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The Elementary Level SSAT

The Elementary Level SSAT is given to students in third grade applying for admission to fourth grade (Third Grade Elementary SSAT) and in fourth grade applying for admission to fifth grade (Fourth Grade Elementary SSAT).  They are multiple-choice admission tests that consist of four sections, including an unscored writing sample. ​

To download the free Official Guides to the Elementary Level SSATclick here.​

ElementaryLevelClick here to download the 2015-2016 Elementary Level SSAT At A Glance br​ochure


Below, you'll find sections on:



All About the Elementary L​evel (EL) SSAT 

​​Reading Your Elementary Level Score Report  

Test Format

The Elementary Level SSATs (separate 3rd and 4th grade tests) are multiple-choice admission tests that consist of four sections, given in this order:


Number of Questions


Time Allotted to Administer Each Section

Section 1 (Quantitative/Math)


30 minutes

Section 2 (Verbal)


20 minutes



​15 minutes

Section 3 (Reading)


30 minutes

Writing Sample

1 prompt

15 minutes



1 hour, 40 minutes

Click here for more information about individual test sections and concepts.

Click here for sample EL SSAT questions.​

​​Scoring and Score Reporting

A free copy of your child’s score report will be available online via your SSAT account. For an additional fee, SSAT will report scores by mail or FedEx. Score alerts via text or email can also be ordered via the SSAT account. ​

Your child's Elementary SSAT score report will contain the following information:

  • Number of Items: The number of items in the content sections and subsections.

  • Number Correct: The number of correct answers for the content sections and subsections.

  • Percent Correct: The percentage of correct answers for the content sections and subsections.

  • Scaled Score: A score which has a range of values from 300 to 600. The mean value of the content sections' scaled scores is 450.

  • Scaled Score Percentile Rank: The scaled score percentile rank is a score which has values from 1 to 99. It compares performance to other students taking the same examination.

  • Total Scaled Score: The total scaled score is the sum of the scaled scores for the quantitative, verbal, and reading sections. It has a low value of 900, a high value of 1800, and a mean of 1350.

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Registration & Fees​

​The registration fee for the Elementary Level SSAT is $80.  To register: 

  • Create an SSAT Account.

  • Apply for testing accommodations, if needed : Preapproval is required before a test registration can be created. Visit the testing accommodations section for more information.

  • Choose a test date and site: Use our easy Test Center Search to find a site close to home. Please note that Standard testing for the Elementary Level SSAT begins in December.

  • Select Score Recipients (use the school's name): You may list the schools to which your child is applying during online registration or wait until after you receive the scores.

  • Order Additional Services: SSAT offers, for additional fees, options to receive a printed copy of your scores by mail or FedEx and alerts to view your scores the moment they are available.

  • Pay: Fees are payable by credit card (Visa, Discover, and MasterCard). Fee waivers are available from SSATB member schools for those in need. Contact the member school to which you are applying in order to receive a fee waiver.

  • Print your Admission Ticket: These tickets list important test information including administration policies, location details, special instructions, and items to bring with you on test day.

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What to Expect on Test Day

Be sure to have your child’s SSAT Admission Ticket with you when you travel to the test site. You received this after registering him/her for the test. Your child will be checked in to the test site by the administrator and will take a seat in the testing room. Parents are not allowed in the testing room. 

Once all students are seated, the proctor will begin. The proctor will read a series of instructions to ensure that students have the correct test booklet and that they understand how to mark their answers in the test booklet. Testers mark their answers directly in the test booklets by coloring in the circle next to their answer choice. 

Children will be directed by the proctor throughout the process and allowed to use the restroom or have a quick snack during the scheduled breaks  If your child must use the restroom at another time during the test, please be aware that the time lost cannot be made up. When the test is over, the proctor will collect all materials and excuse the children from the test room.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do schools use my child's scores?

Schools use your child's scores in different ways—to estimate your child's ability to do work in a private school, to compare your child's performance with other applicants for admission, and/or to compare the test score with your child's present academic record. 

Each school evaluates a child's scores according to its own standards and requirements. Specific questions about how test scores are used in the admission process should be directed to the school's admission officer.

Are testing accommodations, such as extra time, available for the Elementary SSAT?

Yes, families who can provide documentation verifying that their child routinely receives testing accommodations in his/her current academic setting may apply for testing accommodations. Testing accommodations must be approved in advance of test registration.  For more information, visit the testing accommodations section.

How many times can my child take the Elementary SSAT?

Your child may take the Third or Fourth Grade SSAT twice during the testing year (August 1- July 31). Standard Elementary SSAT testing begins in December.

Are snacks or drinks allowed on the day of the test?

Yes, your child may bring snacks and beverages for consumption during the break. Snacks and beverages must be in a clear plastic bag and may not be consumed during testing.

Can my child use the restroom during the test?

A 15-minute break is provided during the test for trips to restroom. A child may raise his/her hand to use the restroom at any time during the test, but the child may not make up the missed testing time.

Should my child guess if he/she doesn't know the answer?

Encourage your child to try to answer every question, making his/her best guesses about the questions of which he/she is unsure. There are no penalties for wrong answers.

How do I report my child's scores to schools?

You may indicate the school's name at the time of test registration, or you may wait to receive your child's scores before designating score recipients through your child's online SSAT account.

Are fee waivers available for the Elementary SSAT?

Yes, you may request a fee waiver from the school to which you are applying, if you are unable to pay the test fee due to economic hardship. A fee waiver covers the cost of the test registration only and can be used in lieu of a credit card during test registration.  SSATB does not offer fee waivers directly to students/families.