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What You Need to Know About the SSAT


 


The Basics:


The Secondary School Admissions Test, also known as the SSAT, is a standardized test primarily for children in grades 5-11 applying to private school. It focuses on reading, writing, verbal, and math skills. There are a number of ways for students to take this test during a school year.


This test can be taken at home or in a standard in-person testing environment. A student may take the test up to 11 times during the year, however, there are limits to how many times it can be taken in the same way.


It is important to note that the SSAT only compares kids in the same grade level. For example, fifth graders will not be compared against seventh graders. The same goes for upper level, eighth graders will not be compared against tenth graders. This is one way the test aims to baseline students in a fair way.

 

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What are the Sections?


The test is broken into five sections with small breaks in between. It is outlined as follows:



  • Writing Sample Assessment: 25 - minute time allotment

Note: This writing sample is not scored, but schools do use it to evaluate writing skills, creativity and vocabulary.

Prompts:

Middle Level grades 5-7: a choice between a creative and personal essay prompt.

Upper Level grades 8-11: a choice between a general and personal essay prompt.


  • Break: 5 -10 minutes


  • Quantitative Assessment: 30 - minute time allotment for 25 questions

Note: This measures critical thinking and knowledge-based math skills


  • Reading Assessment: 40 - minute time allotment for 40 questions

Note: This includes 7 reading passages with 5-7 questions per passage


  • Break: 10 minutes


  • Verbal Assessment: 30 - minute time allotment for 60 questions

Note: This section includes 30 synonym questions and 30 analogy questions. It is intended to measure verbal reasoning, vocabulary, and logic.


  • Quantitative Assessment: 30 - minute time allotment for 25 questions

Note: This measures critical thinking and knowledge-based math skills


  • Experimental Assessment: 15 - minute time allotment for 16 questions

Note: This is a mixed group of questions in math, verbal, and reading and the scores do not count toward reported scores.

 

What does the SSAT Measure?

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The test, as mentioned in the sections above, measures a student’s ability in questions on math skills, word comparison and recognition, and reading questions. In all sections except the written section, there are five answer choices for each and the scoring is percentile scaled. The points are allocated as 1 point for correct, 0 for skipped, and -1/4 for incorrect answers. The written section is not scored. The experimental section, which includes mixed content of verbal, reading, and math, also does not count toward reported scores.

 

Additional Information


To sign-up for the SSAT, you can visit this website: https://www.ssat.org/testing/about-the-test


The cost is between $95 and $235, depending on the grade and location



 



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