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About the SHSAT

The SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test) is an examination administered to eighth and ninth grade students residing in New York City and used to determine admission to all but one of the city's nine Specialized High Schools. The SHSAT tests for logical thinking and high ability in both English and mathematics. It is administered by the American Guidance Service, under contract to the New York City Department of Education. Information regarding the SHSAT can be found on the web here.


The SHSAT consists of:

  • A 75 minute Verbal section (45 Multiple Choice Questions)
    • 30 Reading Comprehension (5 Reading passages with 6 questions each)
    • 10 Logical Reasoning questions
    • 5 Scrambled Paragraph (worth 2 points each)

  • A 75 minute Mathematics section (50 Multiple Choice Questions)
    • Topics include basic math, pre-algebra, algebra, factoring, substitution, geometry (grade 9), basic coordinate graphing, logic, and word problems (covering all topics)

The following is a breakdown of the SHSAT:


Section Question Length
Verbal 45 questions 75 min
Mathematics 50 questions 75 min

  • The total test time is 2 hours and 30 min.
  • All questions are multiple choice
  • You are not allowed to use calculators, or any other calculation aids.


How many times can I take the SHSAT?

The SHSAT is administered only once a year. For a list of SHSAT testing deadlines, click here for the 2013-2014 Student Handbook.


There is no penalty for wrong answers or unanswered questions. The total number of correct answers (the raw score) is converted into a scaled score through a formula that the Department of Education does not release, and which varies from year to year. This scaled score, an integer between 200 and 800, is used to determine a student's standing. The scaled score is not proportional to the raw scores.


Recommended Study Guides

Kaplan New York City Specialized High Schools Admissions Test by Kaplan
Barron's New York City SHSAT: Specialized High School Admissions Test by Barron's


Ivy Global offers SHSAT Tutoring in New York City.




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