It's a four-letter word that's associated with an awful lot of nervousness among many private school applicants – SSAT.
With knowledge however, comes power. So, let's de-mystify the SSAT for you, so you can be confident about what this means, and what it does not, as you embark on the application process.
SSAT stands for Secondary School Admissions Test. This standardized test is a popular admission requirement for private schools. Schools rely on the SSAT to assess a student's overall abilities, rather than knowledge in specific subjects.
There are several important sections of the SSAT. The multiple choice aptitude test that evaluates:
Tests problem-solving involving math, elementary algebra, geometry and concepts
Tests ability to understand what is read
Students must write an essay responding to a topic statement. Essays aren't graded. However, a copy is sent to schools along with test scores.
Lower: For students currently in Grade 5-7
Upper: For students currently in Grade 8-10.
SSATs are required by almost all private schools for entry into junior and senior grades – Grade 5 and up. It's up to the individual school to determine whether it is required.
The amount of weight SSAT scores are given in the application process varies from school to school, so those requiring SSATs aren't necessarily more heavily focused on academics than those who do not.
Since many schools use various criteria to evaluate its applicants, SSATs are often the most objective tool administrators have to judge their applicants. They're also helpful when a personal interview isn't possible with an applicant.
It's important to remember that the SSAT is not an achievement test. It offers a snapshot of a student's academic capabilities, regardless of his or her current grades.
Taking the SSAT provides students and their prospective schools with an important assessment of his/her academic strengths, as well as weaknesses. This information may be particularly valuable to students taking the test in Grade 7-10, since it also provides a predicted Grade 12 SAT score.
Students write the exam at a designated test location school.
All tests are sent to SSAT headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey where they are marked. Results are sent to schools indicated by the students.
Crescent School (est. 1913)
Crescent School is a Toronto independent school for boys only, Grades 3 to 12. Tuition starts at $32,350. Crescent offers a variety of extra-curricular activities including sports, arts, outreach and robotics. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$32,350||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Day||32350|
TFS - Canada's International School (est. 1962)
TFS - Canada's International School offers Canada's only bilingual IB programs from PK to Grade 12. Average class size is 12 to 22 students. Entrance Scholarship to Grade 7 is available. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$17,600 to $31,100||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||17600|
Appleby College (est. 1911)
Appleby College in Oakville is recognized globally as one of Canada's leading independent schools. Breadth, excellence, innovation and caring are the characteristics that define the essence of the Appleby experience. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$35,090 to $69,440||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||35090|
TMS (est. 1961)
Internationally recognized since 1961, TMS is a not-for-profit independent university preparatory school located in Richmond Hill where students, faculty and staff regularly Go Beyond. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$14,075 to $25,440||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||14075|
Upper Canada College (est. 1829)
Located in the heart of Toronto, Upper Canada College is the oldest independent boys' school in Ontario. Our graduates are highly regarded by top universities and post-secondary institutions worldwide. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$30,860 to $61,560||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding Day||30860|
St. Michaels University School (est. 1906)
Independent K-12 boarding & day school in Victoria, BC, Canada focusing on university prep. Find out how a SMUS education can benefit your family. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$17,235 to $61,590||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||17235|
The Country Day School (est. 1972)
The Country Day School offers JK-12 in a co-ed, non-denominational environment located on 100 beautiful acres just north of Toronto in King. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$24,850 to $28,825||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||24850|
Branksome Hall (est. 1903)
Branksome Hall is an all girls school in Toronto, from JK to Grade 12, including 56 boarding students. Tuition ranges from $28,995 to $31,245 for day students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$29,590 to $56,855||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day||29590|
Meadowridge School (est. 1985)
Meadowridge is an IB Continuum World School that supports the development of the whole child in a safe, supportive and challenging environment. See for yourself and join us for a tour every Friday from 9:00am to 11:00am. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$20,400 to $30,400||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||20400|
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School (est. 1905)
Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School is an independent, private coeducational day school for Grades K-12 close to Calgary, AB. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$18,780 to $21,660||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||18780|
