Is the SHSAT that hard?

3 min read
Is the SHSAT that hard?


“Is the SHSAT test hard?” That’s the million-dollar question swirling around in the minds of countless 8th and 9th graders in New York City every year. As the ticket to the city’s prestigious specialized high schools, the SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test) certainly carries some weight. But does that automatically make it difficult? The short answer, yes – the SHSAT test is hard!

The SHSAT Unveiled

Before we start our rollercoaster ride, let’s first understand what we’re dealing with. The SHSAT is a high-stakes exam that tests English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics skills. It’s like an intellectual obstacle course – but instead of climbing walls and leaping over hurdles, you’ll be solving algebraic equations and dissecting passages!

SHSAT’s Challenges

The Time Crunch! One of the biggest loop-the-loops in this SHSAT rollercoaster is time management. You’ll have to answer a total of 114 questions in 180 minutes. That’s less than a minute and a half per question! Quite the thrill, isn’t it?

The ELA and Math sections have their twists and turns. For ELA, you’ll need to navigate complex passages, double-check grammatical errors, and write your way through revising and editing tasks. On the Math section, you’ll plunge into algebra, geometry, and arithmetic problems. These math problems are based on the 7th grade New York State Next Generation Learning Standards, but on “steroids”. The concepts and fundamentals are the same, but the questions are designed to be tricky.

Preparation is Key

Just like anything in life, you need to prepare for the exam the right way to increase your chances of getting into a Specialized High School. You must understand the format of the exam, the topics tested, test-taking strategies and then a lot of practice. ArgoPrep’s SHSAT Learning Platform offers you comprehensive access to SHSAT video lessons, quizzes, eBooks and more. Our award-winning learning platform comes included with a free-trial! We offer you 3,000+ high-quality practice questions along with 5+ full-length exams and more.

SHSAT Boost your Scores

Conclusion: So, Is the SHSAT Test Hard?

Is the SHSAT test hard? It’s like asking if a rollercoaster is scary – it’s thrilling, challenging, and fun, all at once! The exam is extremely competitive, so if you are serious about getting into a Specialized High School, you must practice vigorously with the right practice tools.

Have a question? Don’t hesitate to email us at or check out our award-winning SHSAT materials at