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

Experimental (unscored)

16 Questions

15 Minutes

Six verbal, five reading, and five quantitative questions


Download SSAT Format and Timing as a PDF.


What Is the Format of the SSAT at Home?

The exam is the same length as the standard SSAT and tests the same content. It must be taken on a desktop or laptop computer (Windows or Mac). However, students will be allowed two pieces of scratch paper and a pencil. Students must take the test alone. A parent/guardian may be in the room to assist with the initial setup, but they must leave before the test begins.






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 Upper and Middle Level SSAT will be offered in the U.S. (1) as a remotely proctored at-home test, (2) as a computer-based test at Prometric Test Centers, (3) in paper format at test centers at standard test dates, and (4) in paper format as a Flex test.

  • Students can take up to three computer-based SSATs (either at home or at Prometric Test Centers, mixed however the student chooses) per testing year (August 1–July 31).

  • Students can take up to six paper-based SSATs at standard test dates per testing year.

  • Middle and Upper Level students can take up to two paper-based SSAT Flex tests per testing year, as long as one test is administered between August 1 and November 14, 2021, and the other test is administered between November 29, 2021, and July 31, 2022.

  • In total, a student could take up to 11 official SSAT administrations (six standard test dates, two Flex tests, and three computer-based tests) in a testing year.


2021–2022 Paper-Based Standard Test Dates

Test Date Registration Deadline Last Registration Deadline
Saturday, October 16, 2021 September 25, 2021 October 13, 2021
Saturday, November 13, 2021 October 23, 2021 November 10, 2021
Saturday, December 11, 2021 November 20, 2021 December 8, 2021
Saturday, January 8, 2022 December 18, 2021 January 5, 2022
Saturday, February 26, 2022 February 5, 2022 February 23, 2022
Saturday, April 23, 2022 April 2, 2022 April 20, 2022


*A $50 Late Fee applies beginning the Sunday three weeks before each test.

*A $90 Rush Fee applies beginning the Sunday two weeks before each test.

*Registration closes at 11:59pm ET the Wednesday before each test.

When Can Students Sign Up for the SSAT at Home? 

The at-home SSAT will be offered every Saturday and one Sunday per month.

  • Students who require additional accommodations for the at-home test should contact before registering for a test change.




Tutors in Washington DC

Noah Cowan

Noah Cowan

Tutor of: SAT, ACT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, 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, 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, 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