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What to Expect on the SSAT Elementary Level

The SSAT Elementary Level is administered to students in grades 3–4, who are seeking admission to an independent school for grades 4–5. The test is multiple-choice and is divided into four sections: Quantitative/Math, Verbal, Reading, and Writing.

The SSAT Elementary Level is used for admissions purposes to independent schools worldwide. The SSAT Test assesses basic quantitative, verbal, and reading skills that students develop over time. These skills are necessary for a student to be successful at any independent school. Problem solving skills and critical thinking are both emphasized on the SSAT Lower Level Test.

SSAT Elementary Level Test Format & Content

The Elementary Level SSAT Test is comprised of 89 questions, including a writing sample. Students have 110 minutes, which including a 15-minute break, to complete the test.

SSAT Section Question Type(s) Total Amount of Questions and Time
Elementary Level
SSAT Quantitative Word Problems 30 questions 30 Minutes
SSAT Verbal Synonyms + Analogies 30 questions 20 minutes
Break 15 minutes
SSAT Reading Comprehension Passages + Relevant Questions 7 passages + 28 questions 30 minutes
SSAT Essay Essay Prompt 1 essay 15 minutes
Total 89 questions 110 minutes

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SSAT Elementary Level Test Prep

The Elementary Level SSAT is an essential part of the application process to any independent school. To help you prepare, TestPrep-Online will soon offer a SSAT Elementary Level Practice Pack. TestPrep-Online’s level-specific and SSAT Practice Packs are designed to maximize your child's knowledge for test day. Our SSAT Elementary Level Pack will include realistic practice tests and helpful study guides, allowing your child to become familiar with the test structure, and providing him/her with the confidence to push for success. 

Study Tips for SSAT

Start by creating a study plan. The best thing you can do is prioritize and use your time wisely in order to have successful study sessions. 

For the math section, it is important to fully understand the basic operations, its properties, and how to operate with numbers like fractions (either with same or different denominator), decimals, integers, and more. Being fluent in calculations can give you a good advantage at the test to focus on the question and what you need to find. Make sure to brush up on different topics about the test before. You can dedicate a week into looking up and reading all the material you have for the test.

For the reading comprehension, you can practically read and discuss any passage, book, story, or dialogue. Discuss it with your family at home or friends, raise questions and try to find the answers in the passage, or try to summarize ideas you find. Practicing this can also help you understand the instructions in other questions (for example, word problems of the quantitative section of the test).

The essay section can be more challenging, if you have experience writing different things for school it could become easier, but otherwise, it is a skill that you need to practice. Start by making a list of connecting words, different ways of starting a sentence, and overall structure of the different types of texts to write (differences between an essay and a report, or a letter to a friend). 

Finally, the verbal section tests mostly your vocabulary. For this, you need to have a good control over the meaning of some words. If you know the definitions of different words, you can find synonyms and antonyms much more easily. You may also be asked to recognize spelling mistakes, or mistakes in syntax, punctuation, capitalization, or others. Make a good summary of this information by going over your notes from school and categorize each topic. After that, read your summary to learn more succinctly all the information you need to know, the rules, and it can also help having written examples of common mistakes.

Time yourself when practicing for the test. Check that you can stand with the time constraints. Reading instructions can take up a lot of time, but it is essential to know how to answer the question. Therefore, try practicing that the speed with which you understand the question is appropriate, and that you can find a strategy to solve the question quickly. You can time yourself before you start studying, and then once again after you are done reading some material, or practicing previously seen questions. You will note the difference and feel more confident the day of the test.

Try using the break at the exam wisely. If you need to go to the bathroom, you can do so during this break and freshen up in preparation for the other half of the test.

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