Ace the SSAT

with Private Lessons from New York City's Leading SSAT Tutor

Dr. Donnelly can teach your child the correct approach for each type of question that will appear on the SSAT. This will significantly increase your child's chances of acing the SSAT and getting the independent school of your choice.

Private SSAT lessons with Dr. Donnelly are available either online via Skype for those students living outside of the New York City area or in-person at our Midtown Manhattan office conveniently located at 1460 Broadway, (corner of 41st Street) only one block away from Metro stations for the A, B, C, D, E, F, M, N, Q, R, S, 1, 2, 3, and 7 trains.

Over the years, Dr. Donnelly has helped literally hundreds of students to improve their SSAT scores significantly and achieve their goal of getting accepted into a top-tier independent school. We are confident that he can do the same for you.

So why not contact Dr. Donnelly today?

Phone: 917-568-2473

Email: dr.stuart.donnelly@gmail.com

About the SSAT

Learn how to Improve your Child's score

The SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) is an admissions test administered to students in grades 3-11 to help determine placement into independent or private junior high and high schools.

The SSAT measures the basic verbal, math, and reading skills students need for successful performance in independent schools. It's an indispensable tool that gives admission professionals an equitable means to assess and compare applicants, regardless of their background or experience.

There are three SSAT levels:

    Elementary Level SSAT - For children currently in 3rd and 4th grades who are applying for admission to 4th and 5th grades.
    Middle Level SSAT - For children currently in grades 5-7 who seek admission to grades 6 through 8.
    Upper Level SSAT - For children currently in grades 8-11 who are applying for admission to grades 9 through PG (Post Graduate).

  1. How to Improve your SSAT Score
  2. Contact Dr. Donnelly about SSAT lessons
  3. Read our SSAT students' reviews
  4. Overview of the SSAT
    1. Elementary Level SSAT
    2. Middle Level SSAT
    3. Upper Level SSAT

Improve Your SSAT Score

with private lessons from Dr. Donnelly!

Contact Dr. Donnelly Today

About SSAT Tutoring!

Read our SSAT Students' Reviews

image

5 star review

"My son benefited tremendously from his tutorial sessions with Dr. Donnelly. Not only did he grow in confidence, but he was given the tools to expertly tackle his high school entrance exams. Dr. Donnelly is patient, consistent and totally committed to the welfare of his students and as a result of his thorough and knowledgeable sessions my son was accepted to all of the schools to which he applied. We are enormously grateful and cannot recommend Dr. Donnelly enough!"

Victoria A., Manhattan, New York.

image

5 star review

"Dr. Donnelly, Jon got a 498 and he was accepted to Bard Early College and Brooklyn Latin. Thanks for all your help!"

Mary G., Staten Island, New York.

image

5 star review

"Dr. Donnelly taught me clearly in a very short time. It was very effective just before my exam, and the results turned out to be great! He was nice and encouraging, and I enjoyed his lessons."

James R., Manhattan, New York.

image

5 star review

"My daughter has worked with Dr Donnelly for the last three months and it has been wonderful. Dr. Donnelly has been able to focus on her weaknesses and provide enormous insight. In addition, his advice with regards to strategy for the test has been invaluable. He is able to engage students and provide support well beyond other tutoring services. He is sincerely committed to student success and offers a personalized service with sound methodology. Within 3 months her scores improved significantly. In addition to all his talents ... he is just one of those really smart people that can teach."

Deborah W., Bergen, NJ.

image

5 star review

“If you are willing to put in the time to work, Dr. Donnelly will make sure you succeed. He is incredibly easy to understand and patient.”

Robert K., Brooklyn, New York.

image

5 star review

“Dr. Donnelly's way of teaching is very calm and effective. By teaching concepts in the simplest ways possible he managed to make it interesting and challenging at the same time.”

Maria M., Manhattan, New York.

Load More

Overview of the SSAT

Section by Section

icon

The SSAT Exam

The SSAT is provided in three grade-dependent levels:

i. Elementary Level SSAT (for 3rd and 4th graders who are applying for admission to 4th and 5th grades),

ii. Middle Level SSAT (for children currently in grades 5-7 who seek admission to grades 6 through 8),

iii. Upper Level SSAT (for children currently in grades 8-11 who are applying for admission to grades 9 through post graduate).

Each level is divided into quantitative (math), verbal, and reading comprehension sections, plus an unscored writing exercise. The SSATs also include a section of unscored experimental questions that is vital to the development of new tests.

