What’s on the 9th Grade SHSAT?
9th Grade SHSAT different from the 8th grade SHSAT. It is more competitive than the 8th grade SHSAT since there are a lot less spots available in the schools. As a result, you’ll need to aim for a higher score on the 9th grade test than the 8th grade test. To give you an idea of the scores, here is a link to the 8th grade cut-off scores: Cut-Off Scores.
The format of the test is the same as the 8th grade test, but the content is more difficult. There are some additional topics in math, which makes sense since more material was learned over the past year.
Reading and Revising/Editing is also more difficult. In some cases, we recommend using SAT-level reading passages to practice from. Of course, some of the test questions that appear on the SAT will not be similar to the ones on the SHSAT, but the difficulty level of the reading passages will be a big help.
Is it Hard to Get Accepted with the 9th Grade SHSAT?
It is difficult to get accepted as a 10th grader to a NYC Specialized High School, but it is not impossible. There are substantially less available seats available for students to transfer, but much less students take the SHSAT as a 9th grader.
Available Seats to NYC Specialized High School (9th Grade vs. 10th Grade)
|High School||9th Grade Seats||10th Grade Seats|
|Queens Science – York College||100||3|
|Staten Island Tech||300||4|
|HSMSE – City College||100||2|
|HSAS – Lehman College||90||2|
*Source: 2019 High School Directory
How Many Students Take the 9th Grade SHSAT?
Approximately 3,000 students take the 9th grade SHSAT. That is about a tenth (10%) of the number of students who take the test in 8th grade: 30,000. So, while the number of students who take the test is a lot less, we see that the number of available spots is even less. There are only about one fiftieth (2%) of the number seats available in 9th grade compared to 8th grade.
What Math is on the 9th Grade SHSAT?
Students should expect to see any of the questions that appear on the 8th grade SHSAT as well as questions from the following topics:
- Advanced Algebra
- Word Problems
- Graphing Functions
- Slopes of Linear Functions
- 3-D Geometry
- Basic Trigonometry (SOHCAHTOA)
Students should expect the majority of the questions to be similar to the 8th grade test (about 40-47) and around 10-17 questions from the above topics out of the total 57 math questions on the test.
What Kind of Questions Are on the 9th Grade SHSAT ELA Section?
The format of the 9th grade test will be the same as the 8th grade test. However, students should be prepared for more complex reading passages at a higher reading level than the ones that were on the 8th grade test. It will requires an ability to understand more complex sentence structure and a higher vocabulary.
Just like the 8th grade test, students should expect 9-11 Revising/Editing Questions and 46-48 Reading Comprehension questions.
Do I need a SHSAT prep or tutor for the 9th grade SHSAT?
It is highly recommended that you prepare for the 9th grade SHSAT by attending prep class or getting help from a tutor. For most students taking the 9th Grade SHSAT, they took the test first in 8th grade and weren’t able to get in. To get in this time, something must be different. Students would definitely have to try harder this time around. It makes sense to get the guidance of a professional since this will be their last attempt at getting in. Students can prepare with an online, self-paced, video SHSAT prep course like ours, an in-person SHSAT prep class, 1-on-1 tutoring, or a combination of the options. We recommend that students who plan on attending an SHSAT class or studying with a course, also consider adding some 1-on-1 tutoring to cover any topics that may still be weak as the test approaches.
9th grade SHSAT prep should be very similar to 8th grade SHSAT prep. Test prep should start with a diagnostic test to set a baseline score and access strengths and weaknesses. Obviously, if time it limited, more attention should be focused on maximizing test scores rather than covering the entire test topics. Contrary to popular belief, maximizing test scores does not necessarily mean working on the weakest topics. It means working on topics that have the greatest room for improvement to increase the score the most.
9th Grade SHSAT Practice Tests
Surprisingly, or unsurprisingly when you consider how secretive the DOE is about the SHSAT, the Specialized High School Handbook does not contain any 9th grade SHSAT practice tests. There are two practice tests for the 8th grade, but not a single 9th grade practice test. The handbook does include sample questions that would appear on the 9th grade test though.
Our online course contains 8th grade practice tests and supplemental lessons and practice for the additional math topics that appear on the 9th grade test. Since the majority of the test is similar to the 8th grade one, it makes sense to spend a lot of time on those topics to make sure they are aced. Then spend time to master the questions that are specific for the 9th grade test.