Preparing for College

Is SSAT Score Too Low for HADES Prep Schools?

Question: I am currently a 10th grader, applying to boarding schools in the U.S for 11th grade. I am applying to HADES and Groton. I just got my SSAT score back and I got 78th percentile on it. I cannot retake the SSAT because there are no seats in the next upcoming test. Does SSAT matter THAT much in the admissions process? Will this lower my chance of getting in? I am really worried and stressed. Thank you for taking the time and responding to my question.

Let's start with the bad news: As you seem to have correctly surmised, your SSAT score is below the average at the hyper-competitive prep schools on your list. This isn't an automatic deal-breaker since “average" means that there are always higher … and lower … contenders, but it does drop the odds that you'll be admitted unless there are other aspects of your application that intrigue admission officials. For instance, if you hail from an atypical background, if you are either very rich or very poor, if you have unique talents (in art, music, writing, science, math, etc.) or are an exceptional athlete or student, then the admission committees may not care that your SSAT is somewhat sub-par. Note, however, that being an “exceptional" student means that you really must stand out, which is tough to do in the applicant pools at places like Hotchkiss, Andover, Deerfield, Exeter, St. Paul's, and Groton where many candidates boast high grades in challenging classes.

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