Registering for the SSAT: 6 Steps

Bonus Material: PrepMaven’s SSAT Guidebook

If you’re planning to be one of the 10% of students who enrolls in a private school, then you’ll likely have to register for the SSAT–a standardized test commonly required by independent schools.

A high SSAT score can earn you admission into your dream school, but reaching that score goal depends on being well-prepared for all aspects of the test. 

At PrepMaven, we’ve worked with SSAT test-takers for over two decades. Through that time, we’ve developed a proven formula by which our Ivy-League tutors help students like you achieve incredible success on standardized tests like the SSAT.

In this post, we’ll use some of that experience to walk you through everything you need to know about SSAT registration: test formats, deadlines, fees, and more. 

Plus, we’ll include links to our free SSAT guidebook, updated for this year’s test. It includes over 90 pages of information and guidance on everything from scoring policies to testing locations to question types!

Jump to section:
Step 1: Make an Account
Step 2: Determine Your SSAT Level
Step 3: Apply for Accommodations if Needed
Step 4: Choose an SSAT Testing Option
Step 5: Pay the Registration Fee
Next steps


Before registering for any SSAT date, you’ll need to make an account at the SSAT Family Portal here. 

This process likely won’t slow you down much: you’ll be expected to fill in basic biographical, contact, and school information. 

It’s also important to note that parents must be involved in making an SSAT account. You must have a parent’s email and contact information ready to register for an SSAT account on their website. 

Once your student has taken the SSAT, you’ll use this account to review your score reports and designate score recipients. If you’re wondering about how exactly SSAT scoring works, check out our SSAT Scoring Guide here. 

And you can find that information (and much more!) in our extensive SSAT Guide, which covers everything from printing your admission ticket to boosting your score to deciding whether you want to retake the test. 


While we talk about “the” SSAT, there are really three. The SSAT offers three separate tests: 

  • Elementary level SSAT (grades 3-4)
  • Middle level SSAT (grades 5-7)
  • Upper level SSAT (grades 8-11)

Note: the grades correspond to your child’s current grade, not the grade they’re seeking admission to. 

So, if your child is going to be in fifth grade when they take the test, they should register for the middle-level test. 

Make sure you research each of these carefully: there are important differences between these test formats! 

You can learn more about how these three test levels differ by reading our post on SSAT Format. 


According to the CDC, almost 10% of K-12 students are diagnosed with ADHD–and many more students face other learning disorders. 

For students like these, the SSAT offers multiple testing accommodations designed to make the test fair for all students. 

If your student has a documented learning disorder, a 504 plan, or other specialized learning needs, you may want to consider applying for testing accommodations for the SSAT. 

There are many different accommodations offered by the SSAT. Some of these include: 

  • Extended time
  • Braille
  • Calculator use
  • Hearing aids
  • Large print

There are many, many more SSAT accommodation options. Each student’s will ultimately depend on their needs. 

It’s crucial to be proactive when it comes to SSAT accommodation requests. You must be approved for accommodations before registering for the test. Accommodation requests take up to 2 weeks to process. 

Whether testing with accommodations or not, having a clear test-prep plan and practice schedule is crucial. Contact us to get connected with an expert tutor who can help maximize your SSAT score!

You can read more about different testing accommodations and how to request them in our full SSAT guidebook, available free below! 


Unlike many other standardized tests, the SSAT comes in many forms. These include a paper-based SSAT and computer-delivered versions of the same test. 

Below are the SSAT Testing Options, all of which you can read more about in our complete guide to the SSAT [CU LINK]:

Standard Paper Test

The most common option, and likely the one most students will take first. The paper SSAT is offered on six dates each school year, administered at standard testing centers (usually local schools). 

These standard test dates change slightly each year, but you can check out our frequently updated post on SSAT Test Dates here. 

SSAT Flex

The SSAT Flex is exactly the same test as the standard, paper SSAT. The only difference with Flex testing is that it allows students to take the test on a different date and at a different testing location. 

SSAT Flex is more expensive than the standard SSAT, but offers a lot more flexibility. Usually, the testing centers are private schools or independent educational consultants qualified to administer the test. 

SSAT Flex is a great option for those who can’t make the standard testing dates. 

Note: students are capped at 1 SSAT Flex test per year. 

SSAT at Home

The SSAT at home is a computer-administered version of the SSAT that students can take (as you might guess) at home. 

There are a few important notes about SSAT at Home. 

First, there are specific tech requirements you must meet, all of which are listed in detail on the SSAT website. 

Second, the SSAT at home is only offered on specific dates–it can’t be taken just anytime. You still have to go through the SSAT registration process and select a specific date on which you’ll be taking the test. 

Third, there is no SSAT at Home for the Elementary Level SSAT

And, finally, upper level and middle level test-takers are capped at 2 computer-based SSATs per year. 

Computer-based SSAT at a Prometric Test Center

Finally, students taking the Middle or Upper SSAT can also take the same computer-based SSAT at a Prometric Test Center. 

These testing dates tend to be a lot more flexible. But they depend on you having access to Prometric testing centers, which may or may not be in your area. 

This Prometric SSAT is precisely the same as the SSAT at Home, with the same restrictions (meaning that you can only take it twice per year, and not at all if you’re doing the elementary level SSAT). 


Unsurprisingly, nothing will be complete until you pick a test date and pay the registration fee. 

The good news is that for financially disadvantaged families, the SSAT offers a fee waiver program! You can read more about that program on the SSAT website here, or in our complete SSAT guide, which you can download below!

We strongly recommend looking into a fee waiver: SSAT registration fees can be pricey!

Below are the most recent registration fees for all formats of the test: 

Domestic TestingInternational Testing
Elementary Level (grades 3-4)Standard or school Flex: $109Flex with educational consultant: $169Middle/Upper Levels (grades 5-11)Standard or school Flex: $169Prometric SSAT: $239Flex with educational consultant: $269SSAT at home: $255Elementary Level (grades 3-4)Standard or Flex: $229Middle/Upper Levels (grades 5-11)Standard, Flex, or Prometric: $329


If you’re already thinking about registering for the SSAT, it’s probably time to start studying for it. In general, our test-prep experts recommend at least 3 months of SSAT prep before taking the test! 

If you’re looking for the best online SSAT tutors, make sure to read our expert-verified list of the 13 Best SSAT Tutoring Services. 

And you can always contact us for a free SSAT-prep consultation! Our team can connect you to an Ivy-League SSAT expert who’ll help you maximize your score. 

In the meantime, don’t forget to download our free SSAT Guide below. We did the hard work of putting together 90+ pages of information on SSAT content, format, practice resources, and more! All you have to do is click download. 


Top SSAT/ISEE Posts


Mike

Mike

Mike is a PhD candidate studying English literature at Duke University. Mike is an expert test prep tutor (SAT/ACT/LSAT) and college essay consultant. Nearly all of Mike’s SAT/ACT students score in the top 5% of test takers; many even score above 1500 on the SAT. His college essay students routinely earn admission into their top-choice schools, including Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth. And his LSAT students have been accepted In into the top law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Law.