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The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is an exam that students take in order to gain admission into one of the New York Specialized High Schools. 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.

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Format of the SHSAT exam:

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) was redesigned a few years ago so let’s review the new format of the exam. 

Number of questions Content
9 to 11 Revising/editing
46 to 48 Six reading comprehension passages with 6 to 10 questions each. one of the six passages will be a poem.
52 Math multiple choice problems
5 Grid-in math questions

This is a 3 hour timed multiple choice test with two sections, English Language Arts and Mathematics. 

There are 57 questions per section (57 questions for ELA and 57 questions for Math). 47 out of 57 questions in each section will be scored. 10 questions are field test items which will not count toward the students score. Students will not know which 10 questions are classified as field test items.

Want to practice SHSAT? Click here.

Overview of English Language Arts

The ELA portion of the SHSAT exam includes 9 to 11 Revising/Editing questions followed by six reading comprehension passages. Here’s an example of a revising/editing question you can expect on the exam. 

You must be familiar with all grammar rules to perform well on the revising/editing questions. If you are looking for a detailed overview with tips on how to tackle reading comprehension questions, click here

Overview of Mathematics

  1. Real numbers including integers, prime numbers, rational numbers and irrational numbers
  2. Number sequences
  3. Factors and multiples
  4. Fractions and decimals
  5. Arithmetic operations
  6. Percentages, ratios, and rates
  7. Absolute value
  1. Algebraic expressions
  2. Coordinate planes, slopes, and intercepts
  3. Functions and relations
  4. Linear equations
  5. Inequalities
  6. Rules of exponents and Roots
  1. Right, isosceles, and other special triangles
  2. Pythagorean theorem
  3. Properties and measurements of circles
  4. Polygons
  5. Perimeter, area, and volume
  6. Properties and measurements of three-dimensional figures
Data Interpretation
  1. Descriptive statistics
  2. Understanding data from charts and graphs
  3. Frequency distributions
  4. Probability
  5. Permutations
  6. Means and averages

The four big topics tested on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test are Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Probability/Data Interpretation. The SHSAT exam is based on the 7th grade common core curriculum so students who are preparing for the exam should have a very strong foundation in the common core modules covered in the 7th grade.

Our online SHSAT course covers all the topics you need to know for the test in detail along with thousands of high-quality practice questions. 


Here is a list of the Specialized High Schools along with their contact information.


The Bronx High School of Science

  • 75 West 205th Street, Bronx, New York 10468
  • Contact Number: (718) 817-7700
  • www.bxscience.edu


Brooklyn Technical High School

  • 29 Fort Greene Place, Brooklyn, New York 11217
  • Contact Number: (718) 804-6400
  • www.bths.edu


The Brooklyn Latin School


High School for Mathematics, Science & Engineering at the City College of New York

  • 240 Convent Avenue, New York, New York 10031
  • Contact Number: (212) 281-6490
  • www.hsmse.org


High School for American Studies at Lehman College

  • 2925 Goulden Avenue, Bronx, New York 10468
  • Contact Number: (718) 329-2144
  • www.hsas-lehman.org


Queens High School for the Sciences at York College

  • 94-50 159th Street,Jamaica, New York 11433
  • Contact Number: (718) 657-3181
  • www.qhss.org


Staten Island Technical High School

  • 485 Clawson Street, Staten Island, New York 10306
  • Contact Number: (718) 667-3222
  • www.siths.org


Stuyvesant High School

  • 345 Chambers Street, New York, New York 10282-1099
  • Contact Number: (212) 312-4800
  • stuy.enschool.org

Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

  • 100 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, New York 10023
  • Contact Number: (212) 496-0700
  • www.laguardiahs.org



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