What Is the SHSAT?
The NYCDOE has recently announced updates to the 2018 SHSAT in October. These changes affect the ELA section only; there are no changes to the Math section.
About the SHSAT
The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is the only criterion for admissions to eight of the nine New York City Specialized High Schools. The only exception is the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, which requires an audition or portfolio for admission.
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.
Format and Content
3 hours total (90 min per section suggested)
Out of 800, math and verbal equally weighted
All questions worth one point
Unscored field test items included in both sections
4 choices and grid-in questions
ELA (formerly Verbal)
2017: Nonfiction reading comprehension and revising/editing passages and stand-alone questions
2018: 3-4 informational texts, 1-2 literary prose texts, 1 poem
The number of revising/editing questions will decrease to 9-11, while the number of reading comprehension questions will increase to 46-48
Multiple choice and grid-in questions
In order to be considered for admissions at one of the eight New York City Specialized High Schools, students must register for the SHSAT through their counselor. Students should indicate interest in any of the schools by entering the appropriate information on their ticket.
Students must then obtain an admission ticket from their guidance counselor. The ticket will indicate the specific date and time of the SHSAT. On Test Day, students will be asked to rank the eight specialized high schools in order of preference.
2018 SHSAT Administration Dates
To be announced in early 2018
For more information on registering for the SHSAT refer to the NYC Department of Education's SHSAT information.