High School Entrance Exam 

Standardized tests don’t only assess students' math and verbal abilities. Some questions are simply a test of how good they are at test-taking.

What is the Hunter College High School Test? Seventh grade is the only entry point for Hunter College High School, and The HCHS Entrance Examination is administered once each year. Only students whose qualifications have been certified by HCHS are permitted to take the exam, which consists of multiple-choice items in Math and English, as well as a written essay (3 hrs total).

Each year, a specific cut off score is established, allowing the top approximately 500 scorers to have their essays read by a panel of HCHS English faculty. The students who write the top approximately 170 essays are selected for admission to HCHS.


Click here for more information on the Hunter Test.




"My husband and I tried helping Kait get ready for the Hunter High School test, and we were shocked at how hard it was. We needed a pro to help out, even though Kait is a bright girl. But with help from her tutor she was able to tackle the test like a pro, herself. Her tutor always knew when to challenge her and when to make her feel comfortably confident. Even after Kait took the test (and got into Hunter!), we continued to have her work with her HT tutor, just with general school help. Really incredibly helpful!"

Kait O.

Hunter Test  |  6th Grade  |  P.S. 41



The first step along the Hunter Test path is confirming that the student has qualified to sit for the test. School principals must identify 6th graders who have 5th grade Common Core scores that meet the criteria. Click here for a full explanation of the HCHS admissions process.



Ideally, students have 3-6 months of consistent test prep leading up to the Hunter Test. Students are only allowed to take the exam once, and it is customarily held in early January. We are careful to pace our programs properly, ensuring that students neither burn out nor peak too early.



The first goal is to get students comfortable with the features, expectations and format of each section of the Hunter Test. We then move onto strategies, both in the realm of general test-taking as well as how to tackle particular question types. Lastly, we turn to content, and create personalized curricula for students to master. All of these elements come together during our group test simulations, which allow students to refine their abilities in real time.





Our tutors are prepared to shape our Hunter Test prep program to fit every individual student’s learning and personality type. Our programs are malleable, and our 30+ years of experience has equipped us to lead every student towards achieving his/her personal best on test day.



We approach test prep from a child-centric perspective, and are sure to cater to the needs of the human we’re working with, not only the student. We don’t try to make a child’s life fit into a test prep program; we make sure that test prep fits comfortably into a child’s life.



As the test prep process proceeds, our eyes remain fixed on maximizing a student’s score on test day. However, there are a variety of test-taking skills and perspectives which will follow students beyond the day of the test. Our esteemed EF program is interwoven into our test prep, ensuring that students will gain lifelong skills on their way to achieving their optimal score on the Hunter Test. We’ll help you change schools, and we might just change your life along the way.




More about the Hunter Test


When and where can my child take the Hunter Test?

Students are only allowed to take the exam once, and it is customarily held on the second Saturday of January. Entrance Exam tickets and test location information are sent electronically by the Admissions Office to eligible candidates by mid-December.


What is the test like?

The test will contain three sections: 50 multiple-choice English Language Arts questions, a Writing Assignment, and 30 multiple-choice Mathematics questions (the sample exam contains 35 math questions). Each multiple-choice question is followed by five possible answers: A, B, C, D, or E. You must choose the best answer for each question. Students are given a total of three hours to complete the examination, including the Writing Assignment.

  • Critical Reading (50 multiple choice questions): Students will read five or six passages of varying lengths, each followed by multiple choice questions. The passages in the Critical Reading section usually reflect a range of writing styles from different time periods.

  • Writing Assignment (1 essay): Students will write either an essay or a creative piece (up to two pages) to demonstrate the originality, effectiveness, and use of detail in their writing. There is scrap paper in the test booklet where they can outline thoughts or compose a draft before writing the full assignment. Some years they are given a choice of topics; other years, there is only one topic.

  • Mathematics (30 multiple choice questions): Students will solve a variety of problems, including multi-step ones involving: estimation; computations with fractions, decimals, percents, and integers (including negative numbers); rules of divisibility; simple probability; rate; average; ratio; time; money; area of shaded regions; perimeter; counting; visual and numerical pattern recognition; and three dimensional figures.

How do I register?
HCHS asks school principals to identify 6th graders who have 5th grade Common Core scores that meet the criteria to sit for the exam. Students from independent schools must score in the 90th percentile or above on Reading Comprehension and Math on the exams used at their schools. Once the requirements have been met, principals/guidance counselors give parents a letter informing them that their child is eligible. Parents must complete the online application on the HCHS website (due the week before Thanksgiving) in order for their child to sit for the exam. 

How is the Hunter Test scored?

The multiple-choice sections are computer-scored and hand-checked for accuracy. A cut off score is established, allowing the top approximately 500 scorers to have their essays read by a panel of HCHS English faculty. The students who write the top 170-or-so essays are admitted to HCHS.


Click here to see a sample Hunter Test Score Report.  

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Click here to download the Hunter Test one-sheet.


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