Our customized one-to-one tutoring has helped hundreds of students earn top scores on the SSAT, an admissions test used by boarding and independent schools. We'd love to help your child achieve their best scores!
Our Approach to the SSAT
The SSAT is a tough test! It's not uncommon for students to feel intimidated by the complex reading passages, unfamiliar vocabulary, or abstract math problems. We work hard to help students overcome any stress to feel confident and in control. First, we focus on tutoring a combination of academic skills and test-taking strategies. Once those skills are mastered, we incorporate timing and and test anxiety strategies. This throrough approach enables students to shine on test day!
SSAT Test Sections
We tailor our tutoring to address the skills tested on each section of the SSAT:
- Verbal: The vocabulary tested on this section is very challenging, so we focus on vocabulary development through word roots, as well as strategies for tackling synonyms and analogies.
- Quantitative: On the two quantitative sections, we emphasize building core math skills, as well as teaching strategies for word problems, geometry, and algebra.
- Reading: Our approach to the reading section involves practicing active reading comprehension and question-answering strategies on increasingly challenging reading passages .
- Essay: If requested, we also help students develop and polish their writing skills for the essay. The essay is not graded but is sent directly to schools.
Nurturing Wisdom helps students prepare for all three levels of the SSAT:
- Upper Level: The upper level test is taken by current 8th - 11th graders who are applying for admission to 9th - 12th grades.
- Middle Level: The middle level test is taken by current 5th - 7th graders who are applying for admission to 6th - 8th grades.
- Elementary Level: The elementary level test is taken by current 3rd and 4th graders who are applying for admission to 4th or 5th grade.
Nurturing Wisdom tutors have successfully worked with many students with SSAT accommodations. Our tutors are knowledgable about how to adapt our tutoring strategies for accommodations such as extended time, calculator use, and having a reader. Our tutoring directors are here to help parents as well! Learn more about SSAT accommodations here.
Most students’ percentile scores will be 20-40% lower on the SSAT than on other standardized tests. This is because their scores are compared only to the elite group of students who take the SSAT.
Selective schools typically look for SSAT scores between the 50th and 80th percentile; highly selective boarding schools look for scores in the 90th percentile or above.
We recommend that students taking the SSAT from November through January begin tutoring during the summer before their test, but we’re happy to start working with students in the fall!
All students begin by taking an SSAT pre-test. After the pre-test is complete, we'll provide a detailed score analysis, as well as a tutoring timeline that outlines how much tutoring we recommend, goal scores, and potential test dates.
If you're in the Chicagoland area, sign up for one of our proctored pre-tests, a great opportunity to get a feel for the real test day. If you're outside Chicago or unable to make a proctored test date, contact us today to get a free pre-test!
If you live outside of Chicagoland or San Francisco Bay areas, we can still help! We love working one-on-one with students online to help them achieve their goals. Contact our online tutoring director, Jessica Lepore, at 312.260.7945 x3 to learn more!