The high school entrance exams are standardized tests that parochial, church-affiliated, Independent, and specialized public high schools use to help them make their admission decisions.
There are a number of widely used standardized high school exams, among the most common are the SSAT & ISEE.
The SSAT or Secondary School Admission Test, which is administered seven times each year by the Secondary Schools Admissions Testing located in Princeton, New Jersey. Scores are accepted by more than 600 schools. Schools that accept SSAT scores include independent unaffiliated private day and boarding schools, non-diocesan Catholic schools or Catholic schools operated by religious orders, and non-Catholic religious-affiliated schools. The SSAT is offered at two levels – lower-level for students in grades 5,6, and 7 and upper – level for students in grade 8 and above. The upper – level exam is administered to high school applicants.
The scoring of the SSAT is as follows : You get one point (+1) for each correct answer, and you lose one quarter of a point (- 1/4 point) for each incorrect answer. Omitted answers have no effect (0 points) on your score. Calculation of right answers minus one fourth of wrong answer yields your raw score. Do not worry that your standing on the exam may suffer in comparison to student in other grades taking the same upper-level exam. SSAT scores are scaled and reported in percentiles that compare only students within the same age and grade group.
The SSAT is administered in six separately timed sections of 25 minutes each. The first section, Part I, is the writing sample. The other five sections, Part II, can appear in any order, since all are allotted the same 30 minutes for completion. Among the five sections you will always find two Quantitative sections, one Verbal (synonyms and analogies) section, one Reading Comprehension section, and one experimental section. These may be arranged in any order the test-makers choose. The experimental section does not count towards your score; it is included for purposes of testing new questions to be used on future tests. Be aware that the section will look so much like a section that counts that you will not be able to identify it. You will have to do your best on all 5 Sections. Every section on the question on the multiple-choice part of the SSAT offers five choices lettered (A), (B), (C), (D) and (E).
Subject to the order of the sections, which vary from this format to the actual test here is a typical SSAT format
TYPICAL SSAT Format
TIPS TO REMEMBER
- Remember the order of difficulty, that’s where you’ll find the hardest questions at the end of the section, which means that the answers are more complex. Look carefully at the choices and really think about what the question is asking.
You Don’t Have to Read the Directions
- Don’t read the directions during the test. You should have read and memorized the directions before sitting down to take the exam. So when the exam clock starts ticking, don’t waste time rereading directions you already know. Instead, go directly to Question 1.
- Bring a watch, if you’re going to pace yourself, you need to keep track of the time – and what if there is no clock in your room or if the only clock is out of your line of vision? That’s why it’s a good idea to bring a watch to the test. A word of warning : Don’t use a watch alarm or your watch will end up on the proctor’s desk.
- Do not make wild guesses! You get one point (+1) for each correct answer, and you lose one quarter of a point (- 1/4 point) for each incorrect answer. Omitted answers have no effect (0 points) on your score. Calculation of right answers minus one fourth of wrong answer yields your raw score.
- Keep it moving, it’s hard to let go, but sometimes you have to. Don’t spend too much time on any one question before you’ve tried all the questions in a section. There may be questions later on in the test that you can answer easily, and you don’t want to lose points just because you didn’t get to them.