The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test

The SHSAT, which is administered by the Department of Education, is a standardized exam offered to residents of New York City who are looking for admission to Specialized High Schools within New York. Below is a bit of SHSAT information to give you an idea of what it is.

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test

Since Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York, proposed to change the way admittance of students is done to eight of the top public high schools in the city, the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) has received strong public debate.

The proposal came as officials of the city deal with the small number of Latino and black students being admitted to these specialized high schools. In 2017, only 10% of students in New York’s public high schools who are Latino or black were offered admittance to attended a specialized high school even if they make up 67% of the student population in the public high schools in New York.  Whereas 62% of Asians and 24% of white students were offered admittance even though they only make up 16% and 15% of public high school students in New York respectively.

What are the specialized high schools and what is the SHSAT Exam?

The SHSAT is a test for 8th and 9th graders that lasts for 2 hours and 30 minutes. This is utilized to determine admission to high schools in New York City. The city has nine specialized high schools providing a curriculum that is more rigorous compared to most public high schools within the city. But only do not make use of the SHSAT to determine admittance. These schools, as per the Department of Education, are meant to serve students’ needs who do extremely well, academically and artistically. The schools are:

  1. Bronx High School of Science
  2. Brooklyn Technical High School
  3. High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College
  4. High School of American Studies at Lehman College
  5. Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
  6. Staten Island Technical High School
  7. Stuyvesant High School
  8. The Brooklyn Latin School
  9. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts do not base admission on SHSAT scores but on academic records and student auditions.