SSAT Flex Tests: What You Need to Know

The Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) is administered eight times during the academic year.

Most students sit for the SSAT on a standard administration test date.

However, students who have SSAT testing accommodations or preferences for taking the test outside of standard testing windows can take what’s called a Flex Test.

Flex Tests are administered on non-standard test dates in the U.S. and abroad. In most cases, Flex Tests allow students to take the SSAT in private or small-group settings.

What else do you need to know about SSAT Flex Tests, and should you sign up for one? 

We answer these questions and more in this detailed post.

Here’s what we cover:


What is an SSAT Flex Test?

SSAT.org defines a Flex Test as an SSAT “given to an individual or group on any date other than the Standard dates.”

The SSAT is offered 8 times per academic year. Here are the Standard SSAT testing dates for 2019-2020:

Standard SSAT Test Dates 2019-2020
October 19, 2019
November 16, 2019
December 14, 2019
January 4, 2020
February 8, 2020
March 7, 2020
April 25, 2020
June 13, 2020

Flex Tests occur on any date that is not a standard SSAT administration date. They can occur at member schools or special testing locations.

This is where the title “flex” comes from–SSAT Flex Tests give eligible students the flexibility they may require in taking the SSAT. 

Reasons to Take a Flex Test

There are a few reasons why a student may wish to take a Flex Test. They may:

  • have testing accommodations that require a special testing situation
  • prefer a non-traditional testing environment (i.e., small group or individual)
  • be unable to sit for any of the standard SSAT test administration dates

We’ll discuss whether or not you should take an SSAT Flex Test later on in this post.

Flex Test Administration

Students take Flex Tests through “member schools” or “educational consultants.” 

Member schools are those secondary schools that provide on-site SSAT Flex Testing. Your schools of choice may or may not provide Flex Tests on their premises–we recommend calling to see if they do!

If your school(s) of choice do(es) not offer on-site SSAT Flex Testing, you can work with an educational consultant to register for a Flex Test at their approved SSAT Flex Test center. Educational consultants are approved professionals who provide on-site SSAT Flex Testing and, in many other cases, other admissions services.

Here’s what Learning Associates, an educational consultant that offers SSAT Flex Testing in Morristown, New Jersey, says about Flex Tests:

Learning Associates is an approved SSAT Flex Test center. This means we can administer the SSAT in our office on dates we establish, outside the prescribed test dates. Some clients prefer the Flex Test because of the very small setting and greater scheduling flexibility. If your child has accommodations approved by the SSATB, those will be incorporated in our testing. Appointments can be made through our office.

Types of SSAT Flex Tests

There are two types of SSAT Flex Tests:

  • Open Flex Test
  • Closed Flex Test

Only schools can administer open Flex Tests, which are hosted on the school’s premises and open to the general public for registration. 

If you work with an educational consultant, you will likely be taking a closed Flex Test. These require an access code for registration, which you’ll get through arrangements with your consultant. 

Students who are taking an SSAT Flex Test in a small group or individual setting will also likely be taking a closed Flex Test.

Keep in Mind

Students can only take one SSAT Flex Test per calendar year. Any other SSATs they sit for must be standard administration.

It can also be pretty confusing navigating the registration process for SSAT Flex Tests. We walk you through the ins and outs of this process in the next section.


Registering for an SSAT Flex Test

In order to register for an SSAT Flex Test, students have two options:

  • Check with their school(s) of choice to see if they offer on-site SSAT Flex Testing
  • Work with an educational consultant

We recommend consulting secondary schools first to see if they offer SSAT Flex Testing (either open or closed). Remember that member schools do offer open SSAT Flex Tests on specific dates.

You can either call schools directly or use the SSAT.org’s Test Center search (make sure to specify the test type as “Flex”) to see which schools or centers offer Flex Testing. 

Otherwise, check with an educational consultant in or near your area to arrange an SSAT Flex Test. Simply select “Flex Test w/ Consultant” when using the SSAT.org’s test center search to locate a consultant that fits your parameters.

SSAT Flex Test with Consultant

Educational consultants are limited, depending on where you live, and their testing facilities may be quite a distance away. Here are a handful of consultants, for example, close to Princeton, NJ:

Educational Consultants SSAT Flex Tests

Families will have to contact consultants directly to start the SSAT Flex Test registration process. Keep in mind that educational consultants do charge an administration fee in addition to SSAT registration fees. These fees can range from $200 – $500.

Keep in mind: educational consultants do not provide Elementary Level SSAT testing. They are only able to service students for Middle and Upper-Level SSAT testing.


Should I Take an SSAT Flex Test?

Is an SSAT Flex Test right for you?

The answer to this question depends.

Students with specific testing accommodations, for example, may prefer a non-standard SSAT administration, which enables small group or individual testing. 

Those without testing accommodations may still appreciate a more private testing environment. Some students struggle with test anxiety, for example, which may make testing in a standard setting challenging. Other students may simply appreciate the greater scheduling flexibility that Flex Tests offer.

In general, we recommend that students take an SSAT Flex Test if they are:

  • more likely to experience success on the SSAT in a non-standard testing environment (i.e., private, small-group, individual setting)
  • prepared to incur additional costs (if using an educational consultant)
  • unable to take an SSAT on a standard test date in an academic year (i.e., schedule conflicts)
  • in need of a flexible testing timeline for any reason

If you are still on the fence about flex vs. standard SSAT testing, we can help. We’ve advised countless SSAT students in their prep journeys, and can assist families with making the right choice.


Next Steps

For some students, taking a standard SSAT may not be to their advantage. Flex Tests give students the ability to take this exam on a non-standard test date, and often with specific testing conditions, such as small-group or private settings.

SSAT Flex Tests may be ideal for students with certain kinds of testing accommodations. 

They can also be a great option for students who are simply unable to test on standard dates during an SSAT administration year.

Keep in mind that SSAT Flex Tests often involve a substantial financial commitment, given that most educational consultants charge a hefty fee for their professional assistance.

Whether you’re taking an SSAT Flex Test or a standard test, we’re here to help you prepare for a high score. Learn more about our SSAT test prep offerings here!


Kate_Princeton Tutoring_AuthorBio Kate M.

Kate is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A. in English Literature and Interdisciplinary Humanities) and Boston University (M.F.A in Creative Writing). Over the last decade, Kate has successfully mentored hundreds of students in all aspects of the college admissions process, including the SAT, ACT, and college application essay.