The SHSAT is just a few weeks away, and you may be asking yourself, “What else can I do to be prepared?”


Here are a few simple steps to be sure you are in the best position possible come test day:


  1. Have you taken any mock tests? Even if you have or are working with a test prep service, be sure to take at least a few more mock tests in the next few weeks, ideally under simulated test conditions. This means with no distractions, timed, and preferably with other students. There are still some free group mock tests around the city, so cost should not be an issue. If you can’t find any sample tests, there are some in the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook that represent actual old test questions.


  1. Have you requested your test ticket from you school counselor? Once you get your ticket later in October, be sure to check the information on the ticket, i.e. date, testing session, and testing accommodations, if applicable. If you changed your mind or forgot to ask for a ticket, see your counselor immediately.


  1. Are you planning to attend any of the specialized high school open houses in October? These are fabulous events where you can learn a lot about the schools and get to hear from their faculty, students, staff and principals. Attend as many as you can, and take notes so that you can make more informed choices on your test ticket (see #4).


  1. Have you finalized your choices of specialized high schools, and thought about your order of preference? These will be placed on your test ticket once you get it (not including LaGuardia HS!), and once copied onto the test answer sheet, this has a direct bearing on the school(s) for which you are eligible, as well as if/where you receive an offer.


  1. Do you know your testing site, as well as how to get there on test day? Remember, where you test is based on where you go to school. Do not try to figure this out on test day. Also, keep in mind that mass transit schedules often change on the weekend. See the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook for more information.


  1. Finally, as we get closer to test day….are you ready for it? Do you have your test day materials ready? This only includes your ticket, pencils, and a non-calculator watch. Don’t worry about cramming material the day before the test – it will most likely make no difference. Instead, get a good night’s sleep and be sure to eat something in the morning. And remember, if your test ticket says to be there at 8:30am, that does not mean the test will start promptly at 8:30am. Assume delays and lines, and consider bringing a light snack you can keep in a backpack. If you don’t feel well once you get to the testing site, do not start the test. Tell your test proctor and be sure to bring a doctor’s note back to your guidance counselor.


Good luck in the weeks to come, and stay tuned for more tips on what you need to know after test day!


P.S. Have you registered for our High School Access Workshops in October? Click here for more details and registration.