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The SSAT - An Overview

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is a standardized test that many students applying to private or independent middle and high schools take as part of the application/admissions process. The Elementary Level test runs 2 hours and 5 minutes while the Upper and Middle Level tests run 3 hours and 5 minutes. All levels include three main sections: verbal, quantitative, and reading comprehension.  The SSAT also includes an experimental section and an unscored writing sample; though it does not affect a student’s score, a copy of the writing sample is sent with the score report.

The SSAT is offered at three levels:

  • Elementary Level - for students currently in grades 3 through 4
  • Middle Level - for students currently in grades 5 through 7
  • Upper Level - for students currently in grades 8 through 11

Each of the three main Elementary Level test sections is scored on a scale of 300 to 600, with a total scaled score range of 900 to 1800.  Each of the three main Middle Level test sections is scored on a scale of 440 to 710, with a total scaled score range of 1320 to 2130.  Each of the three main Upper Level test sections is scored on a scale of 500 to 800, with a total scaled score range of 1500 to 2400.  Students also receive SSAT percentile rankings, which show how a student performed as compared to the other students in the same grade and of the same gender who have taken the test during the past three years.  Typically, independent and private schools pay more attention to the percentile rankings than to the scaled scores.

To access more information about the SSAT, visit the SSAT website.


Related Topics

  • For more information about the SSAT Verbal section, visit the SSAT Verbal page.
  • For more information about the SSAT Quantitative section, visit the SSAT Math page.
  • For more information about the SSAT Reading section, visit the SSAT Reading page.

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