What is the SSAT?

The SSAT is a standard admissions test primarily used for admissions into private boarding and secondary schools. The Upper and Middle level SSAT exams, which are administered to students currently in grades 5-7 and 8-11, respectively, consist of five sections: an essay, a verbal section, two quantitative and a reading comprehension section.

Section Name # of Questions Time Allotted
Essay 1 prompt* 25 minutes
Quantitative 25 questions 30 minutes
Reading Comprehension 40 questions 40 minutes
Verbal 60 questions 30 minutes
Quantitative 25 questions 30 minutes

*Students must write a response to one of two prompts: a creative prompt or an essay prompt. If student choose the essay, they must provide valid support to supplement their answer. Below are two sample prompts:

Essay: What do you consider the three best qualities in a friend?
Creative: They could have never forgotten the outcome when they started…


When is the Test Offered?

The SSAT can be taken on any of 8 regular administrations per academic year, or a student can schedule a time to take the test at an independent testing center. The regular administrations for the test are usually held at the beginning or middle of October, November, December, January, February, March, April, and June. Registration for all testing dates open in August. You are allowed to take the SSAT exam as many times as you wish.

How Do I Register?

To find all the information you need about registering for the SSAT, visit www.ssat.org. After you register for the test, you will be able to print an Admission Ticket, which will include the date and location of your test. There is a fee associated with taking the exam. If you miss the regular deadline to register, there are additional fees. If you are unable to pay the test fee, you may be eligible for a Fee Waiver. If this the case, contact the Admissions Office of the school to which you are applying before registering for the exam. Fee Waivers are not available directly from the SSAT Office.