The New York City Specialized High Schools Admissions Test is an exam eighth and ninth graders take as part of their applications to several specific schools in New York City. Here's a brief overview of the test.

What is the SHSAT and why is it important?

It's rare that simply attending a particular high school is enough to get you noticed by a college admissions office, but that's exactly the case when it comes to New York City's specialized high schools. In addition to great name recognition, you'll get a first-rate (free) education at these city schools:

  • Bronx High School of Science
  • Brooklyn Latin
  • Brooklyn Technical High School
  • High School of Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College
  • High School of American Studies at Lehman College
  • Queens High School for the Sciences at York
  • Staten Island Technical High School (newly designated)
  • Stuyvesant High School

For better or worse, admission to these elite schools is based solely on the SHSAT, which means being properly prepared for the exam is crucial.

Note: You must live in one of the five boroughs of NYC to take the SHSAT.

What specifically does the SHSAT test?

The SHSAT tests verbal and math skills and covers:

Verbal Skills

  • scrambled paragraphs
  • logical reasoning
  • reading comprehension

Math Problem Solving

  • arithmetic
  • probability
  • statistics
  • geometry
  • algebra

When is the SHSAT offered?

The test is usually offered in late October for 8th graders and mid-November for 9th graders. (Though the 9th grade exam provides a second chance for those not initially accepted, it is not recommended to wait until 9th grade to take the test.)

How do I register?

The only way to register for the SHSAT is through your middle school guidance counselor.