Test-Day Essentials

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Knowing what to expect before attending a Prometric SSAT appointment can help alleviate test-day jitters, putting students in the right frame of mind to do their best.

Prometric registration is


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Please note: Prometric testing closes on July 21. Registration and scheduling must be completed at least 24 hours prior; availability may vary by testing location. SSAT testing registration reopens on August 1.

SSAT at Home registration is


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Ready for Prometric test day?

What can you bring to a Prometric test center? What’s prohibited? When should you arrive? And what happens if you are late? Find answers to these questions in the test-day tips below, then learn about the prohibited items and what to expect at a Prometric center.

If your student experiences any issues on test day, email info@ssat.org immediately.

Tip 1

Healthy Habits

Proper sleep and regular exercise can help students feel mentally sharp for testing. Have them eat a balanced breakfast on test day, but not so much that they feel tired afterward. Dress for success in comfortable clothes and footwear to avoid distractions.

Tip 2

Plan Ahead

Save your Prometric confirmation email listing the test center address and details about arrival, parking, or public transportation. Plan to arrive 30–45 minutes early to provide time for check-in, and review your email and Prometric’s site closures before leaving for possible cancellations.

Late policy: Prometric guarantees appointments up to 15 minutes after the scheduled start time; the ability to test after 15 minutes depends on seat availability.

TIp 3

Items to Bring (And Not Bring)

Pack snacks and a drink together in a clear zip-top bag with the student’s name on it. Food is consumed during breaks and must stay with a parent in the waiting area or stored in a locker during testing. Equally important, don't bring prohibited items such as watches or calculators.

Parental Release Form: Bring a parent-signed copy of this form if you plan on leaving the center while your student is testing.

Prohibited Items

Please carefully review the list of prohibited items and the cell phone policy below. Prohibited items should remain at home. If brought, they must stay with a parent in the waiting area or stored in a locker.

All Electronics

  • Calculators
  • Cell phones (MUST BE OFF)
  • Fitness tracker wristbands
  • Media players
  • All watches (clocks will be visible in testing rooms and proctors will provide timing cues)

Personal Items

  • Backpacks
  • Bags
  • Large Jewelry
  • Purses (feminine hygiene products are allowed and must be kept in a locker or with a parent or guardian)


  • Coats
  • Hats (Head coverings worn for religious reasons are NOT prohibited. Hooded sweatshirts may be worn; however, the hood must remain down at all times.

Other Items

  • Books
  • Erasers
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • Notes or Paper
  • Pens
  • Rulers
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SSAT Cell Phone Policy

Cell phones are prohibited, and we strongly discourage students from bringing one to a test center; however, we understand that a phone may be necessary for coordinating transportation. Students that bring a phone must strictly abide by all cell phone rules:

  • Ensure the phone is off.
  • Leave the phone with a parent in the waiting area or in a locker.
  • Do NOT attempt to access or use the phone, including during breaks.

Students possessing a prohibited item during testing will be excused, have their test canceled without refund, and may not be allowed to retest.

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What is the best way to prepare for the Prometric SSAT?

The Official SSAT Online Practice from the creator of the SSAT provides the best simulation for taking a computer-based SSAT. Complete with four full-length practice tests, 15 practice section tests, and over 50 quiz subjects.

Explore Online Practice
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What to Expect at Prometric Centers

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Watch Prometric's "What to Expect on Test Day" video for an overview of test-day procedures.

Please note the following about the video:

  • The people depicted in the video are adults; students taking the Prometric SSAT will likely do so alongside adults who are taking other tests.
  • The biometric and fingerprint scan shown is not utilized for SSAT testing.
  • Students aren't asked to show a government ID.

Prometric Procedures

When taking a Prometric SSAT, the types of questions, the sections and the time allotted for each, and the breaks are the same as other SSAT test modes. The only differences are that Prometric students take the SSAT on a computer instead of a test book and answer sheet, and they use a dry-erase marker and a wipeable sheet for notes instead of scrap paper and a pencil. All testing items are provided by Prometric.


