Take a computer-based version of the SSAT, following the same design as the original SSAT.
To change your existing paper-based registration to a Prometric test site, follow these steps:
You can change from a Prometric test back to a paper-based test or to an SSAT at Home test (both depending on availability). To start that test change, go to your EMA account under the “My Tests” page and select “Change test to paper-based SSAT.” If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer support team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prometric will guarantee your appointment up until 15 minutes after your student’s scheduled start time. After this your student may or may not be allowed to test based on seat availability and other appointments. Given limited testing seats due to social distancing, seat availability and flexibility will be extremely limited.
We are committed to ensuring that test takers with disabilities receive reasonable accommodations when taking the SSAT. When completing your test change to a Prometric test center, your approved accommodations will be provided to Prometric.
Prohibited items, including cell phones, must be kept either by the parent/guardian or in a provided Prometric locker. Your student may not access or use any prohibited items, including during breaks.
CELL PHONES ARE PROHIBITED ITEMS. We strongly discourage students from bringing a cell phone to the test center. However, we understand that bringing a cell phone may be necessary for security or transportation reasons. IF STUDENTS BRING A CELL PHONE, THEY MUST STRICTLY ABIDE BY ALL CELL PHONE RULES.
5. Know What to Expect
Check your email and Prometric's site openings for any information about possible cancellations.
It’s important to know that the computer-based SSAT at a Prometric test center is just a digital version of the paper-based SSAT. The types of questions, the sections, and related parts of the computer-based SSAT are the same. Your student will simply use a computer for all test sections instead of a book and an answer sheet.
At the check-in area, you will be asked to confirm your student's name and your information.
Staff will check your student’s information and mark them present. Staff may remind both you and your student of rules related to testing and also any COVID-19 requirements. You, the parent/guardian, may retain any snacks and prohibited items, or you may ask check-in staff for a locker to secure your student’s belongings.
Your student will then be directed to check-in staff for a quick security check, or possibly asked to wait patiently if you are early or your testing seat is not ready yet.
Parents/guardians will accompany test takers during the security check and then will be directed back to the waiting area. Parents/guardians may not go to the testing room.
As you and your student leave the waiting area, but before your student enters the testing room, staff may ask you to form a line at security. Staff will ensure proper social distancing between all staff and test takers during testing. Students may be asked to walk through a metal detector or be scanned by a handheld wand detector.
Staff may provide additional directions if they suspect any prohibited items.
Your student will then be directed by staff to a specific computer station, normally by number, to begin testing. Staff will constantly monitor the room and all test takers through a large glass window, as well as with security cameras. Students will be seated in a room with other SSAT test takers and other students and adults taking admission, licensure, and other types of exams. Students with testing accommodations may test in a shared testing room or may test individually depending on the site and the student’s accommodations.
Once seated, your student will start with a simple tutorial. It will explain how to navigate and how to select answer choices. It will also remind your student of the general rules of testing. All testing will occur on a computer. During testing, instructions to your student for each section will be provided on screen and must be read. For select, important instructions, students will also be advised when they can use provided headphones to hear the written instructions spoken aloud.
Students requiring assistance during testing should raise their hand and wait for directions. During testing, students may use the restroom. However, they may need to wait for a short time depending on availability and to maintain social distancing. They will not be able to make up any time missed for a restroom break during testing, so it's best if they can wait for a scheduled break.
Once your student completes the tutorial, they will start with the writing sample section by typing their response on a keyboard. Like all sections, there will be a specific amount of time allotted to complete the sections, and students will be given a five-minute warning at the top of the screen before the end of the section. Students will receive a small dry erase board and marker to organize their thoughts. However, the complete writing sample response must be typed on the computer.
After the writing sample ends, your student will receive a 10-minute break. They can visit the restroom or access snacks or drinks in the waiting areas during this time, but they CANNOT access prohibited items, whether in the locker or left with you, the parent/guardian. You may not discuss test content with your student nor may they discuss test content with other test takers. Help your student to allow several minutes of the end of their break to put their snacks and drinks away and go through security. They will report back to the same computer station. If they are late, the next session of the test will start automatically, and they will not be allowed to make up missed time.
Next, the multiple-choice sections of the test will be administered. During each of these sections, your student must mark their selected answers on the computer. They will be provided a dry erase board and marker for figuring in all sections. They must answer at least one question in each section for the test to be scored. However, it is important for students to remember that they do not need to attempt to answer each question, and they should understand how points are awarded on the SSAT. Your student will receive 1 point for each correct answer, lose 1/4 point for each incorrect answer, and neither receive nor lose points for skipping a question.
For each section, your student will have a specific amount of time. The time varies from section to section, but your student will always receive a five-minute warning at the top of the screen. They may not move ahead if they finish a section early.
The sections of the test, their lengths, order, and break periods are shown below.
Computer-Based SSAT Testing Time
After the final section ends, the instruction on screen will advise your student their test is complete.
They can exit the testing room but should be quiet as they exit, as others may still be testing. If your student used a locker, be sure to collect all belongings and return the locker key before leaving. If your student experiences any issues on test day, email email@example.com immediately.
EMA understands that during these unprecedented times, receiving scores as fast as possible is very important.
What is the computer-based SSAT?