Elementary Level SSAT

Elementary Level SSAT<

The Elementary Level SSAT is for 3rd and 4th graders who are applying for admission to 4th and 5th grades. The exam lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes and is divided into quantitative (math), verbal, and reading comprehension sections. Each of the three main Elementary Level test sections is scored on a scale of 300 to 600, with a total scaled score range of 900 to 1800. There are also two unscored sections: a writing sample and an experimental sections.

1. Elementary Level SSAT - Quantitative Section

The Quantitative (Math) section of the Elementary Level SSAT last 30 minutes and consists of 30 questions that are a mixture of familiar basic mathematical concept familiar to students, as well as a few that may be a challenge. Included are questions on basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, place value, ordering of numbers, fractions, basic geometry (shapes and their attributes), spatial sense, measurement, and probability.

2. Elementary Level SSAT - Verbal Section

The Verbal section of the Elementary Level SSAT lasts 20 minutes and contains 30 five-choice multiple choice questions. The verbal section of the test has two parts: Synonyms and Analogies.

Synonyms are words with the same or similar meanings. For example, small and tiny are synonyms, as are happy and joyful. The Elementary SSATs focus on vocabulary appropriate to third and fourth grades, pulling words from all areas of study, including science, technology, and social studies. These questions test understanding of language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings by relating them to words with similar but not identical meanings.

Analogies are a comparison between two things usually seen as different, but that have some similarities. These comparisons play an important role in the development of problem solving and decision-making skills, perception and memory, communication and reasoning, reading, and vocabulary building. Analogies help students process information actively, make important decisions, and improve understanding and long-term memory. These questions require the student to demonstrate an understanding of nuances in both word meanings and relationships.

3. Elementary Level SSAT - Reading Comprehension Section

The Reading Comprehension section of the Elementary Level SSAT lasts 30 minutes and contains 28 questions. It consists of seven short passages, each with four multiple-choice questions. These passages may include prose, poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from diverse cultures.

Students are asked to locate information and find meaning by skimming and close reading. They are also asked to demonstrate literal, inferential, and evaluative comprehension. The reader must demonstrate an understanding of key ideas and details to determine the main idea of the text. Additionally, the reader must determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

4. Elementary Level SSAT - Writing Sample

The Writing sample section of the Elementary Level SSAT lasts 15 minutes and gives the student a chance to express him/herself through written response to a picture prompt. The student is asked to look at a picture and tell a story about what happened and to be sure his/her story includes a beginning, a middle, and an end. This writing sample is not graded but a copy is provided to schools along with the student’s score report.

5. Elementary Level SSAT - Experimental Section

The Experimental section of the Elementary Level SSAT lasts 15 minutes and contains 16 questions (6 verbal, 5 reading, and 5 quantitative questions for you to answer. No score is given for this section. This section allows new types of questions to be tested for future SSAT forms. These questions appear on the SSAT to ensure they are reliable, secure, and acceptable.

Middle Level SSAT

Middle Level SSAT<

The Middle Level SSAT is a multiple-choice test for students currently in grades 5-7. The exam lasts 3 hours and 5 minutes and consists of three scored parts: verbal, quantitative (math), and reading comprehension sections and two unscored sections: a writing sample and an experimental section. Each of the three main Middle Level test sections is scored on a scale of 440 to 710, with a total scaled score range of 1320 to 2130.

1. Middle Level SSAT - Quantitative Section

The Quantitative (Math) section of the Middle Level SSAT last 60 minutes and consists of 50 questions split into two parts (30 minutes and 25 questions each). This section tests your ability to solve problems involving algebra, geometry, and other quantitative concepts.

Many of the questions that appear in the quantitative sections of the Middle Level SSAT are structured in mathematical terms that directly state the operation you need to perform; others may not. In these problems, carefully consider how the question is worded and the way the information is presented to determine the operation(s) to perform.

2. Middle Level SSAT - Verbal Section

The Verbal section of the Middle Level SSAT lasts 60 minutes and contains 60 multiple choice questions. The verbal section of the test has two parts: Synonyms and Analogies.

Synonyms are words with the same or similar meanings. For example, large and big are synonyms, as are beautiful and pretty. The Middle SSATs focus on vocabulary appropriate for students in grades 5-7, pulling words from all areas of study, including science, technology, and social studies. These questions test understanding of language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings by relating them to words with similar but not identical meanings.

Analogies are a comparison between two things usually seen as different, but that have some similarities. These comparisons play an important role in the development of problem solving and decision-making skills, perception and memory, communication and reasoning, reading, and vocabulary building. Analogies help students process information actively, make important decisions, and improve understanding and long-term memory. These questions require the student to demonstrate an understanding of nuances in both word meanings and relationships.