Upon check-in, the Prometric staff will confirm your student's name and information at the check-in area and mark them present. They may also remind you of the testing rules and any health and safety requirements at that center. Parents and guardians can hold onto snacks, feminine hygiene products, and prohibited items, or secure the student's personal belongings in a locker.  

Students may have to wait patiently until it is time to proceed to the security check. Parents can accompany students during the security check, but you aren't allowed in the testing room, so you must return to the waiting area.

Security and Admission to the Testing Room

The security check takes place between the waiting area and the testing room. Staff may form test-takers into a line for scanning through a metal detector or handheld wand. They will provide additional instructions if prohibited items are suspected.

Your student will be assigned a specific computer station to begin testing. Proctors constantly monitor the testing room through a large glass window and security cameras.

Test takers in the room may include other students taking the SSAT and students and adults taking different admission and licensure exams. Students with testing accommodations may test in a shared testing room or individually, depending on the site and the student’s accommodations.

Tutorial and Instructions

Once seated, students receive a simple tutorial on navigating the SSAT and selecting answer choices on the computer, along with a reminder of the testing rules.

During testing, students read instructions on the screen; however, the test also prompts them to use headphones to hear the written instructions spoken aloud for important sections. If a student needs assistance, they should raise their hand and wait for directions.

Students may use the restroom during testing when it's not occupied, but they can't make up missed time, so it's best to wait until scheduled breaks.


The Prometric SSAT begins with the writing sample section. A dry-erase marker and a wipeable sheet are available for students to organize their thoughts, but they must complete the writing by typing on the computer keyboard. As with all sections, there is a time limit, and students receive a five-minute warning at the top of the screen before the section ends.

A ten-minute break follows the writing sample. Students can visit the restroom or access snacks and drinks in the waiting areas at this time, but they CAN'T access prohibited items, whether stored in a locker or left with a parent.

You may not discuss test content with your student, nor can they discuss test content with other test takers. Help your student by ensuring they put snacks and drinks away a couple of minutes before the end of their break, so they have time to go through security. They will report back to the same computer station. If they are late, the next section starts automatically, and they can't make up missed time.

The multiple-choice sections are next. Students mark their selected answers on the computer, and they can use the dry-erase marker and wipeable sheet for notes. They must answer at least one question in each section for the test to be scored; however, they do not need to answer each question. They should know that they 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.

Students may not move ahead if they finish a section early. The breakdown of sections and their time allotments are as follows:

  1. Writing Sample: 25 minutes
  2. Break: 10 minutes
  3. Quantitative (Math): 30 minutes
  4. Reading: 40 minutes
  5. Break: 10 minutes
  6. Verbal: 30 minutes
  7. Quantitative (Math): 30 minutes
  8. Experimental: 15 minutes

Students receive an on-screen notification when the test is complete. They can exit the testing room at this time but should be quiet as others may still be testing. If a locker was used, don't forget to collect personal belongings and return the key before leaving.

Rescheduling Your Prometric SSAT Appointment

  • Reschedule Prometric SSAT appointments for free 29 days or more before the test date
  • Prometric charges a $35 rescheduling fee between 28 and 3 days before the appointment
  • Prometric appointments cannot be rescheduled under 3 days before the appointment
  • Prometric tests cannot be changed to an SSAT at Home or paper SSAT
  • Reschedule on the “My Tests” page in your EMA account, or contact Prometric directly at 1-800-853-6769.

Need help?

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Who you contact depends on the nature of your questions.

Contact Prometric

For assistance with scheduling or rescheduling after registration when you have a Prometric eligibility ID, finding an available Prometric test center, or for questions about test centers.

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Contact EMA

For general SSAT questions, changing a paper SSAT registration to Prometric, and any other inquiries.

Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Questions about SSAT test options, scores, and more?