The Secondary School Admissions Test, or SSAT, is a standardized entrance exam taken by students in grades 5 through 11 seeking admission into independent schools. It is a four-section, multiple-choice exam administered by the Secondary School Admission Test Board. The SSAT is designed to measure student ability. It is not an achievement test and does not focus on memorized information. There are two levels of the SSAT, Upper and Lower. The Upper exam is used for admissions into high school and the Lower exam is used for admissions into middle school.
Schools use SSAT scores to assess how well students might do academically in their school settings. It is a common measurement of your academic capabilities, separate from school records. For students in grades 7 through 11, the SSAT will predict how well these same students might score on their 12th grade SAT. For more information, click here.
|Section||Topics||No. of Questions||Section time|
SSAT Quantitative Math
Many questions in the Quantitative Math sections are stated in direct mathematical terms, while other questions are stated as word problems.
30 SSAT Verbal questions are based on synonyms. SSAT synonyms sometimes will be two words with similar, but not identical meanings. The SSAT synonym section is intended to test your knowledge of word meanings.
SSAT Reading Comprehension
The SSAT Reading Comprehension section consists of 40 questions based on approximately seven reading passages. The SSAT generally includes narrative and argument reading passages. The four main skills of reading comprehension covered are:
|7 passages, typically argument or narrative style||40||40|
SSAT Writing Sample
The Writing Sample may be administered either before or after the multiple-choice section of the SSAT. The Writing Sample is not scored, but is assessed individually by each school that receives your SSAT Score Report. Students are encouraged to meet the following guidelines for writing strong essays:
|1 prompt, which will differ from test to test||1||25|
|Testing Level||Current Student Grade||Grade Student Entering|
The SSAT is 2 hours and 35 minutes in length.
|National Test Date||Test Registration
(There are no walk-in or standby seats.)
|October 13, 2012||October 10, 2012|
|November 10, 2012||November 7, 2012|
|December 8, 2012||December 5, 2012|
|January 5, 2013||January 2, 2013|
|February 2, 2013||January 30, 2013|
|March 2, 2013||February 27, 2013|
|April 20, 2013||April 17, 2013|
|June 8, 2013||June 5, 2013|
For additional information on SSAT test dates, locations, and registration, go to www.ssat.org.
You may take the SSAT on all eight test dates within a calendar year.
Each SSAT multiple-choice question has five answer choices. Students receive one point for each correct answer. Students are penalized for incorrect answers, with a deduction of 1/4 point from the student's score for each incorrect answer. Students are not penalized for omitted answers. Students' speed in completing each SSAT section is not considered in scoring. Correct, incorrect, and omitted answers are tallied for each test section to produce a raw score. Raw scores are then converted into scaled scores, using a formula used to compensate for any differences in difficulty from test to test. The scales come from specific tables produced by the test maker. Once scores are converted to scale scores, they can be compared with the median scores of students of the same grade level across the country.
SSAT Writing Samples are not factored into the student's score report. Instead, the Writing Samples are forwarded to the same schools that will receive the student's SSAT score report. Admissions committees from each school will individually assess the applicant's writing capabilities.
SSAT Score Reports are released to the schools, educational consultants, and education organizations that you select on your registration form. Scores remain active for one academic year. The scores required for admissions vary by school. Contact the schools directly for admissions information.
An official SSAT score report provides the following information:
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