2024 Edition

SHSAT Test Guide

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is given to eighth and ninth grade students who are applying for admission to any of New York City's specialized high schools, including:

  • Bronx High School of Science
  • The Brooklyn Latin School
  • Brooklyn Technical High School
  • High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College
  • High School for American Studies at Lehman College
  • Queens High School for Sciences at York College
  • Staten Island Technical High School
  • Stuyvesant High School

Scores from the SHSAT are scaled, which means that scores factor in the number of correct answers along with each question's difficulty level. Students will be issued scale scores for both verbal and math test sections, along with a composite score, which is the total score of the entire test. The composite score is then used to decide admission to a specialized high school. Students rank specialized high schools according to preference, and then are assigned to schools based on the rank order of their schools. For example, if a student's first choice school is Bronx High School of Science, but all of their slots have been filled with students with higher scores, the student will be considered for their second-choice school.

The SHSAT examines a students' math and verbal skills and assesses how a student will perform in a high-achievement high school. The multiple choice exam includes verbal questions on logical reasoning, reading and scrambled paragraphs, as well as a math section that asks questions about probability, statistics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry and arithmetic.

The test lasts for approximately two and a half hours. Students may only take the exam once in a calendar year. Registration information is available at the New York City Department of Education's website.

Students can prepare for the SHSAT by participating in the Specialized High School Institute (SHSI) program. This program offers students challenging coursework in math, science, literature and writing that helps prepare students for both high school and the SHSAT.

Application to the program is open to students in the sixth grade and lasts for 16 months, with different components for seventh and eighth graders.

For more information on SHSAT preparation, visit our SHSAT Test Directory.