SSAT Basics

The SSAT is an admissions test for entrance into private schools and is very similar to the ISEE. The Lower-Level test is 1 hour and 50 minutes long. The Middle- and Upper-Level test are both 3 hours and 5 minutes long.

Levels & Format of the SSAT

The SSAT covers the same concepts, but at two different levels depending on the current grade of the student:

  1. The Middle Level is for current 5th, 6th, and 7th graders and
  2. The Upper Level is for current 8th graders and above.

The SSAT is broken into five equally-timed and randomly administered sections:

Math, synonyms and analogies, reading comprehension, and an experimental section that is not counted in the final score. The test also includes an unscored written essay portion that is provided to prospective schools as a writing sample. Unlike most standardized tests, the SSAT does penalize students ¼ of a point for incorrect answers.

Learn more about the SSAT

What do we offer?



We meet with students on an individual basis to assess their individual strengths and admissions goals to determine the best tutoring plan.



Our experienced tutors meet with students on a 1-on-1 or small groups basis


Ongoing Support

Our tutors and staff are available throughout the program to discuss the student’s progress and areas still needing improvement.


How do I register for the SSAT?

You can register for the SSAT on the SSAT website

How is the SSAT test structured?

On test day, sections are given in random order with students possibly working on different sections in the same room at the same time.

Timetable and Analysis of the SSAT

Section Time Allotted Number of Questions


25 minutes 25

Verbal Ability

  1. Synonyms
  2. Analogies
25 minutes 60

  1. 30
  2. 30


25 minutes 25

Reading Comprehension

Questions based on 7-10 reading passages

25 minutes 40

Experimental Section

(Could be any one of the above sections)

25 minutes

How is the SSAT scored?

The SSAT is designed to compare the academic ability of the elite group of students applying to college-preparatory private/independent schools. The competitive atmosphere results in an exam designed to be extremely selective. A student who answers questions correctly 50-60% of the time is doing well.

Students receive scaled scores and percentiles for each section as well as the sum of all three sections. For more details on scoring, visit the SSAT website.

Can I retake the SSAT?

Yes. The SSAT is offered 8 times a year and a student can take any or all of them.