Here are the 2019 SHSAT cutoff scores for the most recent class of test takers. You will notice that the minimum admitted score has increased for quite a few of the Specialized High Schools. This point increase is indicative of two potential factors:
A stronger group of testers
The exam was easier than the year prior
Update (8/1/2019): The real reason the cutoff scores were higher this year is because Mayor De Blasio expanded the number of seats for the Discovery Program. This reduced the number of seats available through regular admission. With fewer seats available, the minimum admitted score was higher.
Please keep in mind that the SHSAT is an academic competition between the approximate 28,000 8th grade students who sit for the exam in October to November of the child’s 8th grade year. Students with IEP’s and 504’s are given extended time to achieve success on the exam AND the DOE has selected a few middle schools to host the SHSAT on site removing a travel barrier to students.
Advice for Prospective Students
Get 4’s on your common core state exams and learn content a grade level ahead of your current grade at all times. Staying a grade level ahead will help you to beat out your competition.
Instead of focusing on how to exceed the minimum admitted score, a prospective student should focus on how they can be the best amongst the entire group of 8th grade students. Make it a goal to get the highest score possible (800 points) and this is how you can secure a seat in the Specialized High Schools.
Finally, we believe that ALL students should sit for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). There are 80,000 8th graders in NYC every year, yet only 28,000 take the SHSAT. Having ALL students sit for the exam could change the cutoff scores and might tell a different story. You never know what the outcome might be and you literally have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Give it your best shot and start preparing now so you can shine on exam day.
AdmissionSquad offers rigorous test prep to talented middle schoolers looking to gain a competitive advantage on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and in the high school admissions process.