Secondary School Admission Test

The Secondary School Admission Test, or SSAT, is an admissions test administered to students in grades 5-11 to help determine placement into independent or private junior high and high schools. Despite its similarities, the SSAT is not related to the SAT Reasoning test and is not administered by the College Board.

There are two levels of the test: the Lower level for students in grades 5-7 and the Upper level, designed for students in grades 8-11. The SSAT consists of two parts: a brief essay and a multiple choice test that includes Mathematics, Reading Comprehension and Verbal sections. In all, there are five sections.

The test, written in English, is primarily administered in the United States and Canada at various test centers, which usually are independent schools. However, there are also test centers worldwide.

Essay: In the essay part of the test, students will be asked to support or argue against a topic statement by using examples from personal experience, history, literature and current events. Like the SAT, the essay section is 25 minutes long.

Mathematics Section: There are two 30 minute math sections with 25 questions each that require basic computations including some basic algebra

Verbal Section: The verbal section is 30 minutes long and consists of 30 synonym and 30 analogy questions.

Reading Comprehension Section: The 40 minute reading comprehension section has 40 questions based around seven given reading passages. These questions not only require test takers to read quickly but also comprehend what they are reading.

Scoring: All questions on the SSAT are equal in value and scores are based on the number of questions correctly answered subtracted by one-quarter point for each question you answer incorrectly. No points are awarded or deducted for questions left unanswered.

The SSAT score report provides scaled scores for each section as well as percentile ranks for each category, comparing a students score to others who have taken the test in the past three years. Also in the score report are estimated national percentile ranks for 5-9 grade test takers and projected 12th grade SAT scores for test takers in grades 7-10.

Upon receiving their scores, students can send the results to the independent schools they wish to apply to. Each school then evaluates the scores according to its own standards and requirements.