Frequently Asked Questions

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Character Skills Snapshot

Can The Snapshot reports change over time?

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Yes, a student’s Character Skills Snapshot results will change over time, as s/he grows and develops. However,The Character Skills Snapshot is meant to be taken only once per testing year, prior to admission to a school.

Character Skills Snapshot

How do I send Snapshot results to schools?

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Parents/guardians alone may choose to send their student’s Snapshot report to a school. Reports are sent in the same method as SSAT scores, using the online SSAT account. Schools will receive results in real time once scores are released, following selection as a recipient by the parent.

Download a step-by-step tutorial on sending scores to schools

Character Skills Snapshot

What if I disagree with The Snapshot’s appraisal of my student’s skills?

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As The Snapshot is designed solely to measure skills at a very specific moment in time, realize that it is not meant to be a determinant of your student's ability to develop a certain skill or skills. Also important to remember: students complete The Snapshot with answers that they feel best describe themselves, which may be quite different from how parents and teachers observations. Each skill measured will fall in its own space on the development spectrum, and will change over time as children grow, learn, and mature.

Your student’s Snapshot results will provide admission teams with a better idea of the skills with which s/he already identifies strongly, as well as those that a school's community can help build and nurture.

Additionally, if you are using the Standard Application Online to apply to schools, you will be asked to complete a parent/guardian character perspective section that will allow you to provide narrative on your perception of your student's character skill development.

Character Skills Snapshot

How will I know what the results mean?

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The Snapshot’s reports are quite user friendly and include information about how to read the results.  You may also sign up for one of the free webinars we provide.

Character Skills Snapshot

What does a Snapshot report look like?

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The Snapshot report is very user friendly. View a sample report primer here.

Character Skills Snapshot

When are reports issued?

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The Snapshot results are released according to the timeline found on The Character Skills Snapshot chart at the bottom of the page.

Character Skills Snapshot

How are Snapshot questions analyzed?

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Forced-Choice Questions
Each forced-choice question includes three statements (e.g., "I work hard" might be one), and no two statements within the same question measure the same Snapshot skill. For analysis, the responses are coded as either 1, 2, or 3 (from most like me to least like me). Since there are three possible comparisons to make in each forced-choice question, there are three new variables that describe the ranking of each statement, relative to another in the question (e.g., statement 1 is ranked as more like me than statement 2). A single statement is involved in two comparisons, which means two of these new variables will capture information about each skill. Once this is complete, each Snapshot skill is defined using the variables that inform it, and we utilize additional parameters to ensure the model is stable. These data are analyzed using a set of statistical models based on L. L. Thurstone's Law of Comparative Judgment.

Situational Judgment Questions
Admission staff and teachers from across the country rated the situational judgment items in the same manner as the students (i.e., rate the appropriateness of each possible response to the scenario presented). Student response analysis on the situational judgment questions reflects the extent of alignment with the median of those ratings. In other words, the situational judgment results describe how well a student is able to gauge the appropriateness of particular behaviors, with appropriateness set by the experts (who are, in this case, admission staff and teachers).

Please note that it is possible for a child to be in one category for all character skills.

Character Skills Snapshot

What kind of questions appear on The Snapshot?

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There are two types of questions on The Snapshot. View sample questions here.

  • The first type (forced choice) presents three statements and asks students to select the statements that are most and least like them.
  • The second type (situational judgment) presents students with a number of scenarios with four different responses to each. Students rate the appropriateness of each response on a four-point scale (from not appropriate to very appropriate).

Character Skills Snapshot

How many times can my student take The Snapshot?

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Students may take The Character Skills Snapshot one time per testing year (August 1 - July 31).The Character Skills Snapshot is intended to capture a snapshot of the student at the moment when they apply and the results are valid for one year.

Character Skills Snapshot

What if my student cannot access The Snapshot?

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Log in to your parent/guardian SSAT account and click on the "Manage Accounts" tab to make sure your student has a username and password in his/her profile. Your student cannot access The Snapshot if s/he does not have a username and password.

NOTE: Parents/guardians must create accounts for both themselves and their students. The Snapshot may only be taken through the student SSAT account; it cannot be accessed through the parent account.

Character Skills Snapshot

Can I apply for accommodations for my student before they take The Snapshot?

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If you would normally apply for accommodations for your student when registering for the SSAT, please email TA@enrollment.org in order to receive more information about accommodations and The Snapshot.

Character Skills Snapshot

How do I register my student for and have them take The Snapshot?

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If your child will take the SSAT, register for that first. Then follow these directions.

If your child will not take the SSAT, follow these directions.

NOTE: Parents/guardians must create accounts for both themselves and their students. The Snapshot may only be taken through the student's SSAT account; it cannot be accessed through the parent account.

Character Skills Snapshot

Where does my student take The Snapshot?

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Students may take The Snapshot at home, or any location with an internet connection with which you are comfortable. It is not available on mobile devices, and is not given at schools.

Character Skills Snapshot

How are results of The Character Skills Snapshot used in admission?

