basic (and not so basic) SHSAT and specialized schools info

The SHSAT is coming up and it never hurts to be on the same page about super fundamentals and some points that might not be so clear, so I'm throwing all this out there and if some of it sticks for you, awesome.

For the 8 test in schools, the SHSAT is THE ONLY THING THAT IS CONSIDERED FOR ADMISSION. The. Only. Thing. That's it.

Yes, your child ranks specialized high school in order of preference during the test itself.

No, they don't need to list them all. If they're only interested in one, they only have to list one.

You only get one offer. Period. There are no wait lists. There are no appeals. Even if your child has a score that would qualify them for another school, how they rank on their test is it. Period.

Kids can take the SHSAT again in 9th grade. 

This year the test is changing. Super quickly, it's now 3 hours long, there are no scrambled paragraphs or logical reasoning sections. 20 questions will be embedded in the test that won't count and kids won't know which those are. 

LaGuardia is a specialized high school but has a completely different admissions set up than everyone else. 

All offers are sent out on one letter in late February/early March.

Kids can main round AND specialized offers. They can also get offers from more than one discipline at LaGuardia if they auditioned. 

Once you make a decision and accept an offer, that's it. You can't change your mind at a later day. That seat is relinquished. 

All specialized schools are NOT CREATED EQUAL. They're each a very different place, with different focuses, sizes, commutes, sensibilities, strengths. NO ONE IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER. 

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO RANK STUY FIRST IF YOU DON'T WANT TO. Stuy is a great school. It's not for everyone. And that's absolutely fine.

I'll end with this (which I've shared before): my daughter was testing well before the exam and her dad encouraged her to put Stuy first. Because it was Stuy and she had a chance to get in. It became and issue in our house. She'd fallen in love with Brooklyn Tech and wanted to go there, but he got carried away by the Stuy hype (not in any way to take away from the school). But, should she have ranked it first, and had gotten in, then that would be her only specialized option and that's not what she wanted. So she ranked Tech first, earned a seat, and there you go.

Ok, last last thing. Both my kids felt a deep sense of relief at earning a specialized seat because they felt it was based on what they knew, not subjectivity of grades and interviews and portfolios. They also both voiced that they wished we lived in the suburbs so they could just go to school.