanent fault which cannot be repaired at a later stage.
  4. The score of the test is used as a predictor of your academic performance in future.
  5. It is possible to make a comparison amongst students with SSAT scores, and hence realize the worth of your performance against those of other test takers.

SSAT Score Knowledge
Gaining knowledge about the scoring system of the SSAT is one of the essential steps of preparation. It makes the candidate aware of the test he is heading towards. Understanding the criterion of measurement that you will be subjected to makes you more confident about your attempt in the test. Moreover, there are many tips that can be derived from the features of SSAT scoring, which help in guiding your preparation method and give a boost to your performance.

What do SSAT Scores Indicate?
SSAT is scored by counting the number of points gained by the responses given by students. Each question is given the same value while scoring. Out of the five sections, four sections are given a numerical score, whereas one section, which is the writing section, is not scored. Moreover, only one score is mentioned for the two Quantitative sections. Therefore, the score report contains four scaled scores, which are as follows:

  • Verbal Section Score – The Verbal Section score indicates your vocabulary skills and skills of logically relating ideas since it represents your attempt in the questions based on synonyms and antonyms.
  • Quantitative Section Score – The Quantitative Section score is a measure of your mathematical abilities. It indicates your level of skills and abilities in concepts related to arithmetic, algebra, geometry and other quantitative concepts.
  • Reading Comprehension Score – This score shows your comprehension skills. It is a measure of your level of understanding of unseen written material.
  • Total Scaled Score – The Total score is an overall score received in all sections in SSAT.

Scoring Scale used in SSAT
The scoring scale used for the Lower level administered to students in grades 5 to 7 is different from that used for the Upper level, or for students in grades 8 to 11. For the Lower level, the scoring scale used for Verbal, Quantitative and Reading Comprehension sections is from 440 to 710. The total score is the sum of these three scores, and is reported on a scale of 1320 to 2130. The scoring scale for Upper level is 500 to 800 for the three scores in Verbal, Quantitative and Reading Comprehension sections. Hence, the total score is reported between 1500 and 2400.

Writing Section
The writing section is not evaluated by any experts. However, a copy of your writing sample accompanies the score report when it is sent to various schools selected by you. This copy is then subject to being viewed, read or evaluated by the admission authorities. The authorities could use the writing sample to predict your writing abilities, expression, control over language etc. The writing sample could also reflect your abilities in organization and presentation. Hence, you must make it a point to write neatly and impressively.

Other Features of SSAT Score Report
Apart from the scaled scores, the score report mentions other figures as well, which are as follows.

  • Percentile Ranks (for all the categories)
  • Estimated National Percentile Ranks – only for grades 5 to 9
  • Predicted 12th Grade SAT Score – for students in grades 7 to 10

Percentile Ranks – Percentile ranks are awarded for all the section scores and vary from 1 to 99. They indicate the percentage of students of the same gender and grade who have scored below the score received by you in a particular category. It compares the candidate with test takers of the past three years.

Estimated National Percentile Rank – This is calculated only for students in the grades 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. The National Percentile rank is a comparison of all students in the same grade across the nation. It is a superior comparison as it includes a larger group of students and not just the students who have taken the SSAT.

Releasing the Scores of SSAT
Generally, SSAT score report is released to schools after about two weeks of the test. The score reports are sent to schools by mail as well as online. Students can send their score report to up to 2 schools for free. You can send your score to more schools through the SSAT Account Management. You will be charged a transaction fee for your request of adding or cancelling the score report.
The score report sent to families is released after a couple of days of the release to schools. However, the score report sent to families does not include the writing sample, as does the report sent to schools.  It is sent to families through mail, FedEx and e-mail.

Defining Good Scores
There is no doubt that you benefit from taking the test in many ways. If you have not scored well in SSAT, the scores help to pinpoint your weaknesses and improve upon them. On the other hand, if you score well, you can benefit from the consequences in the admission process as it helps to give you preference over other low scoring candidates.
Good SSAT scores are the only savior when other criteria considered by schools are not impressive enough. However, when good SSAT scores are clubbed with impressive performance in school it results in an application that cannot be refused by any admission authority. Although all schools view these scores differently, generally anything above 2000 is considered good enough by most of them.

How to Maximize your Scores?
Extracting the maximum benefits from SSAT is possible only if you attain top scores in SSAT. Since SSAT is not an achievement test, it is possible to leave behind the blues of your performance in lower grades in school and prepare for the test from a new angle.

Preparation for this test needs to be done with planning. In order to maximize your score, you must indulge in a number of practice sessions during preparation. Practicing from attempting sample questions and practice tests helps in applying your skills and checking yourself where you go wrong.

Preparing and Applying for Independent School Admission and the SSAT – This is the official study guide containing two full length practice tests. It contains detailed descriptions of all question types along with practice exercises. There are strategies given in the book for time management etc. and hence it proves to be a beneficial tool for preparation.

Understanding the scoring pattern in itself may not help in attaining good scores. However, this knowledge indirectly influences your level of confidence as well as helps you to plan out a preparation strategy. Therefore, the importance of getting familiar with the scoring system of SSAT before taking the test should be considered by every candidate.