There is a unique group of advanced public schools in NYC called specialized public schools that each have a different focus. There are nine specialized high schools but only eight of them require eighth-graders to take the Specialized High School Admissions Test or SHSAT for short.
The following are the eight schools students can rank on this test:
DISCLAIMER: The following calculator provides an ESTIMATE for your SHSAT scaled score and may NOT be completely accurate.
Each school has a different cutoff score, which is the lowest score that a student who was admitted into a school received. These cutoff scores are not publicly available, but some online forums such as theschoolboards contain posts with estimates of these scores.
According to the most recent post on theschoolboards (which can be found here), these were the cutoff scores for each of the specialized public schools:
The test is 180 minutes (for students with regular time) and broken up into two sections: one English Language Arts (ELA) and one Math. There are 57 questions on the exam but only 47 are scored because there are 10 field or experimental questions. The raw scores on the ELA section and the Math section are used by the Department of Education to determine your scaled score.
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The advantages that come with involvement in extracurricular activities for middle school students are numerous. While one motivation for joining a club may be for high school applications, there are other reasons to consider joining one too. Academic clubs such as math teams, science teams, and Model UN can be a fun way to learn outside of the classroom and to learn important life skills.
Chancellor Richard R. Carranza put out a letter on December 18th, 2020, outlining the changes that will be put into effect and continuities for the admissions process for New York City public high schools, that have been made largely due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Carranza is also focusing on lessening inequities that were thrown into light by the pandemic, specifically the worse impact that Covid-19 had on students of color and low-income students, as well as keeping the process as normal as it can be, keeping in mind social distancing guidelines.
When looking into high schools, it is vital to stay updated on the current admissions process. In years past, most schools' admissions environments would not change dramatically. However, with middle schools using alternative grading methods, and tests being delayed due to the pandemic, high schools have had to update their acceptance criteria. With so much uncertainty and rapid changes during this time, it is important to remain up to date on high school admissions environments. Here is some information on how to keep yourself updated during these harrowing times.
It's understandable to want to get a feel of the high schools you're thinking about applying to, which usually you can do by going to tours, walking around the school, listening to students and faculty about the school, and asking questions. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this aspect of the high school application process is being converted to online video meetings and video format, but you can still get the same amount out of a virtual tour, with a little more effort.
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