SSAT FAQs

What is the SSAT?

Independent schools around the globe accept the SSAT as a requirement for admission. The SSAT helps independent school admission professionals determine if a student is likely to succeed at their institution based on certain academic, problem solving and critical thinking skills.

What is the SSAT NOT?

The SSAT does not test what or how much you learn in school each week. It’s designed to measure skills you have developed over time. The SSAT also doesn’t assess your character skills. But you do have a chance to show off some of your personality and character in the Writing Sample at the beginning of the test.

What Are the Different SSAT Levels?

The SSAT is for students in grades 3 through 12. It’s available in Elementary Level, Middle Level, and Upper Level tests. Each SSAT is divided into five sections plus an experimental section for grades 5-12, which helps us develop new tests. Learn more about each SSAT level:

Elementary Level SSAT

Middle Level SSAT

Upper Level SSAT

Who Writes the SSAT?

The SSAT is authored by content experts in math, reading and verbal skills, independent school teachers, and editors. Committees convene to review each and every question, putting the items through a rigorous review process before ever reaching the test. The committees decide if an item is appropriate and meets the high standards to include on the SSAT or not.

What Does My SSAT Score Mean?

The SSAT is a norm-referenced test. That means that a student’s score on the test is viewed as relative to all the scores for a comparative group of students, called a norm group. For instance, one norm group may be: All students in Grade 8 who are Male and First Time Test Takers taking the SSAT on a Standard Saturday or Sunday in the United States and Canada over the past three years. If you were to be one of those boys, and you received a rank in Verbal of 90%, that means 90% of all other boys in your norm group fall below your scaled score. Because of the factors in filtering by year, your scaled score may actually be different from year to year; each range of years represents a different group of students.

How Can I Practice for the SSAT?

The Secondary School Admission Test Board, the official source for all things SSAT, has several ways to help you practice for the SSAT.

Watch Webinars About Taking the SSAT and Understanding Your Score Report (SSAT.org)

Order the Official Guide to the SSAT (SSAT.org)

Get 10 Tips for Doing Your Best on the SSAT (SSAT.org)

View SSAT Practice Tips on SchoolUp