Accommodations Handbook

Laptop for Writing Sample (Permissions vary by test mode. See laptop rules before SSAT registration.)

Paper SSAT: Students approved for the use of a laptop for word processing their writing sample are responsible for providing this equipment on test day, as well as a USB flash drive or writable CD to store their written work for all paper-based SSAT administrations. Students must also be prepared to save and provide the finished writing sample by USB flash drive or CD. Printers are not available at paper-based testing centers.

  • Any student sitting for a paper-based SSAT are permitted to use their laptop for ONLY the writing sample. All other sections are to be completed using paper/pencil.
  • The use of Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, or any other basic word processor is strongly encouraged for all paper-based SSAT test takers to ensure the file submitted is accessible and able to be processed. It is recommended that the electronic file be saved as one of the following file types: .doc; .docx; .txt; .pages; or .pdf.
  • Internet-based software programs that permit collaboration, such as Google Docs, are strictly prohibited on test day as part of any paper-based SSAT administration.
  • Students are not required to disable their internet connection during testing; however, students are NOT permitted to access any type of internet browser or search engine, nor are they permitted to access any non-approved computer applications on test day. Any unauthorized use of a laptop/computer may result in a student’s dismissal from testing and their test being reported as an irregularity with no refund being provided for any invalidated test.
  • Use of any grammar or spell checking functions built into the word processor is permitted as part of any paper-based SSAT administration. The use of specific software programs for grammar or predictive text such as Grammarly or Co-Writer, must be approved separately and are only permitted for use when completing paper-based testing at this time.

Computer SSAT at Home: Students approved for the use of a laptop when registering for any SSAT at Home administration will be afforded spell checking functionality when completing the writing sample portion of the SSAT. This functionality will underline any misspelled words found in your student’s written work, but will not offer predictive text or recommended corrections for the underlined misspellings. Therefore, if your student would like to do so, they may use an electronic spell-checking device during the written portion of the SSAT. The device will need to be shown to the virtual proctor during the initial check-in procedures on test day.

Computer SSAT at Prometric: Students will not be required to provide a laptop or data storage device if completing any computer-based SSAT at a Prometric Test Center; however, if any student approved for the use of a laptop would like to use an electronic spell checking device to assist them with composing their writing sample, they will be permitted to do so on test day as the computer-based testing platform is not built with this functionality.

The family will be responsible for providing an electronic spell checking device for their student should they decide to use one to support their writing on test day. Any device used by a test taker must meet the following criteria and be used in accordance with the guidelines outlined below

  • Device is only to be permitted during the writing sample portion of the SSAT.
  • Device must be manually operated and may not have speech-to-text capabilities or any other audio component.
  • Device cannot have built-in calculation functionality and may not be used as the test taker’s calculator if also approved for such accommodation. If a test taker is approved for both a spell checking device and calculator, two separate devices are to be used.
  • Device must be silent or have the ability to turn off sound when in use.
  • Device cannot have a camera or the ability to scan/capture text.
  • Device cannot have a data bank or data other storage functionality.
  • Device cannot provide test taker with word definitions or thesaurus functionality (antonyms/synonyms).
  • Device cannot be a cell phone.
  • Device cannot require an internet connection for use.
  • Device is only to be permitted during the writing sample portion of the SSAT.
An image of an electronic spell-check device.
Example of an acceptable spell-checking device.


A hand-drawn doodle of a circle.

If you have any questions or concerns about your family's ability to provide anything needed for your student to complete testing, please contact EMA immediately and well in advance of your scheduled test date.

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