About the SSAT
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What is the SSAT?
The SSAT is a standardized test used by admission officers to assess the abilities of students seeking to enroll in an independent school. The SSAT measures the basic verbal, math, and reading skills students need for successful performance in independent schools. It’s an indispensable tool that gives admission professionals an equitable means to assess and compare applicants, regardless of their background or experience.
What is a standardized test?
A standardized test is a test that is developed, administered and scored in a consistent (or standard) manner.
The SSAT is not an achievement test, which is a test created to determine a level of skill, accomplishment, or knowledge in a specific area. It does not measure the personal characteristics such as motivation, persistence, or creativity, that also contribute to success in school. Your SSAT score is just one part of your complete application to an independent school and while it is important, it is not the only criterion used in admission decisions.
How is the SSAT Given?
From the moment you are admitted to the test center until the time of dismissal, your test administrator follows precise instructions for the proctoring of the SSAT. Any deviations from these uniform testing conditions are reported immediately. Of course, a student with a disability may apply for testing accommodations, but the processes and procedures for the test’s administration remain the same for every student.
There are two types of SSAT administrations:
Standard – The Standard SSAT is given on eight designated Saturdays during the academic year at test sites around the world.
Flex – The Flex SSAT is given to an individual or group on any date other than the eight Standard dates.
Levels of the SSAT
There are three SSAT levels:
Elementary Level SSAT – For children currently in 3rd and 4th grades who are applying for admission to 4th and 5th grades.
Middle Level SSAT – For children currently in grades 5-7 who seek admission to grades 6 through 8.
Upper Level SSAT – For children currently in grades 8-11 who are applying for admission to grades 9 through PG (Post Graduate).
Who Writes the SSAT?
The SSAT is written and reviewed by independent school educators and content and testing experts. Once a test question is written, it is thoroughly reviewed by a committee that reaches consensus regarding the question’s appropriateness. It then goes through a rigorous standardized process to analyze the question and its answers. Once questions are proven statistically sound, they are assembled into test forms. The distribution of question difficulties is set so that the test will effectively differentiate among test takers who vary in their level of ability.