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How to Pass the SHSAT

There is no magic number to pass the SHSAT. In a sense, passing is really doing well enough to get accepted to the specialized high school that you are applying to. That being said, the score that is required to get into your dream school changes year by year. That’s because students compete for admission, and there are a limited number of seats.

After the tests are scored, students are ranked based on their scores. The system for placing students automatically goes down the list of students and places them into schools based on the students’ school preference and if there are seats available in that school. Whatever the score is of the last student accepted is the cut-off score for that school. For more information about cut-off scores, we have a video here: SHSAT Cut-Off Scores.

Many parents and students are concerned with how scoring works on the SHSAT. There are two sections on the SHSAT: English and Mathematics. Each section is scored individually, and then the two scores are added together. It is worth noting that it can be better to do really well in one section than to do average on both. Some students benefit from increasing one of their sections performance rather than improving both a little.

So, the main points are:

  • Do as best as you can
  • Start preparing early
  • Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the test
  • Improve your strengths

What is on the SHSAT?

The two main sections are English and Math.

The English section consists of 9-11 writing questions and 46-48 reading comprehension questions. The writing questions ask students to find errors and/or choose the best revision. Reading comprehension asks students to find the main idea, details, inferences, and to analyze aspects of the work.

The math section consists of 57 questions: 5 grid-in and 52 multiple choice. Topics include: arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and data analysis.