About SSAT

“Learning is more effective when it is Active rather than a passive process.”

~ Kurt Lewin

  • CEM (Centre for Evaluation & Monitoring)
  • GL Assessment
  • ISEB (Independent Schools Examining Board)
  • SAT
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • English (comprehension, spelling, punctuation, grammar)
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal and Spatial Reasoning.

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is an admission test administered by The Enrollment Management Association in the United States to students in grades 3–11 to provide a standardized measure that will help professionals in independent or private elementary, middle, and high schools to make decisions regarding student test taking.
Our Program includes:

  • Sections: Verbal, Quantitative, and Reading.
  • Levels: Elementary Level SSAT (applying to grade 4 & 5) and Middle Level SSAT (applying to grade 6)
  • Practice & Reports: Unlimited Practice tests, Full-Length exams, Granular Reporting.
  • Learning: Visual Learning, Active Learning, Conceptual explanation, Topic level assessments, Puzzles.
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What’s on SSAT?

The SSAT is a standardized test focused on Verbal, Mathematics, and Reading skills.

  • Quantitative (Math): Composed of math computation.
  • Verbal: Vocabulary and analogy questions.
  • Reading: Reading passages.
  • Writing Sample: The writing sample is not scored, but schools use it to assess writing skills.
  • Experimental: Mixed content questions (verbal, reading, and math). This section does not count toward reported scores.
The examination tests a student's ability to solve problems using a test of verbal reasoning and mathematics, with most tests now also offering papers in mathematics and English. The intention was that the SSAT should be a general test for intelligence (cognitive ability) similar to an IQ test, but by also testing for taught curriculum skills it is evaluating academic ability developed over previous years, which implicitly indicates how supportive home and school environments have been.

Although the high entry standard of the 11+ exam remains consistent across the country, the approach can differ. However, many schools currently test Maths, Verbal Skills (which includes aspects of English and Verbal Reasoning) and Non-Verbal Reasoning. Before embarking on your 11plus journey, we recommend consulting your local consortium of grammar schools, local education authority website or contacting the school directly to find out the specific subjects required for your local grammar school.

It is also important to check if the selective school you are interested in has a catchment area, and if so, how this affects the admissions process.

Typical SSAT Structure:

The SSAT is administered at three different levels:

  • Upper Level (for students currently in grades 8-11)
  • Middle Level (for students currently in grades 5-7)
  • Elementary Level (for students currently in grades 3-4)

The SSAT is administered in six separately timed sections. The first section is the writing sample. Among the other five sections you will always find two Quantitative sections, one Verbal (synonyms and analogies) section, and one Reading Comprehension section. There is also an Experimental section, which is not scored. This section contains six Verbal, five Quantitative, and five Reading Comprehension questions. Every question on the multiple-choice part of the SSAT offers five answer choices lettered (A), (B), (C), (D), and (E).

SSAT Elementary Level
Sections Questions Time Allowed
Section-1 (Quantitative) 30 questions 30 minutes
Section-2 (Verbal) 30 questions 20 minutes
Break 15 minutes
Verbal 60 questions 30 minutes
Section-3 (Reading) 28 questions 30 minutes
Writing Sample 1 Prompt 15 minutes
Experimental* varies from 15-17 15 minutes
Total 104-106* questions 2 hours, 5 minutes
SSAT Middle and Upper Levels
Sections Questions Time Allowed
Writing Sample 1 Prompt 25 minutes
Break 5 minutes
Quantitative (Math) 25 questions 30 minutes
Reading 40 questions 40 minutes
Break 10 minutes
Verbal 60 questions 30 minutes
Quantitative (Math) 25 questions 30 minutes
Experimental* 16 questions 15 minutes
Total 167 questions 3 hours, 5 minutes
*Of the 167 items including the writing sample, only 150 questions are scored

SSAT Scoring

The scoring of the SSAT is as follows: You get one point (+1 point) for each correct answer, and you lose one quarter of a point ( -1/4 point ) for each incorrect answer. Omitted answers have no effect (0 points) on your score. Calculation of right answers minus one fourth of wrong answers yields your raw score. Do not worry that your standing on the exam may suffer in comparison to students in other grades taking the same upper- level exam. SSAT scores are scaled and reported in percentiles that compare only students within the same age and grade group.

How the SSAT Differs from the ISEE

  • On the SSAT, the Verbal section contains Synonym and Analogy questions. On the ISEE, the Verbal section contains Synonym and Sentence Completion questions.
  • On the SSAT, there are no Quantitative Comparisons.
  • On the SSAT, there is a penalty for an incorrect answer. That means you should only guess if you can eliminate at least one answer choice.
  • On the SSAT, there are five answer choices: A. B, C, D. and E. On the ISEE, there are only four answer choices: A, B, C, and D.

GL Education

About GL Assessment

GL Assessment have been the creators and developers of the 11 Plus exams for the vast majority of grammar and independent schools in the UK during the last 25 years.

Our GL Assessment mocks are tailored to challenging the candidate’s preparation strategies with the advanced approach in edification. These are keenly scrutinized to ensure high reliability in content and regularly revised to secure advancements.

What is Included in each GL Mock Exam?

Number of Tests and Subjects

  • Test 1 (45 mins) – divided into two sections: English (comprehension, spelling, punctuation, grammar) and Verbal Reasoning.
  • Test 2 (45 mins) – divided into two sections: Maths and Non-Verbal and Spatial Reasoning.
  • In the online version of this mock, the two sections in Test 1 and Test 2 will appear as two separate mini-tests so that they can be separately timed online, as with the real paper-based exam. The two mini-tests should therefore be attempted back to back without any break.

    Each paper will have 50% weighting.


    The format of the exam is multiple choice.

    Weighting Per Subject

    Each subject may have a different weighting based on the requirements of the school, which commissions their exam. Where Maths and English are tested, the subjects are commonly weighted as 50% each, similarly where the exam is purely Verbal Reasoning and Non-Verbal Reasoning.

    Age Standardisation

    Standardisation is a statistical process that is designed to give equal value to the results of each test, regardless of the number of questions in the test and the time allowed take account of two factors:

  • Take account of children’s ages when they sit the exam to ensure fairness, and therefore avoid unfair advantage to older children.
  • The raw scores of GL exams are age standardised to provide a single combined score. This means that two children born in different months but with exactly the same raw percentage score will have different age standardised scores.