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




We believe succeeding on the test requires knowledge and practice. Therefore, we focus on teaching the underlying concepts behind the test, everything from grammar and logic to word problems. 



test a week

To solidify concepts and practice in a proper test-taking environment, we offer a test every week in our office.


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 Dates

Find out more about test registration here.


January 4th, 2020

February 8th, 2020

March 7th, 2020

April 25th, 2020

June 13th, 2020


October 19th, 2019

November 16th, 2019

December 14th, 2019

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.