The Elementary Level SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is a standardized test administered to students currently in grades 3 and 4 who are applying for admission into select private schools for entrance to grades 4 and 5. The Elementary Level SSAT is only available in paper format. There are 4 sections that make up the exam: writing sample, quantitative math, verbal, and reading. There is also an additional experimental section at the end that contains a variety of questions to test the validity of questions on future SSAT exams. The experimental questions will not be scored. Each section has an allotted amount of time and students must complete each section in the time given. All the questions (with the exception of the essay portion) are multiple choice. There is a ¼ point penalty for every incorrect answer. Leaving a question blank will not result in the ¼ point penalty, however, students will not gain points for questions left blank. Students will receive a score report with a scaled score for each section of the exam ranging from 300-600. Students will also receive a total scaled score for the verbal, quantitative math, and reading sections which ranged from 900-1800. Although the essay portion will not be scored, it will be scanned and sent to the schools the student is applying for.
|Test Section||Overview of Section||Number of Questions||Allotted Time|
|Quantitative Math||The quantitative section consists of grade level mathematics in the areas of number sense, properties and operations, algebra and functions, geometry and spatial sense, measurement, and probability.|
Topics may include:
- Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- Place value
- Ordering numbers
- Basic concepts of geometry
- Basic concepts of measurement
- Interpreting graphs
Calculators are not allowed during this section.
|30 questions||30 minutes|
|Verbal||The verbal section contains two parts: synonyms and analogies.|
The synonym section focuses on word recognition. It tests the students’ ability to reason by choosing the answer closest to it’s meaning.
The analogy section measures the students’ ability to find a logical connection between words and ideas.
|30 questions (15 synonym questions and 15 analogy questions)||20 minutes|
|Reading||The reading section consists of 7 short passages in the areas of prose, poetry, fiction and non-fiction with 4 multiple choice questions following each passage. The passages will be grade level appropriate and of high interest to the students. |
Reading Comprehension questions may include:
- Main idea: focuses on the overall message of the passage
- Supporting details: focuses on specific ideas that support the main idea or important concept.
- Inferencing: focuses on drawing conclusions that are not explicitly stated.
- Vocabulary: focuses on the definition of a specific word in the passage.
- Organization: focuses on identifying the sequence, pattern or structure of the passage.
- Tone of passage: focuses on understanding the mood tone and author’s message in the passage.
|28 questions||30 minutes|
|Writing Sample||The essay section includes one picture prompt. Students will look at the picture and write a story about it using a beginning, middle, and end. This section is not scored but will be sent to the schools students are applying to.||1 prompt||15 minutes|
|Experimental Section||This section contains a variety of questions including verbal questions, reading comprehension questions, and quantitative math questions. It is not scored and is only used for the purpose of ensuring validity on future SSAT questions.||15-17 questions||15 minutes|
|Total time: |
1 hrs 50 min
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Registering for the test:
Standard SSAT tests are held on 5 Saturdays throughout the year. If students are unable to attend any of the standard dates, there are special exceptions and other testing dates may be available upon prior approval. Please visit www.SSAT.org for the current testing schedule. Students can only take the Elementary Level SSAT twice during the testing year (December-July). Please keep in mind private school admissions application deadlines when registering for a testing session.