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SSAT Test Dates: Complete Guide to Choosing (2020, 2021)

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Apr 5, 2020 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 the upcoming SSAT test dates so you can register early enough to ensure you get a spot.

In this guide, we provide you with 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 for it. We also give tips on test fees, explain what to expect on test day, and offer advice on when you should take the SSAT.


COVID-19 SSAT Test Cancellations

Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the March and April 2020 SSAT test dates have been canceled. If you were scheduled to take the March or April 2020 SSAT exam, you'll be able to reschedule your test date for free through your SSAT account from now until July 31, 2020.

Visit the official SSAT News & Alerts page for more information.


When Are Upcoming SSAT Test Dates?

The SSAT is administered eight times during the school year (August 1 to 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) is not administered on the October, November, or June dates.

Here's a chart of all upcoming SSAT dates and their registration deadlines. You should register for the SSAT at least three weeks before the test date to avoid late fees. You can technically register for the SSAT up to just three days before the exam, but you'll end up paying anywhere from $45 to $85 in late fees, depending on how late you sign up.


2019-2020 SSAT Test Dates and Deadlines

SSAT Exam Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Begins ($45 Fee) Rush Registration Begins ($85 Fee) Last Day for Registration
Dec 14, 2019 Nov 23, 2019 Nov 24, 2019 Dec 1, 2019 Dec 11, 2019
Jan 4, 2020 Dec 14, 2019 Dec 15, 2019 Dec 22, 2019 Jan 1, 2020
Feb 8, 2020 Jan 18, 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Jan 26, 2020 Feb 5, 2020
Mar 7, 2020 Feb 15, 2020 Feb 16, 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Mar 4, 2020
Apr 25, 2020 Apr 4, 2020 Apr 5, 2020 Apr 12, 2020 Apr 22, 2020
June 13, 2020* May 23, 2020 May 24, 2020 May 31, 2020 June 10, 2020


*No Elementary-Level SSAT testing on these dates


If your student requires additional testing accommodations or needs to take the SSAT on a Sunday due to religious reasons, you may 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.

While the 2020-2021 SSAT test dates have been officially released, the registration deadlines have yet to be confirmed. We can use the patterns of previous testing years to make an educated guess as to when these deadlines will be. Here are the 2020-2021 SSAT test dates and our projections for their registration deadlines.


2020-2021 SSAT Test Dates and (Projected) Deadlines

SSAT Exam Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Begins ($45 Fee) Rush Registration Begins ($85 Fee) Last Day for Registration
Sept 12, 2020* Aug 22, 2020 Aug 23, 2020 Aug 30, 2020 Sept 9, 2020
Oct 17, 2020* Sept 26, 2020 Sept 27, 2020 Oct 4, 2020 Oct 14, 2020
Nov 14, 2020* Oct 24, 2020 Oct 25, 2020 Nov 1, 2020 Nov 11, 2020
Dec 12, 2020 Nov 21, 2020 Nov 22, 2020 Nov 29, 2020 Dec 9, 2020
Jan 2, 2021 Dec 12, 2020 Dec 13, 2020 Dec 20, 2020 Dec 30, 2020
Feb 6, 2021 Jan 16, 2021 Jan 17, 2021 Jan 24, 2021 Feb 3, 2021
Apr 10, 2021 Mar 20, 2021 Mar 21, 2021 Mar 28, 2021 Apr 7, 2021
June 12, 2021* May 22, 2021 May 23, 2021 May 30, 2021 June 9, 2021

*No Elementary-Level SSAT testing on these dates


Finally, here are our projections for the 2021-2022 SSAT test dates and registration deadlines. It's unclear right now whether the new September test date (starting in 2020) will be a permanent replacement for the March test date, or whether this is simply a temporary change due to the effects of the coronavirus in 2020.

For now, we're going to assume that the September test date will be replacing the March one, but we will update this information once we know for sure.


2021-2022 SSAT Test Dates and Deadlines (Projections)

SSAT Exam Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Begins ($45 Fee) Rush Registration Begins ($85 Fee) Last Day for Registration
Sept 11, 2021* Aug 21, 2021 Aug 22, 2021 Aug 29, 2021 Sept 8, 2021
Oct 16, 2021* Sept 25, 2021 Sept 26, 2021 Oct 3, 2021 Oct 13, 2021
Nov 13, 2021* Oct 23, 2021 Oct 24, 2021 Oct 31, 2021 Nov 10, 2021
Dec 11, 2021 Nov 20, 2021 Nov 21, 2021 Nov 28, 2021 Dec 8, 2021
Jan 8, 2022 Dec 18, 2021 Dec 19, 2021 Dec 26, 2021 Jan 5, 2022
Feb 5, 2022 Jan 15, 2022 Jan 16, 2022 Jan 23, 2022 Feb 2, 2022
Apr 9, 2022 Mar 19, 2022 Mar 20, 2022 Mar 27, 2022 Apr 6, 2022
June 11, 2022* May 21, 2022 May 22, 2022 May 29, 2022 June 8, 2022

*No Elementary-Level SSAT testing on these dates


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 usually 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 appearing at the top.


What Happens on SSAT Test Day?

Most exams begin at 9:00 am, but you should double-check your admission ticket to ensure this is the case for the exam you register for. Make 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, whereas 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 admission deadline of the school(s) you're applying to. Scores are sent about two weeks after the SSAT exam, so you'll need to select a test date that's at least two weeks before the admission deadline.

If possible, you might 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 that the SSAT you register for is the one for the grade your child is currently in, not the grade they'll be entering the following 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. Most SSAT tests begin at 9 am 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 should 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.

You now know when the SSAT is offered, but how do you register for it? 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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