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ISEE/SSAT

Today, the application and admissions process for students applying to private schools is not dissimilar to the process for prospective college students.

What Is On the SSAT?

The SSAT tests students on Verbal Reasoning, Math, and Reading Comprehension. The test is comprised of five sections: a student-written essay, Verbal Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and two separate sections of Math. As with the ISEE test, the essay is unscored, but it is photocopied and sent to the schools to which a student applies.

Not counting breaks or orientation, the SSAT will last 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Students receive one point for every correct answer and zero points for unanswered questions. Students receive two points for correctly ordering each Scrambled Paragraph. Unlike the ISEE, on the SSAT students lose a quarter-point for each incorrect answer.

For the Lower Level SSAT, students will receive a scaled score of 440-710 for each of the three subjects tested (Verbal, Reading, and Math). The final composite score will be between 1320-2130. They will also receive a percentile rank, which compares a student’s score to those of other students who have taken the SSAT in the past three years.

For the Upper Level SSAT, students will receive a scaled score of 500-800 for each of the three subjects, and a final combined score of 1500-2400, as well as a percentile rank. In addition, they will receive an estimated national percentile rank, which compares a student’s performance to the national student population, including students who have not taken the SSAT.

SSAT Content:

Essay

  • Length: 25 min.
  • Item Types: Student-written essay

Students will be presented with a statement, which they will be asked to support or contest. This section is unscored, but it is provided to schools as a sample of an applicant’s ability to express himself or herself in writing.

Verbal Reasoning

  • Length: 30 min.
  • Item Types: Synonym questions and analogies

This section primarily tests vocabulary and logic. For synonyms, you will be presented with a capitalized word, followed by a list of four other words. You must select the answer choice that is most nearly the same in meaning as the word in capital letters. The analogies are in the same format as the analogies were on the old SAT. (Note that there are no sentence completions on the SSAT).

Math (section one)

  • Length: 30 min.
  • Item Types: Math problems

Students will be presented with problems in arithmetic, geometry, and algebra, depending on the Level of the test.

Reading Comprehension

  • Length: 40 min.
  • Item Types: Reading passages

These questions relate to 7 short passages provided for the student to read during the test. The passages deal with subjects in the humanities, science, and social studies, and the questions test how well the student understands the information presented.

Math (section two)

  • Length: 30 min.
  • Item Types: Math problems

The problems in this section cover the same materials as in the first math section.

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