When should my child take the SSAT?
The SSAT is offered eight times over the school year, beginning in October; test dates can be found here. Check with the schools to which your student is applying as to the final possible date that will meet their deadline.
Can my child take the SSAT more than once?
Yes. Most students plan to take it twice.
How much preparation will my child need?
Even the strongest students benefit from SSAT test prep. It’s a difficult test, and familiarity with the types of questions, format, and, of course, material covered makes a huge difference. We recommend minimally four sessions; students see the greatest benefit from 6-12. In particular, vocabulary practice is time-intensive–there are no shortcuts.
What is the most important element of the private high school application?
Answers to this question vary. Private school admissions officers will say that the SSAT is not the most important factor; however, it is rare to see acceptance of a student whose scores are far outside the school’s typical range. Other top factors include interviews with student and family–they aim to build a well-rounded student body with a diversity of talents and interests, supported by involved parents. Grades, recommendations, and extracurriculars are also of high importance. Essays and short answers on the applications themselves are also indicators of whether the student will be a good fit.
How many schools should be on my student’s list?
Most students have a good idea of a few schools they’d like to attend, and families in Eastern Massachusetts are fortunate to have multiple excellent choices nearby. No matter the reputation of the school, however, it’s important to do your own online research to learn whether the environment is right for your child, and then schedule a tour during a school day. If you already know your student will be applying, request an interview the same day.
Am I too late for this year?
Most private and Catholic high schools have mid-December application deadlines. In most cases, admissions and financial aid/scholarship decisions are made by February.
Where can I learn more?
Here is more detail about the SSAT we have compiled. If you are interested in working with an admissions consultant, please contact our office for a list of consultants we recommend. Below is a list of some of the top private and religious affiliated schools in our region.
Area private schools
Highest range of SSAT scores
Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols, Cambridge
Cambridge School of Weston
Concord Academy, Concord
Deerfield Academy, Deerfield
Groton School, Groton
Middlesex School, Concord
Milton Academy, Milton
Nobles and Greenough, Newton
Phillips Academy Andover, Andover
St. Mark’s School, Southborough
Middle range of SSAT scores
Brooks School, North Andover
Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall, Waltham
Dana Hall School, Wellesley
Lawrence Academy, Groton
Catholic High Schools
BC High, Boston
St. Sebastian’s School, Needham
Xaverian Brothers, Westwood
If you are interested in SSAT tutoring, email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation. Open Door also prepares students for the lower and middle levels of the SSAT and ISEE.