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SHSAT Test Frequently Asked Questions

1. What schools require the Specialized High School Exam? 

Out of the nine Specialized High Schools, eight of the schools admit students solely on the SHSAT score. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (LaGuardia), is the only specialized high school which admits based on an audition and academic review. Here are the nine Specialized High Schools:


The Bronx High School of Science | Brooklyn Technical High School | The Brooklyn Latin School | High School for Mathematics, Science & Engineering at the City College of New York | High School for American Studies at Lehman College | Queens High School for the Sciences at York College | Staten Island Technical High School | Stuyvesant High School |Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

 

2. How many questions are there on the test?

There are two sections on the SHSAT test. The first section is English Language Arts and the second section is Mathematics. Each of the sections contains 57 questions bringing the total exam questions to 114. 

 

3. How do I register for the SHSAT test?

We recommend talking to your school guidance counselor to help you sign up for your child’s SHSAT test. 

 

4. How do I rank schools?

When your child takes the SHSAT test, they will be required to rank the Specialized High Schools they want to attend. It is extremely important that you know ahead of time which schools your child would like to attend. Students will only be admitted into one school if their score meets the level. Acceptance is based on the score they get on the SHSAT exam followed by the choices of schools.

 

5. When making the decision to rank the schools, some important things to think about are:

  1. How far away is the school from you?
  2. Does the school have a program you are interested in?
  3. Is there a certain sport or activity you would like to do in high school?
  4. Is the school a good fit for you? Each school differs in class size and specialty. 

 

6. What do I need on test day?

You will need to bring your signed Admission Ticket which will have your school choices. There are no calculators permitted on the exam. Have more than one number 2 pencil, an eraser and a watch to keep track of time. Water and snacks are allowed, however, you must wait until your proctor gives you permission to eat the snacks. Most importantly, bring your confidence! If the exam seems difficult, do not stress. Give it your best shot and have fun!

 

7. How can I study for this test?

The first thing you need to understand is to do well on this exam, you must put in the time and effort to study. This is a challenging exam, so here is a list of a few important tips.

Practice and PRACTICE!

Take as many practice exams as you can find. Taking simulated exams will give you a very good idea on the type of questions that will be asked during the exam and will make you more confident.

Read Books

The best way to raise your score in the English Language Arts section of the exam is to read books, articles and newspapers. You will develop a better vocabulary list and find it easier to read the passages provided in the exam.

Learn from your mistakes

When you go over your practice exams, make sure you understand why you got the question wrong. Did you read the corrections correctly? Was it a simple calculation error? Try to understand why you got the answer wrong

 

8. Do you have some tips or test day strategies?

There is no penalty for wrong answers, so do not leave anything blank. If you do not know the answer to a question, then circle the question and move on. When you are done with all solvable questions, return to the circled questions. If you still do not know the answer, make an educated guess.

If you still have time after finishing all questions, then check your answers. While you practice, find roughly fifteen questions from throughout your practice that you believe to exemplify the test. You should know how to answer these questions perfectly. On test day, use these fifteen questions as a warmup. Make sure that you go through all steps when going through the question. You should be able to explain why each wrong answer is wrong.


You do not need to take the exam in the order that it is presented. Take the test in the order that you believe will maximize your time on those questions which you are most likely to get correct. It is better to spend time on questions you know you can get right than spending an excessive amount of time on questions that you find more difficult.

 

9. How does ArgoPrep’s online SHSAT program help?


ArgoPrep offers your child a comprehensive review and preparation for the specialized high school exam. Students will be able to access 30+ hours of detailed video lectures covering what they need to know for the exam along with online practice drills and quizzes. Furthermore, a six-month or twelve-month subscription includes four SHSAT workbooks shipped directly to your home. 

 

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