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SerMerSerMer Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
I'm going to take the SSAT once in mid-October and another time in early-December if needed. So I have about 7 months starting from now. Any tips from people who have taken the test and done well? What study materials do you recommend and how should I be studying? I understand that people have different methods for studying, but I just need a general direction to start off in, since this is all pretty new to me. Thanks.

Replies to: SSAT Tips

  • altabluealtablue Registered User Posts: 224 Junior Member
    Definitely get the official SSAT online practise, it's a godsend. It helped me more than ANY other resource, though perhaps that's just me. It comes with lessons, mini practises of 5-10 questions, and practise tests in each section as well as mock tests (all sections).

    Verbal: Quizlet, and find lists for SSAT words online. This is the section you want to start practising first, to make sure you have the largest possible archive of words in your head when you take the test.

    Reading: Read more books, practise. Keep in mind practise test scores may not reflect the actual test scores very well in this section, as it seems like genres and types change quite a bit.

    Maths: Practise competition maths questions that are very similar to the SSAT itself. There's a reason that competition maths kids seem to find the maths section a breeze. Tests such as the AMC 8/10 (12 is harder than SSAT) and the UKMT JMC/IMC/SMC are formatted almost identically to the SSAT maths section, and would be very worth checking out.
  • orangemountainorangemountain Registered User Posts: 27 Junior Member
    Definitely get the SSAT Online Practice that they offer in the website like @altablue said. You should focus on what you're weakest at. For me it was verbal, so I watched lectures online that discussed crucial SSAT words that have come out in the past and could come out again. Practice, Practice, and Practice. That's the best tip. Memorize SSAT specific vocabulary, practice reading difficult texts and answering questions about them, and then tell a peer or family member or tutor to test you. That way, you can make sure you'll be ready. And if you're having trouble with the quantitative section, PRACTICE. Practice is essential is Math, and the SSAT math section has a lot of Algebra. There is some Geometry as well, but study your algebra a lot. Functions, equation solving, and even practicing your mental math skills will be extremely helpful. Good luck, and if you have any other questions then ask. :)
  • highschoolgallhighschoolgall Registered User Posts: 16 Junior Member
    I improved my reading and verbal scores significantly over a few months period, and memorizing vocabs helped me a lot! If you search 'SSAT vocab' on quizlet, you can find hundreds of vocab lists created by others. Select one with at least 1500 - 2000 words, and memorize all of the words on the list. That helped me a lot!
  • Golfgr8Golfgr8 Registered User Posts: 799 Member
    @SerMer - something that was helpful to us was finding an online SSAT prep group - like a test prep webinar with video forum - because not very many students in our area were taking the test...kiddo felt less isolated studying that way and it was also validating meeting other students online who were in other parts of the country.
  • ilikesharks44ilikesharks44 Registered User Posts: 11 New Member
    @SerMer - I really agree with @orangemountain 's response. First off, the fact that you are studying right now will give you a great head start. I only started to study towards the end of the year. Personally, I don't think that there is one foolproof studying method. There are multiple, all of which require a lot of hard work from the test-taker's end.

    My way of studying might not sound favorable, but with the limited time I had, I spent my Thanksgiving and Winter Break memorizing a ton of words (like 200 a day). I do have a good memory (my weakness was verbal), so I was able to memorize them very fast. I should have started prepping really early on, instead, I waited until the end.

    I think that the sample tests are very good, and maybe try experimenting with strategies that help you overcome your weakness, whether it be math, reading comp, or verbal. Just make sure to consistently use the time that you have to pace yourself, and soon enough, the SSAT won't seem like much of a problem.

    Hope this helps,

    ilikesharks44
  • emro12emro12 Registered User Posts: 60 Junior Member
    Two pieces of advice: Don't procrastinate, and get the SSAT online practice. I started studying math about 2 months before, but completely neglected to study reading and verbal because I'm usually very strong in those areas. 2 weeks before my test date, I finally took a full length practice test online-and I bombed the verbal. I got 17/30 analogy questions WRONG, so I had a mini panic attack, but I started using the mini-analogy test and watching analogy study videos on the SSAT website religiously and I managed to fix that by the time of the test.

    Study strategies.... I personally don't very much like sitting and studying for long periods of time (who does??) so I started to just spread it out throughout my day. Anytime I had free time or study hall at school, I did practice questions. Definitely lightened the load.

    Hope this helps!! This time last year I was in your shoes. You've got a very fun, difficult, and exciting journey ahead of you. Have you decided where you'll apply yet?
    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about the process!
  • Cristian007Cristian007 Registered User Posts: 70 Junior Member
    I most definitely agree with @emro12 . Also, another piece of advice would be to buy Ivy Global's study books. I found them extremely helpful, coupled with multiple official SSAT practice tests and any other free online practice I could find.

    Just like Emro said, I found the verbal section the most difficult. This is solely due to the broad range of vocabulary you must possess, so begin practicing early. Moreover, do not overestimate your skills! I decided to not study the mathematics section because I believed I was fine, as I had already gone through pre-calc. Though, I was greatly mistaken. Even though math is my strongest subject, it was my worst on the SSAT, by a lot. I had gotten an 81 on the mathematics section compared to a 97 on verbal simply because I actually studied the verbal.

    I wish you the best of luck on this arduous, yet greatly rewarding journey that is awaiting you!
  • SportyStudent21SportyStudent21 Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    First off, I only decided in mid-December that I was going to apply to private schools, so I only had the opportunity to take the SSAT once. I wish I had more time to study, but it is what it is, and I am somewhat happy with my admissions results. It is fantastic that you are starting the process this early.

    Definitely invest in the online SSAT resources. It has very helpful videos and practice tests. The next thing I did was take a full length practice test as a “baseline”. It helped me understand the structure of the test and find my weaknesses. As I looked back af my test afterward, I studied the questions that I got wrong and attempted similar problems. I did very well on math, so I knew to focus on reading and verbal. Verbal was my biggest weakness.

    If you have issues with verbal like I did, look at quizlet for SSAT vocabulary and do a certain amount each day. The “learn” feature is great.

    The best way to practice for the reading section is to find online reading passages with questions and do them.

    Math can be practiced with the videos on the SSAT website as well as doing practice tests.

    I don’t know what you consider a good score, but I got a 78 in verbal, 84 in reading, and 99 in math which totaled up to 89 overall. Make sure to do practice tests as if it were the real test. “Same breaks and same test order”.

    I applied to Andover, Exeter, St.Pauls, Lawrenceville, Choate, Deerfield, Groton, Hotchkiss, and Peddie. If you have any questions about the application process or any questions about any ot these schools feel free to PM me. Good Luck!
  • SerMerSerMer Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
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