SSAT ISEE Exams

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SSAT & ISEE


SSAT vs. ISEE

Some independent private and boarding schools accept either the SSAT or ISEE , although many schools insist on one specific exam. Before deciding on whether to take the SSAT or ISEE for private school admissions, check the specific admissions requirements at the schools to which you are considering applying.

SSAT Options

The SSAT is offered in print format across 8 administration dates annually. Under some circumstances, it may be taken remotely – see SSAT At-Home Testing for more information. FLEX Exams are SSAT exams offered on any day other than the 8 designated administration dates. Learn more about the SSAT on The Official SSAT Site.

SSAT Levels & Format

The SSAT is offered at three levels: the Lower Level SSAT Elementary Level SSAT suited to students in grades 3-4, the Middle Level SSAT Middle Level SSAT suited to students in grades 5-7, and the Upper Level SSAT suited to students in grades 8-11.


Elementary Level SSAT Format
Quantitative30 Questions30 Minutes
Verbal30 Questions20 Minutes
BREAK15 Minutes
Reading28 Questions30 Minutes
Writing Sample1 Prompt15 Minutes
Experimental15-17 Questions15 Minutes
Total87-89 Questions2 Hours 5 Minutes

Middle & Upper Level SSAT Format
Writing Sample1 Unscored Prompt25 Minutes
BREAK 5 Minutes
Quantitative25 Questions30 Minutes
Reading40 Questions40 Minutes
BREAK10 Minutes
Verbal60 Questions30 Minutes
Quantitative25 Questions30 Minutes
Experimental16 Questions15 Minutes
Total167 Questions (150 Scored)3 Hours 5 Minutes
ISEE Options

The ISEE is offered in print and online formats for all levels, but format availability may vary by location. Learn more about the ISEE on The ISEE Educational Records Bureau Page.

ISEE Levels & Format

The ISEE is offered at four levels: the Primary (2-4) ISEE suited to students entering grades 2-4, the Lower Level ISEE suited to students entering grades 5-6, the Middle Level ISEE suited to students entering grades 7-8, and the Upper Level ISEE suited to students entering grades 9-12.

Primary 2 ISEE Format
Auditory Comprehension6 Questions7 Minutes
Reading18 Questions20 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Mathematics24 Questions26 Minutes
Total48 Questions58-63 Minutes

Primary 3 ISEE Format
Reading24 Questions28 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Mathematics24 Questions26 Minutes
Total48 Questions59-64 Minutes

Primary 4 ISEE Format
Reading28 Questions30 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Mathematics28 Questions30 Minutes
Total56 Questions65-70 Minutes

Lower Level ISEE Format
Verbal Reasoning34 Questions20 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning38 Questions35 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Reading Comprehension25 Questions25 Minutes
Mathematics Achievement30 Questions30 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Essay1 Prompt30 Minutes
Total127 Questions + 1 Prompt2 Hours + 25-30 Minutes

Middle & Upper Level ISEE Format
Verbal Reasoning40 Questions20 Minutes
Quantitative Reasoning37 Questions35 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Reading Comprehension36 Questions35 Minutes
Mathematics Achievement47 Questions40 Minutes
BREAK5-10 Minutes
Essay1 Prompt30 Minutes
Total160 Questions + 1 Prompt2 Hours + 45-50 Minutes


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