even more about the SHSAT

Tonight at dinner we were talking about when Jack went through the high school process and he mentioned how at this time, 2 years ago, the SHSAT was all consuming. He was doing test prep, I was talking about it, his friends were talking about it - it was everywhere. It’ll be over for you guys soon, but right now can be intense.

A few more thoughts:

My suggestion (I’ve said this before) - rank what you want first. If your kid wants American Studies, rank it number one. If they put Stuy first and have the score, they’ll get a seat at Stuy. No appeal. No second chances, although they do offer the test to 9th graders. 

Keep in mind that your rank has to mesh with cut off scores. If your child puts Stuy second, they will never get a seat there. Stuy fills up with first choice students because its cut off is the highest. If your child puts Brooklyn Tech first, and Bronx Science second, even  if their score surpassed the Science cut off, they’ll earn a seat at Tech. 

Cut offs change every year - they are not fixed. And the schools can shift in popularity. Stuy is always on top, but HSMSE, Bronx Science, and American Studies often have very similar cut off scores. 

No one knows what the cut off scores are for absolute certain. They are not published by the DOE. People share info after offer letters are sent out and one can get a pretty good sense of what cut offs are but that’s not official.

Each school has basically a finite number of seats to fill. They offer more spots than they know will be accepted. When offer letters are sent specialized schools (and many main round as well) host open houses to help families make final decisions. 

And any questions, please ask. None are stupid or silly. The SHSAT is a big deal (even though as parents we try to downplay that) and this whole process can feel overwhelming.