Specialized High School Admissions Test
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.
The Specialized High School Admissions Test is the sole admissions criteria for gaining admission to NYC’s specialized high schools (with the exception of LaGuardia High School, which requires an audition). All eighth or ninth grade students, who are current residents of NYC, are eligible to take the exam.
Use MySchools to learn more about each of the specialized high schools, as well as other public high school options. Search for schools by interest, location, and more.
Click here for more information on the SHSAT.
ABOUT OUR SHSAT PREP
“A Hartman Tutor worked with both my son and my daughter, and helped each one get into Stuyvesant. Not an easy task! My kids couldn’t be happier to be where they are now, and there is no way they would have done as well on that test if it weren’t for the tutor Jesse and Alice sent our way. Professional, fun and effective! 5 stars!”
SHSAT | 8th Grade | LAB
WE HELP YOU DECIDE
IS THE SHSAT FOR ME?
If your child is interested in attending one of New York City’s specialized high schools, such as Stuyvesant High School, Bronx Science or Brooklyn Tech, then the SHSAT is mandatory for application consideration. Click here for a complete list of the schools which require the SHSAT..
WHEN TO START PREP
Ideally, students have 4-8 months of test prep leading up to the SHSAT. The test is customarily held on the last Saturday of October, so our preferred start time is the previous spring. We are very careful to pace our prep programs properly, ensuring that students neither burn out or peak too early.
HOW TO SEQUENCE THE PREP
The first goal is to get students comfortable with the features, expectations and format of each section of the SHSAT. 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 test simulations, which allow students to refine their abilities in real time.
Our tutors are prepared to shape our SHSAT 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 SHSAT score. We'll help you change schools, and we might just change your life along the way.
More about the SHSAT
When and where can my child take the SHSAT?
For testing locations, see the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook. The SHSAT is conventionally given on the last Saturday in October.
What is the test like?
The SHSAT is a standardized ELA and Math test, with a three-hour time limit. Students are tested on their abilities to comprehend English prose, to convey understanding of revising and editing writing, and to use problem-solving skills in mathematics. The test is composed of 114 questions in total (94 scored and 20 unscored).
Revising/Editing Sentences: Students are assessed on their ability to recognize and correct language errors found within the context of single sentences, paragraphs or whole passages. 9-11 questions.
Reading Comprehension: This section contains 3-4 informational passages, 1-2 literary prose texts and 1 poem, followed by questions that combine careful reading skills with subjective inference abilities. 46-48 questions.
Math: This section is composed of traditional math questions, 52 of which are multiple choice and 5 of which are grid-in answers. Calculators are not permitted. 57 questions.
How do I register?
Registration begins in mid-September and ends in early October. Students should contact their school counselors to register.
How is the SHSAT scored?
All questions are worth one point. Raw Math and ELA scores are converted to scale scores. The cutoff score varies by school and by year.
How are the results used?
Students are ranked according to their score on the test and assigned to a school depending on their rank, the priority in which they placed schools on their application, and the seats available at each school.
Click here to see a sample SHSAT Score Report.
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Click here to download the SHSAT one-sheet.