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Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    International Office Director

The SAT and SSAT Tests: “Speeded” vs. “Power”

SAT  SSAT  Videos
Karl Schellscheidt

eprep test prep videoDo you know the difference between a “speeded” and a “power” test? Sounds kind of silly, right? You might even be asking what is the SSAT, which stands for The Secondary School Admission Test. In this prepcast, I’ll explain the difference and why it’s important to understand for you and your parents to understand, particularly in the case of the SSAT Test.

The SAT and SSAT Tests: “Speeded” vs. “Power” (transcript)

Let me explain the difference between a speeded test and a power test. A speeded test is a test that involves time pressure. The SAT is a speeded test. Many kids walk out of the SAT thinking they could have done really well on this test if only they had been given a little more time on each section. The SSAT used to be a speeded test, but it is now a power test. A power test has the luxury of time. A power test will afford most students the ability to reach at least 75% of the questions on any given section.

What I have seen go wrong for a lot of kids when they take the SSAT is that they go in not realizing that it is a power test; they are given thirty minutes to do a section. They finish in twenty minutes and then have ten minutes of free time. What they wind up doing in that ten minutes at the end is going back and change a lot of answers that were correct, thereby lowering their score.

Let your child know that when they go in for the SSAT, they are likely to feel the luxury of time. If they have an extra five or ten minutes at the end of a given section they are probably better off just putting their head down relaxing getting ready for the next section.

Hopefully the difference between a speeded test and a power test and your knowledge of that difference will help you help your child maximize their SSAT score.

Karl Schellscheidt

Copyright 2006 — All Rights Reserved, ePrep, Inc.

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