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What to Expect

Arrival at the Test Center

Once you arrive at the test center, look for SSAT signs to guide you to the check-in area.

 

 

 

Check-in

At the check-in area, you will be asked for your admission ticket.

Once staff checks your information and marks you present, your admission ticket will be returned to you. Staff may remind you of rules related to snacks and restricted items.

(Should you need assistance: all personnel associated with providing the SSAT in an open public test will be wearing an SSAT nametag)

You will then be directed to the test room or asked to wait patiently until all test takers arrive and then brought as a group to the testing room.

At most locations, parent/guardians may escort students to the testing room. However, parents/guardians may NOT enter the testing room.

Admission to the Testing Room

Upon arrival at the testing room, the proctor will ask you to form a line at the restricted items area.

You will first be asked to place all restricted items in the designated area.

If you have a cell phone, you will be asked to turn it off, place it in a provided zip top bag, and write your name on the bag.

If you have sleeves, the proctor will ask you to temporarily roll up your sleeves to show that you don’t have a watch or fitness tracker wristband.

Then, you will be asked to turn out your pockets to show you don’t have any other restricted items. 

In select enhanced security locations, metal detectors (magnetometers)In select enhanced security locations, metal detectors (magnetometers) may be used for security. A note will be provided on your student’s admission ticket if metal detectors may be in use at their site.

You will then be instructed to place your snacks in the snacks area and then sit in a seat chosen by the proctor. You are not allowed to choose your own seat.

Wait quietly and patiently for all others to be admitted. At this time you will only be permitted to have your pencils and admission ticket.

 

Testing

Middle / Upper Level (grades 5-7 and 8-11)

Once all test takers are admitted, the proctor will explain the rules of testing and then pass out answer booklets. In most cases you will receive an answer booklet preprinted with your information.

SSAT answer booklets have four pages. The first page will include information about you. The second and third inside pages are for the writing sample. The fourth page is where you mark your answers.

You will verify that the information on your answer booklet is correct, or fill in your name, grade, gender, and registration ID (from your admission ticket).

Then testing will begin. First, you will complete the writing sample section. Like all sections, there will be a specific amount of time given to complete the section. As with all sections, you will be given a five-minute warning before the end of the section. You will have a piece of scrap paper to organize your thoughts; however, your complete writing sample must be written in the answer booklet.

After the writing sample ends you will receive a 5-minute break. You can visit the restroom or access your snacks during this time, but you CANNOT access restricted items.

When the break ends you will take your seat, test books will be distributed, and the multiple-choice sections of the test will be administered. During each of these sections, be sure you mark all answers in the answer booklet and attempt each section. Tests cannot be scored if any entire section is left blank. However, remember that you do not need to attempt to answer each question.

You 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. If you do skip a question, be sure to skip that space on your answer booklet.

You may write in the test book to help you figure during each of the multiple-choice sections. For each section, you will have a specific amount of time. The time varies from section to section, but you will always receive a five-minute warning. You may not move ahead if you finish a section early.

The sections of the test, their lengths, order, and break periods are shown below. There is a second longer break of 10 minutes after the second multiple-choice section.

SectionTime (minutes)1.5x Time Accommodation
Writing Sample 25 40
Break 5 5
Quantitative (Math) 30 45
**Break for 1.5x Time only** NA 5
Reading 40 60
Break 10 10
Verbal 30 45
**Break for 1.5x Time only** NA 5
Quantitative (Math) 30 45
Experimental 15 N/A

Elementary Level (grades 3-4)

Once all test takers are admitted, the proctor will explain the rules of testing and then pass out test books. In most cases you will receive a test book preprinted with your information.

You will verify that the information on your test book is correct, or fill in your name, grade, gender, and registration ID (from your admission ticket). If you need help, a proctor can help you.

First, the multiple-choice sections of the test will be administered. You may write in the test book to help you figure during each of the multiple choice sections. For each section, you will have a specific amount of time. The time varies from section to section, but you will always receive a five-minute warning. You may not move ahead if you finish a section early. Tests cannot be scored if any entire section is left blank.

When taking the Elementary level test, be sure to answer each question, even if you aren’t sure what the answer is. You will receive a point for each correct answer and no points are lost for wrong or skipped questions.

Then testing will continue with the writing sample. You will be asked to write about a picture you see in your test book.

The sections of the test, their lengths, order, and break period are shown below.

SectionTime (minutes)1.5x Time Accommodation
Quantitative (Math) 30 45
Verbal 20 30
Break 15 15
Reading 30 45
Writing Sample 15 25
Experimental 15 N/A

Breaks

During breaks you will be allowed to access snacks in the snacks area.

You may also use the restroom.

You may NOT access any restricted items.

Depending upon the test center, you may or may not be allowed to access the hallways during breaks.

When and how long are the breaks?

Middle / Upper Level (grades 5-7 and 8-11)

  • (1) 5-minute break after the writing sample
  • (1) 10-minute break between multiple-choice sections 2 and 3

Elementary Level (grades 3-4)

  • (1) 15-minute break between multiple-choice sections 2 and 3

Note: Students approved for 1.5x time (50% extra time) will have additional 5-minute breaks as shown. This applies to both Elementary level and Middle/Upper level tests.

Restroom Use During Testing

During testing, raise your hand if you need to use the restroom.

As only one student at a time is allowed in the restroom during testing, you may need to wait for a short time.

You will not be able to make up any time missed during a restroom break during testing, so it's best if you can wait for a scheduled break.

Dismissal

After the final section ends, you will wait quietly and patiently while the proctor collects and confirms all test materials.

You will then be dismissed and allowed to collect your restricted items and snacks. Be quiet as you exit, as others may still be testing.