Son is currently a 7th grader outside of US. We would like him to apply for 9th grade admissions at a boarding school.
Before he takes the Upper SSAT test that will count beginning this August/September, I would like him to try and sit an actual Upper test now so he gets to have a feel for it.
But is it possible for a current 7th grader to take an Upper test? I cannot find the answer on SSAT website.
A much better option is to have your child try a practice test. I am never in favor of students taking an official test as a “dry run” when it’s much much less stressful to practice first without getting an official score.
Agree with @Lindagaf, but to answer your question - yes, he can.
From the SSAT website:
My kid did this. In November/December of 7th grade year.
My kid had tried some of the online tests and the results were not consistent. We wanted kiddo to try one in a proctored examination setting and then this was used this as a baseline to see how much studying might be needed before taking the ‘real thing’ 12 months later.
Ensure that you are signing up for the entry to 9th grade level. I think that we had to adjust which grade my kid was in during the sign up (pretended kid was in 8th rather than 7th) to get the Upper level test.
I’m of the opposite opinion of some of the other commenters. I think there’s no substitute for the real thing. And I would recommend it. Since you needn’t submit the scores (there may be a very small number of schools that nominally require all official scores be submitted, but they’re definitely the exception), that should serve to remove the pressure. Just tell your DS that you’re looking for a baseline to understand where they are.
However, I would have them do the very basic, bare minimum prep for it, but not more. The SSAT website offers a handful of sample questions for each section so that a tester can familiarize themselves with the format. Do that. Takes very little time.
Now you’ll have that baseline result. Maybe your kid scores exceptionally and you can rest easy knowing that their SSAT score will not be an issue. Conversely, maybe there’ll be a section, or question type, that really challenges them. And now that you’ll know that, you can respond if/as you want or need if e.g. the score is well below the mean for the schools your DS is exploring.
Thanks for the info MacJackAttack. This is precisely what we want to do. I tried messaging you but cant. Do you mind private messaging me so I can figure out how to do it? thanks!
I can’t remember the exact details because I did this nearly 3 years ago. But I do remember that it wasn’t hugely complicated.
I started registering my kid for a test on the SSAT website, clicked through the pages answering questions about accommodations etc, and then it said something along the lines of “which grade your child is in currently”, and I just answered 8th instead of 7th. Then it pops my registration into the Upper Level and then allowed me choose ‘paper’ and then locations offering the Upper Level test close to my house.
That’s it. The following year, I did the same thing and answered correctly as 8th grade. There’s no penalty for ‘lying’ and it specifically mentions something about kids repeating a year and choosing a grade below their current grade.
You do this by registering with the wrong birthdate and correcting the birthdate later. My daughters had to do this for a scholarship. She took the test and percentiles were scored against incoming ninth graders. You will select which scores you later share.
I don’t necessarily think this is will do what you want because percentiles vary by class. In our experience we had pretty significant swings in scoring. However, the online SSAT practice tests and quiz lets are pretty good. Once you get a sense of the scoring you will see strengths and weaknesses. If you look at old admissions threads you can glean scores/percentiles.
The online practice test from SSAT is fine. Your 7th grader doesn’t need to take the test unless they are ready for the real deal. My daughter took it last Fall and between the book and the online prep software, she did fine. You should have the 7th grader take the mid-level and make sure that he is scoring strong at that level first. Then you can start preparing on vocabulary, reading, and math. Just my opinion.