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Are your kids ready for Oct SSAT test?

Nicole2018Nicole2018 9 replies3 threads New Member
edited October 10 in Prep School Parents
Time flies, Oct SSAT test is just around the corner! My D's school has been keeping them so busy and she hasn't been able to study much. I'm so nervous, she seems fine though, :) This is my D's first time taking this test, no previous experience. I'm just wondering, how's the real test comparing to practice tests in the official guide or any other test prep books your kids have used?
edited October 10
15 replies
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Replies to: Are your kids ready for Oct SSAT test?

  • swparentingswparenting 16 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Full disclosure: I have no first-hand experience. My kiddo took the test last year, with no preparation, for practice and will take it again this fall. But you can read a lot of threads on CC that describe people’s dismay when their children score significantly lower on the SSAT than they did on the SSAT practice tests. Based on my reading of those threads, I’ve always thought the practice tests are a poor proxy, or at least an unreliable one. You should be able to find those threads, if you don’t receive any “first hand experience” responses here. Good luck to your daughter!
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 192 replies9 threads Junior Member
    My kids basically did the same the first time they took the ssat as the practice tests. Kids are nervous the first time and location can make a difference. Both of mine took the test a second time and since all the schools they applied to super scored it ended up just fine.

    The best thing you can do as a parent is stay calm. The ssat is not a make of break for acceptance. It can show fit for a school however. If your kid is a 50th% or under they may not be ready for the pressure cooker of the most well known and intense schools. I know several kids who had fairly low scores and are now thriving at Excellent boarding schools.
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  • Nicole2018Nicole2018 9 replies3 threads New Member
    Thank you @swparenting, @onelofeach, I'll keep my fingers crossed!
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 192 replies9 threads Junior Member
    Oh and do be ready to support a kid through feeling awful about the test. My older came out crying the first time she took it. Was much more calm the second time. Plan to take it at least twice (mine threatened to take it a third time because she was mad about one of her scores). PS she had done just fine and got into her dream school plus every other one she applied to. The anxiety and tears were just stress not an actual reflection of how she had done. Kids don’t understand that the tests vary and some are harder than others. You are graded basically on a curve so they can’t (and shouldn’t) try to figure out how they are doing while taking the test. That’s what mine did. She was calculating percentages in her head because she felt she was doing badly instead of paying attention to the test.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 5844 replies10 threads Senior Member
    I might reccomend signing up for a second date now so your kid doesn't feel like everything rides on this one test.

    My kid was sick the first time he took it yet still did well. We almost canceled but decided to give it a go.

    But he wanted a second shot (without the barfing!) and he did a bit better.

    He has always been good at standardized tests, though, and generally, his scores were about the same as on the practice tests.

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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 82 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited October 15
    @Nicole2018 This contradicts some of the comments here, but we found the SSAT.org (paid) materials were pretty darn good to show the challenge of the test. We used the practice tests with a tutor for the Mathematics side through 6-8 sessions total. We (my son) winged the ELA side feeling confident. It worked out in the end. Without the Math prep that side would have been a relative disaster.

    I made the controversial parent call to NOT tell my son the actual test date. He was (%$#*!) the morning of the test when I told him over his breakfast cereal (true) that it was test day. He came out of testing thinking it was a pretty darn good idea as he had a great night's sleep and took the test 100% rested.

    (shrug)
    edited October 15
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 192 replies9 threads Junior Member
    We also thought that the SSAT paid study guide was the best. Bonus that it was online and easier to deal with than lugging a book around.
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  • Nicole2018Nicole2018 9 replies3 threads New Member
    edited October 15
    @onelofeach @gardenstategal Yes, I indeed have scheduled another test before all spots are taken, :). It is a very stressful test for this age.

    @PrepDad2018 @onelofeach Thanks for letting me know ssat.org practice tests are actually pretty good, which eases my nerves, LOL! But @PrepDad2018, not telling your kiddo the official test date until that morning is crazy!!!! OMG, I can not do that to my daughter, she will be so mad. But yes, I'm worried she will have a hard time falling asleep the night before, oh well...

    Thank you all!!
    edited October 15
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 82 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @Nicole2018 Yeah, controversial call on the secret test date, but two years later I'd 100% do it again, in spite of the breakfast tears. ;)

    Was it crazy or crazy brilliant? (tongue in cheek/self-deprecating tone)
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  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 1483 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Anyone else sign up late and pay more than $200? Kicking myself. I only signed up my kiddo for one test. Kid has been a great test taker but starting to get test anxiety lately :(. Going with the same plan we did with kid #1. We’ll read how it is scored that’s it. No other prep. Hoping it goes as well as kid#1, if not then we’re on to plan B and more $.
    I think kid#1 has told kid #2 not to be nervous and how to eliminate. Kid#2 gets fixated on exactitude so takes a long time with best answer.
    I love the cereal story but there is no way my kids would fall for that. They would be so angry that they wouldn’t do well. Not to mention how did you get him up and ready in time?
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  • Nicole2018Nicole2018 9 replies3 threads New Member
    @PrepDad2018 Hmmm, I would still call it CRAZY, :smiley: ! I'm glad your older one took it fine. But did the kiddo even ask when the test date would be at all? Or you told your child you were going to keep it as a secret until the day came?
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  • CalliemomofgirlsCalliemomofgirls 35 replies3 threads Junior Member
    one1ofeach -- do you mean the two tests you can buy for 70$? or do you mean their new prep partnership with "test innovators?" We bought the tests, which seems to have a few links of prep stuff on the page -- is that what you mean?
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  • PrepDad2018PrepDad2018 82 replies1 threads Junior Member
    "Test is in November"....was the discussion. He was actively tutoring Math so he knew it was going to happen at some point. NBD vibe, not an "I'm not telling you" message. Low pressure/no pressure.

    That was really the approach to the whole thing, not just the test: You should apply, you may as well study for the SSAT since you are taking it, you probably won't get in, we probably can't pay for it, you don't have to go....but if it all works out you should give it a go for one year.

    IRL LOVES it and has loved it since day one. Think my slow roll, low pressure (and possibly evil) approach was helpful over time.
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  • one1ofeachone1ofeach 192 replies9 threads Junior Member
    @Calliemomofgirls It was the "official SSAT practice online" for $69.95. That's what my kids found to be the most helpful.
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  • squ1rrelsqu1rrel 376 replies25 threads Member
    I took the test two years ago, and got 98th percentile. 800 math, 800 verbal, and we won't talk about the reading. On test day, I performed much better than I did on practice tests (albeit worse in the reading section). The thing that certainly helped most was an "SAT Power Vocab" book (the actual SAT, not SSAT - words are the same). After going through words in that book, verbal became so easy, whereas it is typically a struggle for most students.

    Math really isn't a huge deal, the hardest stuff on the test is basic geometry. Reading seemed easy but I must have rushed through it.
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