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SSAT Test Dates: Complete Guide to Choosing (2017, 2018)

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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When are the upcoming SSAT test dates? How often is this test administered? Students hoping to attend private schools often need to take the SSAT, and since this test is only given a few times a year, it’s important to know SSAT test dates so you can register early enough to ensure you get a spot.

In this guide, we have a chart of the upcoming SSAT test dates which makes it easy to see when you can take the test and when you need to register. We also give tips on test fees, explain what to expect on test day, and give advice on when you should take the SSAT.


When Are Upcoming SSAT Test Dates?

The SSAT is administered eight times during a school year (August 1 - July 31). Middle and Upper versions of the test (for students in grades 5 through 11) are given on every test date, but the Elementary-level SSAT (for students in grades 3 and 4) isn’t administered on the October or November dates.

Below is a chart of recent and upcoming SSAT dates and the registration deadlines for each. You should register for the SSAT at least three weeks before the exam date to avoid late fees. You can register for the SSAT up to three days before the exam, but you’ll end up paying $45 to $85 in late fees, depending on how late you register.

SSAT Exam Date

Regular Registration Deadline

Late Registration Begins

($45 fee)

Rush Registration Begins

($85 fee)

Last Day for Registration

Oct. 14, 2017*

Sep. 23, 2017

Sep. 24, 2017

Oct. 1, 2017

Oct. 11, 2017

Nov. 11, 2017*

Oct. 21, 2017

Oct. 22, 2017

Oct. 29, 2017

Nov. 8, 2017

Dec. 9, 2017

Nov. 18, 2017

Nov. 19, 2017

Nov. 26, 2017

Dec. 6, 2017

Jan. 6, 2018

Dec. 16, 2017

Dec. 17, 2017

Dec. 24, 2017

Jan. 3, 2018

Feb. 3, 2018

Jan. 13, 2018

Jan. 14, 2018

Jan. 21, 2018

Jan. 31, 2018

March 3, 2018

Feb. 10, 2018

Feb. 11, 2018

Feb. 18, 2018

Feb. 28, 2018

April 21, 2018

March 31, 2018

April 1, 2018

April 8, 2018

April 18, 2018

June 9, 2018

May 19, 2018

May 20, 2018

May 27, 2018

June 6, 2018

* No Elementary-Level SSAT testing on these dates

If your student needs additional testing accommodations or needs to take the SSAT on a Sunday due to religious reasons, you can apply for testing accommodations. You’ll need to apply at least four weeks before the desired test date and have any requested materials submitted at least two weeks before the test date.


What to Expect on SSAT Test Day

Once you figure out your SSAT test date, there’s still more work to do! In this section we discuss all the info you need to be prepared on exam day.


Where Are SSAT Exams Usually Held?

SSAT exams are typically held at private schools and sometimes designated test centers. When you register for the SSAT, you’ll see a list of test center locations nearest to you, with the closest location at the top of the list.


What Happens on Test Day?

Most exams begin at 9:00AM, but you should double-check your admission ticket to be sure this is the case for the exam you register for. Be sure to arrive at the testing location at least 30 minutes early. The Elementary-Level test is about 110 minutes long, while the Middle and Upper-Level SSATs are about 170 minutes long. The Elementary-Level test includes one break, while the Middle and Upper-Level tests have two breaks.

To learn more about what the SSAT tests and the types of questions you can expect, check out our in-depth guide to the SSAT.


What Should You Bring to the SSAT?

On test day remember to bring the following:

  • Your SSAT admission ticket
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • An eraser

That’s all you’ll need during the test!




When Should You Take the SSAT?

The most important factor for deciding when to take the SSAT is the admissions deadline of the school(s) you’re applying to. Scores are sent about two weeks after the SSAT exam dates, so be sure to choose an exam date that’s at least two weeks before the admission deadline.

If possible, you may want to choose a test date later in the school year so your child has time to learn more and possibly score higher on the SSAT. Remember, the SSAT you register for is the one for the grade your child is currently in, not the grade they’ll be entering next year.


Recap: Choosing SSAT Dates

It’s important to know SSAT test locations and dates well before exam day so that you can register in time and meet the deadlines of the school(s) you’re applying to. The SSAT is administered eight times a year, typically at private schools.

SSAT Testing dates are pretty consistent, so you can predict future test dates based on the upcoming SSAT dates in our chart. Most SSAT tests begin at 9AM and last between two and three hours.

You should pick your test date primarily on the application deadlines of the schools you’re applying to. SSAT test dates later in the year may give your child time to learn more material and earn a higher score.


What's Next?

Want to learn more about what's covered on the Elementary, Middle, and Upper-level tests? Then be sure to read our complete guide to the SSAT.

Looking for free materials to use for SSAT practice? We've gathered links to the best free SSAT practice tests here.

Now you know when the SSAT is offered, but how do you register? Learn all the info you need to know in our step-by-step guide to SSAT registration. 


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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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