The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is the single criterion for admission to eight of New York City’s specialized high schools (The Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts does not require the SHSAT, but rather portfolios and auditions.). The test is only available for New York residents in the 8th and 9th grades. Many middle school and early high school students are unfamiliar with the type of logical rigor required to do well on the SHSAT. Therefore, Parker Academics' SHSAT prep tutors train students to become the content and think in terms of the test. We consider SHSAT training a critical rite of passage for teaching students how to reason in ways that will be beneficial for the SAT, ACT, and demanding college and graduate school curriculums.
Standard testing time
• 180 minutes
ELA section (57 items)
• 20 revising/editing questions: 5-8 stand-alone questions and 2 passages with 6-8 questions each
• 6 reading passages with 5-7 questions each
• All questions are multiple choice questions
Math section (57 items)
• 5 grid-in questions (see attached sample questions)
• 52 multiple choice word problems and computational questions
• All multiple choice questions (all ELA questions; all math questions except grid-in items) will have 4 answer choices instead of 5.
• All passages in 2017 will be nonfiction passages; starting in 2018 literary passages and persuasive passages (e.g., editorials) could be included on the test.
• Embedded field test passages and items will be interspersed throughout the relevant sections of the test (10 items in each section); students will not be able to determine which questions are the field test questions.
Students rank their choices for schools from 1-8, 1 being the top selection. Seats at a particular school are filled based on how students rank the school and composite score. For instance, if Stuyvesant has 430 spots, then it will admit the 430 highest scoring students who selected Stuyvesant as their first choice. The 431st highest scoring student who chose Stuyvesant as her first choice will then be offered admission to her second choice.
List of Specialized High Schools
of New York
• High School of American Studies at Lehman College
• Queens High School for the Sciences at York
• Staten Island Technical High School
• Stuyvesant High School
• Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
The SHSAT is usually administered in late October through early November of each year. In order to take the test, students should consult their guidance counselors at the beginning of the school year and complete the following 3 steps.
Step 1: Student files the High School Application
Step 2: Student receives admission ticket from guidance counselor. Ticket indicates date and time of SHSAT.
Step 3: On test day, student chooses the 8 schools s/he would like to attend and ranks them in order of preference.
For more information about registering for the SHSAT and the Specialized High Schools admissions process, visit the NYC Department of Education's website and browse the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook.
We prepare students extensively for the rigors of the math, verbal and writing portions of the SHSAT. Students meet either 2-3 days per week for shorter periods of time (1-2 months) or once per week over the course of 4 to 6 months. The plan is contingent upon our initial assessments and the student’s particular needs. Our recommendations are based on what will ensure the greatest level of success for the student. Tutoring sessions generally last 2 hours, as this time frame allows for depth of coverage and helps the student to build stamina for test day.
Tutors tailor homework assignments to a student’s particular needs. Students receive weekly homework, which consists of practice tests, problem sets and daily vocabulary work. A combination of weekly homework and regular tutoring sessions allows students to assess their own difficulties and build momentum.
Feel free to contact us for more information.