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Admission teams use the information provided from The Character Skills Snapshot to complement other information required as a part of the application process, including admission test scores, interviews, grades, letters of recommendation, and other information. It is simply one piece of the student’s larger overall application. As with other facets of your application, Snapshot results will be used differently by each school according to their admission process. If you are curious as to how a particular school will use Snapshot results, we suggest you contact the school directly and inquire.

Character Skills Snapshot

Is my student required to take The Snapshot for admission?

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Hundreds of schools use The Character Skills Snapshot. To determine how The Snapshot fits into a school's admission criteria, contact the school's admission office and inquire.

If you are curious about why schools require The Snapshot, remember that one of the reasons you’re seeking to enroll your student in an independent school is because you’re interested in an education that focuses on instilling character values and encouraging personal growth. Similarly, schools know that a complete picture of your student contains much more than grades and test scores. That’s why they are asking your student to take The Character Skills Snapshot as part of the application. It will give them richer holistic information and show them areas where their communities can help your student grow.

Character Skills Snapshot

How much does it cost?

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For testers registered to take the SSAT, The Snapshot is free of charge. For those not registered to take the SSAT, the cost to take The Snapshot is $35. If your student will not take the SSAT, simply create parent and student accounts on ssat.org to access The Snapshot. You will be prompted during the registration process to provide the $35 payment.


Fee waivers are available from participating schools for students who require financial assistance to take The Snapshot and are not registered to take the SSAT.

Character Skills Snapshot

How long is The Snapshot?

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The Snapshot takes approximately 25 minutes to complete online. It must be completed in one sitting.

Character Skills Snapshot

What skills does The Snapshot measure?

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The Snapshot was designed by test experts and independent school admission professionals to measure skills they deemed important when considering applications: intellectual engagement, teamwork, initiative, resilience, self control, open-mindedness, and social awareness.

Character Skills Snapshot

For whom is The Snapshot designed?

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The Snapshot is designed for students in grades 5 through 11 applying to grades 6-12.

SSAT at Home

If I don’t have a computer or an Internet connection will I not be able to take the SSAT at Home?

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In these difficult times, EMA is working harder than ever to provide equal access to the SSAT at Home to all individuals. If you do not have access to the required equipment, email info@ssat.org as soon as possible so we can help review options with you.

SSAT at Home

What are the system requirements to take the SSAT at Home?

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The SSAT at Home can be taken on a Mac or PC operating system.

A system check tool will be made available so families can verify their computer will work in advance of testing.

SSAT at Home

What do you do with a child that can only take it on paper?

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Paper-based testing is available in locations where it’s safe to do so following local guidelines. EMA will continue to work hard to meet the needs of all of its test takers. Please email ta@enrollment.org if you need additional assistance.

SSAT at Home

Can I have a copy of my child's recording?

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No, as accepted in the SSAT Candidate Agreement, you can not have a copy of your child’s recording.

SSAT at Home

How does EMA select the proctors? Have they gone through any clearances?

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EMA has selected PSI as our trusted partner in administering and proctoring the SSAT at Home. PSI brings years of remote proctoring experience, and dedicated remote proctors who are trained specifically to support the SSAT at Home and its test takers.

SSAT at Home

Will someone be monitoring me when I take the test?

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Yes. When you are taking the test a remote proctor will ensure you are following all testing rules. The role of the proctor is also to help with any questions or problems the test-taker may have.

SSAT at Home

If my computer crashes during the SSAT at Home can I restart?

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If you experience a technical problem in any of these areas during the administration of the SSAT at Home, you must notify the remote proctor immediately, and follow the proctor’s instructions. If you are unable to notify the remote proctor due to a technical problem, you must have your parent/guardian call the phone number provided.

SSAT at Home

Will I need to download any software in order to take the SSAT at Home?

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When you schedule your SSAT at Home you will receive instructions on how to run a system check and ensure your computer is compatible with the remote proctoring system.

You will also be required to download and install a secure browser that is used for testing.

SSAT at Home

Will I have to submit a photo?

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No, you will not have to submit a photo to take the SSAT at Home. However, a photo will be taken of the test taker upon onboarding (via screenshot) and that photo may be referenced in the event an irregularity is detected.

SSAT at Home

Will I be recorded during my test?

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Yes. Your SSAT At Home testing session will be video and audio recorded. Those videos will be retained and processed as part of your SSAT administration

SSAT at Home

Can I wear a headset or earphones during my test?

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No, headsets and earphones are not permitted.

SSAT at Home

Are there breaks during the test? What do I do if I have to go to the bathroom?

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Yes, there are 2 breaks scheduled during the SSAT At Home. The first break is 10 minutes and is after the writing sample. The second break is 10 minutes and is after the reading section.

SSAT at Home

How do I prepare for the test?

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You can prepare for the SSAT at Home like you would the paper-based test.

Also, first make sure you have read and understood all the guidelines outlined in the SSAT Candidate Agreement.

SSAT at Home

Will I be allowed to use scratch paper during the testing?

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Yes. Students are able to use two pieces of scratch paper and a regular pencil.

SSAT at Home

Can I re-take the SSAT at Home?

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Yes, you may take the SSAT at Home up to 5 times in a testing year (August–July).

SSAT at Home

Will there be an indication on my score report that I took the SSAT at Home?

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Your score report will not be labeled with the type of test you took for the SSAT.

