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Varsity Tutors is a powerful resource for students interested in enrolling in a Kansas City SSAT prep course. The SSAT is a standardized test that exists to give private and independent schools an objective data point that allows them to compare candidates with different backgrounds fairly. There are three different "levels" of the SSAT: Elementary Level for students in grades 3 and 4, Middle Level for students in grades 5-7, and Upper Level for students in grades 8-11. Students take the SSAT the year before they plan to attend a new school. For instance, a sixth-grader is looking to start attending a private or independent school for grade 7.

Most schools look at other criteria as well as standardized test scores, but a strong performance on the SSAT is one way for either you or your student to stand out in a crowded applicant pool. If you feel like your test prep could use a boost, taking a Kansas City SSAT class is a great way to improve your study skills in advance of the exam. Keep reading to discover more information about this valuable service.

What topics are typically covered in a Kansas City SSAT course?

The Elementary Level SSAT has a total testing time of one hour and 50 minutes, while the Middle and Upper Level exams last two hours and 50 minutes. This means that the Elementary Level Exam has a completely different format from the test older students take, while the Middle and Upper Level SSATs differ only in the level of material covered.

The SSAT has five sections no matter which level is taken: Writing, Quantitative, Reading, Verbal, and Experimental. The Experimental section allows the exam's manufacturer to test out future exam items and is always unscored. The Writing section is also unscored, but a student's essay is included in their private school application as a writing sample. Here is a closer look at the four exam sections that matter:


The Writing section of the SSAT is designed to assess a student's written communication skills, command of English grammar, punctuation, organization, and spelling. On the Elementary Level test, students have 15 minutes to compose a short story based on a provided picture prompt. The directions remind them to include a beginning, middle, and end in their work. Middle Level test-takers choose between two creative writing prompts and have 25 minutes to finish. The Upper Level SSAT also allows 25 minutes to plan and compose a response, but students choose between a creative or traditional essay prompt.


The Quantitative section is called "Math" on the Elementary Level SSAT and consists of 30 multiple-choice questions about topics such as subtraction, shapes, fractions, multiplication, and place value. Children have half an hour to answer all of the questions. Students taking the Middle or Upper Level SSAT answer a total of 50 multiple-choice questions evenly split between two 30-minute subsections. Questions are about more advanced topics such as data analysis, algebra, and geometry. Calculators are not permitted on any level of the SSAT.


The Reading section consists of 28 multiple-choice questions over 30 minutes on the Elementary Level SSAT and 40 multiple-choice questions over 40 minutes on the other two. All students are presented with reading passages and asked to identify the main idea and relevant supporting details, distinguish between literal and non-literal meanings, and use context to define terminology. Older students are also asked to critically evaluate arguments and make inferences based on what they read. Naturally, the passages also become more difficult at higher levels of the SSAT.


The Verbal section contains 30 multiple-choice questions over 20 minutes on the Elementary Level SSAT and 60 multiple-choice items over 30 minutes on higher levels of the test. Vocab, analogies, and synonyms are the primary topics of discussion, with vocabulary worked into the other two question types on the Middle and Upper Level SSATs. Some of these questions can get pretty tricky, so it may be a good idea to study prefixes, suffixes, and word roots to help a student piece together what a word means and how it might relate to others.

Can you explain some of the benefits of taking a Kansas City SSAT course to me?

Every Kansas City SSAT class we provide takes place on our exclusive live virtual platform, allowing students to meet with their instructor and a handful of classmates wherever anywhere with a strong internet connection. Our platform supports real-time interactions between everybody involved, so asking for help is as simple as raising your hand. We also start new classes every week and offer two and four-week options to make it possible to fit a class into even the busiest schedule.

Each Kansas City SSAT class also covers both academic skills and test-taking strategies specific to the SSAT. If you or your student could express yourself more effectively on written assignments, learning how to outline your response before you try to compose it may prove beneficial. Similarly, children taking the Elementary Level SSAT should try to answer every question because there is no penalty for incorrect responses. However, students taking the Middle and Upper Level exams are penalized for every wrong answer, making a blank question better than an incorrect response. Whether to guess or not on these items comes down to a student's perceived odds of guessing correctly.

Studying with other students also carries several advantages. You can split the cost of your expert instructor, making formal test prep more affordable than you might think. Perhaps more importantly, multiple students can work together to foster a learning environment where everybody can ask questions and do their best to develop a more comprehensive understanding of academic concepts. For example, learning how to approach a math problem from a peer instead of an instructor can help it seem more accessible.

How do I enroll in a Kansas City SSAT course?

Simply use the info provided on this page to connect with a knowledgeable educational consultant who can walk you through the entire enrollment process. Varsity Tutors is a leader in the Kansas City SSAT course space, and we would be delighted to show you why!

Contact us today to connect with a top Kansas City SSAT instructor