Students applying to independent day or boarding schools usually need to take either the SSAT or the ISEE. The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) was developed to offer schools a method of comparing applicants with a wide range of backgrounds and educational experiences.
Should my student take the SSAT or the ISEE?
What are the different levels of the SSAT, and which one is right for my student?
What content does the SSAT cover?
Does my student really need to prepare for the SSAT?
How is the SSAT scored?
When are the SSAT test dates, and how does one register?
Should my student take the SSAT or the ISEE? Check with the schools you're considering; some prefer the ISEE for lower and middle school admissions and the SSAT for upper school, while others will consider either exam across grade levels. Our educational consultants would be happy to speak with you about differences between the exams.
What are the different levels of the SSAT, and which one is right for my student? The SSAT is offered at three levels: Elementary, Middle, and Upper. The Middle Level SSAT is administered to students applying for entry into 6th through 8th grade, and the Upper Level SSAT to students applying for entry into 9th through 12th grade. The Elementary Level SSAT was introduced in 2012 for students applying for entry into 4th and 5th grades.
In addition, the tests include an unscored, 16-question experimental section at the very end of the test. Our educational consultants are happy to talk you through the test sections in more detail, and can answer questions about the differences in difficulty across test levels.
Does my student really need to prepare for the SSAT? Most young students have little experience with this type of test, and we have found that familiarizing them with the format can help ease their way. The confidence your student will gain through this experience will very likely carry over to future standardized tests.
We also measure your student's baseline in reading, vocabulary, and math and determine whether help is needed in specific content areas. Inspirica's test preparation will give your child a more solid footing in reading, vocabulary, and math.
In short, there are many excellent reasons to prepare for these tests—and they go far beyond the benefit of succeeding at an admission requirement.
How is the SSAT scored? The multiple choice sections are scored by taking the number of correct answers and subtracting a quarter of a point for every incorrect answer, which means there is a penalty for guessing. The resulting "raw" score is converted into a scaled score. These scores are then compared by grade level and gender, and students are given percentile rankings. The SSAT percentile only includes students applying to independent schools, which is a small, competitive subset of all students at the same grade level, so the SSAT percentile is used for admission purposes. The essay does not receive a score but is forwarded to schools as a writing sample.When are the SSAT test dates, and how does one register?