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Terri Karol of Prepped & Polished outlines the components of all three levels of the SSAT; elementary, middle, and upper levels.

Since there are three levels of the SSAT: elementary, middle, and upper levels, many parents and students are confused as to the components of this standardized test. So, I’m here to make it clear because the best way to ensure that a student will perform his or her best on the SSAT is to become familiar with the format of the test. That way, a student will find it easier to apply his or her knowledge to the test and answer more questions correctly. So, let me break it all down for you.

The elementary level is for students currently in grades three and four, the upper level is for students currently in grades 8 through 11, and the middle level is for students in grades five through seven.

### Quantitative Section

The quantitative section or math section for the elementary level comprises of 30 questions in 30 minutes. It’s based on third and fourth-grade curricula, including properties and operations algebra, geometry, measurement, and probability.

For the upper and middle levels, there are two quantitative sections, 25 questions each, and each one is 30 minutes. The section comprises of arithmetic, geometry, elementary algebra, data analysis, and probability.

Since there are two math sections, the upper and middle levels have five sections in all, and the elementary level has four.

### Verbal Section

The verbal section for the elementary level consists of 30 questions that have to be completed in 20 minutes, and there are two parts. It tests the understanding of words with similar meanings, which are synonyms, that’s part one, and the understanding of word relationships, that’s part two, the analogies.

For the upper and middle levels of the verbal section, there are 60 questions in 30 minutes. So there’s double the number of questions and two parts: 30 synonyms and 30 analogy problems.

The reading section for the elementary level consists of 28 questions in 30 minutes. This is basically reading comprehension based on seven short passages. For the upper and middle levels, there are 40 questions to be completed in 40 minutes. This is also reading comprehension based on seven passages, but they’re much longer. Each passage is approximately 250 to 350 words.

### Writing Sample

Each level has a different writing sample task. The elementary level has one writing sample to be completed in only 15 minutes. Students have to write a story based on a picture prompt. It’s not graded, it’s provided to the schools, and it’s the last section tested.

The middle level has a choice of two creative prompts, while the upper level has a choice of a creative prompt or an essay, again not graded. It’s the first section tested.

The upper and middle levels also have an experimental section. It’s 16 questions, not scored. It consists of six verbal, five reading, and five quantitative questions, and these are just used for future tests to see if the questions are viable.

So here’s the totals. The elementary level consists of 88 questions in 110 minutes, which is one hour and 50 minutes. The upper and middle levels have 150 questions, and it takes 155 minutes, which is two hours and 35 minutes.

I hope this information sheds some light on the components of all three levels of the SSAT.

If you have any questions or you want more assistance either online or in person, simply email info@preppedinpolish.com, and we’ll be glad to help you.

Good luck.