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2018-07-30 11:56:48

How to prepare for SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) for international students

How to prepare for SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) for international students

The International SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is designed for students from grades 3 to 11 who have chosen to study in private US schools. If a foreign student plans to transfer to an American high school, he will need to pass the SSAT exam at a sufficiently high score to prove his readiness for study abroad, his level of knowledge and command of English.

Today, SSAT exams are held around the world on average 8 times a year:

  • June
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April

You only need to specify the dates in the accredited center. Registration for the exam is conducted on the official testing site, the exam costs (according to 2016) $ 247.

Types of SSAT exam

The varieties of the SSAT exam depend on the age of students - there are 3 levels in total:

  • Elementary Level (initial) = grade 3-4
  • Middle Level = grade 5-7 
  • Upper Level = grade 8-11 

The SSAT exam checks the student's readiness to learn intensive and diverse school curriculum according to the American standard, adopted in each private school in the United States. The final scores received on the SSAT show how much the student is willing to study in high school - all basic knowledge, abilities and skills are checked:

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Reading comprehension
  • Mathematics
  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to solve tasks, analyze information, manage own time.

All SSAT blocks differ in complexity, which makes it possible to adapt testing for students depending on their level of preparation - so skills and knowledge can be assessed as objectively as possible.

Structure of SSAT exam

In total, the exam provides for the execution of assignments in 4 blocks:

1. Quantitative section

  • Total time: 60 minutes
  • Number of questions: 50.

It is divided into 2 blocks of 25 questions each (for each block is given half an hour). These are tasks on basic mathematical operations, algebra and geometry, testing knowledge of basic computing concepts.

2. Reading comprehension (reading)

  • Total time: 40 minutes
  • Number of questions: 40.

The student is given several passages (usually these are 2 types of texts: narrative and proof), on the basis of which 40 questions are formed - they need to be given full and competent answers, to prove an excellent understanding of the text, the ability to analyze.

3. Verbal (verbal assignments)

  • Total time: 30 minutes
  • Number of questions: 60.

Half of the questions are devoted to checking your vocabulary (for example, searching synonyms for a given word), the second half - to the ability to correlate logic and ideas (tasks for building analogies). In total, the verbal unit is only given 30 minutes.

4. Essay (essay writing)

  • Total time: 25 minutes

It is noteworthy that the score for this part is not set: the essay written along with the results of the other blocks is sent to the commission of the priority school for the analysis of examiners. To write a creative text, several levels of complexity have been developed:

  • Beginning level - it is necessary to describe the proposed picture
  • Middle level - 2 hints are given
  • The highest level - one essay is written, only one hint is given.

Note that for each wrong answer, the examiners remove 0.25 points from the final result - be careful! All parts and tasks are equivalent to each other - only the number of correct answers plays a role.

Here you can learn about the preparation and other tests:

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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