Posts Tagged ‘high school prep’

The ISEE and the SSAT

Friday, September 21st, 2012


For students thinking about applying to an independent school, a boarding school, or one of New York City’s specialized high schools, the tests required for application can seem like a confusing jumble. Between the ISEE, the SSAT, and the SHSAT, it’s hard to tell which schools need what, and what the difference is. The SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test) is only for the eight New York specialized high schools that require it, so today, we’re going to focus on the two most commonly confused tests in that category: the ISEE and the SSAT. (more…)

What is the ISEE Exam?

Friday, September 14th, 2012


In a recent post, we addressed the SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test), and today we’ll talk about another test used by schools in their admissions process: the ISEE (Independent School Entrance Exam).

The ISEE exam is a tool for independent schools (and some select public schools) throughout the country. The ISEE exam was developed about twenty years ago by the ERB (the Educational Records Bureau), and has become very popular—most independent day schools use the ISEE in their admissions process, and as a result, the ISEE, and ISEE test prep, has become a pretty big deal for many middle school students and their parents. Kids and parents want to know: what is the ISEE? How do I prepare for the ISEE? What is a good score on the ISEE? How important is the ISEE in admissions? (more…)

Applying to New York’s Specialized High Schools

Friday, December 30th, 2011

What is the SHSAT? Should I take it?

The SHSAT, or Specialized High School Admissions Test, is administered by the Department of Education in New York.  It is a test specially crafted to pick out students who are uniquely suited to attend New York’s specialized public high schools.

The seven schools that the SHSAT covers are: Bronx High School of Science; Brooklyn Technical High School; High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College; High School for American Studies at Lehman College; Queens High School for Sciences at York College; and Stuyvesant High School. This unique group of schools promises a top flight education, generally with a strong focus on math and Sciences.

If a student and parent feel that one of these schools would be a good match, they should register to take the test with their middle school’s guidance counselor, and list the specialized high schools they’d like to attend in order of preference. The SHSAT itself is a timed multiple-choice test with two sections – verbal and math – that must be completed in a total of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In the first section of SHSAT, students demonstrate their verbal reasoning and reading comprehension by ordering sentences to form a coherent paragraph, answering questions of logical reasoning, and analyzing and interpreting texts. In the second section of the SHSAT, students demonstrate their math skills by answering computational and word questions that require arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics, geometry, and trigonometry (on the Grade 9 test only).

Finally, once a student completes the SHSAT the results are reported as scaled scores. Scaled scores are based on the number of questions that the student answered correctly, combined with the difficulty level of the questions. Students receive scaled scores for the verbal and mathematics sections of the test, which are added together to make their SHSAT composite score. After those scores are released to the schools in March, students and their parents may review the results of their SHSAT examination by requesting an appointment with a Department of Education assessment specialist.

After the SHSAT scores are released, students are ranked according to their scores on the SHSAT, and then assigned to a school depending on that rank, the priority in which they placed schools and the seats available at each specialized high school.