Tuesday, September 28, 2010

FAQ's from the DOE on Specialized High Schools & Testing

Q: Which schools are the Specialized High Schools?
A: There are nine Specialized High Schools: Bronx High School of Science The Brooklyn Latin School Brooklyn Technical High School High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College High School of American Studies at Lehman College Queens High School for the Sciences at York College Staten Island Technical High School Stuyvesant High School Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts
Q: Who can take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) and/or audition for the programs/studios at LaGuardia?
A: All 8th graders (and first-time 9th graders) who are New York City residents are eligible to take the SHSAT and/or audition. In September of the 8th or 9th grade, your child should inform his/her guidance counselor of his/her decision so that an admission ticket can be issued for the appropriate test and/or audition(s).
Q: How can my child get into a Specialized High School?
A: For eight of the Specialized High Schools, students are required to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). The SHSAT is the only requirement for admission. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts requires students to audition for the programs/studios they apply to but does not require the SHSAT.
Q: What is the content of the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)?
The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) is a written test consisting of two sections: Verbal, including:
o Scrambled Paragraphs: students are asked to arrange five sentences in logical order to create the best paragraph
o Logical Reasoning: students read the information provided and choose the best answer to each question
o Reading: students analyze and interpret passages by answering questions Mathematics, including:
o Word problems and computational questions
o Problems in arithmetic, algebra, probability, statistics and geometry
Q: How can a student prepare for auditions or the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)?
Your child should ask his/her guidance counselor for a copy of the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook which includes two sample tests. In addition, the Handbook describes audition requirements for LaGuardia’s six studios. You may also access the Specialized Handbook online. When you are an 8th or 9th grader, your guidance counselor will provide more specific information about the SHSAT. In the meantime, use the following suggestions to help prepare for the test: Keep up with schoolwork. It is the best possible preparation. Continue reading books and articles because reading helps increase vocabulary, comprehension, and general knowledge. Practice taking the sample tests that are in the Specialized High Schools Student Handbook. Check your answers and read the explanations of the correct answers in the Handbook. Research study guides, test preparation services, and tutoring opportunities. Discuss additional opportunities for test preparation with your school guidance counselor.

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