We are excited to announce a computer-based version of the SSAT that is taken at a Prometric test center. This computer-based version of the SSAT follows the same design of the paper-based version, however, it is taken on a computer instead. The computer-based version of the SSAT will be available at Prometric test centers around the world.
What is being done at Prometric test centers given the COVID-19 pandemic?
To help protect test takers and staff, Prometric test centers are taking steps and have specific requirements related to COVID-19. You can read more about social distancing guidelines. All requirements apply equally to students and their parent/guardian. When you reschedule your registration to a Prometric test center, you will be required to complete a family COVID declaration as part of the process.
How do I check what Prometric test sites are near me?
During the test registration sign-up process, parents/guardians will be provided a link to preview potential test sites with available dates and times to schedule their SSAT. If a parent/guardian finds a test site with availability nearby, they can submit their test registration on SSAT.org and to be redirected to Prometric’s scheduling website. If you do not have an existing SSAT registration or have canceled your registration, you may check general Prometric availability. However, availability changes regularly.
Are the scores of the computer-based SSAT equally valid?
Yes! The Enrollment Management Association, provider of the paper-based SSAT, has developed this new testing option, which provides equivalent scores to the paper-based SSAT. Score recipients will receive their scores in the same way they always have.
Will my student’s score report indicate that it was taken on a computer?
No. Because the scores from a paper-based and computer-based SSAT are equivalent, no distinction is made on the score report. However, score recipients will be able to see that the writing sample section was typed instead of handwritten.
Can all students take the computer-based SSAT at a Prometric test center?
From June 20, 2020, until July 31, 2020, only the Upper-Level (grades 8–11) SSAT will be available at Prometric test centers.
Beginning August 1, 2020, through July 31, 2021, both the Middle-Level (grades 5–7) and Upper-Level (grades 8–11) SSAT will be available at Prometric test centers.
What will the experience be like?
Check out the What to Expect at a Prometric Test Center section above for more information.
Does a parent/guardian need to remain at the Prometric test center?
Parent/guardians may either stay or sign a waiver allowing them to leave during testing. Parents/guardians will need to be present for check-in.
What will my student need to do with prohibited items, snacks, and drinks before testing?
After check-in, but before proceeding to security and the test room, your student must put all restricted items in a locker provided by Prometric. If you, the parent/guardian, will be staying on site for the duration of the exam, your student can also give you all of their prohibited items.
Is there a way my student can practice the computer-based interface?
Yes. Access the Prometric sample user interface to try out the system. Please keep in mind that the tutorial may vary from the actual SSAT but will provide students with a general idea of what to expect on test day, as well as an opportunity to answer a few sample questions. Students will need to enable Flash in their browser in order for this tutorial to properly launch.
How should my student prepare for the computer-based SSAT?
It is very important for students to be aware of the sections and types of questions on the SSAT. These are identical for both paper- and computer-based SSATs. Using The Official Guide to the SSAT or online practice, both available through your account, are great ways to do this. It is important to note that the computer interface for online practice and the computer-based SSAT do vary.
How many times can my student take the computer-based SSAT at a Prometric test center?
The computer-based SSAT at Prometric test centers will initially be offered to families who are looking to reschedule their existing paper-based registration from the 2019–2020 testing season (August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020). Students will be limited to a maximum of one test during this period.
If you had canceled your existing 2019–2020 registration or were not registered and need testing during this period, please contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
During the 2020–2021 academic year, students will be able to take the computer-based SSAT at Prometric up to two times. It is important to note that there may be situations where a student’s ability to test at a Prometric test center is limited.
What if my student no longer wishes to take the computer-based SSAT?
If your preference changes, you may complete a test change through your account back to a paper-based test or to an SSAT at Home (both depending on availability). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our customer support team at email@example.com.
Can I bring my student’s computer?
No. Your student will take the computer-based SSAT on a Prometric computer to ensure a consistent test experience and for test security reasons.
Can I interact with my student during the breaks?
During the two breaks, your student may leave the testing room and access their snacks and drinks that can be kept in your possession or put in a provided locker. You may talk with your student; however, you should ensure you do not provide them access to any prohibited items, discuss or ask about specific test questions or content, or provide any possible test-related information, such as vocabulary definitions. It is fine to reassure them or ask general questions such as, “How are you doing?”
Is there anything else I should know about breaks as a parent/guardian?
If you decide to stay on site during the exam, it may be helpful to many students for parents and guardians to help their student keep track of time during breaks. Students have 10 minutes for each of the two breaks, from the time they end the previous section to the time they need to be seated and resume testing. Students should allow a few minutes to put away any snacks and drinks, go through security again, and walk the few short steps to their computer in the testing room. If your student is late, they will miss time during the next section that they will not be able to make up.
If I did not register my student with testing accommodations, can I add them?
After registration is complete, it may or may not be possible to add testing accommodations. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to inquire.
Will my student receive their computer-based scores faster than paper-based test takers?
Yes! EMA understands that receiving scores as fast as possible is very important. Families should generally expect scores within four days of testing.
Will my student have an advantage taking the SSAT on a computer?
The score results from the computer-based SSAT will be equated to paper-based scores to adjust for any small impact of test modality (computer vs. paper).
Does the waiting room have Wi-Fi?
No, Wi-Fi will not be available in Prometric waiting rooms.
Will I be required to bring ID for myself or my student?
No. Identification is not required. However, you will need to confirm your information and your student’s information during check-in.