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SSAT Entrance Test FAQ

The SSAT is a standardized entrance test used by many schools in North America, including Upper Canada College. All applicants to Year 7 and above are required to register for and write the SSAT as part of the admission process at UCC. The deadline to register for the test is December 31.


What is the SSAT?

The Secondary School Admission Test (SSAT) is a standardized entrance test used by many schools in North America, administered by the U.S.-based Enrollment Management Association. It measures the basic verbal, math, and reading skills students need for successful performance in independent schools like Upper Canada College. Because it’s standardized — meaning it’s developed, administered and scored in a consistent (or standard) manner — it gives admission professionals an equitable means to assess and compare applicants, regardless of their background or experience.

Do all independent schools require the SSAT?

Many independent schools in the GTA choose to use the SSAT to help limit the number of entrance tests an applicant may need to take during the application period, but not all. We recommend investigating the admission process at other independent schools to find out about their entrance test requirements.

When should my son write the SSAT?

All applicants to Year 7 and above should register to write the SSAT between September 1 and December 31 of the application year. Test results from before September 1 of the application year will not be accepted, and results received after January 15 may not be reviewed in time for decisions. Please note that local sittings fill up quickly, and regular registration closes three weeks prior to each test date with late registrations subject to additional fees. To search for test dates and locations, visit and enter your Country and/or Province.

How much does it cost to write the SSAT?

It costs $132 USD to write the Standard test in Canada and the U.S., and $257 to write the test in other countries. Additional fees may apply if registering late, changing a test date or location, or writing a Flex test through an educational consultant. UCC has a limited number of waiver codes for applicant families who are also applying for financial assistance. Please contact UCC’s Office of Admission at to inquire about waiver code availability.

What types of questions are on the SSAT?

All levels of the SSAT contain multiple-choice verbal, quantitative (math), and reading comprehension sections, and an unscored writing sample. At the beginning of the test, you are given 25 minutes to write a story based on one of two provided creative prompts. This gives admission officers a feel for how well you write and organize your ideas. The multiple-choice questions are administered in timed sections, with timed breaks. The total time required to sit the test is 3 hours and 5 minutes. More information is available on the SSAT website:


Should my son study for the SSAT?

While we do not encourage any special tutoring for the SSAT, we do suggest applicants use the resources available through the SSAT Practice Portal to practice before writing the test.


Which SSAT should my son take: Middle or Upper? Flex or Standard?

Students who are currently in Grade 6 or Grade 7 should take the Middle Test. Students who are currently in Grade 8 or above should take the Upper Test. Either the Standard Test or the Flex Test is acceptable — the test is the same, it’s just the way they’re administered that’s different. The Standard Test is administered around the world on eight Saturdays throughout the academic year, whereas the Flex Test is offered at other times. You can take multiple Standard Tests throughout the year, but you can only take one Flex Test in a testing year (August 1 – July 31).

Can I write the SSAT test at Upper Canada College?

Yes, UCC hosts Standard and Flex Tests between September 1 and December 31. The last date you can write the SSAT at Upper Canada College for 2018 entry is Saturday, December 16 (subject to availability).

How much weight are SSAT scores given during the admission process? Do you require a minimum score?

Test scores are used along with other information gathered during the admission process to give us a big-picture view of our applicants. In some cases, we require test results before selecting a candidate for an interview. There is no minimum score requirement.

If I get a low score, should I take the SSAT again?

We do not recommend taking the SSAT test more than once during the application period. We will only accept the first scores we receive.

How can I make sure UCC receives my SSAT test scores?

When you register for a test, include UCC (test centre 7858) as a score recipient when you register so that we receive test results in a timely manner. If you don’t indicate UCC as a score recipient when you register, you can log back into your SSAT account at any time and add UCC as a score recipient. Here are instructions on how to do that. We cannot accept test results sent to us by email, we must receive them directly from SSAT.