What is the SHSAT?
The Specialized High School Admissions Test is a comprehensive three hour exam that grants students access to an intense learning environment designed for the most advanced and motivated students. Specialized high schools offer a diverse range of academically rigorous content to prepare students for their future. Depending on what score students receive on the exam, students can have access to the following schools:
- The Bronx High School of Science
- Brooklyn Technical High School
- High School of American Studies at Lehman College
- High School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering at the City College of New York
- Staten Island Technical High School
- The Brooklyn Latin School
- Queens High School for the Sciences at York
- Stuyvesant High School
The admissions exam is the sole indicator of acceptance into the school, and prospective 8th and 9th grade students can take the exam in the fall for admission to Specialized High Schools in the following year. For example:
|8th Grade||9th Grade|
|Students who are in the 8th grade take it in the fall of their 8th grade year to qualify for acceptance into Specialized High Schools the following year as a freshman.||Students who are in the 9th grade take it in the fall of their 9th grade year to qualify for acceptance into Specialized High Schools the following yer as a sophomore.|
Who is the SHSAT for?
Specialized High Schools are designed and formatted to suit the students and parents who want to combine the experience of both excellent academics as well as a positive and competitive learning environment throughout New York City’s five boroughs. These schools will not only promote students’ critical thinking, but will also enhance study skills and academics that are aligned with the academic rigor seen at the college level.
Why does my child need to prepare?
The exam is not just something that a student can walk into without any preparation. The exam consists of material that some students may not have learned yet, and the exam also tests a students’ critical and abstract thinking in mathematics, tests their comprehension of complex passages, as well as their knowledge of written mechanics through paragraph revision in English Language Arts (ELA). It is highly recommended that students review for the exam a year prior to taking it, to ensure that maximum preparation time is allotted.
|English Language Arts||Mathematics|
|– 57 items in total|
– 20 revision/editing questions
– 5-8 stand alone questions
– 2 passages with 6-8 questions
– 6 reading passages with 5-7 questions each
– All questions are multiple choice
|– 5 grid-in questions|
– 52 multiple choice word problems and computational (calculating the answer) questions:
The SHSAT is an exam that is not to be taken lightly. The exam tests on concepts not normally taught in schools, and is designed to test students’ awareness of critical thought processes. As you can see from the examples above, both the mathematics and the ELA questions are not the conventional questions found on a regular exam (e.g. state exams). Preparation is absolutely necessary to properly assess student learning and teach students how to perceive and master questions of this magnitude.