The Secondary School Admission Test, also known as the SSAT, is required by many independent schools around the world as one part of a student’s admission into the school. There are three versions of the test available: for students in 3rd or 4th grade (Elementary SSAT), students in 5th to 7th grades (Middle School SSAT), and students in 8th to 11th grade (Upper School SSAT).
This test measures a student’s skills, instead of achievement. It is designed in this fashion to figure out mastery of a certain subject, rather than how far they’ve come with the subject. With the SSAT designed in this way, it keeps the test fair across each child’s individual background.
Studying for this test will look different for each student. It is important to use these tips below to help them get well prepared for this test, which is one step in the entire process of applying to your decided school.
Study for The Individual Learner
The best way for your child to retain the material that will be on the test is to allow them to study in the best method that works for them. If your student is an auditory learner, have them read the material out loud, or you read it to them. If they learn best by writing, let them take notes on the topic. If they are a visual learner, give them time to read and look at the material.
Give your child time to learn what will be on the test in the way that matches best for them. Every child learns differently and giving them the chance to discover what is best allows them to better retain the information and perform better on the test. This may also be a new lesson for them for future tests to learn any additional lessons in this way.
Take More Time Where They're Weakest
If your student doesn’t do as well in math, spend more time on the math portion of the test. If they are weaker with reading, focus on vocabulary and reading. Find out where your child may lack and give more attention to that subject.
It may be a benefit to speak with their current teachers in that subject, or even go through their current textbooks again to help them learn items that will likely be on the exam.
Having them relearn previous skills they aren’t as strong in will build their confidence for that portion of the test and they won’t look upon it quite so negatively. Creating confidence where they previously were weak will build their score and will build focus when they reach that part of the test.
Find and Take a Practice Test or Two
Practice tests for the SSAT can likely be found either in a study guide, or through an in-person or online tutor. By giving them these practice exams, your child will get an understanding of the type of material on the test, as well as the time they will have and how best they may need to study. Provide them with more than one test and allow them to see their progress as they continue to learn the material.
It may be a good idea to have them take a practice test when they first start to study. This will show where they need to improve, and may even give them an opportunity to see which subject they may be lacking in, so they know what to focus on studying. Taking several exams will give them the chance to see patterns in the exam questions. Seeing these patterns gives your student the awareness to know when they may get tripped up on a question.
As it gets closer to the exam day, your child will, of course, get nervous and may overstudy or overthink the test and the material. If this is happening, give your student a day to focus on other things, or just the time to relax and step away from studying. This will allow the material to fully sink in, and gives your child a bit of time away to do what they want. It removes the pressure from them to focus on the need to be perfect.
The night before the test, give them a little time to rest and be comfortable. Make sure they’re eating well and staying hydrated and let them get plenty of rest. You want to be sure they are happy and rested before walking into the testing room and the exam begins.
If your student is having a tough time with studying for the test, don’t panic. Mighty B Learning has SSAT tutoring to help your student study and gain confidence for the big exam. We have in-person and online tutors who can help with the entirety of the test material. Let us help your child earn their success and impart the skills they need to succeed.