SHSAT overview

The SHSAT Rundown You Need

Are you or your child looking to get into one of the Specialized High Schools in New York City? If your answer is yes, you’ve probably heard of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, which is more frequently known as the SHSAT.

What is the SHSAT?

This test is a 180 minute exam that eighth and ninth grade students residing in New York City can take. It determines a student’s admission to eight of the nine Specialized High Schools in the city. The SHSAT can be taken only twice. The first time is for admittance to grade 9 in a Specialized High School and the last time is for admittance to grade 10 in a Specialized High School.

Who can take the SHSAT?

If you live in one of the five boroughs of New York City, you’re in luck! You’re the only students eligible to take the SHSATs and you may earn the opportunity to attend one of New York City’s highly ranked Specialized High Schools.

How is the test scored?

The SHSAT consists of an English Language Arts (ELA) section and a math section, both of which include 57 items. However, only 47 of these items will be scored as one point each and the remaining 10 in each section will be field test items, which are not used in determining a student’s score. These field test questions will be used to ensure there is no bias in the questions for all students in New York City.
It is important to remember that there is no negative scoring. If you get a question incorrect, it is simply ignored, so remember to provide an answer for every question, even if you are unsure.

Why should I consider going to a Specialized High School?

Since Specialized High Schools require a certain level of academic performance, these students do achieve higher grades at a more consistent rate than other high schools. This also means these students may have a high chance of getting into the college of their choice.

What NOT to do when preparing for the SHSAT

  1. Do not go to a prep course class just because your friend is attending it.
    A prep course isn’t for socializing. You should only attend a prep course if you’re willing to take it seriously and put in the effort it takes to study for the SHSAT.
  2. Do not wait until the last minute to study.
    This is a recipe for disaster. If you are taking the SHSAT, you should want to do well in order to attend a High School where students consider academia to be of high importance to themselves. It is often recommended that students who are taking the SHSAT should start studying the summer before their test. So, study, study, study!
  3. Do not take advice from websites or classmates on how to answer the SHSAT questions without confirming these tips with a guidance counselor or teacher.
    The web and your classmates are not always right and you don’t want to answer questions incorrectly because of misinformation. Ask your teachers to confirm anything you read or hear which may alter how you study or take the test.

Need help prepping?

At Lion Academy Tutors, we provide professional tutoring services to help prepare you for exams. We are based right here in New York city, so we see the benefits and understand the importance of standardized examinations. We continue to keep up to date on the latest changes to these exams and adapt our tutoring methods accordingly.

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