America’s high schools are divided into 4 groups: Public Schools, Private Schools, Non-public Schools and Charter Schools. Non-public schools are usually run by a certain religious group. Any Catholic or Christian School is an example of a non-public school. Charter schools are private schools that are built to satisfy the needs of public schools that exist in the same areas. The main difference between charter schools and non-public schools is that Charter Schools receive support from the state and they have no religious affiliation.
Private schools are subdivided into day time and boarding schools. The SSAT is required to attend a private school. Students are not only considered by their SSAT grade, but also on other factors like the student’s interviews, parent’s job and their financial information. Private schools are known for having a successful Ivy League attendance rate. It is important for a student who wants to take the SSAT to start preparing well in advance for the test.
There are three different levels of placement tests for private schools. Upper Level tests are held for 8~11th grade students, Middle Level tests are held for 5~7th grade students, and Elementary Level are held for 3~4th grade students. The SSAT is designed to measure the basic verbal, quantitative, and reading skills of each student. This test is not an achievement test set out to measure the things a student has learned specifically in class that year.
The SSAT is divided into 5 sub-sections. For the writing test, students may be given one of several topics to address: his/her own experience, history, or literature. Writing scores do not affect the SSAT scores and they will not show up on the student’s score report. The Math section is broken down into 2 sub-sections that are 30 minutes each. These subsections are both comprised of 25 questions. The Verbal portion of the test is 30 minutes and includes 30 synonym and 30 analogy exercises. The Reading Comprehension section is 40 minutes and has 7 passages to be read and 40 questions to be answered. All of these sections test a student’s ability to read, comprehend, and solve problems quickly. These tests are held 7 times a year and cost $116 per test in the US and $225 in foreign countries.