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PAULETTE
Posts: **5**Registered User New Member

My child took the SSAT in November, and we just got the scores:

Verbal - 96%

Reading 83%

Math 37%

Total score 2175 - 77%

He did really well in Reading and Verbal. I am not sure he would be able to score that high again and the overall score isn't bad. Obviously, my concern is his math score. He is a 9th grader and took Algebra 1 last year with a year end grade of an A-. Math is a strong subject for him and he enjoys it. The problem is his school (an independent day school) has adopted a new curriculum this year that combines Algebra and Geometry into a 2 year course for 9th and 10th graders (similar to the way math is taught at Exeter). Geometry is not introduced into January. I think this might be why his math score is so low. Most 9th graders taking Geometry have already had a couple of months of it before taking the SSAT. He is doing well in his math class this year. If I explain this to the schools he is applying to, do you think that is enough or should he retest? I am so worried if he retests his Verbal and math scores will go down. We live in an area of the country were not very many people go away to school so I have no one to ask. He is begging not to take it again and seems happy with his scores.

He is considering the following schools and has strong grades:

Kent

Berkshire

Taft

St. Paul's - (legacy)

St. George's

Verbal - 96%

Reading 83%

Math 37%

Total score 2175 - 77%

He did really well in Reading and Verbal. I am not sure he would be able to score that high again and the overall score isn't bad. Obviously, my concern is his math score. He is a 9th grader and took Algebra 1 last year with a year end grade of an A-. Math is a strong subject for him and he enjoys it. The problem is his school (an independent day school) has adopted a new curriculum this year that combines Algebra and Geometry into a 2 year course for 9th and 10th graders (similar to the way math is taught at Exeter). Geometry is not introduced into January. I think this might be why his math score is so low. Most 9th graders taking Geometry have already had a couple of months of it before taking the SSAT. He is doing well in his math class this year. If I explain this to the schools he is applying to, do you think that is enough or should he retest? I am so worried if he retests his Verbal and math scores will go down. We live in an area of the country were not very many people go away to school so I have no one to ask. He is begging not to take it again and seems happy with his scores.

He is considering the following schools and has strong grades:

Kent

Berkshire

Taft

St. Paul's - (legacy)

St. George's

Post edited by PAULETTE on

## Replies to: SSAT - Need Advice

300Registered User Member11Registered User New Member3,374Registered User Senior MemberEven if his verbal scores go down, the schools will take the high verbal score from November into account. You can wait to send new scores until after you see them. If they're better, send them, if not, don't.

Many students who take the SSAT have had elements of geometry in 8th grade. Thus, if your son hasn't had any geometry by November, his score would suffer, as the percentiles compare test-takers to students of the same gender and grade.

He might also have mis-bubbled his exam paper. You might want to have him try one of the practice SSAT tests, only the math section. (I recommend the SSAT's own study guide. You want "real" SSAT tests.) See how he fares on it, and what gives him trouble. If his school uses a non-standard math curriculum, he might not know standard terminology. (I.e., is it an equation, or a "number sentence?")

If it were my child, I would opt for a retake. This would also be something to cover in the parent statement.

4Registered User New Member555Registered User Member18Registered User New Member504Registered User Member18Registered User New Member504Registered User MemberAnd yes, they DO do math differently at PEA. Here's the truth: they are KNOWN for "doing math differently." Every year, math teachers from all over the world (and I have met some of them and discussed this) visit PEA to learn about their approach to math. I can't speak to your personal experience, but from what we have heard from other PEA students, and our own questioning during revisit day, SSATs were not the deciding factor for placement.

So as I said, perhaps this is a new model. There are plenty of PEA parents on the forum; maybe one who is more knowledgeable than I can weigh in.

1,140Registered User Senior MemberThe math is verbal problem based, there is no textbook (the entire Level 2 and 3 curriculum can be found on the Exeter website under the math Dept, the placement tests are there too), and combines algebra, geometry, trigonometry and functions (pre-calculus) across the whole curriculum. So having an SSAT score that is not high may suggest that you may benefit from review before moving to more difficult material.

Even if placed in basic math, you have the option to complete calculus before graduation if so desired, however, there are many other 4th year options, like statistics and discrete math.

5Registered User New MemberI agree with 2kidsnoanswers about an AO not been able to ignore all scores if presented with them. I have no idea if they only see the super score or not. He did really well on the Verbal and Reading on the Nov. test, and I am worried that those scores will go down.

As to Exeter's approach to math, my son current school sent teachers to Exeter, and they are now teaching math in a similar way. His current class is a problem-based, student-centered study of core topics in algebra and geometry(though geometry isn't introduced until January) where students are active participants in their own learning as they complete a packet of problems (no book). They call his class Mathematics 1, and if he stays where he is he will take Mathematics 2 next year. By junior year he would be ready for a traditional pre-calculus class. I don't fully understand it yet, and he is still adjusting to the new teaching style. I still think part of his SSAT math score was due to not having geometry yet, but who knows. I definitely plan on talking to the schools he applies to about his current math program. Since Geometry is taught over 2 years as is algebra it will be interesting to see how he is placed when and if he transfers.