How to Study for the SHSAT Exam

Instructor: Sandra Lindenmuth
This article looks at some of the practical ways to prepare for the SHSAT, as well as different study strategies and reputable study resources that prospective test-takers can use.

Studying for the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT)

Students who hope to be admitted to a specialized high school in New York City must take the SHSAT test. Only students who are preparing to enter grade 9 or 10 and live in New York City are eligible to take this test. Since admission is offered solely based on test performance, test-takers should employ good study habits and be sure to review the material covered by the test in order to do as well as possible.

Study Materials

Not all study guides are as effective or accurate as others. It is important to know that the resource materials that you use during your study time are reputable and come from reliable sources.

SHSAT Handbook Practice Tests

The SHSAT Handbook is an official document that can be accessed online or downloaded from the New York City Department of Education website. It contains two different practice tests. Using the practice tests is a good way to be sure that you are familiar with the test instructions and the way that test questions are worded. You can also make sure you are up to speed with all of the skills on which you will be tested.

SHSAT Study Course

The SHSAT: Practice & Study Guide is an online course containing 490 self-paced lessons. The course also comes with brief multiple choice quizzes, more comprehensive chapter exams and a final course assessment that can be used to assess test readiness. Students who use this course can be confident that they will have completed a comprehensive review of all of the information that is one the SHSAT exam.

Study Strategies

There are many things that you can do to improve your study process.

Read Test Directions

Review the test directions in the SHSAT Handbook to make sure you have a clear understanding of how the test works and what you are expected to do. This can help you avoid making simple mistakes on test day.

Practice Using Answer Forms

The SHSAT handbook contains sample answer forms and instructions for filling them out. It's a good idea to use these forms before test day so that you are familiar with them and know how to complete them properly.

Simulate a SHSAT Exam

You can use the resources in the SHSAT handbook to time yourself and work through a mock exam. This is a good way to ensure that you will be familiar with the exam conditions, know how to complete the test and can work effectively with a time limit.

Join a Study Group

Some people do better when they work with others. If you are likely to skip study time or avoid studying for parts of the test you struggle with, then you could find a study partner or join a study group. This will help you concentrate on studying for all parts of the test and can provide you with the motivation you need to avoid skipping study sessions.

Book Study Time

Make sure you give yourself enough time to review all of the content areas on both parts of the SHSAT exam. Do not underestimate the amount of time that you will need to do a thorough review before test day. Scheduling study blocks can be a good way of reminding yourself regularly that you need to study and can keep you from putting off study sessions.

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