Top 1% of the SSATMy students and their parents often are confused as to what constitutes a “top score” on the popular Boarding School exam?  Frankly, it depends on which level you take.

Top Score for the SSAT Across the Board

For all three levels of the exam, a 99% Percentile is the best you can receive because compared to your peers for the previous three years of the exam, you’ve basically beat out 99% of the population of scorers.  For example, if 100 students took the test along with you throughout the world for those 3 years, you would be the only one who received your top score if it landed in the ninety-nine percentile.

Basically, the 99% Percentile means you are in the Top 1% of all test takers for the SSAT in your grade and gender for the three years up through your exam.

However, what does that mean specifically for each level?  Our team answers this for you:

Upper Level Top Score

A 2400 is a Perfect Score on the Upper Level SSAT Exam.  However, a 99% Percentile is what most students are trying to achieve.  Again, it’s the Top 1% of all test takers.

You can obtain full marks by scoring an 800 on each of the three (3) sections of the exam: Quantitative (Math), Reading and Verbal (Synonyms and Analogies).  You are not scored on the essay.  So, this isn’t computed into the overall score.  On the opposite end, the lowest you can score according to the SSATB is a 500.

Does it mean you must score a 2400 to obtain a 99%?  No, not necessarily.  However, given the recent trends, perhaps some day you will!  Nevertheless, the scores to obtain a 99% for each group are as follows (with another table explaining how to get these 3 digit numbers below them):

99% Scores for All Upper Level SSAT Sections*

8th Grade Girls

Verbal: 791 Quantitative: 794 Reading: 761 Overall: 2295

8th Grade Boys

Verbal: 794 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 761 Overall: 2310

9th Grade Girls

Verbal: 800 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 770 Overall: 2328

9th Grade Boys

Verbal: 800 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 770 Overall: 2331

10th Grade Girls

Verbal: 800 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 770 Overall: 2328

10th Grade Boys

Verbal: 800 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 770 Overall: 2337

11th Grade Girls

Verbal: 800 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 764 Overall: 2307

11th Grade Boys

Verbal: 791 Quantitative: 800 Reading: 761 Overall: 2313

Learn how Brandon, one of the world’s Top SSAT/ISEE instructors (based in Hong Kong) helped students repeatedly obtain 95% Percentile or higher on the exams.  Tell him of your interest in helping your incredible daughter or son earn the chance to learn with the best by contacting him now.  

SSAT Percentiles Upper (Est)

To read this chart, basically let’s take an “8th Grade Girl” for example.  Let’s say she scored 40 correct on her Verbal section and got 20 wrong answering all the questions.  The SSAT penalizes students for wrong answers.  So, every answer she got wrong equated to a -.25 to her overall raw score.  Her 20 wrong calculates to -5 reducing her +40 down to only a raw score of 35.  So, she gets a 77% according to this chart on Verbal.  For Math, there are a total of 50 questions and for Reading, there are 40 questions.  The same rules in scoring apply where wrong answers equate to -.25 each.  It behooves a student to not answer a question s/he does not know 100% in some circles.

Middle Level Top Score*

A 2130 is a Perfect Score on the Middle Level SSAT Exam.  As you can see, the numbers here are a little confusing for many given the different scale used.

You can obtain full marks by scoring a 710 on each of the three (3) sections of the exam: Quantitative (Math), Reading and Verbal (Synonyms and Analogies).  You are not scored on the essay with the Middle Level Exam either.  As a result, this isn’t computed into the overall score.  On the opposite end, the lowest you can score according to the SSATB on the Middle Level Exam is a 440.

Does it mean you must score a 2130 to obtain a 99%?  It may feel like it after you see some of the following scores, but it is NOT the case across all levels and genders.  However, again, given the recent trends, we may SUPER 5th through 7th graders to get that level!  The scores to obtain a 99% for each group are as follows (with another slightly different table explaining how to get these 3 digit numbers below them for the Middle Level Exam even though there are the same number of questions):

5th Grade Girls

Verbal: 698 Quantitative: 686 Reading: 686 Overall: 2034

5th Grade Boys

Verbal: 704 Quantitative: 698 Reading: 686 Overall: 2046

6th Grade Girls

Verbal: 710 Quantitative: 701 Reading: 701 Overall: 2082

6th Grade Boys

Verbal: 710 Quantitative: 707 Reading:701 Overall: 2094

7th Grade Girls

Verbal:710 Quantitative: 710 Reading: 710 Overall: 2106

7th Grade Boys

Verbal: 710 Quantitative: 710 Reading: 710 Overall: N/A – according to the percentile ranks in the interpretive guide, a 2100-2130 ONLY equated to a 97% Percentile.  Basically, I think there point is that if you have a 7th grade boy, you had better get them to know their three SSAT subjects cold!

Learn how Brandon, one of the world’s Top SSAT/ISEE instructors (based in Hong Kong) helped students repeatedly obtain 95% Percentile or higher on the exams.  Tell him of your interest in helping your incredible daughter or son earn the chance to learn with the best by contacting him now.  

SSAT Percentiles Middle (Est)

Elementary Level Top Score*

An 1800 is a Perfect Score on the Elementary Level SSAT Exam.

You can obtain full marks by scoring a 600 on each of the three (3) sections of the exam: Quantitative (Math), Reading and Verbal (Synonyms and Analogies).  You are not scored on the essay with the Middle Level Exam either.  As a result, this isn’t computed into the overall score.  On the opposite end, the lowest you can score according to the SSATB on the Elementary Level Exam is a 300.

The scores to obtain a 99% for each group are as follows:

3rd Grade Girls

Verbal: n/a Quantitative:n/a Reading: n/a Overall: n/a

3rd Grade Boys

Verbal: n/a Quantitative:n/a Reading: n/a Overall: n/a

4th Grade Girls

Verbal: n/a Quantitative:n/a Reading: n/a Overall: n/a

4th Grade Boys

Verbal: n/a Quantitative:n/a Reading: n/a Overall: n/a

Learn how Brandon, one of the world’s Top SSAT/ISEE instructors (based in Hong Kong) helped students repeatedly obtain 95% Percentile or higher on the exams.  Tell him of your interest in helping your incredible daughter or son earn the chance to learn with the best by contacting him now.  

An example of an SSAT Score report for a 4th grader may look like this (courtesy of the SSATB):

SSAT Elementary Level Score Report Example Top

SSAT Elementary Level Score Report Example Bottom

For more details on scoring, feel free to visit the official SSAT website here.

*Statistics are from the 2011-12 Interpretive Guide to the SSAT published by the SSATB, the official organization behind the SSAT