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SSAT Reading

The 40-minute SSAT Reading section consists of 40 questions drawn from approximately 7 reading passages. The questions test a student's ability to read and comprehend what he or she has read. Given the time limit and the number of reading passages and questions, students have less than one minute to answer each question. Unlike with the questions on the other sections of the SSAT, the questions within the SSAT reading section do not progress in difficulty as a student works his or her way through the section. Because a student loses 1/4 point for each incorrect answer, a student should not make random guesses on the SSAT reading section.

The table below provides information about the types of passages found on the SSAT reading section.

Types of SSAT Reading Passages
Humanities Passages Tend to focus on art, biographies, and poetry
Social Studies Passages Tend to focus on history, economics, and sociology
Science Passages Tend to focus on medicine, astronomy, and zoology


Sample SSAT Reading Passage and Questions

Answers: 1. (C), 2. (C), 3. (B)


Related Topics

  • For an overview of the SSAT, visit the SSAT Overview page.
  • For information about the SSAT Verbal section, visit the SSAT Verbal page.
  • For information about the SSAT Quantitative section, visit the SSAT Math page.

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