The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is a competitive exam determining admission to eight specialized high schools in New York City. The test covers math and English Language Arts (ELA). It evaluates a student’s readiness for a rigorous high school education. Since the exam is highly competitive, preparing well and using the available study time efficiently is essential.
Maximizing study time is crucial to achieving a high score on the SHSAT. Students who prepare for the exam with the right strategies and methods can significantly improve their chances of success. This article will provide tips and advice on maximizing study time and improving test scores. Whether you are a student taking the SHSAT for the first time or looking to improve your score, the following tips will help you achieve your goals.
Understanding the SHSAT Exam
The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is a standardized exam New York City uses to determine admission to its specialized high schools. The exam is designed to test a student’s math and English language arts knowledge and skills. The test is divided into two main sections: math and verbal.
Format of the Exam
The SHSAT is a multiple-choice exam that is administered over three hours. The test consists of 114 questions, 57 in the math section and 57 in the verbal area. Students are allowed to use scratch paper during the exam, but calculators are not allowed.
The exam is divided into two main parts: the first part is the English Language Arts (ELA) section, which consists of reading comprehension and revising/editing questions. The second part is the math section, which includes arithmetic, algebra, and geometry questions.
Types of Questions
The verbal section of the SHSAT includes reading comprehension and revising/editing questions. Students are tested on their ability to read and understand passages, as well as their ability to identify and correct errors in written material. The exam’s math section includes questions on arithmetic, algebra, and geometry. Students are tested on their problem-solving ability using mathematical concepts and formulas.
Students need to understand the types of questions they will encounter on the exam to prepare accordingly. Students should practice reading comprehension and revising/editing skills for the verbal section. They should focus on mastering arithmetic, algebra, and geometry concepts for the math section.
Creating an Effective Study Plan
Preparing for the SHSAT requires a solid study plan that maximizes time and effort. Here are some tips to help you create an effective study plan:
Identifying Your Weaknesses
Before you start studying, it’s essential to identify your weaknesses. Take a practice test or review past tests to see which areas you struggle with the most. This will help you focus your study time on the areas needing improvement most.
Setting Realistic Goals
It’s essential to set realistic goals for yourself. Determine how much time you have to study each day and set achievable goals for what you want to accomplish. For example, if you have two hours to study each day, set a goal to complete several practice problems or review a specific topic.
Creating a Schedule
Once you have identified your weaknesses and set realistic goals, it’s time to create a schedule. Build a plan that includes time for studying each topic, taking practice tests, and reviewing the material. Make sure to have breaks and time for other activities to avoid burnout.
A study schedule can be created in different formats, such as a table or a calendar. It’s essential to choose an arrangement that works best for you. A table can be a valuable tool for managing your time. After creating a table, assign each column to a topic and fill in the columns according to the issues you want to review.
Remember, an effective study plan works for you. Be flexible and adjust your plan as needed. With a solid study plan, you can maximize your study time and achieve success on the SHSAT.
Maximizing Your Study Time
Preparing for the SHSAT can be a daunting task. Still, with the proper study techniques, you can maximize your study time and increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your study time:
Effective Study Techniques
One of the most important things you can do to maximize your study time is to use effective study techniques. Some effective methods include:
- Breaking up your study sessions into manageable chunks
- Using flashcards to memorize essential concepts and formulas
- Creating outlines and summaries of key topics
- Teaching the material to someone else
Using these techniques, you can improve your understanding of and retain the material more effectively.
Utilizing Practice Tests
Another effective way to maximize your study time is to utilize practice tests. Practice tests can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and give you a sense of what to expect on test day. When taking practice tests, it’s essential to:
- Simulate test conditions as closely as possible
- Review your answers and identify areas for improvement
- Focus on the types of questions that give you the most trouble
Using practice tests effectively improves your test-taking skills and increases your confidence on test day.
It’s essential to take breaks when studying for the SHSAT. Taking breaks can help you stay focused and avoid burnout. When taking breaks, it’s critical to:
- Take breaks at regular intervals
- Engage in activities that help you relax and recharge
- Avoid activities that are too stimulating or distracting
By taking breaks effectively, you can improve your productivity and retain more of what you’ve learned.
Finally, it’s essential to stay motivated when studying for the SHSAT. Staying motivated can help you stay focused and avoid procrastination. Some ways to stay motivated include:
- Setting realistic goals for yourself
- Rewarding yourself for reaching milestones
- Studying with a friend or study group
You can maximize your study time and achieve your goals on test day by staying motivated.
Additional Tips and Resources
Recommended Study Materials
Many SHSAT study materials are available online and in bookstores, but not all are created equal. Choosing study materials that are accurate, comprehensive, and up-to-date is vital. Some recommended study materials include:
- Kaplan’s SHSAT Prep Book
- The Official SHSAT Handbook
- Barron’s SHSAT Prep Book
Caddell Prep On-Demand SHSAT Prep Course
Caddell Prep offers an on-demand SHSAT prep course with video lessons, practice problems, and full-length practice tests. The course is designed to be self-paced, so students can study whenever and wherever they want. The system keeps track of your progress in the course and identifies your strengths and weaknesses, so you can maximize your test score.
For students who prefer one-on-one instruction, online tutoring is a great option. Many online tutoring services specialize in SHSAT prep, such as:
- Caddell Prep
- Varsity Tutors
Getting Help and Support
Preparing for the SHSAT can be challenging, but many resources are available to help students succeed. Some additional resources include:
- The SHSAT subreddit, where students can ask questions and get advice from other test-takers
- The NYC Department of Education’s SHSAT page, which provides information about the test and test prep resources
- Local libraries, which often have SHSAT study materials available for checkout