Questions and Answers
Please note: Our representatives will not answer specific questions regarding score interpretation.
How are scores calculated?
Your “raw” score on the Middle and Upper Level SSATs is determined by subtracting a percentage of the number of wrong answers from the number of right answers. You receive one point for every correct answer and lose one-quarter point for each wrong answer on a question with a five-choice response. You do not lose points by skipping a question.
How do schools use your scores?
Admission officers use your scores to estimate your ability to do work in their programs, as well as to compare your performance with other applicants for admission or with your present academic record. Each school evaluates your scores according to its own standards and requirements. Please contact individual schools for more information about the weight or importance they place on SSAT scores in the admission process.
What is equating?
Different SSAT forms are built and administered to students each year. Although test developers follow specific procedures to ensure that test difficulty is as similar as possible across test forms, in reality there are variations in test form difficulty. A statistical procedure called score equating is used to adjust scores to compensate for minor form difficulty differences so that scores on different test forms are comparable.
How can the same raw score have a different percentile?
The same raw score from different forms can be converted to different scaled scores depending on test form difficulty, which correspond to different percentiles, depending on the ability level of the pool of students taking the SSAT. For example, if a raw score of 50 from Form X results in a lower scaled score than the raw score 50 from Form Y, then Form X is easier than Form Y at the raw score level of 50. Equating ensures that only ability differences are reflected in the resulting scores, so they can be compared directly and used interchangeably.
Have the percentiles changed over time?
Percentiles have shifted by only 1% in four years.