SHSAT - Specialized High Schools Admission Test - New York

The information below is based on the publication material and the website of New York City Department of Education and other resources. The students and parents are advised to consult the website of New York City Department of Education or to discuss with the students counsellor or parent coordinator in a Junior High School for current information.  

What is SHSAT?

SHSAT is a standardized, competitive test to get admission into one of the 8 Specialized High Schools in New York City.

What are the Specialized High Schools in New York?

Here is the list of Specialized High Schools in New York:

Admission into the 9th Specialized High School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, is based on auditions.

What's on the SHSAT Test?

The SHSAT consists of 2 sections: The English Language Arts (ELA) and the Math. Each section consists of 57 questions and so, the test has a total of 114 questions. The time to complete the test is 3 hours. 

Therefore, the student would have to read, comprehend, solve and bubble in an answer (which is in a separate page) for each question in about 90 seconds! Calculators are not allowed during the test.

What is in the ELA Section of SHSAT?

The English Language Arts (ELA) section consists of two parts - Revising/Editing and Reading Comprehension. All questions in the ELA section are multiple-choice questions - usually with 4 answer choices for each question.

The ELA Section is to assess the revising/editing skills and the reading comprehension. These questions are aligned to the New York State Learning Standards. 

Revising and Editing:

Number of Questions: between 9 and 19. These questions assess the ability to recognize and correct language errors and improve overall quality of writing


ELA Part A: Questions based on their own sentences or short paragraphs.

Each question directs the student to read a sentence, a list of sentences, or a paragraph with numbered sentences. Then the student will be asked to address issues related to conventions of language or punctuation. Examples include:

ELA Part B: Questions are based on a single, multi-paragraph text

Questions in Part B assess the ability to read a text and then make decisions that improve the overall quality of the writing. The subjects presented in these texts will include historical and current events; people, places, and technology; and phenomena in the biological sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. Each sentence is numbered so that you can quickly locate and refer to specific parts of the passage.  

The text may contain errors such as:

ELA - Reading Comprehension: 

Number of Questions: between 38 and 48.

Skills assessed: ability to understand, analyze, and interpret texts from a variety of genres

Format: 5-6 reading texts (passages), including informational and literary, followed by 6–10 questions on each passage.

Informational texts for ELA may include any of the text types that middle school students should have experience with, such as: exposition, argument, and functional text in the form of personal essays, speeches, opinion pieces, essays about art or literature, biographies, memoirs, journalism, and historical, scientific, technical, or economic accounts written for a broad audience. Literary texts for ELA may include any of the text types that middle school students should have experience with, such as: poetry, adventure stories, historical fiction, mysteries, myths, science fiction, realistic fiction, allegories, parodies, or satire.

What is in the Math Section of SHSAT? 

The Math section consists 57 word problems and computational questions in all. 

There are five grid-in questions which are open-ended math questions. The student has to solve the problems and bubble-in the answer in a grid. 

The next 52 questions are multiple-choice questions usually with 4 answer choices for each question. 

The Math questions involve application of mathematical skills, mathematical terms, and general concepts from the New York State Learning Standards for Mathematics. However, as one of the purposes of this test is to identify students who will benefit from an education at a Specialized High School, the SHSAT Math items will require you to apply familiar Math skills to complex, multi-step problems.

SHSAT Prep at Sam School 

Sam School has been specializing in SHSAT Prep for over a decade! Sam School published 10 SHSAT Practice Tests and offered successful SHSAT Prep Courses which helped thousands of students to get admission into New York Specialized High Schools.

Currently, Sam School offers the following SHSAT LPX Test Practices:

What is Sam School LPX Test Practice? 

Sam School LPXTM (Learn. Practice. Excel.) is a unique and outstanding online test practice system to prepare, practice and excel in standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, Regents, AP, SHSAT, and more.

LPX features:

[Click here to try a FREE SHSAT LPX Test Practice.]

Sam School Video Lessons for SHSAT:

Sam School also offers affordable and result-oriented video lessons for both SHSAT Test Prep and SHSAT 9th Grade Test Prep.

[Click here to try a FREE SHSAT Video Lesson.]

[Click here to learn about SHSAT Test Prep Video Tutorials.]


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FREE LPX Test Practice

LPX (Learn. Practice. Excel.) Test Practice is the most effective and methodical way to prepare for tests. Click here to try a FREE LPX Test Practice.