SHSAT Math – Test Day Tips

SHSAT Math – Test Day Tips

The Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (or SHSAT) is a test that 8th and 9th graders take for admission to New York City Specialized High School. There are two sections to the SHSAT: English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics. From start to finish, the test takes three hours (180 minutes).

The three great features of this multi-choice test include:

  • You have fewer answer options for each question (four instead of five).
  • You will have only one correct answer to each question.
  • Wrong answers do not count in your score – only correct answers are scored, so you have to answer all the questions, even if you are not 100% sure you are right.

If you are preparing for the SHSAT test, you want to know what points you should follow before the exam. Here are the most important tips for the SHSAT test. So join us!

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The Night before the Test!

Eat a great meal

A balanced meal will help you stay sharp and focused during the test. You should eat a dinner rich in complex carbohydrates like baked potatoes, pasta, and bread. Because carbohydrates are stored by your body and used the next day for energy. But carbohydrates are not only the fuel for your muscles, they are also the fuel for your brain.


Do something fun like watching a comedy show because laughing calms you down, reduces stress, and helps you sleep better.

Gather your materials

The night before, gather everything you need for the test, such as two No. 2 pencils, an eraser, and acceptable identification to avoid running the next morning.

Get a good night’s sleep

Go to bed early the night before the test to control any problems you may have with your nerves. Plan to get seven to nine hours of sleep and wake up at least one hour before the test. That way, your brain is alert until you get there.

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On Test Day!

Eat breakfast

It is a proven fact that breakfast improves your concentration, mood, and memory. Eat a healthy breakfast in the morning on the test. Many former test takers have complained about the distraction caused by grumbling stomachs – both from themselves and from other students – so avoid embarrassment by eating breakfast and taking a snack.

Dress for success

This is the opposite of the usual meaning because you should dress as comfortably as possible. Bring layers so you don’t get distracted when you get hot or cold.

Think positive

Even if you do not feel ready, a negative talk with yourself, such as “If I fail, my life will be ruined” will not help. Instead, try to imagine that you are in the SHSAT test and feel confident.

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During the Test!

Read questions carefully

Make sure you read each part of the SHAT math problem. Test writers try to deceive you and trap you in every way. Do not let them catch you. Do not make a careless mistake because you did not take more than a second to read the problem carefully.

Easy questions first!

Most students open a test book and solve problems from beginning to end, from left to right, from top to bottom. This is a bad way to take the SHSAT! Why? You’ll reduce your energy working questions that you should really come back to, and your confidence might be shaken for questions you should easily know by questions that sucked up your time

Know how to manage your time

The difference between the SHSAT and the standardized tests is that it does not set a time limit for the math and ELA sections, allowing students to split the test time as desired. Test participants can use this feature to their advantage by taking smart steps.

Before starting the test, set a basic plan for how long each part of the SHSAT test will take. The ideal strategy varies from student to student, but some prefer to devote 90 minutes to each section, while others devote a little more to their weak topic.

Elevate your chances of guessing right

You will not lose points for wrong answers, so you must answer all the math questions in the SHSAT test, even if it is just a wild guess. In most cases, however, there are techniques for limiting possibilities. For example, instead of trying to pick the right answer right away, you can eliminate the wrong answers first. When reading questions, it is best to underline the answers that you are sure are incorrect. This way, even if you are still not sure of the correct answer, you are significantly more likely to guess correctly.

After the Test!

After the test, you take some time to relax and rest. Do not go into too much detail about what you should have said, done, or written. You cannot change the decisions you made during the SHSAT, so accept it. During the day, spend your time and energy on activities that keep you entertained and happy.

Looking for the best resources to help you or your student succeed on the SHSAT test?

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