Boarding School

I’m just looking for opinions. Are SSAT scores a true reflection of a students potential in a top boarding school? If a student scores are very low but performs at a high level in their current school and is on honor roll does that mean the student will have a hard time in such a challenging academic environment?

it might not indicate your ability to succeed at a top independent school, but it will impact your chances of admission.


If, and this is a big if, the student is admitted, the school believes the student will succeed. The challenge is getting admitted with a low score.

Grades by themselves mean nothing if the school hands out A+'s like candy.


Unless the schools are test optional :slight_smile:

The answer, as always, is “it depends”. I’ve written many times that in my opinion the key to academic success at tough boarding schools is excellent time management skills, not gradations of intelligence.

But, it really depends. How low is “very low”? How demanding is the current school?

I know a student at a boarding school with a median SSAT of around the 86th percentile, who had a 75th percentile score and who was on their first honor roll. But that’s not a kid with an SSAT in the 20th percentile.

To give insight, I was accepted to CA Loomis and Westminster with straight A’s but astoundingly low reading and verbal scores. I hear they don’t care about verbal very much at all however. Other parts of your app play into role.

It’s complicated. Some schools just give out As if you write your name. However, some schools are known to be VERY hard. Schools léthargie are famous for grade deflation are schools that you wouldn’t need to prove yourself at if you attended. If you are struggling with verbal, don’t worry about it too much.

It also depends on difficulty and courses offered. A grade level class may give you a 4.0 gpa easily, but a higher level if your school offered it with a 3.8+ is still better.

Agreed with everyone else that “it depends”. If you are talking about “very low” scores in the 70’s that’s so different from very low in the 20-30’s. Yes, your ssat score means something, but there are plenty of kids who score a bit below their actual academic ability.

If you come from a really rigorous school you might be fine. The problem is that lots of people think their schools are rigorous when they just are not.

Also, are you okay being in the bottom half of your boarding school class? Again ssat score doesn’t predict that but it is one possible indication.

If you score 70s on the SSAT you will probably be ok. I agree, if low is 20s, you might be in trouble.

“Chances” also depends on the boarding school. If one is truly performing at a strong program but struggles (for real, not in the 70s) with the SSAT it might warrant investigating/looking into accommodations. Again, what are you thinking is ‘low’?

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