Slay the SSAT.

If you're looking to attend an elite private middle or high school, you'll need to crush the Secondary School Admissions Test.

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SSAT Basics


The SSAT assesses students applying to private schools across the U.S., measuring verbal, math, reading, and writing skills.

As the SSAT tests students applying to a variety of grade levels—from elementary to high school—it is really three different tests (Elementary, Middle, and Upper Levels). Regardless of test level, though, the SSAT focuses on the same three areas: Quantitative/Math, Reading Comprehension, and Verbal Reasoning.

It also features a required writing sample, sent automatically to schools along with the test score.

SSAT Elementary Level

The SSAT Elementary Level test is intended for students applying for admission into 4th or 5th grade. It is 2 hours and 5 minutes in length.


30 questions

30 minutes


30 questions

20 minutes


28 questions

30 minutes

Writing Sample

1 prompt

15 minutes


15-17 questions

15 minutes

SSAT Middle and Upper Level

The SSAT Middle Level Exam is intended for students applying for admission into 6th through 8th grade.

The SSAT Upper Level Exam is for students entering 9th through 12th grade, though the SAT/PSAT/ACT can often be used as a substitute for 11th and 12th grade applicants.

The Middle Level and Upper Level exams are both 3 hours and 5 minutes in length.

Writing Sample

25 minutes


30 minutes


40 minutes


30 minutes


15 minutes


3 hrs
5 mins

Upper and Middle Levels

2 hr
‍5 mins

Elementary Level


Reading Comp Verbal Reasoning Writing Sample

2019 - 2020 Dates

The SSAT is offered once a month from October to April, with one additional date in June. Flex dates, which are additional testing dates offered outside of the standard administrations, are also available.

Common Questions

What age groups do you teach?

We’re available for academic mentorship and tutoring for students in third grade and up.

Can you help with homework?

Absolutely! We can definitely help students tackle tricky homework assignments. But we will always focus on learning above rote completion; our goal is to help students build independence over time by developing their academic, time management, and study skills—as well as their confidence.

Do you give one-time sessions?

We typically do not give one-time sessions. Our unique mentorship model is rooted in building relationships and developing strategies catered to our students’ unique learning needs and goals.

Do you do homeschooling?

We provide in-home tutoring to help students achieve their best on any school curriculum, homeschooling or otherwise. ESM does not provide a homeschooling curriculum in and of itself but partners with online institutions like BYU Online and Laurel Springs to augment their offerings with one-on-one sessions.

Would you consider teaching things that are not on the list?

We’re open to teaching new subjects depending on the availability of our team at a given time.


Which test is right for you?

The ISEE and the SSAT are both used for admission to private schools, and they both test Vocabulary, Math and Reading Comprehension. Most schools will accept either test, so you can choose which test you prefer.

The major difference between the tests lies in the types of questions they use to assess your abilities. The ISEE, for example, uses sentence completion to test vocabulary, while the SSAT uses analogies. Additionally, the reading passages on the ISEE are usually a bit longer than those on the SSAT, but the SSAT tests a more extensive range of genres, including poetry.

Finally, the ISEE also emphasizes mathematical reasoning more than does the SSAT.

"We cannot thank you enough for all your help over the last year. We know that you really helped Ryan find his passion and ultimately his way forward."

That's mentorship.
That's ESM.


Find out which test is right for you.

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