Specialized High Schools

The Specialized High Schools

SHSAT Test Sites

View a list of SHSAT test sites and scheduled times for each district here.

If a student is unable to sit for their scheduled testing date or is new to NYC, make-up testing can be scheduled by contacting school guidance counselors. The Make-up test date is Sunday, November 16.
 

    There are nine Specialized High Schools in New York City that serve the needs of academically and artistically gifted students. For eight of these schools, admission is based solely on the score attained on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). For Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (LaGuardia), acceptance is based on an audition and a review of a student's academic records. Please see the 2014-2015 Specialized High School Student Handbook for further information.
     

    Specialized High School Fall 2014 Dates

     

    Event Date
    Register for the SHSAT and LaGuardia auditions at school or Enrollment Office September 9 - October 14
    Late Registration period     October 15 - October 22 at 12:00 PM
    Test/audition tickets distributed to students Wednesday, October 22
    SHSAT testing for all 8th graders Saturday & Sunday, October 25 & 26
    SHSAT: All 9th graders and 8th & 9th graders with IEPs, approved 504 accommodations, and/or ELL accommodations
     LaGuardia: Auditions begin by Borough
    Saturday, November 1
    SHSAT make-up by Make-up by permission only; Sabbath Observers with IEPs, approved 504 accommodations, and/or ELL accommodations Sunday, November 16
    LaGuardia Auditions end Sunday, December 7
    Round 1 results distributed (Inclusive of specialized results) March TBA
    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q: Who can take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and/or audition for the programs/studios at LaGuardia?
    A: All 8th graders and first-time 9th graders who are New York City residents are eligible to take the SHSAT and/or audition. In September of the 8th or 9th grade, you should inform your guidance counselor of your decision so that an admission ticket can be issued for the appropriate test and/or audition(s). This is true even for students who attend private/parochial schools.

    Q: How can I apply to a Specialized High School?
    A: For eight of the Specialized High Schools, you are required to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). The SHSAT is the only requirement for admission. The score required for acceptance to a specialized school varies year to year and depends upon the school. Unlike all the other Specialized Schools, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts requires you to audition for each of the programs/studios you are interested in. You do not need to take the SHSAT to apply to LaGuardia.

    Q: What is the content of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)?
    The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is a written test consisting of two sections: Verbal and Math, including:

    • Scrambled Paragraphs: students are asked to arrange five sentences in logical order to create the best paragraph
    • Logical Reasoning
    • Reading: students analyze and interpret passages by answering questions
    • Mathematical word problems and computational questions
    • Problems in arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics and geometry


    Q: How can I prepare for the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)?
    You should ask your guidance counselor for a copy of the Specialized Schools Handbook which includes two sample tests. In addition, the Handbook describes audition requirements for LaGuardia’s six studios. You may also access the Specialized Handbook online. When you are an 8th or 9th grader, your guidance counselor will provide more specific information about the SHSAT. In the meantime, use the following suggestions to help prepare for the test:

    • Keep up with schoolwork. It is the best possible preparation.
    • Continue reading books and articles because reading helps increase vocabulary, comprehension, and general knowledge.
    • Practice taking the sample tests that are in the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook.
    • Check your answers and read the explanations of the correct answers in the Handbook.
    • Research study guides, test preparation services, and tutoring opportunities.
    • Discuss additional opportunities for test preparation with your school guidance counselor.
    • If you are in 6th grade, consider applying for the DREAM-SHSI preparation program (see details here)


    Q: My SHSAT test date and LaGuardia audition are on the same day. What do I do?
    Students taking the SHSAT who have a conflict with the audition schedule are to report for their audition(s) on the weekend assigned to their borough on the Saturday or Sunday for which there is not a conflict with the SHSAT. If you have an approved audition exception, please have your guidance counselor contact the LaGuardia Admissions Office for rescheduling an audition.