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SSAT Series Part 1: Prepare for the SSAT Reading & Verbal


While there’s no specific curriculum that helps you prepare for the SSAT, an important part of many boarding schools' admissions process, there are some things you can do to familiarize yourself with the content and generally work to prepare for the exam. In today’s blog, we offer some strategies to help you prepare for the reading and verbal sections of the SSAT.

Prepare for the SSAT by reading

Reading regularly and looking up definitions of unknown words can help improve your score. Make a point to not just read the contemporary novels that are popular today, but to also read some of the classics. Authors like Shakespeare, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Nathaniel Hawthorne can introduce you to words less commonly used today that could be on the test, like pugnacious, antediluvian, or bellicose.

Related reading: How can I improve my SSAT score?

Review root words

Understanding what root words are and how they work with prefixes and suffixes can give you a leg up on the SSAT. Even if you don’t know an entire word, root words can give you clues to the meaning, which can help you make an educated guess. For example, knowing the Latin root ambi, which means both, can help you determine the meaning of words like ambiguous and ambidextrous.

Play games to prepare for the SSAT

Yes, play games. Even playing word games like Scrabble or Words With Friends can help increase your vocabulary if you make a habit of regularly learning new words and their definitions.

Related reading: SSAT Strategies

Utilize a dictionary and thesaurus

By no means am I suggesting you read these books cover to cover, but keep them or even an app on your phone close by, so you can quickly review words you don’t know as you’re out and about. Hear an unfamiliar word on the news or read a word you don’t know in a book? Look it up and check out synonyms and antonyms, too.

Use flash cards.

When you find words you don’t know, create flash cards that you can review to test yourself on their meanings. Try to incorporate new words into your everyday conversations, too.

Related reading: The Boarding School Application

Visit the SSAT Help Center

Here you’ll find webinars, tutorials, sample questions, and format outlines for each level of the test. Reviewing these resources should be a top priority.

Stay tuned for our next blog, covering tips and tricking to help you prepare for the SSAT's math and quantitative reasoning section.

Looking for the full SSAT Study Series?

  1. Reading & Verbal
  2. Quantitative/Math
  3. Writing Sample
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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