How to Achieve Your Best Score on the SSAT

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is a crucial step in the admissions process for many private schools. While it’s important to aim for a high score, it’s also essential to remember that the SSAT is just one part of the admissions criteria. Keeping this in mind can help alleviate some of the pressure and nervousness that students may feel on test day.

Here are some tips to help your child prepare effectively for the SSAT:

  1. Create a Study Plan: The SSAT covers verbal, quantitative math, reading, and writing skills. Instead of trying to study everything, focus on areas where your child needs improvement. Start by taking a free 30-minute SSAT practice test to identify areas for improvement. Usually, after you register your child for the test, he/she will get the free 30-minute online SSAT practice test on After the registration, you can also download the Official Guide document, which will help your child prepare.
  2. Practice Taking the SSAT: Test-taking is a skill that can be improved with practice. There are many SSAT practice materials out there. Do some research and buy the appropriate materials for your child and ask him/her to practice regularly. If possible, you should also arrange time for your child to take full-length online SSAT practice tests to simulate the actual test-taking experience. These tests provide feedback on incorrect answers, helping students learn from their mistakes.
  3. Understand SSAT Scoring: Each correct answer on the SSAT earns a point, while incorrect answers result in a quarter-point deduction. There is no penalty for skipping a question. Understanding the scoring system can help students develop a guessing strategy for questions they are unsure about.
  4. Consider Retaking the SSAT: Data shows that students who retake the SSAT can improve their scores significantly. If your child is not satisfied with their initial score, consider retaking the test to try to improve it.
  5. Practice Writing: While the writing portion of the SSAT is not scored, it is still important. Admission committees review the writing sample, so practicing essay writing before the test can be beneficial. Focus on proper essay structure and time management.
  6. Reduce Stress: Test-day stress can negatively impact performance. Encourage your child to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, and ensure they get plenty of rest and eat a healthy meal before the test.

By following these tips, your child can be better prepared for the SSAT and increase their chances of achieving their best score. Remember, the SSAT is just one part of the admissions process, and a strong score can help, but it’s not the only factor that schools consider.