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What is the NYC SHSAT?

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is an exam offered to eighth and ninth grade students residing in New York City and used to determine admission to eight of the city's nine Specialized High Schools:

  • Bronx High School of Science

  • Brooklyn Latin School

  • Brooklyn Technical High School

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

  • High School for American Studies at Lehman College

  • Queens High School for Sciences at York College

  • Staten Island Technical High School

  • Stuyvesant High School

The specialized high schools of New York City are nine selective public high schools, established and run by the New York City Department of Education to serve academically and artistically gifted students.

An average of 30,000 students take the exam every year. The test is given to students each year in October and November, and results are provided the following March. Those who receive offers decide by the middle of March whether to attend the school the following September.

Sections & Allotted Time

The test includes two sections:

English Language Arts: understanding of language; similarities/differences among words

Math: using language to infer, apply, and classify

The exam is 180 minutes long and students may allocate their time on either section as they would like.


The student is provided a raw scores are converted to scaled scores for both sections, ELA and math. The two scaled scores are totaled for the student's composite score. The composite score is used to determine admission to a Specialized High School.

Practice Link(s)

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