Inspirica’s Approach ToSSAT Test Preparation


Inspirica was the first tutoring firm in the world to prepare students for the SSAT more than 30 years ago. In those three decades, we have seen each type of question and every variation of question type. We have created our own proprietary test strategies using our vast knowledge of the test. Additionally, on a pedagogical and psychological level, we have worked with every type of student, and we will know how best to inspire and motivate your child to achieve his or her personal best score on the SSAT.

One of the keys to our success with this exam is our upfront understanding that students taking the SSAT are younger than those who take the SAT or ACT. It is likely that they have never taken a standardized test before, so it’s critical that we match the right tutor to each student and customize our curriculum to build confidence and to relieve anxiety and stress. Furthermore, we understand that if a child has a positive experience preparing for the SSAT, the stage is set for future success with college admissions tests such as the SAT or ACT.

Our approach is, of course, personalized. Each tutor uses the initial diagnostic to craft an individualized course of action focusing primarily on shoring up strengths and giving most attention to areas that need strengthening. Our preparation has both a strategic and a psychological component because scoring well means going into the test with both a mastery of the material and an attitude of confidence and success.

As a parent, you are critically important to the process as well. Your Educational Consultant will regularly communicate with you via progress reports, answering your questions and letting you know how you might be able to help. You are one of the most important members of the team that includes your tutor, your Educational Consultant, the Inspirica staff—and, of course, your child! All of us together share the singular goal of having your child reach his or her personal best on test day, when we can all breathe a sigh of relief and celebrate!

Upcoming SSAT Test Dates

Frequently Asked Questions

How much will my child’s score improve through tutoring?
Inspirica’s tutors are experts at helping students achieve their maximum potential on the SSAT. With the guidance, support, and strategies we offer, our students will be in the best possible position to succeed on the test. Specific score improvement goals will vary from student to student. Once we get to know you and your child, we can help you shape those goals and make a plan to reach them.
How much tutoring does my child need to complete?
The number of sessions any given student needs depends on many factors: how much time the student has until the test date, what his or her goals are, and how much work needs to be done to achieve those goals. Some students require only a few hours of tutoring, while others meet frequently over the course of months or longer. Every student is unique, and Inspirica's Educational Consultants and expert tutors will evaluate each student's circumstances in order to uniquely tailor a tutoring program to fit any situation. For a typical SSAT preparation program, most students are able to achieve their goals by meeting with their Inspirica tutor once per week for an hour and a half until the test date.
Should my child take both the SSAT and the ISEE?
Most students take only one test or the other. While similar in many ways, the SSAT and the ISEE are different enough that most students perform better on one than on the other. The best way to find out which test is more suited to your student is to take a diagnostic practice test of each kind. Once we have an understanding of your child’s skills and strengths, we can help you decide which test is a better fit and should be the focus of your preparation efforts.
What is a good score on the SSAT?
The SSAT Upper Level has a score range of 500–800 in each of three categories: verbal, quantitative, and reading. The Middle Level has a range of 440–710 for these categories. The SSAT also provides a percentile of 1–99 that compares a student’s scores to those of other test takers in the previous three years. A good score depends on the goals of an individual student, target schools, and the rest of a student’s application. Once we get to know you and your child, we can help you shape those goals and make a plan to reach them.
Does Inspirica offer mock tests?
Inspirica uses full-length practice test material to administer mock tests under realistic conditions. These tests are used to help gauge a student’s progress at different points during the tutoring program. In analyzing the results, our expert tutors go beyond the numbers, talking with the student and looking at what he or she has written on the test booklet to get a full picture of the improvement level and what else needs to be done to complete test preparation.

SSAT Test Preparation 101

The Secondary School Admission Test—known as the SSAT—is an admissions test used by boarding and independent secondary schools to evaluate applicants. The exam has three levels: lower level (grades 3 and 4), middle level (grades 5–7), and upper level (grades 8–11). Though there are slight content variations between the various levels, the areas covered on each test are math, reading comprehension, and verbal reasoning. The SSAT is administered once each month in from October to January, and can be taken as many times as a student wishes. Though most students will have taken state assessments covering math and reading content prior to taking the SSAT, the SSAT will almost certainly be more difficult. Where most state tests seek to measure proficiency, the SSAT aims for mastery. Students are expected to miss questions and must show judgement and time management to determine which questions merit the investment of time and effort. The SSAT utilizes a penalty for guessing that punishes incorrect answers more harshly than questions left blank. This means that even excellent students who do not struggle with the content can be tripped up by the more tactical side of the test. Careful game planning and a cool head are paramount for success on the SSAT. An Inspirica tutor can help students not only shore up areas of content-related difficulty but also construct a precise strategy to attain the best possible score.