Ivy Bound SHSAT Prep
The SHSAT (“Specialized High School Admissions Test”) is the mandatory entrance exam for students seeking admission to eight of New York City’s nine “specialized high schools”. The SHSAT is a rigorous test of English and math offered in late October, primarily to students rising into 9th grade the following August. Approximately 4300 places are reserved among the eight schools (the ninth, a Performing Arts school, measures students using other criteria). The most populous, and most difficult to enter, are Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech.
The SHSAT is scored on a 200 – 800 basis. Scoring above 700 is almost impossible; in some years not one of the 25,000+ testers will score above 700. Cutoff scores are never exactly reported, but they appear to range from 488 to 560 at the most competitive school (Stuyvesant).
The verbal section first tests students’ ability to revise and edit incorrect grammar. It then tests reading comprehension, using global-scaled, detail focused, inference, and “function of sentence” questions. The multiple choice questions that follow include many nuanced answers that seem strikingly similar to the correct one. Our instructors work on understanding the true intention of the questions and also scrutinize the tempting-but-wrong answers.
The math section tests arithmetic, basic algebra, functions, trigonometry, transformations, advanced geometry, complex exponents, number properties, and some math that is not classified into the above categories. The multiple choice wrong answers typically include some trap answers for students who have made a wrong turn in the calculations. Our tutors introduce or reinforce correct math, and point out how to avoid the wrong answers.
What we Aim for
The SHSAT is for students wishing to enter grades 9 or 10. However, far fewer places (about 110 per year) are offered to rising 10th graders.
Students typically have one of two SHSAT goals: get a “threshold score” or an “astounding score”. The threshold is for entering schools that are almost certain to admit you based on grades, athletics, and character, but need to know you are also an adequate standardized tests taker. The astounding score is for entering a highly competitive prep school where your great GPA or really impressive athletics does not guarantee admission. The typical threshold score is in the high 400’s. Any student aiming for an astounding score wants to focus on a targeting anywhere above 600.
“Threshold score” seekers typically enlist for just 10 – 25 hours of tutoring. “Astounding score” aspirants typically enlist for 35 – 75 tutoring hours. If a “Form Your Own” session seems preferable, you can tailor the number of class hours to suit your group and you can choose to embed practice test sessions into your schedule. We suggest holding these on Saturday or Sunday mornings.
Ivy Bound’s SHSAT tutors are top-tier test performers from top universities. All tutors have a top 1% SAT or ACT score. All Ivy Bound tutors teach with clarity, empathy, enthusiasm, and high test knowledge.
Let Ivy Bound help you today!