SSAT at Home

Am I eligible to take the SSAT at Home?

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The SSAT at Home is available to middle-and upper-level test takers in the U.S. and Canada for the 2020-21 academic year.

SSAT at Home

What makes the SSAT at Home test better than other tests?

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The SSAT at Home is the same as the paper-based SSAT with the option to schedule a test date and time that works best for the test taker, in the convenience and comfort of their own home. It gives families greater flexibility, convenience and an alternative to testing in test centers, where it may not be possible to do so.

SSAT at Home

Is the SSAT at Home only offered in English or is it also offered in another language?

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Currently, the SSAT at Home is only offered in English.

SSAT at Home

How will students requiring accommodations support staff be accommodated during the SSAT at Home?

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If your student requires or is approved for support staff for the SSAT at Home, such as a Reader, please contact EMA at ta@enrollment.org. EMA will guide you through requirements and rules.

SSAT at Home

How is EMA ensuring access to the SSAT at Home for those who may not have a computer or internet access?

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In these difficult times, EMA is working harder than ever to provide equal access to all individuals. If families do not have access to the equipment or resources required to take the SSAT at Home, they should email info@ssat.org so we can support them and review all options.

SSAT at Home

Are fee waivers available for the SSAT at Home?

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Yes, test fee waivers may be used for any SSAT, including SSAT at Home, SSAT at Prometric Test Centers and the paper-based SSAT Flex test.

SSAT at Home

Will the SSAT at Home be available in all countries or in limited areas?

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The SSAT at Home will be available in the U.S. and Canada for the 2020-2021-testing year. Computer-based testing will be available at Prometric test centers in domestic and international locations where it is safe to reopen. Paper-based testing will also be available at schools and test centers in domestic and international locations where it is safe to reopen.

SSAT at Home

Will testing at a test center end with the addition of the at-home version?

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Multiple testing modes are available for the SSAT during the 2020-2021 testing year. These options include the computer-based SSAT at Home, as well as paper-based and computer-based testing in test centers where local guidelines can be met safely.

SSAT at Home

How long is the SSAT at Home and how much time does it take to complete?

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The SSAT at Home is the same format and length as the paper-based test, which is roughly three hours in length including breaks. Extra time will be required for check-in.

SSAT at Home

What about the Flex test? Is it still being offered?

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The SSAT Flex test has been made available with requirements for test takers and proctors to follow all local COVID-19 guidelines. The SSAT Flex test will be available for the 2020–21 testing season.

SSAT at Home

Is the testing fee different to take the SSAT at Home?

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The testing fee is the same for the SSAT at Home as it is for the paper-based SSAT or to test at a physical Prometric test center.  The domestic (US, Canada) fee for all tests is $149.00.

SSAT at Home

How will EMA deliver the SSAT at Home test?

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The SSAT at Home is the same standardized test as the SSAT, but it is delivered digitally to test takers in the convenience of their homes. Delivered by our partner PSI, the SSAT will be administered via a secure web application with continuous AI monitoring, data forensics, and live remote proctoring.

SSAT at Home

How do students sign up for the SSAT at Home?

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Sign up for the SSAT at Home will be available through the SSAT test registration process on SSAT.org. When a parent or guardian signs into their account, they will be able to register for the SSAT at Home. After purchase, they will be directed to PSI, our remote proctoring partner site, to select their student’s test date and time.

SSAT at Home

What if I have technical issues during the testing?

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Remote proctors will be available to assist students throughout testing. If any connection issues arise, the proctor and technical support will work with the student to get back online and continue the test. EMA will work with students if they experience a technology issue that prevents the completion of testing.

SSAT at Home

What type of devices can be used for home testing? Can it be taken on a smartphone? Can it be taken on a Mac computer?

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PCs or Macs (laptops or desktops) with broadband internet and webcam capabilities can be used for home testing. Currently Chromebooks are not supported. Cell phones and tablets are not supported. Options will be made available to students who do not have access to computers.

SSAT at Home

Is the SSAT at Home test 24/7 or on a schedule?

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The SSAT at Home will be offered every Saturday and one Sunday per month, beginning September 2020.

SSAT at Home

What accommodations will there be for students with disabilities, including students who require support services?

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EMA will support students requiring testing accommodations just as with the paper-based SSAT.

SSAT at Home

What type of ID will students need to present and how will proctors confirm these documents?

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Due to the age of our test takers, students will not need to present an ID. However, a photo will be taken of the test taker upon onboarding and that photo may be referenced in the event an irregularity is detected.

SSAT at Home

What policies or safeguards will there be to ensure test integrity and security?

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The SSAT will be conducted in a locked down web application with live, remote proctors, data forensics and artificial intelligence (AI), such as facial recognition technology, audio and video monitoring. Proctors will check the student's identity and monitor for any suspicious behavior. The AI will flag any possibilities for testing irregularities, including but not limited to attempting to take a picture, talking to other people or trying to open other applications.

SSAT at Home

Is there any difference in scoring between SSAT at Home versus paper-based SSAT?

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No. This is still The SSAT. The scoring process and score scale will be exactly the same. The SSAT at Home will also go through an equating process.

SSAT at Home

Is this a permanent test option or will it have a limited timeframe?

