What Makes SSAT the Toughest Admissions Test?

SSAT logo2The admissions process for private schools is highly competitive, requiring strong grades, good SSAT scores and more. Take a look at the caliber of questions asked on the SSAT for grades 5-7, and you’ll see how tough the test can be. More than the SAT or ACT taken in high school for college admissions, the SSAT requires students to demonstrate excellent reasoning skills as well as solid foundational reading, verbal and math skills.

The SSAT, or Secondary School Admissions Test, is one of two national tests used for admission to private schools like Westminster, Holy Innocents’, Galloway, Marist and many others. Despite the similar name, there is no connection between SSAT and SAT. The SSAT Middle Level is for students currently in grades 5-7, and an Upper Level for grades 8-11. The test is designed to measure the verbal, quantitative, and reading skills that students have developed over time, both in and out of school. It emphasizes the critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are essential for academic success.

Below are examples of math and verbal questions on the SSAT Middle Level test for students in grades 5-7. See how well you can answer them! The correct answers are below. On the math section, students must do more thinking than calculating. In fact, calculators are not allowed for SSAT. The analogy questions in the verbal section require strong verbal reasoning skills in addition to vocabulary. Even straight-A students find the SSAT to be challenging. Plan to have your child take the SSAT two or three times.



Dogwood’s expert tutors work one-on-one with students to build key subject skills and deliver proven strategies for the best SSAT scores:

  • We identify each student’s needs, then customize each lesson to meet those individual needs.
  • We motivate students to strengthen their foundational math, reading, writing and vocabulary skills.
  • We provide effective strategies that students will use to answer difficult SSAT questions and manage testing time effectively.

All Dogwood tutors have a Master’s degree or above, as well as professional teaching experience. Their higher qualifications and teaching experience lead to more focused lessons, custom tailored for your student’s unique personality and learning style. With our help and guidance, students come to respect how their hard work will serve them well on the SSAT test and in school.

You may schedule SSAT Test Prep tutoring at the Dogwood learning center in Sandy Springs during the day or evening, including Saturdays and Sundays by appointment. Call 678-735-7555 to schedule a free SSAT practice test.

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Answers to math questions above: A, D, A.  Answers to analogies: C, D, B.  How did you score on this test for 5th, 6th and 7th graders?!