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5 Tips for Taking the SSAT

When applying for boarding school admission, taking the SSAT can be a stressful experience for students. But these five simple steps may help students successfully tackle the exam.

1. Follow the test directions exactly.
This seems like common sense, but remember that the instructions will contain important tips and reminders for making the most of your SSAT test-taking experience.

2. Read the entire question before answering.
Sometimes, clues to the answer can be found within the question itself. And, a quick read may mean that you miss important details about the answer. It's important to pay attention to the wording to know exactly what is being asked of you.

3. Don't waste time on questions that are too hard-- skip them.
When a test is timed, every passing second is valuable time that could be used to tackle questions that you can more easily answer. You can always revisit the more challenging questions at the end if there's time.

4. When you skip a question, make sure to skip the corresponding answer line on your score sheet.
This crucial step can make or break your entire test-taking experience. Skip one question early on and forget to skip the answer line, and you've thrown off the rest of your test. Make sure that your recorded answers align with the proper questions. Periodically compare your answer sheet and test to make sure you're on the correct line.

5. Know how the test is scored.
Each wrong answer deducts ¼ of a point from the score. Therefore, if you cannot make an educated guess and eliminate at least one of the answer choices, it’s best to skip the question and move on. There are no penalties for unanswered questions on the SSAT.

Feel free to contact your admission counselor if you have any questions about what is required, and when, as a part of your boarding school application.

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Stacy Jagodowski

Written by Stacy Jagodowski

Ms. Jago joined the Cheshire Academy community in August 2013 as the director of strategic marketing and communications. Prior to coming to Cheshire Academy, she spent six years working in communications offices at both colleges and private school, as well as five years in admission at both boarding schools and day schools.

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