Budget-Friendly Test Prep Options for Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)
Each year more than 25,000 students take the SHSAT (Specialized High Schools Admissions Test) to vie for roughly 5,000 seats at eight of the nine specialized high schools, including Bronx Science, Brooklyn Latin, Brooklyn Tech, High School for Math Science and Engineering at City College, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Staten Island Tech, Stuyvesant and Queens High School of Science at York College.
Here are some free and low-cost options to consider (Note programs may change from year to year):
- The DOE’s Specialized High Schools Student Handbook includes practice exam questions and test-taking tips.
- There are many prep books that you can buy at a local bookstore or online. Most cost between $10 and $20 each. These books provide many of the same kinds of tips and advice that you’d get in a prep class.
- For about $5 per month of use you can take an online prep course from TestPrepSHSAT.com. This organization also offers free content, one-on-one tutoring for a fee, and some scholarships to cover the cost of their fees.
- Taicoon University offers a low cost, comprehensive online SHSAT prep program.
- Some community organizations, such as the Hudson Guild offer free SHSAT prep to students. Check our Free Programs section for more options and also ask organizations in your neighborhood if they offer SHSAT prep.
- PASSNYC is an organization dedicated to increasing the diversity of students taking the SHSAT. It offers resources for parents and students including a free summer SHSAT prep course for a limited number of rising 8th-graders.
- Helicon Inc, a non-profit, offers a SHSAT prep program for free to Black and Latina girls.
- The DOE’s DREAM Program offers two free SHSAT prep programs open to New York City public school students who meet additional eligibility requirements. There’s a 22-month-long course open to 6th-graders and the Summer/Fall Intensive, a 38-session course open to rising 8th-graders.
- Be on the lookout for free practice tests. Some of the fee-based prep courses offer free practice exams with no obligation to sign up for their program.
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