Eight of the nine high schools  the Specialized High School Admissions Test
Eight of the nine high schools the Specialized High School Admissions Test

Are you looking to attend an advanced high school? Are you interested in specializing in a certain subject? If you answered yes to either of these questions, a specialize high school test might be the place for you. Before you can gain attendance into a specialized high school, however, there are a few steps you should take.

What are Specialized High Schools?

Specialized high schools are advanced public high schools in New York City where students often specialize in certain subjects. Specialized high schools provide great opportunities. Smaller class sizes provide more individualized attention to students, and often have better quality educational resources. Specialized high schools are seen as some of the top schools in the country; these schools sometimes place within the top ten high schools in nation. Many students excel in these high schools and are provided support; they include English Language Learners and students with an IEP or 504 Plan.

There are nine specialized high schools:

  • The Bronx High School of Science
  • The Brooklyn Latin School
  • Brooklyn Technical High School
  • High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College of New York
  • High School of 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

How do you apply?

New York City eight graders and first-time ninth graders are eligible to apply. Eight of the nine high schools require the Specialized High School Admissions Test (the SHSAT) for admission. LaGuardia High School does not require the SHSAT, but instead requires a portfolio and audition depending on the type of art the student is interested in specializing in.

For the other eight schools, the SHSAT is the only determining factor for admission into specialized high schools. These eight schools (including the Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Latin School, Brooklyn Technical High School, High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College of New York, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Staten Island Technical High School and Stuyvesant High School) do not take into consideration a student’s academic records or extracurricular activities. That’s right – they only look at your SHSAT score!

What is the SHSAT? How do you prepare for the SHSAT?

The Specialized High School Admissions Test is a three hour exam composed of two sections; it is taken mid-October to early November yearly. The exam consists of a Math portion and an English Language Arts (ELA) portion. Students budget time between the two section as required. The specialists of this site will help you prepare for the exam – https://argoprep.com/shsat/what-is-shsat/

  1. English Language Arts Section:
    • Revising and Editing Questions
      • Test your stand-alone revising skills (for sentences). These skills include your understanding of parallel structure, punctuation, etc.
      • Test passage-based revising and editing skills. These skills include combining sentences or phrases, editing transitions and improving flow of passage.
    • Reading Comprehension questions:
      • Test your ability to see the main ideas and important details of passages.
      • Test your ability to make educated inferences and understand the function of details in passage.
  2. Mathematics Section:
    • Number, Operations and Algebra questions
      • Tests ability to work out algebra problems, understand real and imaginary numbers, understand and work out factoring problems, and more.
    • Probability and Statistics questions
      • Tests ability to understand questions about averages, probabilities, frequency tables, etc.
    • Geometry questions
      • Tests ability to find area, perimeter and volume of different shapes; also tests ability to understand lines and coordinates.

Preparing for the SHSAT can take time, but constant and thorough practice is the best bet students have to excelling on the exam. The questions asked on the exam should reflect materials learned in school; so, even though a student’s grades are not taken into consideration, working on improving academic improvement can help improve overall SHSAT score as well.

By understanding the parts of the SHSAT and preparing in advance, your student can get into a specialized high school!