SSAT test scores can be mysterious to most parents. What do they mean? How does the admissions staff use them?
Your child has taken the SSAT
. You have received the Scores Report. Now what does it mean? How do you read the Scores Report
How to read the Scores Report
You will recall that the SSAT consists of 3 sections: Quantitative or Math, Verbal and Reading Comprehension. For grades 8-11 each section has a possible 800 points perfect score theoretically allowing a 2400 points total. There is a Writing Sample or Essay but it is not scored.
The SSAT uses Percentile Ranks
to show you how your scores in each section compare with students who have taken the test over the last three years. A score in the 85th percentile indicates that you are ahead of 85% of other students taking the test.
How do schools use the Scores Report?
Schools use the Scores Report for several things.
1. They want to see if you are prepared to do the work at a private school. Private schools typically expect a high standard of academic work. and there is a lot of it. For example, the typical public school high school Shakespeare class will cover one play a year if it is lucky. A private school English literature class will cover several plays a year. And in great depth and detail.
2. Schools are looking for deficiencies in your basic or core learning skills. A brilliant mathematician must be able to read and understand what he is reading. Hence, the SSAT has the Reading Comprehension component. Once your deficiencies are identified the school can plan your courses more efficiently.
3. Test scores help the school project how students will do on the SAT which is the most common college entrance test. Private schools have a fine track record of preparing their students for college work. The SSAT test scores help them plan that preparation more effectively.