SSAT prep Charlottesville VA

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. 

Contact us regarding test prep for the SSAT, including a free diagnostic report!

Average SAT Scores for 2014-2015 School Year

Here are the 2014-2015 average SAT scores for the United States. These are for the official SAT administrations held October through June.

2015 average scores: 
Average overall score: 1490 (down 7 points from 2014) 
Reading: 495 (down 2 points from 2014)
Math: 511 (down 2 points from 2014) 
Writing: 484 (down 3 points from 2014) 

2015 average scores by gender:
Males – 497
Females – 493
Males – 527
Females – 496
Males – 478
Females – 490

2015 average scores by ethnicity: 
American Indian or Alaska Native: 1423
Asian, Asian-American, or Pacific Islander: 1654
African-American: 1277
Mexican or Mexican-American: 1343
Puerto Rican: 1357
Latin-American, Central-American, South-American, or Other Latino: 1345
White: 1576
Other: 1496

In the fall of 2014, 3.8 million students took the PSAT/NMSQT, up from 3.7 million in 2013. A record 1.7 million students from the class of 2015 took the SAT, compared to 1.67 million students from the graduating class of 2014. A little over 712,000 students, which is 42% of SAT takers in the class of 2015, reached the SAT college and career readiness benchmark.

With the upcoming redesigned SAT, these numbers will look significantly different next year. Reading and writing will be combined into one section. The overall scale score will be going back to the 400-1600 point scale. 

Let us know how we can help you get ready! 


SSAT Prep: Test Day Checklist

Here are some things to do the week before taking an official SSAT:

1)    Get your bag together. It’s extremely important to include your admission ticket. If your ticket is missing or you never printed it, login to your SSAT account and print one immediately. The ticket is located under “My Tests.” Find the test date and click on “Print Ticket.” Remember additional items: three No. 2 pencils with erasers, snacks, water bottle, etc. Do not bring mechanical pencils. Do not bring anything like a running watch or any type of a watch/alarm that beeps. 

2)    Get a good night’s sleep the entire week before the test. Practice waking up early for a few days. Eat a healthy breakfast before you leave on test day. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to the test center. 

3)    Don't bring a calculator or computer, or other electronic device unless you've been approved for testing accommodations that require them. Do not bring a cell phone.

4)    A photo ID is NOT needed. The SSAT doesn’t require a photo ID of the student. This is why it is so important to remember your admission ticket. 

5)    Gather yourself during the scheduled breaks. It is common to discuss the questions amongst other students in the hallway, but that will only make you more anxious.

6)    Watch the weather reports. If there is bad weather in the area the night before the test, the test center could close. You don't want to go out in an icy winter storm and the test center is closed when you show up.

7)    Plan to arrive at the test location at least 30 minutes prior to the start time. Total testing time for the middle and upper level SSAT is 2 hours and 50 minutes, plus two added breaks. With the breaks included, the total time comes to 3 hours and 5 minutes. Most students are not familiar with taking a test for such a long period of time. Make sure that pickup is arranged for after the test. Test supervisors are not responsible for remaining at the center after the test ends.

8)    No visitors, this includes parents, are allowed in the testing room. Also, all test materials will be picked up at the end of the test and cannot be taken from the testing room.

Please contact us should you have any questions about the SSAT.