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The SSAT at Home is a permanent option to families beginning in August of 2020.

SSAT at Home

How will SSAT at Home scores be reported and how soon after testing?

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SSAT at Home scores will be sent to both families and schools and posted in the same manner as the paper-based SSAT. Typically, scores will be released to schools (those indicated during the registration process) three business days after testing and released to families the following day.

SSAT at Home

How is the SSAT at Home different from the paper-based SSAT?

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The SSAT at Home is the same standardized test as the SSAT but delivered on computer via a secure web application with continuous AI monitoring, data forensics and live remote proctoring.

SSAT at Home

Why is EMA offering the SSAT at Home?

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At EMA, we are committed to supporting our members and families by offering innovative products and services, as well as supporting them with flexible, convenient, and safe computer-based test options. The SSAT at Home allows families a solution to test during the COVID-19 pandemic or any other situation that would prevent them from testing in a test center.

SSAT at Home

What is the SSAT at Home?

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The SSAT at Home is the same standardized test as the SSAT but delivered on computer via a secure web application with continuous AI monitoring, data forensics and live remote proctoring. Students can take the SSAT at Home from the convenience of their homes rather than having to go to a test center.

SAO Payment and Submission

What if I have an issue with my credit card?

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Application fees for schools can be paid via Visa, MasterCard, and Discover credit cards. If you are using one of these cards and experience issues submitting your application fees, please contact us at apply@enrollment.org

SAO Payment and Submission

What happens if my profile is incomplete?

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If your profile is incomplete, you will not be able to submit or pay for your application/s. The profile completion can be tracked through the completion meter shown alongside the profile component. You can click on the update button to complete your profile. Once the profile is 100% complete, you will be able to pay for and submit your school application/s.

SAO Payment and Submission

How do I send updates to my Student Profile after submission?

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Once the student profile is submitted to the school, your edits and updates to the profile will not be sent to the school. Please send any critical updates to the school directly. They will be able to accommodate them in your file.

SAO Payment and Submission

How do I pay for and submit my applications?

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A SAO can be submitted to a school simply by completing your student profile and submitting the application fee for that school. At that time, your student profile and any other completed components will be delivered to the school. You can pay for the school application fee via a credit card or an application fee waiver if you have received one from the school.

SAO Payment and Submission

If I have components pending at the deadline, will the school still consider my application?

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As a best practice, we highly recommend that you track the completion of your application and components against the school application deadline. However, each school may have unique completion criteria and flexibility to consider pending or in-progress applications. If in doubt, check with the school directly.

SAO Payment and Submission

In case I submitted something by accident or I change my mind, what’s your refund policy for applications?

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Because applications through the SAO system are delivered to schools in real time, we have a 24-hour refund policy for applications that may have been submitted by accident. Once an application is refunded, the school will no longer receive any updates on your application.

Please note, school application fees are fully refundable within the 24-hour time window, but the administrative fee is non-refundable.

Also, we cannot refund an application fee once it has been disbursed to a school. In that case, we advise you to contact the school directly to cancel your application and request a refund.

SAO Payment and Submission

What is the $6 administrative fee per application?

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The administrative fee is a nominal fee charged for online processing of the SAO. If you receive an application fee waiver from a school, the administrative fee associated with that application will also be waived.

SAO Payment and Submission

How can I receive application fee waivers?

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You can request for an application fee waiver from the school to which you are applying. Unlike a test fee waiver, an application fee waiver will only waive an application fee for the school that issued it. It also waives the $6 SAO administrative fee.

SAO Payment and Submission

Can I edit my Student Profile after submitting an application to a school?

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You can continue to edit and update your student profile via your account or the SAO dashboard. Please note that any changes made after a profile is submitted to a school will not be delivered to that school.

SAO Working with Advisors

Can I change my advisor?

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Yes, you can change your advisor if you have added an incorrect one or have changed your advisor.

You can do so by clicking “Remove Advisor,” located to the right of the advisor name. Once you remove, the former advisor will no longer be able to track the progress of your application.

SAO Working with Advisors

What is an advisor’s role on my application?

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If you are working with a placement counselor at your current school/organization or with an educational consultant or community-based organization (CBO), they will help with the overall application process - from advising on the schools that could be a good fit, to ensuring that you are on track in terms of meeting application deadlines. Placement counselors and CBOs can also assist with your application by completing certain sections of the application, like uploading transcripts and writing principal/counselor recommendations.

Many placement offices and CBOs place their “Advisor Instructions” within the SAO. Those can be found to the right of your advisor school or organization's name on the SAO dashboard.

SAO Working with Advisors

Who can I designate as an advisor?

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If you are working with a placement counselor at your current school/organization or with an educational consultant, you can choose them as an advisor on your application/s to allow them to assist you with managing and/or monitoring your applications. Your school, organization, or educational consultant must be a member of The Enrollment Management Association to be eligible to be added as an application advisor.

Please note, you can only have one advisor for all your applications for a session year.

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

Can I edit a form after submission?

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The standard online forms and recommendations cannot be edited once submitted. The forms and recommendations allow you and your recommender to save responses as drafts and continue to work on them until they are fully complete. Once you have reviewed them and are ready, the system will ask for your acknowledgement to submit. Once you submit those forms, they are delivered to all schools that require them as part of the SAO.

