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Computer-based SSAT in January

CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
Just curious if anyone has had experience taking the computer-based SSAT (it's only offered in January I believe)? How was it compared to the paper test (the questions are the same I realize). Also -- guessing it still takes 11 days for results?
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Replies to: Computer-based SSAT in January

  • TheHappinessFundTheHappinessFund 138 replies14 threads Junior Member
    i hadn't heard about that. idk, wouldn't it make the test harder? Personally, it takes me longer to process things when they're on computers.
    it'd be interesting to hear the perspective on them though..
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  • sz1250250sz1250250 34 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited January 5
    i searched for computer ssat and nothing came up, so im guessing that maybe it isn't offered? i agree with TheHappinessFund i took the isee online and i would rather prefer to take that test on paper because it would've been so much easier.
    edited January 5
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 811 replies17 threads Member
    edited January 5
    I believe it’s flex test with consultant. I just searched and found a bunch. Obviously depends on your location.

    Go to the ssat site and search for test locations. That function will find the flex test centers.
    edited January 5
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    To circle back --
    Yesterday's test (January 4) was offered both on paper and on computer. (February is also offered on computer and paper).
    The information we received a day or two before the test sounded like this was the first time the SSAT had been offered this way -- I think they used words like "inaugural year" to offer it on a computer.
    Anyway, you have to sign up for the test as a paper/pencil or computer test when you register on SSAT website (so it's not a choice you make at the test site). And you take it at Prometrics (or another test site perhaps, but the only options we had were at a prometric office.).
    My DD preferred it over the paper test.
    She said that she had more time to review her answers each section because clicking an answer takes less time than bubbling in. Also, I think she is just more comfortable with the computer screen because that's how most of her schoolwork is done and submitted.

    Here is some more info on the logisitics in case anyone wants to know for the future:

    The questions are exactly the same.

    You get white-board sheets (laminated paper) and dry erase pens to use as scratch paper. (A slightly unusual way feeling for scratch work; I wish we had known this in advance because we assumed it would be scratch paper like the ISEE). Not a big deal but just a headsup. Also note that you get two pages, and no eraser. You raise your hand to get replacement sheets. But that means that if you come back to a math problem later, and you have since run out of scratch space and need new sheets, you lose your old scratch work. Just a small thing to manage. (Also small tip: I told DD to try out the markers she was given before she went into the room. One of them was a little mushy so she changed it before heading in. Just a small thing to avoid having to raise your hand and get someone to come change things out.)

    The breaks, order of questions, and all of that are the exact same.

    You are not on the same schedule as the other test-takers, so it feels more like an individual test situation; not a cohort all going to take their break at the same time. (that could be good or bad depending on the kid. My DD preferred this.)

    Parents have to stay on site the entire time. (and no wifi due to test security). (which will explain my hours of browsing CC on my phone yesterday! ha!)

    Scores release at the same time as the paper test.

    Cost was a bit higher but not a lot.

    If I think of anything else I'll add it.

    OVERALL:
    My DD preferred computer but not everyone will. It was different enough though that I'm glad she tried it.

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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    See? I already thought of things to add:

    I want to point out that in reading comprehension, you obviously can't circle or underline anything in the passage with a pencil because it's on a computer. This would drive me nuts, as I remember from my LSAT and GMAT days that notating the passage more than really reading it was a big strategy. So just something to manage if your DD is using a similar strategy that involves marking the passage.

    Note that you do have a way of marking skipped questions and coming back to them later, so DD felt like this was a better method than scanning her paper test booklet to find her own markings on skipped questions. She felt like she could navigate the skipped questions more quickly on computer to go back and work on them.

    Also a suggestion -- parents are really not allowed to leave the site at all. Not even for five minutes. So make sure you have snacks and such with you, for the DC and for you.