3. Middle Level SSAT - Reading Comprehension Section

The Reading Comprehension section of the Middle Level SSAT measures your ability to understand what you read and lasts 40 minutes and contains 40 questions. The reading section consists of seven short passages (generally ranging in length from 250 to 350 words), each with four multiple-choice questions. These passages may include: Literary fiction, Humanities (biography, art, poetry), Science (anthropology, astronomy, medicine), and Social studies (history, sociology, economics).

After you read each passage, you’ll be asked questions about its content or about the author’s style, intent, or point of view. In general, the SSAT uses two types of writing: narrative, which includes excerpts from novels, poems, short stories, or essays; and argument, which presents a definite point of view about a subject.

4. Middle Level SSAT - Writing Sample

The Writing sample section of the Middle Level SSAT measures the student's ability to write and organize ideas. You will have a choice between two creative story starters and you are given 25 minutes to write a story based on one of two provided prompts. Although no score is given for this section, the writing sample is sent to the admission officers at the schools to which you send score reports, to help them assess your writing skills.

5. Middle Level SSAT - Experimental Section

The Experimental section of the Middle Level SSAT lasts 15 minutes and contains 16 questions (6 verbal, 5 reading, and 5 quantitative questions for you to answer. No score is given for this section. This section allows new types of questions to be tested for future SSAT forms. These questions appear on the SSAT to ensure they are reliable, secure, and acceptable.

Upper Level SSAT

Upper Level SSAT

The Upper Level SSAT is a multiple-choice test for students currently in grades 8-11. The exam lasts 3 hours and 5 minutes and consists of three scored parts: verbal, quantitative (math), and reading comprehension sections and two unscored sections: a writing sample, and an experimental section. Each of the three main Upper Level test sections is scored on a scale of 500 to 800, with a total scaled score range of 1500 to 2400.

1. Upper Level SSAT - Quantitative Section

The Quantitative (Math) section of the Upper Level SSAT last 60 minutes and consists of 50 questions split into two parts (30 minutes and 25 questions each). This section tests your ability to solve problems involving algebra, geometry, and other quantitative concepts.

Many of the questions that appear in the quantitative sections of the Upper Level SSAT are structured in mathematical terms that directly state the operation you need to perform; others may not. In these problems, carefully consider how the question is worded and the way the information is presented to determine the operation(s) to perform.

2. Upper Level SSAT - Verbal Section

The Verbal section of the Upper Level SSAT lasts 60 minutes and contains 60 multiple choice questions. The verbal section of the test has two parts: Synonyms and Analogies.

Synonyms are words with the same or similar meanings. For example, large and big are synonyms, as are beautiful and pretty. The Upper SSATs focus on vocabulary appropriate for students in grades 8-11, pulling words from all areas of study, including science, technology, and social studies. These questions test understanding of language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings by relating them to words with similar but not identical meanings.

Analogies are a comparison between two things usually seen as different, but that have some similarities. These comparisons play an important role in the development of problem solving and decision-making skills, perception and memory, communication and reasoning, reading, and vocabulary building. Analogies help students process information actively, make important decisions, and improve understanding and long-term memory. These questions require the student to demonstrate an understanding of nuances in both word meanings and relationships.

3. Upper Level SSAT - Reading Comprehension Section

The Reading Comprehension section of the Upper Level SSAT measures your ability to understand what you read and lasts 40 minutes and contains 40 questions. The reading section consists of seven short passages (generally ranging in length from 250 to 350 words), each with four multiple-choice questions. These passages may include: Literary fiction, Humanities (biography, art, poetry), Science (anthropology, astronomy, medicine), and Social studies (history, sociology, economics).

After you read each passage, you’ll be asked questions about its content or about the author’s style, intent, or point of view. In general, the SSAT uses two types of writing: narrative, which includes excerpts from novels, poems, short stories, or essays; and argument, which presents a definite point of view about a subject.

4. Upper Level SSAT - Writing Sample

The Writing sample section of the Upper Level SSAT measures the student's ability to write and organize ideas. You will be asked to write an essay or a story in 25 minutes. You are given a choice between two prompts: one creative writing prompt and one essay-type prompt. This section is not scored but the writing sample is sent to the admission officers at the schools to which you send score reports, to help them assess your writing skills.

5. Upper Level SSAT - Experimental Section

The Experimental section of the Upper Level SSAT lasts 15 minutes and contains 16 questions (6 verbal, 5 reading, and 5 quantitative questions for you to answer. No score is given for this section. This section allows new types of questions to be tested for future SSAT forms. These questions appear on the SSAT to ensure they are reliable, secure, and acceptable.

Top