Administered by the New York City Department of Education, countless 8th and 9th graders sign up for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) each year. Scoring well on this important exam can help students secure a spot in one of New York City’s coveted Specialized High Schools. In fact, the SHSAT is the only criterion for admissions to eight of New York City’s nine selective Specialized High Schools. Attending any one of these elite schools can unlock bountiful opportunities for gifted NYC students. We’ve outlined a list of essentials SHSAT tips and tricks that students can apply to their own study routine, and forge the confidence necessary to conquer the intimidating exam.
Playing to your strengths is a critical part of preparing for the SHSATs. When you focus on your core academic strengths, you’ll also increase your chances of reaching your goal score, and earn a spot in elusive institutions like the Bronx High School, Brooklyn Technical High School, or even Stuyvesant High School. Think about your strengths, and embrace them when test day arrives. Don’t forget to devote study time towards your weaknesses because bolstering weak points can enhance your SHSAT score. When weaknesses transform into strengths, students will have an easier time conquering the SHSAT.
Poor time management will diminish your score and your hard work. Timing is paramount for SHSAT test prep. Begin reviewing material and taking practice SHSAT tests as far in advance as possible. Familiarize yourself with each section, and record how long it takes to complete each section. Finally, don’t forget to reserve your spot early because SHSAT testing seats tend to fill up rapidly.
It happens to the best of us; no matter how much you prepare for the SHSAT, you may find yourself stumped on a tricky question. Remember that you only have a limited amount of time on each section. Don’t waste too much time on one question – circle it, complete the section, and then return if you have time. If you still can’t work out the solution, fill in a random answer. Even if your answer is incorrect, the test penalizes you less for an incorrect answer than for leaving a question unanswered.
Like every other standardized test, the strongest SHSAT scores will come from the students who prepare and practice. Preparation is a must for any test a student takes, especially the SHSAT. If you want to take your SHSAT test prep to the next level, check if there are any SHSAT test prep courses in your area. An expert SHSAT tutor will help you discover your strengths, pinpoint any weaknesses, and inspire you to earn a SHSAT score in the top percentile.
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