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SSAT Score/Percentile Trendline for 8th Grade

DakshinaDakshina Posts: 117Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2013 in Prep School Parents
For those who want to convert their practice test scores into SSAT percentile, I am posting a rough trendline based on SSAT scores/percentiles I could find. You can put this trendline into Excel spreadsheet or use it on a calculator.

y = 3E-05x2.399

y equals 100-percentile
x equals 2400-score

This trendline has an R2 = 0.9551, meaning it s not perfect but very close. Following are some reported scores/percentiles compared with predicted percentiles.

Reported Predicted
Score Percentile Percentile
2331 99 99
2262 98 96
2259 97 96
2235 96 94
2175 86 87
2163 84 85
2067 72 66
2049 68 62
1971 42 38
Post edited by Dakshina on
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Replies to: SSAT Score/Percentile Trendline for 8th Grade

  • pulsarpulsar Posts: 1,266- Senior Member
    Cool work Dakshina! You are a math wizard. This is really useful. :)
  • DakshinaDakshina Posts: 117Registered User Junior Member
    Thanks, pulsar. I am glad you found it useful. It seems to work well between percentiles of 80 and ~96. If I had some more reported scores/percentiles, it could be made more precise, especially for percentiles below 80.

    By the way, for clarification, it is "x to the power 2.399"

    y = 3E-05x^2.399
  • RellielouRellielou Posts: 500Registered User Member
    Do most kids take SSAT practice tests? My kid will be going into it cold. He's taking the exam in October and has no time between now and then to study.
  • neatoburritoneatoburrito Posts: 3,021Registered User Senior Member
    The book you can order from the SSAT people has two tests in it. That's pretty much all my daughter is doing to prepare. She is also scheduled for the October sitting. If she isn't happy with her score, it will give her enough time to retake it.

    Some kids do as our do, some study for months with multiple books, some have private tutors and others go to private schools where they drill them for years. Don't worry about it too much. The test isn't that hard. Beyond being familiar with the format, and the types of problems, I don't know that doing a lot of studying is particularly helpful, especially with the verbal.
  • SevenDadSevenDad Posts: 2,542Registered User Senior Member
    I didn't want my D to go I'm cold so bought the Barrons and Princeton Review SSAT/ISEE books just so she'd be able to familiarize herself with types of questions and format of test. She scored in the mid to high 90s on two of the included practice tests, so we didn't sweat prepping. She'll be taking the real one in Oct as well...
  • SevenDadSevenDad Posts: 2,542Registered User Senior Member
    That was supposed to say "go in cold"...posting via phone is always dicey...
  • InventInvent Posts: 521- Member
    SevenDad, How was the Barrons Book compared to PReview or Kaplan's?
  • SevenDadSevenDad Posts: 2,542Registered User Senior Member
    I know I thought one was better, but I'm traveling on business and will report back when I get home...FYI, don't be fooled by the covers, they have upper and lower SSAT and ISEE and count all on cover highlight...it might say 6 tests, but only 2 might be the upper SSAT.
  • Alexz825MomAlexz825Mom Posts: 730Registered User Member
    As an educator who has taught SAT/ACT science prep courses, the best things the books give you is the entire instructions for the exam, format and practice type questions. I refuse to allow my d to "study for the exam", but allowed her to be comfortable and the the rules. Would studying have helped her--maybe but life continues and I believe, like most standardized exams, it test long term not short term knowledge.

    As we have seen on these boards, getting a 99% but not being well-rounded does not promise entrance to any school/program.

    Just my experience and 3 cents :-)
  • DakshinaDakshina Posts: 117Registered User Junior Member
    Perusing various posts at CC, I think following are some of the factors which matter

    Ability to pay (School funds are limited and go for FA to enrolled students first)
    Boarding/day (boarding easier than day)
    SSAT score (Higher the better; >80 percentile ideal)
    Grades
    Teacher recommendations
    Interview performance (sociability, pleasant personality, etc.)
    Athletic ability or interest (potential varsity level player; or interested in sports recreationally)
    Extracurricular activities (leadership skills; organizational ability, writing/editing, debate, science/math olympiad/fair/bowl, etc.)
    Extra-ordinary abilities (dance & music recitals, national level junior player, etc.)
    Mix of applicants (how many other candidates with similar profiles applied to a particular school)

    What did I miss?

    I would also like to add a comment about 99 percentile SSAT scores. Not all 99 percentilers are equal. The 99 SSAT percentile ranges from almost 2325 to 2400. 98 percentile cut off is ~2260. Then there is dramatic drop-off to 90 percentile at ~2200. A 99 percentile at 2325 probably is not much different from a 95 percentile at ~2230 (considering the test's measurement error), while a 99 percentile at 2390 may be someone special. Anybody agree?
  • Sue22Sue22 Posts: 2,155Registered User Senior Member
    The only thing I'd add to your list is the absence of negative factors-no crazy parents, discipline problems or wildly unrealistic expectations. These can kill an application no matter how well qualified a candidate may otherwise be.

    Schools are trying to build a community of learners. They're looking for students who will contribute to that community in positive ways. The kid who will make the biggest impact is not always the one with the highest SSATs.
  • SevenDadSevenDad Posts: 2,542Registered User Senior Member
    @Invent: Back at home, I see that we have PR and McGraw Hill (not Barrons). PR is good because it has score charts, but only ONE sample upper level SSAT (plus one lower SSAT and 3 ISEE).

    While the McGraw Hill has 3 sample upper level SSAT tests — but no scoring chart, which you may not need given the formula provided by Dakshina above. One nice thing about the McGraw Hill is that it has explanations of the correct sample test answers, the PR book does not.

    So...if I had to buy just one, I'd buy the McGraw Hill...even if it looks thinner than the PR. We bought them for the sample tests, not really for any vocab prep — though both books contain helpful test taking strategies (mostly regarding pacing and guessing).
  • classicalmamaclassicalmama Posts: 1,933Registered User Senior Member
    Kaplan's another one to consider...we liked it for math because it actually explained how to solve problems son got wrong...and offered some great advice for how to approach some of the problems (algebra for example) quickly. I think I'm remembering that it had two uppoer level tests, but I'm not positiive.
  • InventInvent Posts: 521- Member
    SevenDad, Classicalmama thank you both.
  • DakshinaDakshina Posts: 117Registered User Junior Member
    Sue, I agree with you completely about absence of negative factors. A single red flag about behavior issues can negate an otherwise excellent application.

    Does anybody know how many students take the SSAT exam every year, on average?
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