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Seventh Grade


Begin to research high schools and admissions requirements.

Start the process by checking in with your child and discussing what schools or programs may be a good fit. Then make a list, including schools where your middle schooler is guaranteed entry and reach schools. Not all high schools require an admissions test, but many competitive schools do. The SHSAT is the sole criterion for 8 of the 9 Specialized High Schools in New York City. Other schools in the area may require the SSAT, ISEE, or their own exam. Check websites or reach out to all schools on your list to make sure you understand testing requirements.


Take a practice test.

Prepping for the SHSAT begins with a practice test. Review the results and begin to think about how best to prepare your child for this exam—books, classes, or tutoring. Many classes start at the end of April to give a break over the summer months and start up again right before the test administration. Our team can help you decide which option is right for your family if you call 1-800-KAP-TEST.

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Dive into prep.

It's time to prepare for the big test. Many of our classes and all of our private tutoring packages allow for time away over the summer. With the SHSAT becoming more competitive every year, it’s important to begin prep early. Even really strong students can struggle to adjust to the quick pacing and different format of the test. This test may be the longest and most challenging that your child has taken, so commit to practicing together.

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June to August

Use the summer to get ahead.

Set aside time for SHSAT prep over the summer months when your family has more free time. This can include self-study, private tutoring, or a classroom course. Keep your child on track; the test may seem far away, but it will be here before you know it.

Eighth Grade


Attend open houses.

When searching for the perfect high school, it’s important to visit schools to get a feel for each campus and talk to teachers, counselors, or even students at the school. This is also the time to elicit feedback from your eighth grader on what seems like a good fit.

Get your admissions ticket.

In order to take the SHSAT, students need to receive an admissions ticket from their guidance counselor. Also, students will use this admissions ticket to rank the Specialized High Schools in order. Make sure to do this together in advance of the test. Don’t be afraid to rank all eight on your ticket; your child will be admitted to higher ranked schools first if spots are available.


Take the SHSAT.

Your child only has one shot to nail the test and get into a Specialized High School. Finish up any last minute prep and encourage confidence on Test Day.


Submit all high school applications by the deadline.

While the Specialized High Schools only require the SHSAT, others may ask for additional application materials. Be sure to get everything in on time so that your family has options.


Look for SHSAT scores and high school admissions decisions.

Once you receive scores, you will have a few weeks to make a final decision about your child’s top choice school.


Make your final school decision for September 2019.

Offers in hand, it’s time for your child to accept a place at the high school of your family's choice. If this year’s scores were not high enough for entry into a Specialized High School, consider looking into having your student take the test again as a ninth grader.

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Which New York City specialized high school is right for you?

  • Bronx High School of Science

    Location: 75 West 205 St. Bronx, NY 10468

    Number of Students: 3,100

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Mathematics and science

    Advanced Courses: Mathematics, life sciences, physical sciences, and fine arts

    More: Students are provided opportunities for independent research along with extracurricular activities including orchestra and vocal music programs. Bronx Science has had more than twice as many finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search than any other school in the nation.

    Website: Bronx High School of Science

  • Brooklyn Latin School

    Location: 223 Graham Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11206

    Number of Students: Approximately 664 students (800 at full capacity)

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Humanities

    More: The Brooklyn Latin School provides a liberal arts curriculum, with an emphasis on the Classics and Latin language instruction. Students graduate with an International Baccalaureate (IB) Degree that is integral to the school’s curriculum. In all classes, students experience a strong and consistent emphasis on structured writing, public speaking, and analytical thinking.  

    Website: Brooklyn Latin School

  • Brooklyn Technical High School

    Location: 29 Fort Greene Pl, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    Number of Students: 5,843

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Mathematics, science, engineering, and computers

    More: All students take an academic core in the 9th and 10th grades and then choose from 1 of 12 major areas of concentration, ranging from Aerospace Engineering and Architecture to Graphic Communications and Computer Applications.

    Website: Brooklyn Technical High School

  • Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (doesn't require SHSAT)

    Location: 100 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10023

    Number of Students: 2,713

    Criteria for Admission: Audition or Portfolio

    Special Emphasis: Visual and performing arts

    More: The movie Fame (originally released in 1980, and remade in 2009) and the TV Series Fame both dramatized student life at the School of Performing Arts prior to its merger into LaGuardia High School, and an Off-Broadway show of Fame was produced in 2003–2004.

    Website: Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

  • High School for Math, Science & Engineering at City College

    Location: 240 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031

    Number of Students: 475

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Mathematics, engineering, and science

    Advanced Courses: Writing and composition, history and literature, language and the arts

    More: Students can complete high school requirements in their 3rd year of study and enroll in college level courses during their fourth year. Enrichment opportunities include school publications and academic competitions such as Math Team, Science Olympiad and Robotics.

    Website: High School for Math, Science & Engineering at City College

  • High School of American Studies at Lehman College

    Location: 2925 Goulden Ave, Bronx, NY 10468

    Number of Students: 369

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: American history

    Curriculum: Four years of English, mathematics, science, and foreign languages

    More: Students can engage in independent research with Lehman College faculty members, participate in internships in specialized programs, gain proficiency in a foreign language, and complement their high school course of study with college-level courses and seminars.

    Website: High School of American Studies at Lehman College

  • Queens High School for the Sciences at York College

    Location: 94-50 159th Street Jamaica, NY 11451

    Number of Students: 419

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Mathematics, science, and technology education

    Curriculum: Science research, mathematics research, or technology education

    More: Students are assigned to Research Project Advisors throughout their four years of high school. Students also have the opportunity to enroll in college classes during their fourth year of high school and those interested in careers in medicine are eligible for York College's Bridge to Medicine Program.

    Website: Queens High School for the Sciences at York College

  • Staten Island Technical High School

    Location: 485 Clawson Street Staten Island, NY 10306

    Number of Students: 1280

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Mathematics, science, computers, engineering, and the humanities

    More: Facilities include state of-the-art science, engineering and computer laboratories in addition to partnerships with College of Staten Island, St. John’s University, GLOBE, LEGO Robotics, and more. Staten Island Tech has a strong dedication to preparing students for college admissions with a wide range of advance placement courses along with student leadership, peer mediation, and conflict resolution programs.

    Website: Staten Island Technical High School

  • Stuyvesant High School

    Location: 345 Chambers St., New York, NY, 10282

    Number of Students: 3,327

    Criteria for Admission: SHSAT Score

    Special Emphasis: Mathematics, science, and technology

    More: Advanced Placement courses are offered along with mechanical arts and music programs. Extensive extracurricular programs offered including 22 athletic teams, 13 major publications and active student government. Currently ranked as one of the top high schools in the nation.

    Website: Stuyvesant High School