Ssat score help!

I got my results for my SSAT. Here are the stats:
Math 95%
Verbal 53%
Reading 91%
Overall 86%

My verbal… gives me anxiety

Should I submit these scores to the top schools (Deerfield, Milton, Middlesex, St. Paul’s, Andover, Exeter, Groton, Concord)???

I’m considering not sending in scores at all, my recs are pretty good and there are lots of positive comments on my report card. HELP.

I would appreciate any advice! Jan 15 is tomorrow and I’m really worried!

Verbal is pretty insignificant compared to the other sections, but It’s not my place to say whether they should be submitted or not.

Yeah, I’m really confused about how I scored that bad (personally I thought I prepared pretty well). I don’t want to raise any ‘red flags’ to AOs, and I don’t want to show my verbal score.

If you were my child I would encourage you to submit, but of course you need to do what feels right for you.
My reasons voting for submitting:

  1. I have heard directly from two AO’s from your list of schools that the verbal section is the least important because it’s a random list of a ton of words that a lot of very educated people don’t know either. So it just shows if you memorized word lists. Or if you happened to get lucky that your test had words you happened to know already.
  2. Reading comp is actually a very important skill you need to use at prep school as you will read a LOT there, and you showed that you are super strong here.
  3. Math – you did great here too. Weak math is more indicative of weak school math because it really does reflect what one learns in school. (vocabulary lists – not so much.)
  4. Your two VERY strong scores indicate to me that the vocabulary list thing is a bit of a fluke and it just says to me that you didn’t do 1000 flashcards. I don’t blame you. Life is too short for that nonsense in my opinion.
  5. Your overall score is excellent! (FWIW, my unhooked daughter last year had 80 overall, with a verbal around 60 if I recall correctly and she got into several of your schools listed.)

So, I actually LOVE your scores. My kind of gal who excels in the important stuff and still does a decent showing in the random, annoying stuff that the SSAT asks of you.


@Calliemomofgirls Thank you so much!

Yes, I have considered the points you listed, and I think my verbal isn’t terrible, but it is pretty bad. I didn’t use the flashcards, and I hate memorizing things, so vocab is not my strong point. And I think I did pretty well on the reading, same with the math.

I will discuss it with my parents, thank you for your advice!

I understand this. However, I think @Calliemomofgirls gives great advice.

That is a really interesting point. A couple years ago we had an AO at a local day school discussing middle school admissions. He said that they looked at Verbal on the ISEE first because he wanted to see who was willing to put in the work. I think the middle level ISEE has more vocabulary you would naturally pick up from reading but to get a top score, you will still need some formal vocabulary study. All of the more traditional private elementary schools here really highlight vocab as part of their curriculum when we did tours. It wasn’t until my son was in a specialized public middle school program that he had formal vocabulary.

It is interesting to see different approaches to similar tests.

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It’s a tough call!

Maybe For the school that is less rigorous In academics, submit scores. But for the school that is more rigorous , do not,

It’s tough Call because no one can read the Minds of admission officers!

No. Don’t submit. I think verbal proves how hard you work. My overall was a 97%. I got a full 800 on my verbal since I memorized most of the dictionary. You have to memorize more words. It’s the only way. I memorized 1000 words per day.

I agree with others that you should submit your scores since the math & reading scores are excellent and because any composite score of 85 or higher is considered to be a strong score.

When test optional, why submit something lower than average of the schools? What do you prove or gain by it?

The way I see it, only one type will submit - those who scored higher than average.

Submit & Higher: +1
Not submit: 0 (bc test optional)
Submit & Lower: -1

Why confess and beheaded for transparency when not asked? Remember: this isn’t a process to find reason for rejection. The default position is rejection. They hand-pick a few that pop up and simply discard the rest. Admission is not a encouragement process. Only this portal is.

When they themselves waived you by saying non-submission will not be held at disadvatage, submitting what does not advantage you would at best be neutral, at worst be negative.


I’m an applicant, but here is what AOs have said to me.

If you have taken the SSAT, you should submit. I got a 79th %ile on my SSAT, 2178 composite score, and my Andover AO told me to submit. He said he is absolutely positive it will not affect my admissions decision. This forum glorifies the significance of of SSAT scores, and I would say OPs scores are fine anywhere. AO also said verbal is the least important part of the SSAT, and that isn’t an issue(I received a 701, 65th %ile verbal). Whatever you do, it most likely won’t change the school’s decisions.

Good luck!!!

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You are amazing! I didn’t have much time to prepare for the SSAT test as I was busy this fall with school homework and other activities out of school. Saw your post in ‘chance me’, you are a very strong candidate, and good luck to your applications this year!

@Publisher Thank you for the comments! And Thank @Calliemomofgirls so much for the encouragement. Your words made me think twice about my scores. And I eventually submitted my SSAT scores to ALL schools (I have some other schools which might not be as selective as these schools on my list too).

I appreciated all comments from you all!

You have a good point. I was really thinking of what you exactly pointed out here. My overall score is 85%, it is definitely not above the average scores of Andover or Exeter (they are around 92-93% overall). But this score may be in the (average) range of other schools. Thank you for your comments!

Why submit something that does not affect the decision in the first place? Folks, AO would of course love to see every info about you! But he is not your lawyer! Test optional means two things: 1. process goes on. 2. no interpretation. Baeically zero.

But the moment you submit, you are in the business. You chose not to fold your cards. You risked it either benefits you or harms you. Where there is an upside gain potential, there is a downside loss risk. You cannot simply take the best of all possible worlds in a zero sum game.

Officers would hate test-optional. But that doesnt mean you should too. The moment you fold, they are prohibited from making assumptions. The moment you call, they get to judge you.

If they really wanted to nullify the impact, they would have made it “test-prohibited” instead of optional. Theu didn’t. Use the mechanism wisely. AOs are not your lawyers; they’ve got an important job to do - rejecting 85%.

Thank you @lilyesh for sharing this. Made me feel much better! Good luck to you too!!!

By this I meant, of course, rejecting 85% of candidates, not 85% scorers. In the grand scheme of all, I would agree scores would not be regarded as significant this year because of all the disruptions that happened. If you submitted already, just forget about it - it is not gonna affect you. They may see a candor in you. Good luck to you all.

Thank you for your inputs and good luck to all applying this year.

My son is applying to Milton, should he hand over these scores?
2190 TS
Math 65%
Verbal 88%
Reading 95%
Overall: 86%