I can’t tell you how many students and parents I’ve come across who, for a variety of different reasons, do not register for a SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test) ticket to sit for the SHSAT and apply to the specialized high schools.  As you probably know, this test is the sole basis for admission to the 8 schools that require the exam, including elite schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Tech.


Some students think they will fail the test.  Others don’t want the burden of preparing or the hassle of taking the test.  Some forget.  Others don’t think they are interested in those schools, or parents don’t want to put their kids through the anxiety.  Others have not been asked by their school counselors!


I’m here to tell you that NOW is the time to ask your school counselor for a ticket, even if you are not 100% convinced this test and these schools are for you.  Even if your counselor doesn’t approach you, and even if there is anxiety or stress involved.  Here is why:


  1. You have nothing to lose.  Even if you do poorly on this test, no other high school to which you apply will see the score.  Offers to these schools are made completely separately from the other school programs to which you will apply using the high school application.  So in effect, applying to these schools is a bonus option above and beyond your other school choices.
  2. You may surprise yourself.  Many students do worse than they think they will, but many do better.
  3. Grades don’t matter for these schools.  Even if your grades last year were less than spectacular, if you are a good tester you may do well and have a shot at one of these schools.
  4. These are some of the top schools in the city.  While it is true that these schools may not be a good fit for everyone, get a ticket now and consider taking the test.  More research and open houses come later, but you don’t want to miss your shot.
  5. Anxiety and stress won’t kill your child.  They can take it.  In fact, taking this exam is a terrific life experience that will benefit your child in so many ways in the future.
  6. Don’t miss the chance now.  You can ask for a ticket now and opt out later, but if you miss your chance you may regret it.


Bottom line?  Every single 8th grader in New York City middle schools who is applying to public NYC high schools should consider taking this test.  Oh, and don’t forget, first time 9th graders, you can take this test, too!


I welcome your comments below or at Info@nycadmissionssolutions.com.  Check out my 3 minute video on the topic at: