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What's Tested on the SHSAT?

Learn more about the SHSAT, test day, and scoring.

Tips for when you take the SHSAT

Get our experts' top tips for your SHSAT prep and test day experience.


Our SHSAT teachers are dedicated, committed, passionate, and top-of-their-class. See why they stand out to us and to our students.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you pass the SHSAT?

    The SHSAT is not a pass/fail exam, but there will be a cutoff score for each Specialized High School. Starting with the highest scorers, students are admitted to their top-choice school until seats are filled. For example, if there are 500 spaces at Stuyvesant, the top 500 scorers who put Stuyvesant first will be accepted. The 501st student would be admitted to their second-choice school.

  • How do you prepare for SHSAT?

    Students can take advantage of the test’s predictability when prepping. As important as it is to know the setup of the SHSAT, it is equally important to have a system for attacking hard questions. Whether you use a book or a private tutor to prepare, make sure your child puts in the work ahead of time, so they are confident and relaxed on test day.

  • How long is the SHSAT?

    Your child will have 180 minutes to complete the entire test. We recommend spending approximately half the time (1 hour and 30 minutes) on each section. However, make sure your child knows that they can move on to the Math section without waiting for the 90 minutes to end or begin with Math and tackle ELA second.

  • How is the SHSAT scored?

    The Composite Score is out of 800 points. The Math and English Language Arts (ELA) sections are weighted equally, and there is no wrong answer penalty. All questions, whether they are hard or not, are worth the same amount. The unscored experimental questions are mixed in with the scored questions, so it’s important to answer all questions as if they were scored.

Why Prep for the SHSAT with Kaplan?


Kaplan's programs are research-based and specifically designed to help students score higher on the SHSAT.


Our founder, Stanley H. Kaplan, invented the test prep industry in Brooklyn over 75 years ago. While today Kaplan is a global educational provider, our roots will always be right here in New York.


We focus on teaching your child strategies while also reviewing content on the test. It’s not enough to feel prepared. Your child should be confident on Test Day.


We emphasize maximizing your child’s available study time with the right strategies and methods—not laboring on rote memorization and drill techniques. Your child should prep smarter, not harder.


We understand a high SHSAT score can change the trajectory of your child’s education. To this end, we are dedicated to helping your child achieve his or her goals—we succeed when your child succeeds.