I am interested in having my child go to this school in several years. How long in advance to most students begin preparing for the SHSAT entrance exam?

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Jessica Finger, Community Outreach at Noodle

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Parents who are in-the-know regarding the SHSAT often have their child prepare for the exam years in advance. However, many students postpone their preparation until the first few weeks of their 8th grade year. The takes place in October, so that doesn't exactly leave a generous amount of preparation time!

It would be a great idea to reach out to some local tutors and test-prep centers in your area to hear their thoughts directly with how much time would be appropriate for your child.

We've found some excellent tutors in you area:

https://www.noodle.com/tutoring/tuyYz5/rich-silverstein https://www.noodle.com/tutoring/tuUqd5/laura-segal

Dan Edmonds, Long time test prep tutor in NYC

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Most students don't start any kind of formal prep for the SHSAT until Spring of their 7th grade year at the earliest.

Karen Berlin Ishii, • Brown University graduate with over 20 years' tutoring experience • Tutors students for PSAT, SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, NYS ELA and Math • Homework help in math, reading, writing, editing, organizational skills

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The SHSAT is considered more difficult than the SAT or ACT. That makes sense, because this test is the ONLY factor in admission to the most competitive and prestigious public high schools in New York City. Students who ace the test will have the opportunity to enroll in one of the best high schools in the country. Those who don't will have much more quotidian choices – or have to spend a fortune in private high school fees. So competition is fierce and since this test is the ONLY criterium used for admission, it is inordinately important.

Since the material is difficult and presumes a level of maturity as well as academic accomplishment, it doesn't make sense to study directly for this test much earlier than 7th grade, but very bright students who are realistic candidates for it should start as early as they are ready to, certainly by the spring of 7th grade or early summer before 8th grade.

There are some good textbooks for the test that students can use for self-guided study, but a savvy tutor or course taught by a teacher who is familiar with this test and test-taking skills is very much recommended. The time spent in good quality lessons will save the student hours of beating around the bush to get the right answers. And the money spent is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of private high school.

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