The Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) is an important hurdle to cross with flying colors for any ambitious student looking for a bright future. It is for admission to a private middle school or high school. It is similar to the ISEE, which emphasizes mathematical reasoning more than the SSAT. 

Test structure

An online SSAT measures an applicant’s ability to perform academically. Admission teams review its score in addition to grades, recommendations, interviews, and extracurricular activities. There are two levels for the test – grades 5 to 7 and 8 to 11. Both of these tests have 150 multiple-choice questions covering:

  • Verbal – vocabulary, logic, and verbal reasoning
  • Quantitative – arithmetic, elementary algebra, and geometry.
  • Reading – comprehension

Each test has a writing sample that does not add to the score, but it is shared with every school that is issued a score report. The test comprises five sections. Each test taker is given 25 minutes to complete a sample of their writing, 40 minutes for perusing the comprehension, 30 minutes for two quantitative sections, and one verbal section.

Data-driven test prep

Many experts recommend an online mock test for SSAT, which monitors your biometrics (like blink rate and pulse rate) and time per question. Monitoring these will make the student focus better on critical answers requiring time and reduce time on the questions for which they don’t know the correct response.

Avoidable mistakes for test day

Here is a list of common mistakes that can be considered blunders if they impact your score. These are helpful tips for any test, and the suggestions can positively impact your answers and confidence. The last thing anyone wants after months of preparation is to arrive late or mess up their responses in a hurry to finish the test.

  • Arrive late – Don’t rely on just one alarm. Make sure you have sufficient gas in the car the night before. 
  • Insufficient supplies – leave the supplies you need inside your locker and be clear about which writing instruments are permitted.
  • Misunderstand the format – Ensure you’ve seen some recent mock tests and know the format.
  • Answer without reading directions – Read each question carefully to ensure you understand it.
  • Answer without looking at all the options – Don’t take it for granted that the answer is the most obvious one. It could be “All of the above.”
  • Get stuck on a tough question – If a question foxes you, don’t waste time working it out. Come back to it later if you can.
  • Hurriedly answer the easy questions – Don’t be overconfident and make careless mistakes. Slow down on the questions that are easy to ensure full points.
  • Write the essay without a plan – Spend a little time scribbling down your ideas and creating a sequence before you start writing.
  • Leave blanks for the answers – You should never leave a multiple-choice or true/ false question blank. Make a guess and move on. Identify all the wrong answers first and then make your choice.
  • Indecipherable handwriting – Use your best handwriting to ensure everyone can clearly read your selection of words.
  • Forget to keep track of the time – Realizing last minute that you don’t have enough time can affect your confidence and leave you a little rattled. Typically, you should have time to reread your responses without second-guessing yourself.
  • Leave early – Don’t be in a hurry to leave without double-checking your math and reading over your written answers. It’s a golden opportunity to again attempt the questions you randomly answered.
  • Become too stressed – Don’t let stress ruin your test after months of preparation. Say something to yourself that will inspire you. 

Key takeaways

You might be thinking that the above points are trivial reminders of carelessness. But, after a sleepless night preparing for your test the next morning, you might need a reminder or two from these suggestions. If anxiety or stress are bothering you, it’s best to sign up for an online mock test for SSAT with us. By studying your biometrics during the mock test, we can pinpoint which sections trouble your mind the most. You will also enhance your confidence, which will positively impact your scores.