The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is a standardized test used by independent schools to assess the academic abilities of students seeking enrollment. Along with the ISEE, the SSAT is one of the most reliable and widely used admission exams for independent schools.
If your child will be taking the SSAT, the most effective way to prepare is by answering practice questions.
To help you and your student get started, we will provide you, in this post, with SSAT sample questions, and guidance on how to find SSAT practice tests in printable format for the upper level SSAT. We will also share some useful information about the upper level SSAT, including content, format and test prep tips.
What Kind Of Upper Level SSAT Material Is Available For Free?
There is a limited amount of free practice material for the SSAT, but you will be able to find a few websites where you can either cobble together an official mini-practice test, or download a complete free SSAT practice test PDF, if you don’t mind using an unofficial version.
Where Can I Find SSAT Sample Questions?
The company that creates the SSAT is not very generous with free sample questions. You can access only about 10 questions by downloading their upper-level SSAT PDF.
Download the 10-question PDF now by clicking the button below, and we will also send you our 5 proven test prep strategies for using official SSAT practice tests to effectively prepare.
These strategies are the ones we use in our test prep practice and have been culled from 16 years of preparing hundreds of students for this challenging test.
Where Can I Download Free SSAT Upper Level Practice Material?
You can register on the SSAT website in order to get access to a free online upper level practice test.
The upper level test has three sections, with a total of 30 question. This means that the test is not a full-length practice test, but just more sample questions, albeit with a timer clock ticking away as you work (you have 30 minutes to complete the online test).
You can only see one question per screen, so this is not a printable PDF. Please also note that the online SSAT mini-test does not include a writing component, so you’ll have to find other resources if you want practice the SSAT essay.
Where Can I Find A Full-Length Printable SSAT Upper Level Practice Test?
You might be thinking that the dearth of free practice material means it might be time to buy a practice test or test prep book. If so, your best bet is to stick with the publishers of the SSAT itself, and buy their official test prep guide from the SSAT website.
The SSAT Upper Level official guide (for students currently in grades 5 through 7) has 2 full length practice tests, as well as helpful information on SSAT content, format and scoring. The best thing about the guide is that the tests can be taken with a pencil, which is how your child will take the actual test. At the time of writing this article, the guide costs $37.
You can also get the same guide and tests at as an ‘online package’ for $49.95. If you buy the online version of the official guide, you will also get a few bonuses including an extra practice test, fifteen SSAT mini-tests on each section (quantitative, reading, verbal), videos, additional exercises and quizzes.
That’s it for the official SSAT material.
If you want more material, you will have to get it through third party sellers. The main site that provides free SSAT materials is IvyGlobal.com, where you can access an upper level full-length practice test with answer keys.
There are a couple of other sites, including 4tests, which have SSAT sample questions, and Varsity Tutors, which has Upper-level practice questions, but these are not the best sources for good practice material that is similar to the SSAT.
Now we’ve discussed what kind of SSAT material is readily available for free and for purchase, wewant to share some in-depth information about the Upper Level SSAT. The Upper Level exam is administered to students in grades 8-11 who are applying for admission to grades 9-PG (Post Graduate). We also have information about the Middle Level SSAT.
SSAT: The Basics
The SSAT measures basic verbal, math, and reading skills that are needed for academic success. The test is written by independent school educators and experts on content and testing. All test questions are thoroughly reviewed by a committee.
Three levels of the test are available:
The test can be administered individually or in a group setting. There are two types of administration: Standard and Flex. Standard administrations are given on 8 designated Saturdays during the school year at test sites worldwide. Flex administrations are arranged on any other date.
## SSAT Upper Level: Question Types
Although we’ve provided an SSAT Practice Test Upper Level PDF, we’d still like to spend some time explaining the types of questions your child will encounter on the test.
The Upper Level test has five sections:
In total, the Upper Level SSAT asks 167 questions and takes 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete. Two 5-10 minutes breaks are also provided.
Aside from the essay, all test sections are multiple choice. Five potential answer choices are provided for each question.
On the Upper Level test, there is a penalty for incorrect answers. Students lose ¼ point for each incorrectly answered question. For this reason, you should advise your child to avoid guessing at random. However, it is reasonable to make an educated guess if he can eliminate at least two answer choices.
### Writing Sample
The writing section of the test is designed to give admissions officers an idea of how well a student can organize and express ideas.Your student will be given a choice between two writing prompts, one traditional essay and one creative essay.
Students then have 25 minutes to craft a written response to the prompt.
The essay is not scored, but it is sent to your child’s schools of interest along with the SSAT score report. Consideration and possible scoring of the essay will vary according to school.
There are two Quantitative sections on the Upper Level SSAT. Each section allows students 30 minutes to answer 25 questions.
The Quantitative portion of the test measures the ability to problem solve using arithmetic, basic algebra, geometry, and other quantitative concepts. A calculator is not needed or permitted.
Questions may cover the following topics:
Upper Level students are given 40 minutes to answer 40 Reading Comprehension questions. This portion of the tests measures a student’s ability to read and comprehend various genres of literature.
The SSAT generally uses two types of passages: narrative and argumentative. The length of each passage ranges from about 250-350 words. Passages may address the following:
After each passage, your child will answer questions that may ask him to:
The Verbal section of the test consists of 60 questions, with 30 minutes allotted to complete them. The questions measure a student’s vocabulary, verbal reasoning, and ability to recognize relationships between words and ideas.
There are two types of Verbal questions: synonyms and analogies. For synonym questions, students must determine the answer choice that has nearly the same meaning as the provided word.
Analogies require students to first determine the relationship between a provided pair of words. Students are given an additional word and must select the answer choice that relates to the third word in the same way that the provided pair of words is related.
Students may also be asked to answer 16 experimental questions within 15 minutes. These questions are being considered for a future SSAT and will not be scored.
How to Prepare for the Upper Level SSAT
We’re providing test prep information in your SSAT Practice Test Upper Level PDF, but here are a few general tips about helping your child prepare for the SSAT.
Throughout the school year, remind your child to pay attention in class and keep up with homework, classwork, and notes. For the purposes of the SSAT, English and Math classes are particularly important.
It can also be helpful for your student to read a certain amount of pages or minutes each week. Reading will help enhance your child’s vocabulary and improve reading comprehension.
Most importantly, help your student work through practice questions and practice tests in order to build familiarity with test content and structure, as well as increasing confidence. If you downloaded SSAT sample questions or a Middle Level practice test PDF from the links above, then you’ve found a great way to get started!
The information, tips, and practice test provided here should help your child reach his fullest potential on the SSAT and hopefully gain admission to your school of choice.