SSAT Testing Changes for 2020-2021

Thursday, July 16, 2020

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SSAT Testing Updates to Keep on Your Radar

The SSAT is one of the most widely recognized standardized tests utilized by admissions officers to assess independent school applicants. The exam measures basic verbal, math, and reading skills and is offered in three levels: Elementary (for students in 3rd and 4th grade), Middle (for students in 5th-7th grade), and Upper (for students in 8th-11th grade). 

Much like the ACT and SAT exams, several changes have been put in place for SSAT testing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Keep reading to learn more about recent modifications and updates for the SSAT exam as well as takeaways for future test takers. 

SSAT at Home: The Basics

The Enrollment Management Association (EMA) is the maker of the SSAT exam. The organization recently announced the debut of at-home administrations of the SSAT beginning this summer. The SSAT at Home will be offered in a remote-proctoring, online environment that is secure, browser-based, and monitored by artificial intelligence tools. Test accommodations will also be available for students needing this option.

The SSAT at Home will have the same content, length, and quality of the traditional SSAT. The scoring system will also remain the same and scores will be sent to both families and schools following a similar timeline. Typically, scores will be released to schools (those indicated during the registration process) three business days after testing and released to families the following day.

Scheduling Your Exam

It’s important to pay attention to dates and deadlines associated with SSAT at Home, just as test-takers would for the paper-based exam. The SSAT at Home is not offered 24/7; instead, the exam will be offered every Saturday and one Sunday per month, beginning in August 2020. For the most updated information, students should refer to the SSAT’s Alerts page, complete the registration process for the exam, and reach out to EMA’s customer support team at [email protected] for answers to any pressing questions. 

When it comes to scheduling your SSAT exam, families who have already registered for a 2020 test date but have yet to take the exam due to COVID-19 cancellations will receive priority registration.

What about the Flex Test?

In years past, there were two options for SSAT administration: Standard, an in-person option that took place on scheduled dates, and Flex, in which the SSAT is administered to a group or individual on any date outside of the pre-planned testing schedule. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SSAT Flex Test is available on a very limited basis to ensure that the exam is only administered if it is appropriate and allowed based on state and local public health regulations and guidelines. According to its website, EMA continues to carefully monitor health advisories and state restrictions to determine when Flex testing can further resume safely.

What to Keep in Mind

Students who opt to take the SSAT at Home should set themselves up for success by doing their research and planning ahead. In addition to monitoring test dates and deadlines, participants should make sure they have the proper set up needed to successfully complete the exam. This means either a PC or Mac (laptops or desktops) with broadband internet and webcam capabilities. Cellphones and tablets will not be supported. 

Remote proctors will be available to assist students throughout testing. If any connection issues arise, the proctor will work with the student to get back online and continue the test.

While completing the SSAT at home will certainly be a change for test-takers, students can finish the exam with confidence by doing their research and preparing for the SSAT. If you are planning on taking the exam and looking for personalized guidance, our team can help you feel your best on test day.

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