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The Character Skills Snapshot (CSS)

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Measuring Character Traits for Admission

Teamwork. Empathy. Integrity.

These are the signs of character independent schools look for. You hope these traits are taken into account during the admission process, but what if you could ensure that they would?

The Character Skills Snapshot (CSS) is an innovative tool built by test experts to complement the SSAT by examining character traits your child demonstrates every day in school and in the community.

We are thrilled to offer you the ability to participate in this exciting new assessment. The CSS helps independent school admission teams understand the unique qualities children can contribute to each school’s individual community. 

We are pleased to offer students in grades 5-11 who create an account on SSAT.org this year (access opens November 2016) the ability to participate in the field trial of this innovative new assessment.  We look forward to a future in which assessing the ability of a child to succeed in our schools is transformed!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about the CSS that are not answered here, please contact SSAT at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., via the live chat service, or at 609-683-4440 (M-F 9:00am - 4:30pm EST)

Is my child required to take the CSS for admission to independent schools?
No, but we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to enhance the admission industry's understanding of traits once thought to be unmeasurable. Each child’s parent/guardian must consent for their child to participate in the CSS, but not participating will not affect your child’s application for admission.

When and how can my child take the CSS?
Visit your SSAT account to participate in the CSS.

How long is the CSS?
The CSS is approximately 30 minutes long.