Tommy learned a lot from his SSAT prep sessions with Clark. Clark was kind and warm, yet kept Tommy motivated. We found out last week that Tommy got accepted to Maret School, Landon School, and Potomac School. Thanks for setting us up with Clark!
— Bonnie W. (Great Falls, VA)

SSAT Format and scoring

Writing sample – 25 minutes (two prompts are provided: essay or creative) 
5 minute break
Math – 30 minutes (25 questions)
Reading – 40 minutes (40 questions)
10 minute break
Verbal – 30 minutes (60 questions)
Math – 30 minutes (25 questions) 

The SSAT is a private school admissions test. The SSAT is offered 8 times per year on predetermined national testing dates. Students can also take a flex test one-to-one or in a small group setting (setup through an IECA member). Students can take all national testing dates and a flex test. Students lose a quarter of one point for each question they answer incorrectly, and they neither gain nor lose points when they leave a question blank. Students must know when to skip or guess on the SSAT. The essay is not scored and is used by admissions offices to assess the student’s writing style. The multiple choice section of the test also contains attractor answers. These try to lure the student into picking a false answer. The math section is comprised mostly of arithmetic, but also contains ten or so geometry-based questions. The verbal section is basically split into two, synonyms and analogies. The analogies come second, after the synonyms, and tend to be more difficult. The reading section is the only section where the questions do not progress in level of difficulty. There is also an experimental section at the end of the second math section. Unlike the ISEE, the SSAT does not allow any type of watch during testing.

Most local Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC private schools require the SSAT as an entrance exam. We offer tutoring for the middle level and upper level tests. The middle level test is taken by 5th, 6th, and 7th graders. The upper level test is taken by 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. An official SSAT score report will contain scale scores and percentile ranks. Students are ranked based upon grade level and also gender. Students receive percentile ranks for math, verbal, and reading.  The percentile ranks are comprised of students in the same grade level that have taken the test for the first time. Top schools will look for percentile ranks in the 70th, 80th, and 90th percentiles. Middle of the road schools will look for 40th, 50th, and 60th percentile ranks. Private schools typically don’t publish this information on their website, so you will have to call and ask what type of scores they look for. We include SSAT diagnostic reports as part of our SSAT prep program.  

We offer SSAT prep throughout the Washington DC areaNorthern VA area, Richmond VA areaFredericksburg VA areaCharlottesville VA area, and Charlotte NC. We will have a SSAT tutor come to your home for one-to-one instruction. We will review previous SSAT practice test scores or official SSAT scores to determine the area of focus. We can also email out a SSAT practice test to take at home and this will generate a detailed SSAT score report for analysis.

Contact us to start a SSAT prep program today!