2019 SHSAT Test Prep Classes


What is the SHSAT?

The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is the only criterion for admissions to eight of the New York City Specialized High Schools. The only exception is the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, which requires an audition or portfolio for admission.

Who can take the SHSAT Exam?

Students in grades 8 or 9 who wish to apply to New York City’s Specialized High Schools must take the SHSAT and rank their choices of schools in order of preference.

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Our course has been carefully designed to teach all the concepts and test-taking strategies necessary to feel confident on exam day.

What should I expect on the 2019 exam?

The 2019 SHSAT consists of a timed multiple-choice test with two sections: English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. A total time of 3 hours is allotted.

2017 SHSAT Changes The SHSAT was changed in order to better align it to curriculum and instruction students experience in their classrooms on a daily basis. The verbal section was renamed the English Language Arts (ELA) section, and no longer includes “scrambled paragraphs” or logical reasoning questions. This section now includes questions that address revising/editing skills, in addition to continuing to have reading comprehension passages and questions. Furthermore, the math section now includes five “grid-in” questions in addition to the multiple choice questions. All multiple choice questions now have four answer choices, instead of five, and the time allotted for test-takers has increased from 150 minutes (2.5 hours) to 180 minutes (3 hours).


The ELA section includes questions that address revising/editing skills and reading comprehension passages. Starting in 2018 literary passages and persuasive passages (e.g., editorials) could be included on the test.

Test Content:

20 revising/editing questions: 5-8 stand-alone questions and 2 passages with 6-8 questions each

6 reading comprehension passages with 5-7 questions each

All questions are multiple choice questions


Students demonstrate their math skills by answering computational and word questions that require arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics, geometry, and trigonometry (grade 9 only).

Test Content:

5 “grid-in” questions, in which students must solve a computational question and provide the correct numerical answer, rather than selecting the answer from various multiple choice options

52 multiple choice word problems and computational questions

How do we prepare our students for success?

Our talented instructors, small class sizes, and test-taking strategies prepare all students seeking admission into specialized high schools.

Tip-Top Brain state test 3.5 months long

16 week-long program

This 4-month program will take place twice a week for a total of 90 instructional hours. Homework will be assigned.

Class Schedule
Tip-Top Brain highly qualified instructors

Highly Qualified Instructors

The program is taught by our highly qualified and experienced instructors who specialize in the SHSAT. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child’s instructor to discuss progress.

Tip-Top Brain small class size

Small class size

Classes will be capped at 14 students in order to maximize delivery of educational material.

Tip-Top Brain highly qualified instructors

Test-taking strategies

Instructors will teach students specific study techniques and strategies that will raise test scores and maximize study time.

Tip-Top Brain sate test mock exams

Full-length SHSAT practice exams

Full-length SHSAT assessments will be administered at the beginning, middle, and end of the program. Exams will be analyzed and reviewed thoroughly with students. Parents will receive an analysis report of their child’s test results.

Tip-Top Brain sate test mock exams

Post-test workshops

Students will have time to review practice test questions, quizzes, homework, and/or other areas of concern.

Dates and Program Overview

STARTS: March 2nd

ENDS: June 18th

Tuesday: 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturdays: 3:00pm – 6:00pm

SHSAT Exam Date


Students will attend the center twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Each class will be 3 hours long. All materials are included.

Throughout the program, students will take full-length practice exams to further guide instruction and track progress.

Homework, quizzes, practice exam results, and class progress will be discussed with you upon request.

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What students are saying. . .

  • "Yes, it was very helpful! Everything was broken down so nicely, it really helped me understand everything being taught."

    Student 2018
  • "We had so many questions in math and she was never annoyed. She always had a smile on her face and didn't yell at all. She taught me so many things that even helped me at school."

    Student 2018
  • "The notes and tips really helped me understand the concept."

    Student 2018
  • "Her notes were broken down so nicely they helped me understand the hardest lessons."

    Student 2018
  • "All the practice that was given like homework and classwork helped me better understand what was being taught."

    Student 2018
  • "What I liked about the class was that we did every question step by step and that the teachers explained each question."

    Student 2018
  • "Ms. Ourania would always go over a problem to make sure that everyone understood."

    Student 2018
  • "I love the way the class was taught and I loved the notes!"

    Student 2018
  • "Whenever we do class problems he always made sure we understood. He made us laugh sometimes and taught me so many things."

    Student 2018

Which NYC High Schools require the SHSAT?

Students in grades 8 or 9 who wish to apply to New York City’s Specialized High Schools must take the SHSAT and rank the following Specialized High Schools in order of preference:

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The only exception is the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, which requires an audition or portfolio for admission instead of the SHSAT exam.

See where your child stands

Schedule your child’s SHSAT Placement Evaluation today!

Simply select a day and time you would like to schedule a visit

May 2020
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Tip-Top BrainSpecialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT)