SSAT Tips and Strategies

A good SSAT test prep program will strengthen underlying skills, instill confidence, and help students reach their full potential. Successful test-taking not only encompasses the necessary academic skills, but also the understanding of how to take standardized tests. Utilizing a two-pass approach, pacing drills, process of elimination, plugging in the answer choices, and question recognition, are all ways to help increase your score. Having a tips and strategies toolbox will help the student be in control of the test. View the SSAT test format. 

•    Guess if you can eliminate 2 answer choices on easy or medium questions. Guess on hard questions if you can eliminate 3 answer choices.
•    Attractor answers are most common towards the end of a section. 
•    The student receives 1 minute per question on the reading section.
•    The student receives 30 seconds per question on the verbal section. 
•    The student receives 72 seconds per question on both math sections. 

SSAT Math:

•    Half of the math questions are arithmetic and about one-fifth are Geometry based. 
•    If the problem doesn't say “not drawn to scale” then estimate by looking at it.
•    Use numbers that are easy to work with when plugging in for variables. 
•    If you think a question will take more than 72 seconds, circle it, and come back to it later.
•    Watch out for sudden measurement changes. For example, the chart lists yards and the answers are given in feet. 

SSAT Verbal:

•    Review the tested word and find the correct definition.
•    The answers may also use a secondary definition.
•    Examine the word for roots, prefixes, and suffixes. 
•    Does the word sound positive or negative?
•    For analogies, build a sentence with the word to understand the relationship. 
•    Eliminate answer choices with no relation and that seem weak in their relationship. 

SSAT Reading:

•    Spend the first minute looking for “easy” passages to tackle. 
•    Reading is the only section that doesn’t progress from easy to difficult. 
•    Usually, the very first sentence will be the main idea. 
•    Read at a strong pace, but do not re-read. 
•    Try not to worry about rushing through passages. 
•    Don’t move onto the next passage, until you answer all of the current passage questions. 
•    If you’re running short on time, look for the questions that ask for a definition. 

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