Monday, February 21, 2011

What is SHSAT?

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is an examination administered to eighth and ninth grade students residing in New York City and used to determine admission to all but one of the city's Specialized High Schools. The test is given in the autumn for admission the following school year. After the results of the test in October and November 2008, 6,106 students from New York City were accepted, out of 29,000 students, who applied.[1] Students have until the end of February to make their decisions.

Which Schools can you apply?

The SHSAT is used for admission to the following schools:[2]
Admission to the remaining specialized high school, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, is determined by audition rather than by examination.[3]
Once an individual is granted admission into a specialized high school, the expectation is to attend that school[citatio

Where can I take the tests?

The test is given in early November (It was taken on October 23rd and 24th in 2010) in all 5 boroughs. Students in Manhattan will take it at Stuyvesant High School, in the Bronx at Bronx High School of Science, in Brooklyn at either Stuyvesant or Brooklyn Technical High School, in Queens at Long Island City High School or John Adams High School, and students in Staten Island will take it at Staten Island Technical High School.

Who needs SHSAT Test Prep?

Eighth and ninth graders who live in New York City may take the test.


How well do I have to do to get in?

There isn't a cut off score to get into each school- it depends on how many students take the test each year, and how well they do. However, to give you a general idea, only about 15% of students who take the test are accepted to any of the schools. That percentage is considerably lower for the most prestigious of the specialized high schools. Also, because there are far fewer seats for tenth graders, the competition is tougher for ninth graders taking the test.


When is the SHSAT offered?

It is normally offered in October and November. You will get the exact dates when you register with your guidance counselor.



Students must choose which schools they wish to apply to (up to 8) and indicate them in order of preference on the day of the exam. The test is offered to all eighth and ninth grade students residing within the 5 boroughs of New York City[4], however the majority of the applicants are eighth graders.

The results of the SHSAT are ordered from the highest score to the lowest score. The list is processed in order by score, with each student being placed in their most-preferred school that still has open seats, and continuing until there are no remaining open seats at any school.[5]

The student's absolute score does not matter as long as it is higher than the cutoff score, which is found by the results of all the students who took that score that year. For example, if there are 500 seats available at Stuyvesant the top 500 students who put Stuyvesant as their first choice scores will be admitted. The lowest score admitted is the cut off score.

Exam Format

The SHSAT tests for logical thinking and high ability in both English and mathematics. Both sections consist of multiple-choice questions. There is a time limit of 75 minutes each for both sections, with no break in between. The exam is only offered once a year, and can be taken in both the eighth and ninth grades if the student wishes.

[edit] Verbal

45 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 30 Reading Comprehension (5 Reading passages with 6 questions each)
  • 10 Logical Reasoning questions
  • 5 Scrambled Paragraph (worth 2 points each)

[edit] Mathematics

50 Multiple Choice Questions
  • Various mathematical topics tested
Basic Coordinate Graphing (8th grade)
  • Logic
  • Word Problems (cover all topics)