This paper-based test is administered at test centers or by educational consultants. For each question, students use a pencil to fill in a circle for the answer they have chosen, and students also complete a writing sample in pencil.
Test administrators follow precise instructions for proctoring of the SSAT — which will continue even as we expand our testing to include two new computer-based SSAT options: the SSAT at Home and the SSAT at Prometric test centers.
Learn about our three safe and convenient ways to take the SSAT.
Standard: There are typically eight SSAT Standard dates during the academic year at test sites around the world. In the U.S. and Canada, paper-based testing will not be an option on these dates. Internationally, we will have five paper-based test dates.
Flex: These tests are given to an individual or group by member schools or approved educational consultants on any date other than the Standard dates. Students may take one Flex test in a testing year.
We are committed to ensuring that test takers with disabilities receive reasonable accommodations when taking the SSAT at Home.
Parents/guardians must have an SSAT account to register a student for the SSAT. Use your account to:
Please note: When creating an account, students must indicate their gender as male or female. This is because SSAT reports percentiles based upon both the indicated gender and also separately for all students from that grade. Transgender students should indicate the gender with which they identify and are indicating on applications to schools.
Use the Student Login to create or access your account.
Check-in: You will show your admission ticket and confirm your student’s information, and staff will remind both you and your student of testing rules and any COVID-19 requirements. Parents/guardians can retain any student belongings or store them in a designated area.
Security & Admission: Students will be asked to temporarily roll up sleeves to show they are not wearing a watch and turn out pockets to show they don’t have prohibited items. In some locations, students may walk through a metal detector, or a hand-held wand detector may be used, prior to entering the testing room. Staff will ensure proper social distancing throughout.
Testing: Students will receive an SSAT answer booklet and verify all personal information is correct. When testing begins, students will be given a specific amount of time to complete each section, will be provided breaks of varying times between test sections, and will be given a five-minute warning before a section ends.
Typically, scores will be released to schools indicated during the registration process approximately two weeks after completed test materials are received. Families can then access them online, and allow an additional week for delivery by U.S. first-class mail.
Scoring services, such as score alerts and the ability to review your student’s writing sample, are available for additional fees.
In general, becoming familiar with the format of the SSAT is the best way students can prepare. This includes understanding the type and quantity of questions on the SSAT, the setup of the sections, and getting experience taking a standardized test.
Middle & Upper Level
Two official SSAT preparation tools are available. The first is The Official Study Guide for the SSAT, which includes three full length practice tests. The second is the SSAT Practice Online service, which offers even more practice content and tools. Login to your account to order or access these services.
A free partial practice test is available for both the 3rd grade and 4th grades in the Elementary Level Official Study Guide for the SSAT.
Every test administration offers new writing samples for students, so that the SSAT prompts are constantly changing, per the desires of member schools.
The Official Study Guide for the SSAT and SSAT Practice Online are built by the same team that creates actual test forms and questions. They understand the SSAT inside and out and work hard to ensure official SSAT practice aligns with the real SSAT. While others companies, services, and products may claim to know the content that is on the SSAT, the truth is that SSAT questions are never released.