SHSAT changes and scoring

I’ve written about this before and I’m figuring for those of you who have kids prepping for the SHSAT, you know that it’s changing this year. 

In case you haven’t seen these, I’m attaching info the DOE sent out, letting people know what the changes would be and then some samples to give people an idea of what the new test will look like.

These changes - dropping logical reasoning and scrambled paragraphs, changing up the math, adding editing - were made with little fanfare last spring. No one was quite sure exactly who made these suggestions. And, as far as I know, this test hasn’t been tested on anyone. So, your kids are the first ones taking it. Not only that, there will also be 20 questions, 10 math/10 ELA, that won’t count towards their final grade. I have a lot to say about that. But I won’t.

Please know, that if you have any questions about your child’s score, you can reach out to the DOE and meet someone who will go over the exam with you. I’m thinking/hoping, with this new test and these extra questions, more people choose to do that.

As for scoring - the whole system is the opposite of transparent. Questions aren’t counted as 1 point each and all questions are not treated equal. If you’ve heard “test to your strength,” that’s true. After a certain number of correct questions, correct answers are worth exponentially more. So, a kid who blows one side of the test out of the water and does meh on the other half, will end up with a higher score than a kid who did equal well, but not outstanding on both halves. Having said that, there are more questions, but actually less that count, on this test so I don’t know that anyone knows what scoring will be like. At least anyone who doesn’t work for the DOE. 

That’s a lot of new stuff to process on top of the stress of the SHSAT itself. Sigh.

But I’ll end with (and I’ll write more as the test gets closer), PRACTICE HELPS! The more your child practices and gets familiar with the format of the test, and working within the time constraint, the more comfortable they’ll be. I know there’s always so much going on at the beginning of 8th grade and these kids have so much on their plates. But familiarity can make a big difference.