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  • Ethan Woo

Don't Slouch on NYC's Best High Schools!

Updated: Feb 29, 2020



The SHSAT Test is the lone test that grants students admission into Specialized High Schools.

In 2017, the SHSAT was changed in response to concerns over the lack of diversity in Specialized High Schools. Although considered the best educational institutes NYC has to offer, these prestigious schools held low attendance among minorities. To address these issues, some contents of the original test were removed or revised, and completely new types of questions were introduced.

What Has Been Removed

1. Scrambled Paragraph & Logical Reasoning Questions

These questions were removed because they were deemed to be too exclusive to the SHSAT. This was done as an effort to align the test to materials students learn in school. Without these select questions, students could approach the test more easily without expensive tutoring and have more initial familiarity before preparing for the exam.

What Has Been Added

1. Revising and Editing Questions

For the English section, students must have a strong command of grammar as new questions gauge their abilities to identify incorrect diction within a sentence and select the best choice. Questions test subject-verb agreement, pronoun usage, conjunctions, within-sentence punctuation, and more!

2. Grid-in Questions

For the Math Section, students now have grids where they pencil in their answers along with multiple choice questions. Because there are no choices to guess from, students must have mastery over specific formulas and calculations to ensure they find the correct answer.

3. Time

The test has increased its given time from 150 to 180 minutes.

4. Total Amount of Questions

The original test had 45 questions in the Reading & Writing Section, and 50 questions in the Math Section. Now both sections have 57 questions.

Why Should Students Take the SHSAT

1. Academic Prowess

Schools like Stuyvesant require students to complete at least one AP course and reinforce strong writing and critical thinking as soon as freshman year. These qualities assist students in becoming college-ready and intelligent to mature as students and adults.

2. Class Population

Specialized schools also hold fewer students in a class. Overcrowded schools often have 34:1 student to teacher ratios: on the other hand, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science have a 21:1 ratio.

3. Enriching School Experience

Along with the abundance of extracurricular clubs and activities, students will be in close proximity to middle-school valedictorians and honor roll students. They will work with and befriend students actively engaged in their academics.

Why Student Should Pick ThinkPrep

Although the test may have removed certain elements to make itself more accessible, the SHSAT test should not be taken lightly. A student's high school choice affects his college application and future development. Students should try to score the best they possibly can so that they can guarantee admission to the school best fit for them.

Here at ThinkPrep, teachers design personal curriculum to pinpoint a student's area of strength, and specific subjects that need improvement. 100% of our students have earned acceptance into their target schools. If you are a student looking to prepare for this quintessential test, contact us at (212)686-5077 for more information. We also offer tutoring for schools subjects, counseling, and essay editing. If you're not sure what you need, Trial Offers will guide you to the right prep!


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