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

What happens if my report cards don’t come in before my school's application deadline?

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Schools prefer to see the most updated official reports and transcripts for the current year. If the deadline is fast approaching and the latest marking period reports are not yet available, ask your school administrator to upload the previous marking periods' reports. You will have another opportunity to submit most updated reports and transcripts at the time of enrollment.

If in doubt, please contact the school directly.

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

How do I request transcripts and school reports via the SAO system?

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Most schools using the SAO require up to 2 full previous year transcripts and school reports and the most updated current year transcript and school report. In order to complete this section of the application, you must request and have your school administrators fulfill these requirements. To request transcripts and school reports:

First, click on “Sign Release” so that your administrators know that you have authorized them to release your reports and transcripts through the SAO system.

Next, request specific year reports from your school administrators. Your school administrator/s will receive a link to upload the reports and transcripts in PDF. The SAO dashboard will reflect year specific completion and overall completion of the requirement.

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

How does a teacher submit a recommendation outside of the SAO system?

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If your current teacher, recommender, or school administrator would like to include any additional narrative or documentation, or if the school requests any other form or report that is not supported by the SAO, please have them send those to the school/s directly. Those items will not be tracked as part of your SAO dashboard. Likewise, the receiving school will also not be able to manage those documents via the SAO system.

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

How do I follow up on teacher recommendations?

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If the recommendation form has not been submitted by the initial recommender, simply resend the recommendation by clicking the “resend” button for the recommendation form via your SAO dashboard. This will resend an email to your recommender so they know they have to finish the recommendation. Additionally, it’s a good idea to remind your recommender personally when you see them at school!

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

I assigned my recommendation form incorrectly. How can I undo it?

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If the recommendation form has not been submitted by the initial recommender, simply resend the recommendation by replacing the former recommender’s information with the new recommender’s information and clicking the “resend” button for the recommendation form via your SAO dashboard. The new recommender will receive an email with a request to complete the form and the previously assigned recommendation request will expire.

SAO Recommendations and Transcript Forms

The person I listed did not receive a link to provide the recommendations. What should I do?

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Confirm that the email address you entered for your recommender is correct. If in doubt, resend the request to the recommender by clicking the “resend” button. Please advise your recommender to look for an email from apply@enrollment.org with the subject line containing the name of the form and your name.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

What can I upload and/or showcase as part of my multimedia tab on the Student Profile?

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The multimedia links tab is an optional tab on the Student Profile that can be used to provide links to any videos, portfolios, or other showcases of your achievements or work that you would like to share, like websites, blog pages, or a YouTube channel. Please be aware and respectful of the content of the links that you include, as they support your application.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

What is “Interests and Activities”?

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Many schools like to know more about the student and their interests. Interests and activities, as part of your student profile, is an optional section that allows you to tell schools about your extracurricular interests and activities.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

My workstation indicates that my application is complete, but the school is telling me their portal does not show the completed status. What am I missing?

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The SAO delivers applications and related components to school/s in real time. Though your SAO dashboard might show an application as complete for a school, the receiving school may have a lag in showing the correct status related to your application due to separate processes they might run periodically to update their portals.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

How do I complete applications for multiple children?

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Parents can complete and track applications for multiple children associated with their parent account. The parent can simply use the “Student Dropdown,” located under the top navigation bar on the webpage, to select the child for whom they want to complete the application. You will not be required to fill in your parent profile data multiple times. However, student profile and applications for multiple children must be completed and tracked individually.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

How do I use my dashboard to track the status of my application components?

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You can track the overall completion of a school application via the completion meter placed on the top right of a school application card. Please note the completion meter only takes into account the required components. You may have certain applications that require optional forms, and those do contribute to completion of the application.

Individual required components can be tracked via the statuses posted under each component name and the associated button.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

How can I change my grade or the residential status I selected on a school application?

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You can change your grade and residential status on all unpaid applications by clicking on the school card and scrolling down to “Edit Student Information.” Clicking on that link will open up a dialog box wherein you can change the grade and residential status.

SAO Student Account/Dashboard

What is a School Supplement form?

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The SAO provides schools with an option to include an additional online component that will include any information that is important to their application process. If a school requires a supplement form, you will see the requirement under that school’s card on your SAO dashboard.

SAO Basics

What are Standard Application Online common forms?

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The Standard Application Online contains a wide library of online common forms used by schools accepting the SAO to fulfill their school-specific requirements. The standard form list is as follows:

  • Parent Evaluation Form: A standard section containing personal development descriptors to be completed by the parent or guardian. Usually used for students applying to PK-Grade 5.
  • Student Evaluation Form (typically used for grades PK-1): A standard recommendation form containing  personal development descriptors and classroom readiness to be completed by a teacher at the current school.
  • Student Evaluation Form (typically used for grades 2-5): A standard recommendation form containing  personal development descriptors and classroom readiness to be completed by a teacher at the current school.
  • Student Essay: A standard section containing 5 writing prompts to be completed by the student.
  • Parent Statement: A standard section containing 4 writing prompts and student character skill descriptors to be completed by a parent or guardian.
  • Personal Recommendation Form: A standard recommendation form to be completed by an adult familiar with the student outside of the classroom, in the areas of athletics, performing arts, or extracurricular interests  
  • English Recommendation Form:  A standard recommendation form requesting information about the student’s English language knowledge, skills, and personal development to be completed by an English teacher at the current school.
  • Math Recommendation Form: A standard recommendation form requesting information about  the student’s mathematical knowledge, skills, and personal development to be completed by a mathematics teacher at the current school.
  • Principal Recommendation Form: A standard recommendation form requesting information about the student’s overall academic background and personal development to be completed  by a principal or guidance counselor at the current school.
  • Official School Report and Transcript form: This is a standard form used by schools to collect information about an applicant's current/previous school academic performance. It includes instructions to upload official transcripts and school reports. It must be completed by a guidance counselor or school administrator. Most schools require 2 full years of transcripts as well as the most updated grades for the current year. Check all to request reports from one administrator, or select individual administrators for specific years.
  • Any Teacher Recommendation:  A standard recommendation form requesting information about the student’s subject knowledge, skills, and personal development to be completed by a teacher at the current school.

SAO Basics

What if a school that I am applying to doesn't accept the SAO, while others do?

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Though close to 500 independent schools in the U.S. and Canada accept the SAO, you might find a school you are interested in that does not. In that case, you must submit a traditional application to that school. We recommend that you visit the school’s website to understand their unique application process. Please note that certain components of the SAO application, like the Student Profile, Student Essays, and Parent Statement, once submitted through the SAO, are available in PDF files on completion via your SAO dashboard. You can simply download those and use them to apply to non-participating schools if the receiving schools do not have any objection.

SAO Basics

Can I use the SAO to apply for multiple years?

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Yes, you can apply for multiple session years with the SAO. You can search for schools by session year to see if they accept the SAO for the session year/s that you are interested in. Please note, each session year application requires that you complete and submit the application for that year individually.

SAO Basics

What are the system requirements to use the SAO?

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The following systems and browsers are supported:

PC(Windows version 7,8,10)

  • Chrome: We recommend at least version 51,52
  • Firefox: We recommend at least version 47,48
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer: Version 11

Mac (OS:10.11 El Capitan and 10.12 Sierra)

  • Safari: Version 8,9
  • Chrome: We recommend at least version 51,52
  • Firefox: We recommend at least version 47,48

Regardless of browser, please make sure the following browser settings are correct:

  • Javascript must be enabled.
  • Cookies must be enabled.

Other Software needed:

To view and print PDF files, we recommend Adobe Acrobat Reader (latest version). While PDF files should work with most other PDF viewers, we can only guarantee full compatibility and support with Adobe Acrobat Reader.

SAO Basics

When does the school receive an application through the SAO?

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As a best practice, we recommend that you first complete your student profile and submit it to a school along with the application fee. As soon as you do that, the school will receive and begin tracking your application via their SAO system. Any components and forms completed after this initial submission will be delivered to the school in real time.

SAO Basics

How do I know if a school accepts the SAO?

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To find out whether a school participates in the SAO, use the school search, selecting the "Accepts Standard Application Online" filter. The results will only show schools that accept the SAO. In addition, you can search for a school by name using your account’s “Apply to Schools" feature. The search results will reflect whether the school accepts the SAO.

Scores and Schools FAQs

Can I see the actual questions my student got wrong?

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No. The SSAT is a non-disclosed test and questions may be reused in the future. Thus, the specific test questions from your student's test are not available.

Scores and Schools FAQs

How long are scores kept on file?

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Scores are kept on file and can be reported for two testing seasons (August 1st to July 31st).

Scores and Schools FAQs

How will I receive my student's writing sample that I purchased?

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Once available, writing samples are provided in your student's account. They are not sent via mail or email. Please login to your student's account, click on "My Scores", and then click on the + sign next to the their test. Then click on "Writing Sample."

Scores and Schools FAQs

Did my student do "well"?

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If you have any questions about your student's performance, contact a school to which they are applying. Each school has different requirements and can provide feedback about the importance of scores and how they factor into the admission process. It is important to remember that SSAT scores are only one part of your student's application.

Scores and Schools FAQs

What is a score advisor?

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Many families choose to use the services of an educational consultant or a placement counselor at their current school to help with the admission process. In these cases, families can list a member school or consultant as a score advisor. This score advisor will then have the ability to view the scores and list score recipients on behalf of the family.

Scores and Schools FAQs

Can I send my scores to a school that is not listed under score recipients?

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No. SSAT scores may only be reported to members of The Enrollment Management Association, which administers the SSAT.

Scores and Schools FAQs

Do schools see if the student has taken more than one SSAT?

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No - there is no indication on the score report as to how many tests were taken. Families alone choose which/how many score reports to send to chosen schools.

Scores and Schools FAQs

I need to send the scores to a school. How do I do that?

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Scores can be sent from your account. Please login to your account, click on "my scores" and then click on the + sign. You will see "add recipient." Type in the school name & click on "search." When the name comes up, click on it and the scores will be sent immediately.

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FAQ

Can I trial Webflow before paying?

