SSAT Tutoring

The SSAT is an independent and private middle school and high school admissions exam.

Our SSAT Tutoring Program

Our approach to the SSAT is educational: we emphasize the core verbal reasoning skills, math concepts, reading techniques, and vocabulary that comprise the foundation of material tested on the SSAT. The SSAT may be a student’s first major standardized test; we believe that by focusing on key concepts, our students can confidently achieve success both on the SSAT and in their future academic work.

Our tutors develop an SSAT program with close attention to how the content relates to each student's prior schoolwork. Through one-on-one instruction, practice drills, and homework, our tutors help students master the concepts underlying each question type. Full-length, proctored practice tests provide students opportunities to exercise the skills learned during tutoring sessions.

Contact us to speak to a program consultant and set up a diagnostic SSAT.

Program Length

We recommend that students start preparing for the SSAT several months before they intend to take the official test. We will design an appropriate and individualized program for each student based on diagnostic test scores and the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and goals.

The SSAT format is the same for all students, but the content is adjusted for different grade levels:

  • Middle Level is for students currently in grades 5–7
  • Upper Level is for students currently in grades 8–11

Our instruction focuses on the Middle and Upper Level SSATs. Contact us for more information about the Elementary Level SSAT (for grades 3–4).

Before deciding on whether to take the ISEE or SSAT, check the specific admissions requirements at the schools to which you are considering applying. Some independent schools accept either test, but many schools insist on one or the other.

Many of our students have benefitted from preparing for and taking both the ISEE and SSAT. Though the two tests have slightly different histories, they are similar in content and in purpose. We will help you decide which test to take given your student’s strengths, weaknesses, and application goals.

Middle and Upper Level SSAT


Number of Questions

Minutes per Section


Writing Sample

1 Prompt

25 Minutes

Student-produced response to a given topic

Quantitative 1

25 Questions

30 Minutes

Arithmetic, basic algebra, and basic geometry

Reading Comprehension

40 Questions

40 Minutes

Passage-based critical reading


60 Questions

30 Minutes

Synonyms and analogies

Quantitative 2

25 Questions

30 Minutes

Arithmetic, basic algebra, and basic geometry


Download SSAT Format and Timing as a PDF.


How is the SSAT Scored?

  • The Verbal, Quantitative, and Reading sections are each scored on a scale of 440–710 (Middle Level) or 500–800 (Upper Level) with corresponding percentile ranks.
  • The Essay is not scored but rather sent to schools along with the SSAT score report.
  • The SSAT deducts a fraction of a point from the raw score for each incorrect answer.

When is the SSAT Taken? 

The SSAT is given frequently throughout the year, usually in January, February, March, April, June, October, November, and December. For admissions purposes, schools typically consider the administrations in October, November, December, and January of the school year of the student’s application. 

Upcoming SSAT Test Dates and Registration Deadlines 

Test Date Registration Deadline Last Registration Deadline
October 19, 2019 September 28, 2019 October 16, 2019
November 16, 2019 October 26, 2019 November 13, 2019
December 14, 2019 November 23, 2019 December 11, 2019
January 4, 2020 December 14, 2019 January 1, 2020
February 8, 2020 January 18, 2020 February 5, 2020
March 7, 2020 February 15, 2020 March 4, 2020
April 25, 2020 April 4, 2020 April 22, 2020
June 13, 2020 May 23, 2020 June 10, 2020


To download this information as a PDF, click here.

Tutors in Washington DC

Noah Cowan

Noah Cowan

Tutor of: SAT, ACT, Math Level 1, Math Level 2, Chemistry, Physics, U.S. History, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, SSAT, ISEE; and more

A.B. in Physics from Brown University.
National US History Bee Finalist; National History Bowl Best Solo Team; National Merit Scholar; National AP Scholar.

Joshua Kaplan

Joshua Kaplan

Tutor of: SAT, ACT, Math Level 1, Literature, U.S. History, World History, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SSAT, ISEE, Bar Exam; and more

J.D. from Yale Law School.
M.F.A. from University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
B.A./B.S. in English and Film & Television from Boston University.
Mary Pickford Scholar; Phi Beta Kappa; Boston University Trustee Scholar; Florida Keys Emerging Playwright; Kodak Film Scholar.

Belinda M. Lai

Belinda M. Lai

Tutor of: SAT, ACT, Math Level 1, Math Level 2, Literature, U.S. History, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, SSAT, ISEE; and more

M.B.A. in Marketing and Strategic Planning from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Brown University.
Director of Advantage Testing of Washington D.C.

See SSAT tutors in all locations