Mulgrave School (est. 1993)
Mulgrave School offers programmes from Preschool to Grade 12 in West Vancouver. Its average class size is 20 students with teacher to student ratios of 1:8. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$17,195 to $21,370||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||17195|
Ridley College (est. 1889)
Ridley College is an acclaimed co-educational boarding and day school that prepares meaningful and flourishing lives by teaching the habits of mind, body, and spirit, and the values needed to lead in a global society. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$15,500 to $63,700||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||15500|
Academie Providence (est. 2002)
Providence Academy is the only Private French Catholic School offering a trilingual program of study in Ontario with classes from nursery to grade eight. Tuition: $8,800-10,300. Extracurricular activities: $600-$650. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$8,800 to $10,300||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||8800|
University of Toronto Schools (est. 1910)
University of Toronto Schools offers programs for grades seven to 12. Its average class size is 25 students. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$25,350||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||25350|
North Broward Preparatory School (est. 1957)
North Broward Preparatory School is a K-12 co-educational day and boarding school located in S. Florida located minutes from the beach with IB, AP, and LD classes set on 80 acres with year round hockey. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$24,200 to $58,000 USD||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||24200|
De La Salle College (est. 1851)
De La Salle College is a Catholic, co-educational, university preparatory school in Toronto from grade five to 12, with average class sizes of 22 students and tuition at $12,950. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$14,575 to $14,775||MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||14575|
St. Clement's School (est. 1901)
St. Clement's School develops outstanding women who are intellectually curious, courageous and compassionate. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$29,175||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day||29175|
Buffalo Seminary (est. 1851)
Independent day and boarding school for college-bound girls. Our STEAM curriculum is unique, and creative, independent thinking is valued. Located in Buffalo, NY, girls access the best of city living. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$19,840 to $46,715 USD||HighSchools Girls Boarding Day||19840|
Oxford Tutorial College (est. 1988)
Oxford Tutorial College is a leading independent college specialising in A-level, GCSE, BTEC tuition for students grade 10 to 12, intending to go on to higher education at a good British University. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$33,255 to $39,447||Coed Boarding Day Homestay||33255|
TFS - Canada's International School (West Campus) offers programs from pre-kindergarten to grade seven. Its average class size is 12 to 22 students. [View profile]
|Accelerated||$11,900 to $26,150||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools Coed Day||11900|
Havergal College (est. 1894)
Havergal College is an all-girls school in Toronto for students in JK to Grade 12. Preparing Young Women to Make a Difference Since 1894. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$31,725 to $58,000||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Boarding Day||31725|
St. Michael's College School (est. 1852)
St. Michael's College School offers students in Grades 7-12 an enriched, Catholic, liberal arts education complemented by a diverse co-curricular programme. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$18,700||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Day||9999999999|
Léman Manhattan Preparatory School (est. 2010)
Nestled in the heart of downtown New York City, Léman Manhattan delivers academic excellence that inspires for a lifetime. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||not provided||Preschool Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Boarding Day||9999999999|
Rundle College (est. 1985)
Rundle College is a university preparatory school from Kindergarten-Grade 12 in Calgary, Alberta. Our small class sizes of 12-16 students, gives our students the advantage of and enriched and personalized education. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$11,900 to $16,300||Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||11900|
York House School (est. 1932)
York House School provides an exceptional education for girls from JK to Gr. 12. We instill in each girl the belief and confidence that girls can do anything! [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$20,600 to $21,400||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Girls Day||20600|
Duke Academy (est. 2013)
Duke Academy 4576 Yonge St. Unit 602, Toronto, ON, M2N 6N4 [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$15,860||HighSchools Coed Day||15860|
St. Andrew's College (est. 1899)
St. Andrew's College offers programs from grades 5 to 12 in Aurora. Its average class size is 17 students. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$30,120 to $63,500||MiddleSchools HighSchools Boys Boarding Day||30120|
Delta West Academy (est. 1993)
Accomplished, confident and innovative - adjectives that describe not only our programs but more importantly, our students. Developing critical thinking, creative problem solving and academic excellence for everyone. [View profile]
|Standard-enriched||$9,900 to $17,550||Kindergarten Elementary MiddleSchools HighSchools Coed Day||9900|