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Sure! You can test out Webflow on our free plan where you can experiment with 2 projects. Your unhosted projects will have a two-page limit, but you can purchase a site plan on a per-project basis to unlock up to 100 static pages and additional CMS pages.

What is a project?

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A project is a website that you build in Webflow. You can publish projects to a webflow.io staging subdomain for free, export the code on a paid plan, or add a site plan to connect your custom domain and unlock hosting features.

What can I white label?

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Pro accounts can add their own logo to Client Billing forms and the Editor. Pro accounts can also remove references to Webflow in the source code and form submission emails, and hide the Webflow badge from their staging sites.

How much traffic can the hosting handle?

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Webflow hosting scales automatically to handle millions of concurrent visits. All site plans serve sites through our Amazon's Cloudfront CDN and accelerated using Fastly, loading sites in milliseconds.

What kind of support does Webflow provide?

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We offer fast email support to paid accounts and prioritized help for team accounts. Community support (forum.webflow.com) is available to free accounts.

How long does it take to learn Webflow?

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If you're new to building websites, our video tutorials will get up and running quickly. If you already know concepts behind CSS and the box model, you will feel at home in Webflow.

If I don’t have a computer or an Internet connection will I not be able to take the SSAT at Home?

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In these difficult times, EMA is working harder than ever to provide equal access to the SSAT at Home to all individuals. If you do not have access to the required equipment, email info@ssat.org as soon as possible so we can help review options with you.

What are the system requirements to take the SSAT at Home?

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The SSAT at Home can be taken on a Mac or PC operating system.

A system check tool will be made available so families can verify their computer will work in advance of testing.

What do you do with a child that can only take it on paper?

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Paper-based testing is available in locations where it’s safe to do so following local guidelines. EMA will continue to work hard to meet the needs of all of its test takers. Please email ta@enrollment.org if you need additional assistance.

Can I have a copy of my child's recording?

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No, as accepted in the SSAT Candidate Agreement, you can not have a copy of your child’s recording.

How does EMA select the proctors? Have they gone through any clearances?

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EMA has selected PSI as our trusted partner in administering and proctoring the SSAT at Home. PSI brings years of remote proctoring experience, and dedicated remote proctors who are trained specifically to support the SSAT at Home and its test takers.

Will someone be monitoring me when I take the test?

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Yes. When you are taking the test a remote proctor will ensure you are following all testing rules. The role of the proctor is also to help with any questions or problems the test-taker may have.

If my computer crashes during the SSAT at Home can I restart?

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If you experience a technical problem in any of these areas during the administration of the SSAT at Home, you must notify the remote proctor immediately, and follow the proctor’s instructions. If you are unable to notify the remote proctor due to a technical problem, you must have your parent/guardian call the phone number provided.

Will I need to download any software in order to take the SSAT at Home?

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When you schedule your SSAT at Home you will receive instructions on how to run a system check and ensure your computer is compatible with the remote proctoring system.

You will also be required to download and install a secure browser that is used for testing.

Will I have to submit a photo?

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No, you will not have to submit a photo to take the SSAT at Home. However, a photo will be taken of the test taker upon onboarding (via screenshot) and that photo may be referenced in the event an irregularity is detected.

Will I be recorded during my test?

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Yes. Your SSAT At Home testing session will be video and audio recorded. Those videos will be retained and processed as part of your SSAT administration

Can I wear a headset or earphones during my test?

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No, headsets and earphones are not permitted.

Are there breaks during the test? What do I do if I have to go to the bathroom?

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Yes, there are 2 breaks scheduled during the SSAT At Home. The first break is 10 minutes and is after the writing sample. The second break is 10 minutes and is after the reading section.

How do I prepare for the test?

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You can prepare for the SSAT at Home like you would the paper-based test.

Also, first make sure you have read and understood all the guidelines outlined in the SSAT Candidate Agreement.

Will I be allowed to use scratch paper during the testing?

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Yes. Students are able to use two pieces of scratch paper and a regular pencil.

Can I re-take the SSAT at Home?

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Yes, you may take the SSAT at Home up to 5 times in a testing year (August–July).

Will there be an indication on my score report that I took the SSAT at Home?

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Your score report will not be labeled with the type of test you took for the SSAT.

Am I eligible to take the SSAT at Home?

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The SSAT at Home is available to middle-and upper-level test takers in the U.S. and Canada for the 2020-21 academic year.

What makes the SSAT at Home test better than other tests?

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The SSAT at Home is the same as the paper-based SSAT with the option to schedule a test date and time that works best for the test taker, in the convenience and comfort of their own home. It gives families greater flexibility, convenience and an alternative to testing in test centers, where it may not be possible to do so.

Is the SSAT at Home only offered in English or is it also offered in another language?

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Currently, the SSAT at Home is only offered in English.

How will students requiring accommodations support staff be accommodated during the SSAT at Home?

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If your student requires or is approved for support staff for the SSAT at Home, such as a Reader, please contact EMA at ta@enrollment.org. EMA will guide you through requirements and rules.

How is EMA ensuring access to the SSAT at Home for those who may not have a computer or internet access?

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In these difficult times, EMA is working harder than ever to provide equal access to all individuals. If families do not have access to the equipment or resources required to take the SSAT at Home, they should email info@ssat.org so we can support them and review all options.

