In November 2022, Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) will be conducted. It is therefore important for test aspirants to prepare for the exam. SHSAT is required for admission to the 9 specialized public high schools of New York City (NYC). As we discussed in earlier article “How to Prepare for SHSAT 2022 in a Smart Way”, here are some of the tips to attempt the questions on the exam day.

Overview of English Language Arts section:

There are 57 multiple-choice questions in this section that assess reading comprehension and revision/editing skills These questions are aligned with the New York State Learning Standards. The language skills set in this section are based on the Language section of the New York State Learning Standards for Grade 7, as well as skills or standards that may have been introduced in earlier grades, such as the Language Progressive Skills. Each question directs you to read a sentence, a list of sentences, or a paragraph with numbered sentences. Then you are asked to address issues related to conventions of language or punctuation. Examples include:

  • Selecting the best correction for an error
  • Identifying a sentence with an error
  • Improving the writing by combining sentences or revising part of a sentence

Tips for Revising/Editing Part A of English Language Arts:

  • For most items, read the question first rather than reading the text first so that you know what type of issue to look for while reading the text.
  • Next, read the text in the box and take notes on the issues you observe, while being mindful of time.
  • Before test day, plan how much time you will spend on Part A; this will help you to be efficient when answering each question on test day.

Sample Questions for revising/editing part A: Select the best correction/s for an error (or errors).

Paragraph(1) With its luscious trees and grassy fields stretching like a green ribbon across Manhattan, New York City’s Central Park is a natural oasis amid the bustling city. (2) While more than 25 million people visited the park each year, they are also a temporary home to an abundance of migratory birds. (3) During the spring and fall migrations, the park becomes a bird watcher’s paradise, prompting scores of avid birders with binoculars in hand to flock to it. (4) More than 270 species of birds, including swallows, thrushes, and at least 25 different species of warblers, have been observed making the park their home in the big city.
How should the paragraph be revised?A. Sentence 1: Change its to their, AND change is to was.
B. Sentence 2: Change visited to visit, AND change they are to it is.
C. Sentence 3: Change becomes to became, AND change it to them.
D. Sentence 4: Change have been to had been, AND change their to its.
TipsTo determine the best revisions for this paragraph, read the possible changes listed in the first option as you read Sentence 1 in the paragraph. If a revision does not need to be made, continue reading each sentence and answer option until you find the correct answer.
Answer with Explanation(B) Sentence 2 of the paragraph should be revised to correct the errors in verb tense and pronoun agreement. The paragraph is in the present tense, so the past tense “visited” needs to be changed to “visit.” Additionally, the pronoun “they” needs to be changed to the pronoun “it.” The pronoun refers to “the park,” which is a singular noun; it does not refer to “people,” which is plural. Option B is correct because the revisions in the option correct these errors.

Overview of Math Section: The Math section consists of word problems and computational questions in either a grid-in or multiple-choice format. There are five grid-in questions and 52 multiple-choice questions. The Math questions involve the application of mathematical skills, mathematical terms, and general concepts from the New York State Learning Standards for Mathematics. However, as one of the purposes of this test is to identify students who will benefit from an education at a Specialized High School, the SHSAT Math items will require you to apply familiar Math skills to complex, multi-step problems. 

Math questions on the Grade 8 test forms are based on the New York State Learning Standards through Grade 7. Math questions on the Grade 9 test forms are based on the material through Grade 8. The following pages outline various tips to help you prepare for taking the Math section on the SHSAT. They include the following:

  • Tips to improve your Math skills in Math topics you need more practice with
  • Tips to familiarize you with expectations that are specific to the SHSAT and may therefore be different from other Math tests you take
  • Tips specifically for answering multiple-choice Math questions
  • Tips specifically for answering Math grid-in questions

Tips to Improve Math Skills

  • Use your math textbook, seek out other Math resources at school or at your local library, or ask your teacher to recommend resources for you to use.
  • Practice solving Math questions every day. Solve both basic and challenging questions.
  • Memorize mathematical terms, symbols, and formulas that you use in your math class.
  • Do not use a calculator when solving questions
  • Before test day, plan how much time you will spend on the Math section; this will help you to be efficient when answering each question on test day.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Draw figures or diagrams for questions that do not have them.
  • Take one step at a time
  • Tips for multiple-choice questions
    • Most multiple-choice questions should be done by working out the answer.
    • It is best to solve problems on paper (rather than just in your head) to focus on solving rather than selecting

Sample Questions for Math:

Sample 1The sum of two consecutive integers is –15. If 1 is added to the smaller integer and 2 is subtracted from the larger integer, what is the product of the two resulting integers?
TipsMark up the question to prepare for solving the problem i.e., sum means +, consecutive integers mean x, x+1is -15 means -15
Answer and ExplanationIf x is the smaller consecutive integer, then x +1 is the larger consecutive integer. Use their sum -15 to find x:      x + (x + 1) = –15     2x + 1 = –15     2x = –16     x = –8 So, the two consecutive integers are -8 and -7. One is added to the smaller integer: -8 + 1 = -7. Two is subtracted from the larger integer: -7 – 2 = -9. Find the product: –7 × –9 = 63


If you are focused, disciplined, and practice good time management you can definitely self-study for SHSAT exam and achieve your targeted score. You  can grade your SHSAT practice test through the Socrato online platform to get the insights of the test preparation detailed diagnostic.

Good Luck for the Examination!!

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