The SSAT, or the Secondary School Admissions Test, is a multiple-choice test for students in grades three through 11. The exam is administered on three levels, including elementary for third- and fourth-graders, middle for fifth- through seventh-graders and upper for eighth- through 11th-graders. the business offers classes for the latter two groups.
Guyton, who offers private math tutoring, and Shadle, who offers private reading comprehension, writing and Orton-Gillingham [reading, spelling and comprehension] tutoring, provide well-rounded sessions for a maximum of 10 students each.
As the mother of an 11- and 12-year-old, Guyton said she and her husband Randy know first hand how important SSAT test preparation can be.
“My wife and I recently went through the private school placement process with our two boys the last two years, and it was amazing to see how competitive it has become,” Randy Guyton said.
And Shadle said while her three teenagers did not go to private middle schools, she found it beneficial to them as well.
“But it’s a good way to do a checkup,” she said.
The SSAT is the only similar test students will see prior to taking the SAT, Shadle said.
“We teach them the strategy,” she said. “This test is different. There is limited time and you have to stay on pace.”
Additionally, younger kids often have to learn higher-level material, Shadle said.
“Fifth-graders take the same test as seventh-graders,” she said.
Since its inception, SGS Tutoring enrollment has grown from 40 students to 100, Shadle said.
This summer, it will host skill classes in June and August at Shadle’s house in Buckhead, and normal SSAT prep classes will resume in the fall.
Additionally, every August Shadle hosts writing classes focusing on grammar and sentence structure.
Come fall, the ladies will offer five-week, three-week and two-session SSAT programs for the middle level, as well as a class for the upper level. Prices range from $200 to $650. Additionally, it offers a math skills book by Guyton, SAT writing classes, weekly Friday practice tests and consultations.
“We love what we do,” Guyton said.
The women said they enjoy helping children be successful and build confidence.
“Parents say kids are so excited when they get into the school they want,” Shadle said. “But it is really great for the kid to come back and say, ‘I learned something.’”