Your SSAT Scores Explained Plus Scoring Tips

What Is Formula Scoring

The SSAT scoring method “formula scoring” totals one point for every correct answer, no points for questions not answered, and minus 1/4 point for each wrong answer.

Check out ePrep SSAT Practice Test course for effective practice.

Should You Guess?

No, if you cannot make an educated guess by eliminating three answers completely from consideration then you should omit the question. Each question has five choices, so eliminating three questions entirely provides you a 50% chance for a correct answer.

Here is how the “raw score” is computed.

For example the quantitative sections (2) have a  total of 50 questions.

If you scored 22 correct, 28 wrong, skipping zero questions your raw score would be 15. Your 28 wrong divided by the 1/4 point for each wrong answer equals negative 7 subtracted from 22 correct provides the net score of 15.

However, if you skipped 14 questions, answered 24 correctly, 12 wrong, your raw score would be 21. Likewise 12 wrong total negative 3 points minus total correct of 24 equals the 21 score.

SSAT Super Scoring – Does it Happen?

No. First, let’s explain Super Scoring (ACT.Org) and College Choice (College Board).

College Choice introduced by the College Board relates to the SAT Test and SAT II exams.

Score Choice provides students the opportunity to take multiple tests, then they can choose specific dates for which they want to transfer their scores to their respective schools.

That said, some schools require you send all test date scores.

Graduation Cap Black with Black Tassel[Strategy Alert:] When considering schools you should check their policies regarding school choice.

Secondly, super scoring and the ACT have always co-mingled the approach.

Super Scoring allows you to take your best or highest Section scores to arrive at your composite score (total).

However, best practice is to check with the schools you are considering, not all schools follow the super scoring process.

The SSAT is different because as a general rule independent schools require all the scores be reported. Another way to look at it, sends all test date scores to the schools you designate.

Graduation Cap Black with Black Tassel[Strategy Alert:] You can take the SSAT test, not select schools until after you have your results.


Your Scoring Report

Scores for the SSAT reveal these scores in addition to detailed analysis of right, wrong, and omitted answers;

  • Scaled Scores, 
  • Personal Score Range,
  • SSAT Percentile two scoresAverage SSAT Score for grades 5-9,
  • Predicts SAT score range for grades 7-10,
  • Test breakdown of answers.

We offer SSAT Practice Test preparation for Middle and Upper Levels so we will not discuss the lower level scoring information.

Score scaling occurs separately for grades 5-7 and grades 8-11.

  • 5- 7   Verbal/Quantitative/Reading Range 440 – 710
  • 8-11  Verbal/Quantitative/Reading Range 500 – 800
  • 5-7    Total Score Range 1320 – 2130
  • 8-11  Scoring Range 1500 – 2400

A mathematical concept “normal distribution” or “bell curve” serves as the scoring model for SSAT Scaled Scores.

The bell curve results in 50% of test takers scoring above the mean (or average) and 50% scoring below the mean.

The SSAT administers different test forms (questions/tests) eight times a year referred to as “SSAT Standard” test dates.

When new test forms are built because the questions are different the test forms will differ in level of difficulty

A statistical procedure “score equating” adjusts for the differences between the test forms. What does this really mean?

First, an equating formula is applied to the raw score that yields the scaled score.

Second, this method provides for a precise measurement of the student’s performance / consistency over time. A student’s specific scaled test score today means the same as it would 20 years ago.

Personal score range

The range is 18 or 21 (lower/upper level)  points above your  scaled score and 18 or 21 (lower/upper level) points below your scaled scored, thus your scaled score is in the middle of the range.

The calculated range is a reference to where you would probably score if you took the SSAT multiple times in a relatively short period of time.

Percentile ranking yields two percentile scores

Peer Students Taking the SSAT

Ranking against other students’ scores  of the same grade / gender who have taken the SSAT during the last three years in the United States  / Canada.

Referred to as the “norm group” meaning the test takers sat for the SSAT Test on one of the “8 Standard” test dates.

If you take the test more than once, only your first score is included in the norm group percentile calculation.

Scores range from 1 to 99. For example, if your Reading SSAT percentile is 80 it would mean you scored equal or better in the Reading section than 80% of the students of your gender and grade who took the test during the last three years.

National Ranking Percentile Measurement

For grades 5-9 compares your performance against a hypothetical national student population which includes students who did not take the SSAT.

This score is generally higher because it draws from a wider population where students that are not applying to elite private schools are included.

Typically admissions personnel at independent schools do not consider this score.

Average SSAT Score

These are the average score by grade / gender for each section who took the test in United States / Canada in the last three years.

SAT Score Forecast

For grades 7-10 a SAT score range is predicted based upon the SAT results. The middle of the range is the actual score forecast and either side of the range predicts where the student might score on the SAT Test.

Answer Summary of Right, Wrong, Skipped Questions

Detailed analysis of test answers by section and subsection:

  • Verbal; synonyms, and analogies,
  • Math; number concepts/operations, algebra / geometry and other math.
  • Reading; math ideas and higher order thinking/reasoning.
This section provides possible  hints on the student’s individual strategy in answering the questions by examining the ratioof wrong answers to the skipped questions.

Test Sections, Subject Content, Number Questions, Time

  • Quantitative, Section 1 & 4, Problem Solving, 50 Questions, 60 Minutes Verbal, Practice SSAT Analogies Video Sample  (click for practice  sample).
  • Reading, Section 2, Passage Based Comprehension, 40 Questions, 40 Minutes
  •  Section 3, Synonyms and Analogies, 60 Questions, 30 Minutes

How Are Your Scores Used?

SSAT Scores are just one part of the application process.

However, even though schools will vary on how they interpret the scores admission personnel typically focus on the SSAT Scaled Scores and the SSAT Percentile Score.

Scaled sores are the most precise because their measurement is consistent over time.

SSAT Percentile is useful in peer comparison whereas the student is compared by grade level and gender within the norm group.

You should contact the independent school/s for clarification on how their process works.

Organize Your SSAT Practice Test Course

SSAT Middle Level

  • Students currently in grades 5-7

SSAT Upper Level

  • Students currently in grades 8-11

SSAT Test Dates 2015-2016

  • January 9, 2016
  • February 6, 2016
  • March 5, 2016
  • April 23, 2016
  • June 11, 2016

You can register for the SSAT Test at


Fun, Fast, Effective Increasing SSAT Scores

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