We know that there are a lot of options out there for SSAT prep materials and that the choices can sometimes seem overwhelming. That’s why we periodically review the best prep material options to make it easier for you to choose. Without question, the best materials are those that offer SSAT official practice tests, as the official materials offer students the closest approximation to what they can expect to see on their test. To that end, our top recommendations of third-party SSAT prep materials are those of Test Innovators (TI) and the Official SSAT Test materials.
Test Innovators offers the most robust platform for SSAT preparation. When combined with an Inspirica Pros tutor, TI is the best option for students preparing for the SSAT. TI offers access to a mix of practice tests including both official tests and their own versions. Test Innovators has a partnership with EMA, the company that administers the SSAT test, allowing students access to the official tests. TI also offers hundreds of exercises and questions to help students improve skills in between the practice tests and allows them to focus on specific test areas, like the Verbal Section.
What makes TI’s platform so unique? They provide excellent analytics data that helps students focus on their weaknesses as they complete practice tests. The platform tracks student timing and accuracy for each question. In addition to the all-important official tests, TI also offers a separate interface for each of the levels of the SSAT: Lower, Middle, and Upper. This is important because the content varies slightly with each difficulty, so partitioning the practice material allows students to focus on what they need at the appropriate level. The TI platform is also intuitive, with an easy-to-use interface.
The Official SSAT Guide is available both in book form and as an online platform. Similar to TI, the official SSAT prep materials also provide useful data, tracking your score, question timing, and skill progress in each test section and subsection. The Official SSAT material also offers section tests and full-length tests. The Official SSAT Guide Books are geared not just for students, but for parents as well. They offer less questions but provide the same amount of full-length practice tests (4). Keep in mind that the guide for each level of the test is sold separately, which is typically a benefit as it just focuses on that level. For those looking to take the Lower Levels of the test, the 3rd and 4th Grade guide books are offered for free here.
Kaplan SSAT & ISEE
McGraw Hill SSAT/ISEE 5th Edition
Princeton Review SSAT & ISEE
Ivy Global SSAT Prep Books
All of the books listed above can be found on Amazon, and each has some weaknesses relative to TI and the Official SSAT materials. Kaplan, Princeton Review, and McGraw Hill all combine their SSAT review material with ISEE prep material. This is generally unnecessary information if you are just taking the SSAT. Additionally, unlike both TI and the official materials, multiple levels (both Upper and Middle) of the test are combined into each of these books. Each offers an overview of the test, strategies, at least one full practice test, and some practice exercises.
Ivy Global has a detailed set of guide books, but the price is generally higher than those of their competitors. Unlike Kaplan, Princeton Review and McGraw Hill, however, Ivy Global has books that are geared solely for the SSAT. They also offer a free practice test for each level that students can take advantage of; those can be found here.
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While these materials are all useful, they are best when paired with a tutor! To learn more about how we can help you prep for the SSAT, give us a call today!