WHAT IS THE SSAT?
SSAT stands for Secondary School Admissions Test. It is a standardized test used by many independent high schools as part of their admittance process. When you submit your application, your SSAT score will be part of it.
IS THE SSAT MANDATORY?
First, ensure that the schools you are applying to require the SSAT by checking this search engine.
WHAT'S ON THE TEST?
The test consists of three scored sections: math (no calculators), vocabulary, and reading comprehension. It also contains an un-scored essay, to be read by each school.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT LEVELS?
Yes. Students in grades 5 - 7 will take the "Middle Level" test, and students in grades 8 - 11 will take the "Upper Level" test. This means that a grade 8 student will be taking the same test as a grade 11 student. However, you will only be compared to students in your current grade.
WHAT SCORE DO I NEED?
There is no objective scale for a good or bad score, and it is completely dependent on a case-by-case basic. Your score will be considered alongside other records such as grades, sports, interviews and extracurriculars. The weight of its importance will vary depending on the schools you are applying to, as well as your specific situation as a student and/or athlete. If you're also applying to a sports team, having an athletic advisor or agent will help you get a better sense of what SSAT score to aim for. We have some trusted advisors that we would be happy to recommend to you; just shoot us an e-mail.
MY CHILD IS EXCEPTIONAL IN SCHOOL — WILL THIS HELP US?
It depends. The SSAT tests for a very specific skill set; it is incomparable to a regular school exam. The best way to know where someone stands is to take a mock test (see our tutoring services below).
HOW MUCH TIME DO I NEED TO STUDY FOR THIS?
The SSAT is an extremely demanding endeavour, and your score can always be improved. If you'd like to maximize your score's potential, be prepared to set aside at least 2-3 months of prep time — some students start preparing as early as a year in advance, which puts them at a much higher advantage.
WHAT IF IT'S TOO LATE TO START STUDYING?
It is never too late to start preparing. Although many months are required to reach your full potential, you can effectively work towards improving your score at any point.