The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is an entrance exam for the specialized high schools in New York City taken by 8th and 9th graders who reside within the five boroughs. Please note that Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts requires an audition in lieu of the SHSAT.
NYC Specialized High Schools:
- Bronx High School of Science
- Brooklyn Latin School
- Brooklyn Technical High School
- High School for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering at City College
- High School of American Studies at Lehman College
- Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
- Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
- Staten Island Technical High School
- Stuyvesant High School
Format and Content
|Section||Subject||Question Type||# of Questions|
|1||75 minutes1||Verbal||Scrambled Paragraphs||5 MC3 questions|
|Logical Reasoning||10 MC questions|
|Reading Comprehension||30 MC questions|
|2||75 minutes1||Math2||Primary Topics:
Arithemetic, Algebra, Geometry, Data Analysis
|50 MC questions|
1 The test is 2 hours and 30 minutes and students can go between the two sections freely the whole time. 75 minutes per section is only a suggestion.
2 It is NOT specifically designated how many questions will test each math topic. But the content tested is always the same. The primary topics tested are arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. Calculators are NOT permitted.
3 Multiple choice
First, a raw score is calculated for each student. There is no wrong answer penalty, so the raw score is simply the total number of correct answers (except for scrambled paragraph questions which count for two points). The raw score is converted into a scaled score between 200 and 800 using a formula that the New York City Department of Education does not release. Each of the specialized high schools creates their own cut-off score, which varies from year to year depending on the students’ scores and the number of open spaces at the school.
On the day of the exam, students choose which schools they would like to apply to and then rank their preference. If their score meets or exceeds the cut-off score of their first choice school, they will be accepted there. If it does not, then it is compared in the same way to the cut-off score of their second choice school and so on.
The SHSAT is administered once a year in late October/early November. Results are used for admission the following fall.
2012 Test Dates
- Registration period: September 12, 2012 through October 10, 2012 (Students register through a guidance counselor at their school.)
- Test Date for 8th Graders: October 27 and 28, 2012 (Students are assigned a date.)
- Test Date for 9th Graders: November 3, 2012
- Test Date for Sabbath Observers: November 18, 2012
It is FREE to take the SHSAT exam.