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The SSAT consists of two parts: a brief essay, and a multiple-choice aptitude test, which consists of four separately-timed sections: two Quantitative, one Verbal, and one Reading. Following are sample questions which might appear on both Upper and Lower Level tests. We suggest that you review these questions in order to familiarize yourself with the SSAT format and types of questions you will find on the actual test.               

Questions: 1 (essay response)
Time: 25 minutes
What is measured? Your essay will be used by admission officers to assess your writing skills. The exercise is not scored by SSAT, but a copy of your essay is forwarded to each school you request as a score recipient.

Directions: Read the following topic carefully. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and organize your thoughts before you begin writing. Use the scratch paper and pen provided. Be sure that your handwriting is legible and that you stay within the lines and margins.

Sample Topic: It is better to be safe than sorry.
Assignment: Do you agree or disagree with the topic statement?
Support your position with one or two specific examples from personal experience, the experience of others, current events, history, or literature.

Each question is followed by five answer choices. After you have selected your answer, find the row on the answer sheet numbered the same as the question, and fill in the circle with the same letter as your answer. Each question has only one correct answer.

Questions: 40 (multiple-choice), based on 6-7 reading passages
Time: 40 minutes
What is measured? Your ability to read quickly and to understand what you read.

Directions: Read the passage carefully and then answer the questions (1-3) about it. For each question, decide on the basis of the passage which one of the choices best answers the question.

We had had a consuming desire to see a pony rider, but somehow or other all that passed us streaked by in the night, and so we heard only a whiz and a hail, and the swift phantom was gone.

But now the driver exclaims, "Here he comes!" Every neck is stretched and every eye strained.

Away across the endless dead level of the prairie a black speck appears against the sky. Soon it becomes a horse and rider, rising and falling, sweeping nearer and nearer, and the flutter of hoofs comes faintly to the ear. Another instant a whoop and hurrah from our upper deck, a wave of the rider's hand, but no reply, and man and horse burst past our excited faces and go winging away like a belated fragment of a storm!

1. At the driver's call, the people became more

disappointed eager frightened
puzzled hysterical

2. The people waiting to see the pony rider were most probably

at a hotel on a grandstand on a stagecoach
at a farm in a theater

3. The land where the people were watching was

flat and treeless hilly and rocky desert-like
farmland cut by deep crevasses

Questions: 50 (multiple-choice), in two sections
Time: 30 minutes per section (60 minutes total)
What is measured? Your knowledge of algebra and quantitative concepts.

Directions: Following each problem in this section, there are five suggested answers. Work each problem in your head or in the space provided (there will be space for scratchwork in your test booklet). Then look at the five suggested answers and decide which is best.

4. According to the graph, who owns the most CD's?

Bob Cheryl Linda Marion Mike @

5. If 5 + 9 + __ = 6 + 8 + 1, then __ =

1 5 6 8 9

6. If 3/4 of a number is 48, then 1/4 of the same number is

12 16 24 144 192

7. What is the perimeter of an equilateral triangle if one side of the triangle has the same length as the side of a square with an area of 25?

30 20 15 10 5

8. It costs n dollars to manufacture 1 dozen stuffed animals. At the same rate, how many dollars will it cost to manufacture 30 stuffed animals?

30n 360/n 2n/5 2/5n 5n/2

9. 2 1/4 % =

0.0025 0.0225 0.225 2.025 2.25

10. Which of the following is NOT equal to a whole number?

8 + 4 1/8 x 4 8/4 8 x 1/4 8/ 1/8

11. 8 x 3 x 7 x 2 is equal to the product of 24 and

56 21 16 14 6

12. The number of people now employed by a certain company is 240, which is 3/5 the number employed five years ago. How many more employees did it have then than it has now?

160 360 480 720 960

13. A recipe for salad dressing calls for a ratio of 3 tablespoons of olive oil for 1 tablespoon of vinegar, but Melanie used 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 of olive oil. How many more tablespoons must she add in order to have the correct proportion?

2 6 8 9 10

14. In the figure, if x/2 = 30, then y =

15 30 45 60 120

15. If Kristina sees y movies, Elliott sees five times as many movies as Kristina, and Cheryl sees 2 fewer movies than Kristina, how many movies did the three children see altogether?

3y + 3 5y - 2 7y - 2 8y - 2 8y

Questions: 60 (30 Synonym, 30 Analogy)
Time: 30 minutes
What is measured? The synonym questions test your vocabulary, and the analogy questions measure your ability to relate ideas to each other logically.

Directions: Each of the following questions (16-20) consists of one word followed by five words or phrases. You are to select the one word or phrase whose meaning is closest to the word in capital letters.

16. FLING:

rotate hurl arouse pound defy


legal directed unnecessary usual informative


pretense extension introduction
humorous play nonessential part


release handle stretch make worse keep apart


clever retentive cooperative unhindered arid

Directions: The following questions (21-25) ask you to find relationships between words. For each question, select the answer choice that best completes the meaning of the sentence.

21. Sapling is to tree as cub is to

moose pine goat cedar bear

22. Frame is to building as

hair is to head skull is to jaw skeleton is to body
finger is to hand bone is to marrow

23. Meandering is to river as

winding is to road wandering is to wave scudding is to cloud
chugging is to train rolling is to ship

24. Clear is to printing as articulate is to

painting driving listening speaking walking

25. Tactful is to diplomat as

urbane is to educator rational is to logician
surgical is to physician neurotic is to psychoanalyst
pedantic is to intellectual

The correct answers are:

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