Students applying to Specialized High Schools in New York City take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Furthermore, you are the only factor in admission to eight out of nine of these schools based on your SHSAT scores.

SHSAT English Language Arts Overview:

The SHSAT English Language Arts section is the first section of the test. Moreover, it contains 57 questions, accounting for one-half of your total points on the SHSAT. So, the suggested time for the section is 90 minutes, or 1 hour and 30 minutes. The breakdown of the SHSAT English Language Arts section is as follows:

English Language Arts Sub-SectionSub-Section BreakdownTotal Number of Questions
Revising/Editing Stand-Alone Questions3–5 questions11 (combined with Revising/Editing Passages)
Revising/Editing Passages1 passage with 6–8 questions11 (combined with Revising/Editing Stand-Alone Questions)
Reading Comprehension6 passages with 6–10 questions each46 questions

Preparation Tips for the SHSAT ELA Section:

Here are some tips to help you prepare for this section:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the format: Firstly, the ELA section consists of multiple-choice questions and a written essay. So, reviewing the format beforehand can help you manage your time more effectively during the test.
  2. Practice reading comprehension: Although, reading comprehension questions will test your ability to understand and analyze written passages. Practice reading various texts also including fiction and non-fiction, and answering questions about them.
  3. Expand your vocabulary: Firstly, improving your vocabulary can help you understand the meaning of words used in the passages and answer questions more accurately. Thus, make a habit of reading and looking up unfamiliar words in a dictionary.
  4. Practice writing essays: The essay requires you to express your thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively. Practice writing essays on different topics, and focus on organizing your thoughts, using proper grammar and punctuation, and developing a clear thesis statement.
  5. Time yourself: During practice tests, time yourself to simulate the actual test environment. So, this can help you manage your time better and avoid rushing through questions.
  6. Seek help if needed: While you are struggling with any aspect of the ELA section, consider seeking help from a tutor or teacher. They can also provide you with additional resources and strategies to help you improve.

Remember, the key to success in the ELA section of the SHSAT is consistent practice and preparation.

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