Are fee waivers available for the SSAT at Home?

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Yes, test fee waivers may be used for any SSAT, including SSAT at Home, SSAT at Prometric Test Centers and the paper-based SSAT Flex test.

Will the SSAT at Home be available in all countries or in limited areas?

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The SSAT at Home will be available in the U.S. and Canada for the 2020-2021-testing year. Computer-based testing will be available at Prometric test centers in domestic and international locations where it is safe to reopen. Paper-based testing will also be available at schools and test centers in domestic and international locations where it is safe to reopen.

Will testing at a test center end with the addition of the at-home version?

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Multiple testing modes are available for the SSAT during the 2020-2021 testing year. These options include the computer-based SSAT at Home, as well as paper-based and computer-based testing in test centers where local guidelines can be met safely.

How long is the SSAT at Home and how much time does it take to complete?

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The SSAT at Home is the same format and length as the paper-based test, which is roughly three hours in length including breaks. Extra time will be required for check-in.

What about the Flex test? Is it still being offered?

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The SSAT Flex test has been made available with requirements for test takers and proctors to follow all local COVID-19 guidelines. The SSAT Flex test will be available for the 2020–21 testing season.

Is the testing fee different to take the SSAT at Home?

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The testing fee is the same for the SSAT at Home as it is for the paper-based SSAT or to test at a physical Prometric test center.  The domestic (US, Canada) fee for all tests is $149.00.

How will EMA deliver the SSAT at Home test?

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The SSAT at Home is the same standardized test as the SSAT, but it is delivered digitally to test takers in the convenience of their homes. Delivered by our partner PSI, the SSAT will be administered via a secure web application with continuous AI monitoring, data forensics, and live remote proctoring.

How do students sign up for the SSAT at Home?

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Sign up for the SSAT at Home will be available through the SSAT test registration process on SSAT.org. When a parent or guardian signs into their account, they will be able to register for the SSAT at Home. After purchase, they will be directed to PSI, our remote proctoring partner site, to select their student’s test date and time.

What if I have technical issues during the testing?

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Remote proctors will be available to assist students throughout testing. If any connection issues arise, the proctor and technical support will work with the student to get back online and continue the test. EMA will work with students if they experience a technology issue that prevents the completion of testing.

What type of devices can be used for home testing? Can it be taken on a smartphone? Can it be taken on a Mac computer?

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PCs or Macs (laptops or desktops) with broadband internet and webcam capabilities can be used for home testing. Currently Chromebooks are not supported. Cell phones and tablets are not supported. Options will be made available to students who do not have access to computers.

Is the SSAT at Home test 24/7 or on a schedule?

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The SSAT at Home will be offered every Saturday and one Sunday per month, beginning September 2020.

What accommodations will there be for students with disabilities, including students who require support services?

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EMA will support students requiring testing accommodations just as with the paper-based SSAT.

What type of ID will students need to present and how will proctors confirm these documents?

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Due to the age of our test takers, students will not need to present an ID. However, a photo will be taken of the test taker upon onboarding and that photo may be referenced in the event an irregularity is detected.

What policies or safeguards will there be to ensure test integrity and security?

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The SSAT will be conducted in a locked down web application with live, remote proctors, data forensics and artificial intelligence (AI), such as facial recognition technology, audio and video monitoring. Proctors will check the student's identity and monitor for any suspicious behavior. The AI will flag any possibilities for testing irregularities, including but not limited to attempting to take a picture, talking to other people or trying to open other applications.

Is there any difference in scoring between SSAT at Home versus paper-based SSAT?

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No. This is still The SSAT. The scoring process and score scale will be exactly the same. The SSAT at Home will also go through an equating process.

Is this a permanent test option or will it have a limited timeframe?

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The SSAT at Home is a permanent option to families beginning in August of 2020.

How will SSAT at Home scores be reported and how soon after testing?

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SSAT at Home scores will be sent to both families and schools and posted in the same manner as the paper-based SSAT. Typically, scores will be released to schools (those indicated during the registration process) three business days after testing and released to families the following day.

How is the SSAT at Home different from the paper-based SSAT?

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The SSAT at Home is the same standardized test as the SSAT but delivered on computer via a secure web application with continuous AI monitoring, data forensics and live remote proctoring.

Why is EMA offering the SSAT at Home?

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At EMA, we are committed to supporting our members and families by offering innovative products and services, as well as supporting them with flexible, convenient, and safe computer-based test options. The SSAT at Home allows families a solution to test during the COVID-19 pandemic or any other situation that would prevent them from testing in a test center.

What is the SSAT at Home?

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The SSAT at Home is the same standardized test as the SSAT but delivered on computer via a secure web application with continuous AI monitoring, data forensics and live remote proctoring. Students can take the SSAT at Home from the convenience of their homes rather than having to go to a test center.
Still have questions? Check the help center or email us at Support@Example.com

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Since 1957, the SSAT has been their indispensable solution. 

Developed by EMA to standardize the admissions testing process, the SSAT measures the basic verbal, math, and reading skills students need for favorable performance in independent schools. It has proven to be an exceptionally valid indicator of first-year student success.

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