The SSAT Flex Test: Who Takes It? And, Why?
If the school(s) to which you are applying require the SSAT (Secondary School Admission Test) as part of your admission package, you might consider (or need to) taking the SSAT Flex Test. (Flex Test is a trademarked term for an SSAT using flexible administration versus a test with a fixed date and testing conditions.)
You'll find a list (provided by SSAT) of organizations & consultants offering the Flex Test at the bottom of the page.
Common Flex Test Questions
Q: What is an SSAT 'Flex Test'?
A: "A Flex Test is a group or individual SSAT administration on any date other than the national test dates. If you are testing with an educational consultant, you will take the flex test." (SSAT)
Q: Who takes the Flex Test?
A: The Flex Test provides a flexible testing options for any family facing a compressed admission timeline and any student requiring test accommodations.
The Flex Test may offer the best option for a family who might be in the midst of a school change during the academic year as well as for any family and student who may enter the admission calendar at an 'off' or out of sync time- e.g. during the school year, the spring, and summer.
The Flex Test also offers non-standard testing administration- for students with learning differences who require accommodations as part of their exam setting.
Q: You mean my son or daughter doesn't have to take the test on one the dates offered?
A: No. You can find a Flex Test administrator in your area and take the exam during a time set between you and the administrator.
Q: Does the Flex Test offer accommodation/extra time for students with learning differences?
Q: Who can administer the SSAT Flex Test?
A: The Flex Test can be administered by either SSAT member schools or an approved educational consultant. If you missed a National Test administration, our best advice is to first check with the school(s) to which you are applying. Ask if they can administer a Flex Test, or, if they know of a nearby school that can?
In terms of testing with an educational consultant, SSAT offers this explanation:
"Testing with Educational ConsultantsIf you are unable to take the SSAT at a nationally-scheduled administration, you may choose to test with an educational consultant on an alternate date. Some SSAT member consultants have indicated a willingness to administer the test on a limited basis. Arrangements for testing must be made directly with the member consultant prior to registration." (SSAT)
Q: We think the Flex Test is a good option for our student; can we just sign-up?
A: No. To register for a Flex Test administration you must FIRST contact and make and appointment with the administering school or consultant. Do not register for a flex test without making prior arrangements.
Q: Does the Flex Test offer any advantages?
A: The test is the same. However, for some students, the Flex Test may offer a more advantageous testing setting- by virtue of things like smaller setting and better scheduling for the student.
Q: We're late to the application process. Can we take the Flex test on short notice?
A: Yes, if an administrator in your area is available.
Q: Can I take the Flex Test under traditional, timed conditions, or, do all Flex Test administrations offer accommodations?
A: You can take the Flex Test under timed, traditional conditions.
Q: Can you take the Flex Test more than once to improve a score?
A: No. A student can take a Flex test only once an admission cycle.
Q: Does the Flex Test reflect differently in application?
Q: Does the Flex Test cost more; how much does it cost?
A: Taking the Flex Test does cost more. You must pay the cost of taking the traditional, nationally administered test and an additional fee for the test administrator's time.
The SSAT Flex Test cost is $116 so a family can expect to pay $116 + professional time. Flex Test administration costs can rise quickly in this equation as professional hours add up quickly.
In a quick sampling, I found prices ranging from approximately $200- upward with extended time situations carrying the highest prices of several hundred dollars.
Consultants Offering the Flex Test
Visit SSAT's site to download a list of consultants that offer the Flex Test.