SSAT Practice Test

The SSAT is an admissions test used by private and independent schools for elementary, middle, and high schools. It has different levels designed for students in 3rd-11th grade. The Elementary Level is for students in 3rd and 4th grade; Middle Level, for students in 5th-7th grade; and Upper Level, is for students in 8th-11th grade. It is comprised of five sections – essay, quantitative, reading, verbal, and qualitative. 

There are eight testing dates in an academic year and you may register to take the test for any or all of these dates. However, you may only take the SSAT on one FLEX test date per year. A FLEX test option allows families to schedule an official test once per application cycle at their convenience.


  1. There are a total of 4 sections: 2 Quantitative sections, Reading Comprehension, and Verbal (includes synonyms and analogies).
  2. One essay prompt is given which the student has to write about within a given time of 25 minutes. This is not scored but the essay is still submitted to admission departments. 
  3. It will take about 3 hours and 10 minutes to complete the test with two 10-minute breaks. 
  4. The reading section is quite challenging because it includes both nonfiction and fiction passages. 
  5. The SSAT verbal section tests high-level vocabulary and involves a strong understanding of word relationships through an analogy portion.
  6. The test includes an experimental section that contains mixed content questions that do not count toward the reported scores. This serves to test new questions for future SSAT forms.

SSAT Scoring: 

  1. There is a guessing penalty for the SSAT. Students receive 1 point for every correct answer and lose ¼ of a point for every incorrect answer. If a question is left blank or unanswered, the student does not gain or lose points. 
  2. Raw scores are converted into scaled scores ranging from 1500 – 2400 which is a cumulation of all scaled scores from the verbal, quantitative, and reading sections. 
  3. The total SSAT score is converted into a percentile ranking which is a comparison of scores with that of other students within a designated norm group who took the test in the last three years. 
  4. Schools consider different percentile ranking for admission. 
  5. Both the essay section and experimental section are not scored. 

SSAT Tutoring: 

  1. Our one-on-one test prep program focuses on developing test-taking skills and methodical strategies. 
  2. Our coaches and tutors understand what it takes to get good scores on each section and can give appropriate exercises to focus on a student’s weaknesses.
  3. Our reading program exposes students to different kinds of literary materials while developing comprehension and expanding vocabulary. 
  4. Our math program prepares students to undertake problems by giving them rigorous exercises to master mathematical skills. 
  5. Our writing program trains students to put their thoughts into writing using the fundamental elements. 

The table below shows the different sections and levels of the SSAT, the total number of items as well as the allotted time to answer all of the questions. 

Middle Level Upper Level
Section Number of Questions Time Limit Number of Questions Time Limit
Essay 1 prompt 25 minutes 1 prompt  25 minutes
Quantitative / Math 25 30 minutes 25 30 minutes
Reading 40 40 minutes 40 40 minutes
Verbal 60 30 minutes 60 30 minutes
Quantitative / Math 25 30 minutes 25 30 minutes
Experimental  16 15 minutes 16 15 minutes
TOTAL 166 3 hours, 10 minutes 166 3 hours, 10 minutes

Schools have different parameters in terms of acceptable SSAT scores. Some schools consider being in the 50th+ percentile as a good score to consider for admissions. Other more elite schools will take in only students who belong to the 80th – 90th percentile. So a good SSAT score depends on the school you are applying to. Make sure to ask ahead by calling the school you are applying to. 

You may take the SSAT on any or all of the testing dates. However, you may only take the SSAT on one FLEX test date per year. But no matter how many times you take the test, schools will only consider one test score and consider the others as invalid.

The quantitative or math area covers arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and solving word problems. Brush up on your manual calculating skills because the use of calculators is not allowed. Some problems would require you to apply a combination of mathematical concepts and skills.

The SSAT does not have a vocabulary list that test-takers can study in advance. However, we have our own materials and resources to help you grow your vocabulary according to what our expert coaches and tutors know would be helpful in the SSAT verbal section.

Early preparation is the key to obtaining good scores that your dream school deems to be acceptable. It is best to seek a legitimate one-on-one SSAT test prep program because they know what it takes to be successful. Aside from tutoring to help you master academic skills, they will teach you test-taking techniques and guessing strategies that you can apply during the exam.