    Breaks -- make sure you watch the clock, and allot 3 or 4 minutes for checking back in. By the time we went to the restroom and i gave my DD a small snack and she then checked back in (they have a whole process each time you go into the test room), she was a minute late back from her first break. It was just the overview part of the test so it was fine, but be aware, no one will say "ok time to come back!" We thought we were pretty on top of it and didn't dillydally but turns out we cut it a bit close without realizing it.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    @one1ofeach -- the flex tests may also be offered on computer..not sure. But the tests I'm talking about are actually just normal "computer-based tests" offered on the January 4 and February 8th dates. It's a new option this year. I found them by looking in the regular test registration interface, not the flex test area. It's the exact same test (same questions) at the same time as the paper test. (And more importantly, they are considered regular tests, so it doesn't count as a flex test.)
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Just to keep all the info in one place in case anyone in the future is looking for it --
    In order to see the computer based test options, I had to log in and click "register for SSAT." That's the interface that has you clicking "No" for accommodations, and do you need to take a sunday test, etc etc... Once you answer the level (Upper, in our case), the very next screen offers "Computer based SSAT" or "paper-based SSAT" to click.

    Just for fun, I plugged in some other zip codes to make sure that we didn't live in a pilot area or or something special. I was able to pull up computer based SSAT options as part of the regular test dates for multiple zip codes in various parts of the country.

    TLDR:
    Computer based SSAT option is apparently newly available for regular test dates in January and February this year.

    (the end)
    (I think)
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  • amumof2amumof2 53 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Good info let’s pray all our kiddos get in and we only have to think of SAT in 4yrs 😉
    I think I’ve posted more today/yesterday than since joining CC.... Could it be the onset of Jan 15 fever I wonder.
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    Ditto on posting over here. But it was more because I was home in bed sick with the awful cold/flu last week, and then stuck in a Prometric waiting room for 4 hours during SSATs this weekend.
    (And I meant this the thread more for future cycle parents — I’m hoping this is the end of the SSAT road for us!!).
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1702 replies15 threads Senior Member
    @Calliemomofgirls do you know if the computer based test is offered at all Prometrics locations? This would be a huge advantage for us because when DS took SSAT, the closest location was 6 hours away. We had to make a weekend out of it and pull him early from school so he got plenty of rest the night before.
    This would be a game-changer for DD next year, as there’s 2 Prometric testing locations within 15 miles of us!
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    It was not offered at all offices — we have a local Pro metrics office and had to drive two hours for the exam yesterday. But it is offered at many. And maybe next year more since this year was the first year?
    Why not check to see if your local office is offering it in February? (It won’t be a perfect proxy for next year but it would give you an idea.)
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  • AZBoundAZBound 2 replies0 threads New Member
    What’s the update on kids who took the SSAT? Results out today? Is Prometric the way to go?
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 239 replies11 threads Junior Member
    She improved form high 60’s to low 80’s. She preferred the computer interface (even before scores came out) because I think it’s more familiar to her.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 2024 replies34 threads Senior Member
    @buuzn03 Most schools will accept ISEE scores in lieu of the SSAT. The ISEE is definitely offered at prometrics.
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1702 replies15 threads Senior Member
    Thanks @CaliMex but several of the schools on DD’s definite apply list don’t accept the ISEE
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 2024 replies34 threads Senior Member
    According to their websites or according to your conversations with the AOs?

    Our daughter applied to a total of 11 schools and they all said they preferred the SSAT but would consider the ISEE if need be. Your target list must look very different from ours.
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  • buuzn03buuzn03 1702 replies15 threads Senior Member
    I think our list is somewhat similar, but you are right...I did not make any calls. I just looked at schools websites and what test(s) they accepted. Two of her top three said SSAT only and one of those only takes SAO, which makes me think they mean it. But I did not call to double check
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 2024 replies34 threads Senior Member
    edited February 20
    @buuzn03 I would encourage you to call them and speak to an AO, not just whoever answers the phone. I bet they'd be flexible if you explain that only the ISEE is offered locally and that the SSAT would require a 6 hour drive.

    If they are absolutely rigid about it, well, that's information, too, isn't it, about how they might approach other things?



    edited February 20
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