Admission News

The Importance of Tutoring for the SHSAT in New York

student hands taking shsat exam, writing examination on paper answer sheet

The SHSAT is the Specialized High School Admissions Test. It is a test for applicants in the New York City area who want to go to one of the nine specialized high schools in the city. The reason that they are “specialized” is because each school has a specific area of focus. For example, the High School of American Studies at Lehman College specializes in American history and students need to score well on the SHSAT to be admitted to it.

How Can My Child Prepare?

The 9th grade SHSAT prep is important for hopeful applicants who want to start their freshman year at a specialized high school. The first and most important method of preparation is to have your child go to a tutoring center.

You can do a search for centers nearby, but be mindful of what these centers specialize in. Some tips for choosing one for your child are:

  • Speak to the director and ask questions. What kind of test prep do they focus on? Is the SHSAT one of their specialties? How do they work with students in preparing them?
  • Ask if you and your child can tour the center. Seeing the inside of it and the tutors in action will provide valuable insight into their practices and procedures.
  • What is the success rate of the students that are tutored at the facility? How well do they typically score on the test and what are they currently doing?

Should I Hire a Personal Tutor?

You can, but the same precautions apply to a personal tutor as they do when you are choosing a center. Remember to ask questions and get to know an applicant before choosing one.

  • What are this tutor’s credentials? Are they a certified teacher or educator? Do they have a license that is up-to-date? If you feel it is necessary, you can perform a background check on the person.
  • Check their work history and ask for letters of recommendation. Follow up these letters by contacting their author and speaking to them personally.
  • How much will it cost you to hire a tutor for your child? What will they charge? How often do they require payment?
  • Beware of red flags from applicants: low patience, overreaction to mistakes, and a lack of organization.

If your child has endeavors of getting into one of the nine specialized high schools in New York City, make sure they are adequately prepared for the SHSAT. Tutoring services can help them know what to expect, and to better understand the material.

For more great content related to high school and college, check out the other blogs on College Basics.