Yearly Testing

Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT)

Who takes this test?

Students in grades 8 or 9 who wish to apply to New York City’s Specialized high schools must take the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and submit an application listing their choices of schools in order of preference. Learn more about the high school admissions process

What is on the test?

The SHSAT is a timed multiple-choice test with two sections, verbal and math, that must be completed in a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes. In the first section, students demonstrate their verbal reasoning and reading comprehension by ordering sentences to form a coherent paragraph, answering questions of logical reasoning, and analyzing and interpreting texts. In the second section, students demonstrate their math skills by answering computational and word questions that require arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics, geometry, and trigonometry (on the Grade 9 test only). 

ELLs and eligible former ELLs taking the SHSAT are granted extended testing time of 225 minutes (1.5x standard testing time) and a separate location. Bilingual mathematics glossaries will also be provided by the NYCDOE on the day of the SHSAT at each test administration site in the NYCDOE’s nine major languages: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), French, Haitian-Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. Note: Students are not permitted to bring their own bilingual mathematics glossaries.

ELLs with IEPs or 504 Plans will receive the accommodations to which they are entitled, as long as the accommodations are permitted for the SHSAT

How are the results reported?

The results are reported as scale scores. Scale scores are based on the number of questions that the student answered correctly. Students receive scale scores for the verbal and mathematics sections of the test, which are added together to make their composite score. 

After scores are released to the schools in March, students and their parents may review the results of their examination by requesting an appointment with a Department of Education assessment specialist.

How are the results used?

Students are ranked according to their scores on the test, and assigned to a school depending on their rank on the list, the priority in which they placed schools, and the seats available at each school.

The Specialized high schools that require the SHSAT are: Bronx High School of Science; Brooklyn Latin; 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 and Stuyvesant High School). Read the Specialized High School handbook  to learn more about applying to one of these schools.

How can I request an appointment to review a copy of my child's answer sheet?

After the schools, students, and parents/guardians are informed of the results, you and your child may review a copy of the student's answer sheet by requesting an appointment with a representative from the Office of Assessment. Copies of answer sheets are not available for distribution but will be reviewed at the scheduled appointment.

Appointments may be arranged in one of the following ways:

1)     By submitting an electronic request via this form, or
2)     By sending a written request via certified mail with proof of delivery to:

Office of Assessment, SHSAT Review
52 Chambers Street, Room 309
New York, New York 10007

Electronic requests must be submitted and letters must be postmarked no later than April 1, 2016. Requests must include:

  • Student’s name, date of birth, and OSIS number
  • Parent/guardian’s phone number and email address

Within four weeks of receipt of the request, the Office of Assessment will provide appointment details. The student and one or two parents/guardians must be present at the meeting. If there are days or times during normal business hours in the months of April through June that you and your child will not be available, be sure to indicate them on your written request, as rescheduling may not be possible.

The deadline to request a test view is April 1, 2016. The Office of Assessment will not be able to accommodate requests received after the April 1, 2016 deadline, whether submitted electronically or by paper.