What’s On the SSAT?

The SSAT is available at multiple levels. You should plan to take the SSAT corresponding to the grade you are entering the following school year. For instance, a student currently in grade 7 and entering grade 8 would take the Upper Level SSAT.

  • Upper Level SSAT (Grades 8-11)
  • Middle Level SSAT (Grades 5-7)
  • Elementary Level SSAT Grade 4
  • Elementary Level SSAT Grade 3

Each level covers quantitative, verbal and reading comprehension skills, and each level contains multiple choice questions plus the writing sample.

View the following lists for a more comprehensive picture of skills that will be tested on your SSAT.

Upper Level SSAT and Middle Level SSAT Test Prep Topics

The Upper Level SSAT assesses students in grades 8-11. The Middle Level SSAT assesses students in grades 5-7. Both tests measure quantitative, reading and verbal skills, and both include a Writing Sample, which is unscored but will be shared with independent schools accepting the SSAT where you choose to apply.

Both tests have two (2) Quantitative sections, one (1) Reading Comprehension section and one (1) Verbal section

Quantitative measures:

  • Problem solving
  • Arithmetic
  • Elementary Algebra
  • Geometry

Reading Comprehension measures:

  • Reading ability
  • Reading comprehension

Verbal measures:

  • Vocabulary
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Ability to relate ideas logically

Go to SSAT.org for the full list of Upper Level SSAT topics. 

Go to SSAT.org for the full list of Middle Level SSAT topics. 

Elementary Level SSAT Test Prep Topics

The Elementary Level SSAT for students entering Grade 4 and the Elementary Level SSAT for students entering Grade 3 also measure quantitative, reading and verbal skills. Both also include a Writing Sample as a way to demonstrate your voice and personality to your selected independent schools.

Both tests have one (1) Quantitative section, one (1) Reading Comprehension section and one (1) Verbal section

Quantitative measures:

  • Number sense, properties and operations
  • Basic algebra and functions
  • Basic geometry and spatial sense
  • Measurement and probability

Reading Comprehension measures:

  • Understanding of key ideas and details
  • Word meaning in text
  • Determining theme

Verbal measures:

  • Understanding of vocabulary and language
  • Understanding of word relationships
  • Ability to relate words and identify synonyms

Go to SSAT.org for the full list of Elementary Level SSAT topics. 

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