An important aspect of the SSAT (Secondary School Admissions Test) is how the test is scored. The Middle and Upper Levels of the have a wrong answer penalty. This means that every question answered correctly earns 1 point, every question unanswered earns no points, while a wrong answer loses ¼ of a point. This means students should be strategic about when they should and should not guess. This post really focuses on the Middle and Upper Levels of the SSAT, because there is no wrong answer penalty on the Elementary Level of the test. Penalty exists in ML and UL of the test. On the Elementary Level, students are encouraged to attempt to guess at every question.
SSAT Wrong Answer Penalty
Before we get to guessing and the SSAT wrong answer penalty, let’s talk about timing. The SSAT is a timed test, so remember to take this into account when thinking of your guessing strategy. Focus on any questions that you feel you can answer first. Get those points on the board! Then return to the harder questions that you skipped and implement a POE, or Process of Elimination, strategy. Generally, with the SSAT wrong answer penalty, if you can eliminate two or more answer choices you should certainly guess on the question.
Don’t Get Down on Yourself!
The EMA designs the SSAT knowing that there will likely be content you have not learned in school yet. Try not to get frustrated and realize it the test, not you. Remember the SSAT is timed and move on to an easier question. Taking time to practice and prepare is another excellent way to combat this problem. Working with official SSAT materials will help students prepare for what to expect on an actual test. This is why we use, and recommend, Test Innovators as they have a direct partnership with the EMA and SSAT.
Get Started with SSAT Test Prep Today
While thinking of strategies is important, practice is vital! Prepping for the SSAT is better with an Inspirica tutor! To learn more about how we can help you prep for the SSAT, schedule a free consultation with one of our Program Coordinators today!