The Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) is an admissions test developed for students who are seeking entrance to independent middle schools and high schools. The exam is designed to measure a student’s ability in core subject areas independent of a student’s school record.
The purpose of the SSAT is to measure the basic verbal, quantitative, and reading skills acquired over time, which are necessary for successful performance in independent middle schools and high schools. The results of the test provide independent school admissions personnel with valuable information on potential students, independent of a student’s background or experience.
Schools use the SSAT as one measure among many – class rank, GPA, extracurricular activities, personal essay, and teacher recommendations – in evaluating a student’s readiness to do middle school or high school work. SSAT scores are compared with the scores of other applicants and the accepted scores at an institution.
Test Format & Structure (Upper Level SSAT)
The SSAT measures three constructs developed over time, both in and out of school: 1) Verbal 2) Quantitative 3) Reading. The test emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for academic success.
|Section||Time||Number of Questions||Content Covered|
|Verbal||30 minutes||60 multiple-choice questions (30 synonym and 30 analogy questions)||Ability to recognize synonyms and to make logical associations between words.|
|Quantitative (two sections)||30 minutes each||50 multiple-choice questions (25 each section)||Knowledge or arithmetic, pre-algebra, basic geometry, and mathematical reasoning.|
|Reading Comprehension||40 minutes||40 multiple-choice questions based on seven passages||Ability to understand main themes, extract salient details, and understand meaning in context.|
|Writing (Essay)*||25 minutes||1||Ability to organize and express ideas and to support them with examples.|
The SSAT is scored in four sections ranging from 500-800 leading to a total score of 1500-2400. Students receive one point for each correct answer but are penalized a quarter of a point for each incorrect answer on the SSAT. However, there is no penalty for unanswered questions. Guessing can be beneficial if multiple answer choices are eliminated. The writing section is not factored into the student’s final score.
SSAT standard tests are held on eight Saturdays during the testing year (August 1st – July 31st). For the 2019-2020 school year, the test will be offered on the following standard test dates:
|Standard Test Date||Regular Registration|
Starts Aug 1, 2019 & Ends:
|Late Registration +$45|
Begins at Midnight EST:
|Rush Registration +$85|
Begins at Midnight EST:
|Last Day for Registration |
(Without Testing Accommodations)
Ends 11:59PM EST:
|Sat, Oct 19, 2019||September 28, 2019||September 29, 2019||October 6, 2019||Wednesday, October 16, 2019|
|Sat, Nov 16, 2019||October 26, 2019||October 27, 2019||November 3, 2019||Wednesday, November 13, 2019|
|Sat, Dec 14, 2019||November 23, 2019||November 24, 2019||December 1, 2019||Wednesday, December 11, 2019|
|Sat, Jan 4, 2020||December 14, 2019||December 15, 2019||December 22, 2019||Wednesday, January 1, 2020|
|Sat, Feb 8, 2020||January 18, 2020||January 19, 2020||January 26, 2020||Wednesday, February 5, 2020|
|Sat, Mar 7, 2020||February 15, 2020||February 16, 2020||February 23, 2020||Wednesday, March 4, 2020|
|Sat, Apr 25, 2020||April 4, 2020||April 5, 2020||April 12, 2020||Wednesday, April 22, 2020|
|Sat, Jun 13, 2020*||May 23, 2020||May 24, 2020||May 31, 2020||Wednesday, June 10, 2020|
A group or individual may request a flex test date outside of the standard test dates. Visit the SSAT websitefor specific test and registration details.
Regular registration for Middle & Upper Level tests is $144 with an additional fee of $45 for late registration and $85 for rush registration.
Students with documented learning differences or physical challenges may request special accommodations. Detailed information about eligibility, requirements, and deadlines can be found on the SSAT website. Requests for accommodations must be approved prior to registering for a test date.