Frequently Asked Questions - SSAT

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Each year, more than 4,000 students in Canada and 50,000 across North America write the exam known as the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test). The SSAT is the required entrance exam to some of the finest secondary schools in the world, and a number of private and independent schools use it as an integral part of their admissions evaluation.

See below for answers to some of the frequently asked questions regarding the SSAT.

Most independent and private schools in Ontario require an entrance test. Exams vary and test results are weighted differently. Standardized tests supposedly measure a student's verbal and math ability. They are also supposed to predict how a student will perform in school. In our experience, the entrance exams are to some extent a measure of how well students take the test.
Barbara Priscus, Former Vice-Principal, Academic of The Bishop Strachan School, introduced the SSAT to independent schools in Ontario. Because of the wide variance of academic programs and standards among elementary and middle schools, it was problematic to compare academic ability based on grades and other independent performance measures. Prior to the formation of the Ontario SSAT Consortium, parents were required to approach each of the schools to which they wished to apply in order to have their children write an in-house examination. This often meant that children would spend four to five consecutive weekends in test writing conditions in addition to the interviews that they had to undergo for each application. As a standardized examination, the SSAT has simplified this process in many ways. It is now used across Canada for entrance into independent schools.
The SSAT* is used by many private schools as part of the admission process. It is a test that assesses the academic abilities of the students. The student's math and language skills are evaluated. The SSAT was developed and is administered by the SSAT Board in Princeton, New Jersey.

To register for the official SSAT test please call (609) 683-4440 or visit www.ssat.org or www.ssat.org outside of Ontario.

Make sure to print off and keep the Admission Ticket that is obtainable only after SSAT has received and processed your registration and payment. This ticket both serves as a confirmation for your test registration, and includes important details of your pending test: date, location of scheduled test, specific instructions regarding taking the SSAT, list of schools/consultants chosen to receive your SSAT scores.

There are many private schools in Ontario that utilize the SSAT* for admission purposes. Other private schools administer their own test. PREPSKILLS® can help your child prepare and benefit from the knowledge and strategies acquired to write any test. Ontario Consortium schools use the SSAT* as a component of their admission and/or scholarship process. For a complete list of schools, please refer to our SSAT* Information page on our website. Parents should confer with the schools of their choice to discuss the importance and interpretation given to score results.
There are two levels of the SSAT*. The Middle Level is for students in grades 5 through 7 while the Upper Level applies to students in grades 8 through 11. Children are not expected to answer all questions, but to answer to the best of their abilities. Some subject matter may not have yet been covered at their particular grade level. Please refer to the SSAT* Information page on our web site for further information about the test or visit www.ssat.org or www.ssat.org outside of Ontario.

RAW Score

  • Score is broken down into 3 categories: reading, verbal and math
  • One point is given for each correct answer, 1/4 point subtracted for each incorrect answer
  • No points are added or subtracted for questions omitted
  • Essay is not scored, but sent directly to the private school's admission department

SCALED Score

  • Raw score is converted to a scaled score
  • Middle Level Range (Grades 5 - 7 ) : 440-710 for Verbal/Math/Reading (1320-2130 Total)
  • Upper Level Range (Grades 8 - 11): 500-800 for Verbal/Math/Reading (1500-2400 Total)

PERCENTILE Score

  • SSAT percentile is a score between 1 and 99
  • Compares student performance on test to other students of the same grade and gender who have taken the SSAT* within the past 3 years
The SSAT* is administered at various private schools throughout the GTA, beginning in September through to April. Please visit www.ssat.org for more test date information or call the school of your choice. Should you wish, tests are also administered at independent test centres in Toronto. Visit our SSAT* Information page on our web site for information on test-taking options at independent test centres.
The Ontario Testing Consortium only allows students to register for only one SSAT test per academic year. Any subsequent attempts to write the exam will be considered invalid and will not be reported to schools.
PREPSKILLS® is renowned for its outstanding ability to inspire children to reach their full potential. There are fundamental skills and facts that students need to master in order to do well on standardized tests. The basic areas covered on most standardized tests are reading comprehension, math, vocabulary and essay writing. PREPSKILLS® teaches test-taking strategies and skills that will benefit students writing any admission test. The PREPSKILLS® team is well-versed with many entrance examinations. Call us should you have specific questions about any of the private independent schools or admissions tests.