hours a week

We meet once a week for four hours of instruction, covering everything from probability to data interpretation. 



To solidify concepts and practice before the November test, we offer an optional testing time to take practice tests in a test-taking environment in our office.



students max

Our focus is on the students. We teach toward their individual learning styles so that each student gets the most out of the class. 


Want to get into the best private schools?


Prep with Principia

We customize our curriculum for every class and every student based on individual strengths and weakness, using a selection of the best preparatory materials available. Instruction is focused on verbal, writing, reading, and math review, test-taking strategies, and practice exams — the three proven ways to boost scores.

About the test

The SSAT, or Secondary School Admission Test, is a standardized test required by a number of independent schools worldwide. It's offered at three stages:

  • Elementary, for students currently enrolled in Grades 3 or 4

  • Middle, for students currently enrolled in Grades 5 through 7

  • Upper, for students currently enrolled in Grades 8 through 11

The SSAT is a strategy-based test, which is often very different from what a student is used to in the classroom. For correct answers, students gain one point. For incorrect answers, students lose one-fourth of a point. For answers left blank, there is no positive or negative effect, simply a zero towards the raw score.


The Upper Level SSAT has six sections (3 hours 5 minutes total):

  1. Writing – 25 minutes
    (Break – 5 minutes)

  2. Quantitative Section I (Math) – 30 minutes

  3. Reading – 40 minutes
    (Break – 10 minutes)

  4. Verbal – 30 minutes

  5. Quantitative Section II (Math) – 30 minutes

  6. Experimental Section – 15 minutes

Apart from the essay, all questions on all levels of the SSAT are multiple choice.



SSAT Breakdown

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60 min (split into two 30-min sections)

40 min

30 min


# of Qs








Data Analysis


Main Ideas








SSAT Schedule (2018-2019)

January 5, 2019
February 2, 2019
March 2, 2019
April 27, 2019
June 8, 2019

Principia Fall Schedule



9 am - 1 pm


Testing Time

(Optional & Flexible)


We know you're busy. Ask us, and we'll do our best to accommodate your student's schedule.


One of the best courses I’ve ever taken. Oliver is funny and accessible and teaches in a way that makes you want to learn.
— Claire C.
These guys are the best. My son, Justin, couldn’t stop talking about how well the instructor explained concepts to him. He kept asking why his school couldn’t do the same.
— Samantha K.
I can’t speak highly enough of this course. It’s completely changed my outlook and approach on the SAT and tests in general.
— Byung H.


Our Instructor

Elaina Mercatoris has taught at the University of Florida and the Santa Fe Learning Lab. She specializes in elementary and middle school reading, writing, and math development. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Subtropics magazine, Compose JournalNatural Bridge, and Cosmopolitan online.

Learn more about Elaina >>



Interested in private tutoring? Get in touch for more information.