EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SHSAT
Bee Tutored has prepped students for the SHSAT since 2007.
What is the SHSAT?
The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is offered in October of 8th grade for students applying for entrance into 9th grade the following fall. It is the sole determining factor to gain admission to 8 of the 9 New York City Specialized High Schools.*
- The Bronx High School of Science
- The Brooklyn Latin School
- Brooklyn Technical High School
- High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College of New York
- High School of American Studies at Lehman College
- Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
- Staten Island Technical High School
- Stuyvesant High School
These specialized schools are very competitive and attract students from all over New York City.
Yes, it’s a lot of pressure! Having only one criterion is hard. Just like learning a sport or instrument, preparing for the SHSAT requires practice. We help students craft a study plan customized to their strengths/areas of growth, as determined by review of various SHSAT practice tests.
*LaGuardia Performing Arts School is the 9th Specialized School, but admission to LaGuardia is audition-based, and does not require the SHSAT.
What kinds of questions are on the SHSAT and how is it scored?
The SHSAT is a three-hour test, with two sections – Math and English Language Arts (ELA). Though the SHSAT is a skills-based test, an additional challenge is the critical thinking and strategy students need to be successful on the test. The SHSAT rewards students who are able to answer the highest number of questions in each section. Therefore, if your child is stronger at math than English, or vice versa, they should focus more on getting as many answers correct in their area of strength, and may even consider spending more time on that section of the test.
Students need practice on how to approach the test. Demystifying the exam and exposure to the predictable nature of the SHSAT reduces test anxiety and builds confidence in our students.
Planning ahead is key
- March / April of 7th grade: Decide on a plan of action for the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters.
- April / May of 7th grade: Begin preparing for the SHSAT and take a mock exam to assess strengths and areas of growth.
- Summer: Attend admissions workshops, take practice tests and complete sample question sets.
- September of 8th grade: Attend open houses and school visits. Practice Practice Practice!
- October of 8th grade: The SHSAT usually occurs on the 3rd weekend in October. Take a deep breath, and know you are prepared!