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SSAT Exams: Six Things to Know

This fall we’re busy preparing many of our public and private school students to write the SSAT Exam. The SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is an entrance exam used by many of the best independent schools in the world. Students write the middle level exam in grades 5 through 7 (for acceptance into grades 6 through 8) or the upper level exam for acceptance into grades 9 through 12.

As many parents and students are new to the SSAT I thought I’d share some common topics and helpful tips as the test dates quickly approach.

Six things you need to know:

  1. There are two math sections which each consist of 25 questions to be solved in 30 minutes. This gives you a minute per question with 5 minutes left for review. It’s a time game as much as a test of your math knowledge, so being able to quickly eliminate 2 – 3 questions will allow you to guess if needed.
  2. No calculators are allowed on the test.
  3. There are negative marks! For each incorrect answer you lose ¼ mark, which actually isn’t that bad. As long as you can reduce the number of choices from 5 to 4, you should guess since the odds are in your favour over the course of the test. #probability
  4. I suggest quickly reading the question, checking the answers to know what format and how reduced the answer is, then re-reading the question and solving. There are no marks for showing your work so if you can do it in your head or with some quick scratches on scrap paper, that’s great.
  5. Your life will be much easier if you know what a prime number is and how to determine if a number is divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 (there are tricks!).
  6. Save the practice tests until you’ve reviewed and practiced. While these tests may prove to be a good assessment tool in other subjects, they’re best used as a timed mock test 1 – 2 weeks prior to your test date for the math portion. Master the material first, then put it to the test!

For more information and for test dates and locations check out the official SSAT website here. Good luck and don’t forget Arnold Tutoring is here to help!

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