Who takes this test?
Students in grades eight or nine who want to enroll in one of New York City’s specialized high schools must take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). All students in grades eight and nine who are current New York City residents are eligible.
The schools that require the SHSAT are:
- 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
Are ELLS given glossaries for the exam?
Yes. Test proctors will provide English language learners (ELLs) and eligible former ELLs with bilingual mathematics glossaries on the day of the SHSAT. The glossaries provide word-to-word translations of key mathematics terms. The glossaries do not provide definitions. Students are not permitted to bring their own bilingual mathematics glossaries.
Glossaries are available in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu. View sample glossaries below. Actual glossaries will be different on test day.
When is this test given?
Registration will begin in early September. Students should contact their school counselors to register. Please see the Student Enrollment page for more information about taking the exam and applying to the Specialized High Schools.
The SHSAT will be given on October 26 and October 27, with dates for English Language Learners, students with disabilities who have Individualized Education Programs or approved 504 plans, and make-up test requests on November 2 and November 17.
You can also learn more at the DREAM Program page.
What is on the test?
The SHSAT assesses knowledge and skills. These skills consist of the ability to comprehend English prose, to demonstrate understanding of revising and editing skills central to writing in English, and to use problem-solving skills in mathematics. The test measures knowledge and skills students have gained over the course of their education. Keeping up with schoolwork throughout the year is the best possible preparation.
How is the test scored?
Please see the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook (linked above) for a thorough description of the scoring process.
How are the results used?
Students are ranked according to their score on the test and assigned to a school depending on their rank, the priority in which they placed schools on their application, and the seats available at each school.
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 ELA 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 examinations by requesting an appointment with a Department of Education assessment specialist.
Can I request an appointment to review a copy of my child's answer sheet?
The health and safety of all of our students and families continues to be our first priority in the wake of the evolving situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York City. In light of this evolving situation, test view period scheduled for April & May, 2020 is temporarily postponed. Please use the link below to request a test view, and we will provide updates via email.
The test view is solely an opportunity to view your child’s test and see the answers that she/he selected during the test administration. This is not an appeals process.
To request an appointment to view your child’s Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) test, complete this form OR send a letter postmarked to:
Office of Assessment
44-36 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City, NY 11101
The written request must include:
- Student’s first and last name
- Student’s date of birth
- Student’s OSIS number
- Parent/Guardian first and last name
- Current home address
- Home, work, and mobile phone number (if available)
- Date, borough, and site where your child was tested (if available)
After submitting the request, you will receive confirmation of receipt and communication about scheduling your appointment within a week of our office receiving your request. If you make the request online, you will receive all communications to the email address you provide. If you mail the request, you will be notified by mail, or email if you provide an email address.
Please note the following about the SHSAT test view appointment:
- This is not an appeals process, but an opportunity for you to view your child’s test.
- The SHSAT test view is a 45-minute appointment. It may not be possible to reschedule if you arrive late or miss your appointment.
- You will review a copy of your child’s answer sheet, which a New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) employee will be present to facilitate the process.
- To maintain test security, all testing documents must remain with the NYCDOE at the end of the appointment