Specialized High School Admissions Test to Undergo Major Changes; Kaplan Test Prep to Hold a Series of Free SHSAT® Practice Events Across All NYC Boroughs to Help Middle Schoolers Get Ready

Students Can Register for the May 13, May 20, and May 21 Events at https://www.kaptest.com/shsat5

New York, NY (May 4, 2017) — The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), the only criterion for admissions to eight of the nine New York City Specialized High Schools, launches its biggest changes in over 20 years in fall 2017. To help ensure that eighth graders across the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island who want to attend one of these top schools have an opportunity to succeed, Kaplan Test Prep will hold a series of free SHSAT practice events across all five boroughs. Held five months before the actual test administration, this will be one of the first opportunities students will have to gain exposure to what they’ll encounter on Test Day. Every student who participates in one of the 60-minute practice test events will also receive a detailed score report highlighting strengths and weaknesses, so they know how to prepare.

Among the biggest changes to the SHSAT:

  • Timing: The new SHSAT will be three hours, 30 minutes longer than the old exam. This will increasingly make the exam one of endurance.
  • Answer Choices: On multiple choice questions, test takers will now see four possible answers instead of the old exam’s five.
  • Math: The old exam’s math section was entirely multiple choice; the new exam will include multiple choice, but also grid-in questions, and have more focus on word problems.
  • ELA (formally Verbal): The new exam will not include “scrambled paragraphs” questions, which gave students 5 sentences, and then asked test takers to put them in the right order to form a cohesive paragraph. The exam is also dropping logical reasoning questions. The new SHSAT will include nonfiction reading comprehension and revising/editing passages and stand-alone questions.

“We know from working with thousands of New York City middle schoolers every year that scoring well on the SHSAT and getting into your top school choice relies heavily on practice and planning,” said Cailin Papszycki, director of college admissions programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “While the the practice events are not substitutes for comprehensive studying, it will give aspiring Specialized High School students the opportunity to hone their skills, build their confidence, and figure out which sections they need to focus on. With the biggest changes since the 1990s set to hit the exam this fall and fierce competition to get in, practice is more important than ever.”

The SHSAT is administered by the New York City Department of Education and is only available to New York City residents in the 8th grade. 9th grade students may also choose to take the 9th grade version of the SHSAT for a very limited number of seats that may become available at the Specialized High Schools.

In 2016, approximately 28,000+ students took the SHSAT; less than 20% of those students were accepted to a New York City Specialized High School.

For journalists wanting to arrange an interview with one of Kaplan Test Prep’s SHSAT experts, please contact Russell Schaffer at 212.453.7538 or russell.schaffer@kaplan.com. To register for one of the May events, go to https://www.kaptest.com/shsat5.

SHSAT® (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test) is a registered trademark of the New York City Department of Education, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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