The Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) is offered in 8th grade and in 9th grade. We strongly encourage parents to focus on the 8th grade exam because there are far fewer seats available for your child to gain admission into one of the Specialized High Schools as a 9th grader. For your convenience we have prepared this table to show you the difference in available seats for students taking the 8th grade exam versus students taking the 9th grade exam. It is pretty clear that your child’s best opportunity to land a seat in a Specialized High School is in 8th grade for 9th grade entry.
Many parents often ask us about the 9th grade cutoff scores. There are no published numbers for what students score year over year to gain admission into a Specialized High School as a 9th grader. What we do know is based on the rigor of the exam and the number of seats available, the score tends to be about 30 points higher that what students need at the 8th grade level. Please visit this blog post to see the 8th grade cut off scores for 2019. So if a student needs about a 560 to get into Stuyvesant High School as an eighth grader, they will need about a 590 to get into Stuyvesant High School as a 9th grader.
Let’s also discuss the content tested on the 9th grade SHSAT. The English Language Arts (ELA) section is exactly the same on the 8th grade and 9th grade exam. If your child was already scoring very high on the 8th grade ELA section of the SHSAT, they are in great shape. However, the math section includes more advanced material that can go up to 10th grade. Some of the topics include functions, especially linear functions, trigonometry, transformations, advanced Geometry, complex exponents and more. Your child would need to achieve mastery on the integrated algebra math regents and gain some additional exposure to trigonometry and geometry math topics to excel on the 9th grade SHSAT. With this in mind, you can see how it is much harder to place into one of these highly sought after high schools at this stage. The other factor is far less social support. There are far fewer students who take the 9th grade SHSAT and far less awareness about the opportunity. Your child would need to be very motivated and diligent to place at this stage.
We encourage all families to try out for the SHSAT and we hope that as many people as possible will focus on the 8th grade exam. If by some chance, your child does not place and would like to take the 9th grade exam, YOU MUST START STUDYING AS SOON AS YOU FIND OUT THE RESULS IN MARCH. This would give you a solid 7 MONTHS to prepare for this rigorous exam. We wish you all the best.
AdmissionSquad does not offer live SHSAT prep classes for 9th graders. However, if you reach out to us we may be able to point you in the right direction.