Interpreting Scores

The SHSAT score report will include multiple sets of scores, but keep in mind that the most important score is the composite score:

Raw Score

  • Students earn a "raw score" based on the number of questions answered correctly:
    • Scrambled Paragraph Questions: 2 points for every correct answer
    • Other Questions: 1 point for every correct answer
  • Since there are five Scrambled Paragraphs and ninety other questions on the test, the highest possible "raw score" is 100.

Scaled Score/Composite Score

  • The raw score is multiplied by a formula known only to the Board of Education to arrive at a scaled score.
  • Students get a scaled score for each section and a composite score for the entire test.
  • The highest possible composite score is 800.

Admission Based Solely on Composite Score
All SHSAT test takers are ranked from highest composite score to lowest composite score and then assigned to the school of their first preference until all available seats are filled.

For example, if Stuyvesant had exactly 500 spaces available and the top 500 scorers all picked Stuyvesant as their first choice, all 500 scorers would be admitted. If the 501st scorer listed Stuyvesant as her first choice and Bronx Science as her second choice, she would be assigned to Bronx Science. Put another way, 500 students were admitted to Stuyvesant and the 500th highest score was 560, then 560 would be the "cutoff" score for Stuyvesant.

This means that scores are relative; it only matters if a student's composite score is above or below the cutoff. There is no way of accurately knowing what the cutoff score will be each year. The only thing we know is that the score will likely be a little higher than last year's cutoff because the test becomes increasingly competitive each year.


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