Middle school students on the verge of entering high school have a number of new challenges they will face as they begin this important transition. Not only do they have to prepare for a more demanding workload and extracurricular responsibilities, they also have the added obstacle of taking high school entrance exams. These exams are significant in that they can help determine if your child gains admittance to a top high school.

One of the most common high school entrance exams that students take is the Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT). The highly skilled tutors at Huntington Learning Center are trained in research-based strategies to help students of all abilities perform at a high level on the SSAT. Our SSAT prep classes are designed to introduce students to the test, share what to expect, and most importantly, build the knowledge and confidence they need to perform well on test day.

The Huntington SSAT Prep Process

Our SSAT prep tutors begin the SSAT tutoring process by administering a full-length practice test to the student. The results of this practice exam give our tutors valuable insight into your child's strengths and weaknesses so that we can best tailor a unique tutoring plan to meet their needs. This targeted SSAT tutoring plan will develop the skills and strategies necessary to score well on the exam, while also instilling in them helpful test-taking, organizational, and time management skills they can use throughout high school and beyond.

Understanding the SSAT

For many students, the unknowns of what the SSAT actually entails and what they should expect come test day creates a great deal of stress and anxiety. Our SSAT prep course removes the mystery surrounding this high school entrance exam, informing students of exactly what they will encounter.

The SSAT is a standardized entrance exam that can be taken by students between grades 5 and 11 who are attempting to enter independent schools. Schools require prospective students to take this exam as a way to predict how they might perform academically within their school settings relative to other students. It is also a strong predictor of how students will one day perform on their SAT, an exam used during the college application process.

The SSAT test is made up of four multiple-choice sections meant to measure student abilities. Because the SSAT is not an achievement test, it does not focus on memorized information. The four sections include quantitative math, verbal, reading comprehension, and writing, which are broken down into a number of subsections on the test. SSAT preparation that builds each student’s confidence across sections will be most effective in ensuring a high score.

Addressing the Sections of the SSAT

SSAT tutoring at Huntington Learning Center uses your child’s performance on their initial full-length practice SSAT exam as a way to inform tutors of the sections in which they might need special attention. We work with each student to build test-taking strategies that are in line with their unique learning style and that are most effective depending on the section of the exam they are completing. For example, the skills needed for the geometry or algebra sections of the SSAT are different from those necessary for the analysis of reading comprehension prompts. Our SSAT prep classes teach targeted approaches to test-taking, as well as addressing time management concerns.

Why Choose Huntington Learning Center?

Parents trust Huntington Learning Center with their child’s SSAT prep because Huntington has experience working with kids of all abilities. We know the important role high school entrance exams play in building a strong high school career and in determining future success in college and beyond. Our dedicated SSAT tutors at hundreds of SSAT tutoring locations will equip your child with the tools and resources they need to ace the SSAT, ensuring they are confident, collected, and ready to go on test day.


You won't regret your decision to enroll your child in one of Huntington Learning Center’s SSAT test prep courses. Help unlock their full potential by giving them access to the leading provider of high quality SSAT tutors for over four decades.

Call 1-800-CAN-LEARN today to speak with one of our academic specialists and get your child started on test prep for the SSAT.

Common questions About the SSAT

Section Topics Number of Questions Section Time
Quantitative Math
  • Algebra
  • Computation
  • Geometry
  • Mathematical Concepts
  • 25
  • 30
  • Synonyms
  • Analogies
  • 30
  • 30
  • (60 total)
  • 30
Reading Comprehension
  • 7 passages, typically argument or narrative style
  • 40
  • 40
  • 1 prompt, which will differ from test to test
  • 1
  • 25
Testing Level Current Student Grade Grade Student Entering
  • 8-11
  • 9-12
  • 5-7
  • 6-8
The SSAT is 2 hours and 35 minutes in length.

For additional information on SSAT test dates, locations, and registration, please visit

You can 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 ¼ point from the student’s score for each incorrect answer. Students are not penalized for omitted answers. 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.

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