SSAT – Basic Information and Preparation Tips

Are you interested in attending a private school? If the answer is positive, you might wonder how to pass SSAT and to make your dream come true. For most students, it’s a lot of pressure and that’s why it’s important to prepare for it properly. For that reason, we have gathered some valuable information about this test, as well as SSAT Test prep tips and strategies.

Basic Info on SSAT

A huge number of private schools around the globe require the Secondary School Admission Test or SSAT as a part of students’ application. In general, this test has three Levels depending on the grade: Elementary (Grades 3 and 4), Middle (Grades 5, 6 and 7) and Upper (grades 8, 9, 10 and 11).

Student’s reading, verbal and quantitative skills are measured by the SSAT, as well as problem solving and critical thinking. The reading part consists of analysis and comprehension of short passages. The verbal part focuses on analogy and synonym questions. The math part of the SSAT is focused on, for instance, basic operations and fractions on the Elementary Level, whereas for the Upper Level students, geometry and algebra are tested.

The SSAT consists of multiple-choice questions and a short writing exercise. Older students need to write an essay, while the younger ones have to write a short story.

Finally, this test is usually just one part of an application, but an important one.

SSAT Scoring

A test-taker receives 1 point for each correctly answered question and loses 1/4 point for each incorrect answer*. This is how the “raw score” is calculated. The final score, however, is based on comparison to other test takers and it becomes a percentile (1-99).

In other words, the SSAT final score the test-takers get isn’t the percent of the correct answers. Instead, it is a comparison of their performance with that of other (selected) students.

*The wrong answer penalty doesn’t apply to the Elementary level.

SSAT Study Materials

Before you start studying for the SSAT, it’s important to find the proper SSAT preparation materials.

What you undoubtedly need for the SSAT is the Official Guide. It explains the content and the format of the test and gives more in-depth information on scoring, purpose and use of the test, as well as useful tips on how to prepare for the SSAT. In addition, the Official Guide includes practice tests.

Practice tests are incredibly important, because they enable test takers to familiarize themselves with the content, format, instructions, as well as timeframe of the test. Furthermore, they are the perfect way to help you realize your own strong and weak spots.

Once you know your weaknesses, you’ll be able to focus on those areas. It’s completely alright to look for some help with the studying, be it your teachers, parents, a friend or a tutor.

SSAT Prep Tips

Start with the SSAT prep at least 3 months before you take the test. This will give you enough time to focus on your weaknesses and to maintain your stronger skills.

Take practice test every few weeks. If you’re satisfied with the results, you can take a practice test once a month. On the other hand, if you are uncomfortable either with the test itself or with your scores, you can take a practice test once a week. Practice tests are great for checking the progress of your weak spots. There are many online portals offering SSAT practice tests and other useful materials and information, make sure you find one that will answer your own needs.

Finally, about a week before the actual test, give yourself some time to relax. Getting plenty of rest and cutting down on the study time a few days before the test can really help you achieve amazing results.

We hope we’ve helped a little bit. Good luck with your SSAT!