Offers to the testing Specialized High Schools are made in descending order of SHSAT score, combined with each student’s preferences listed on their SHSAT registration. Here’s how that works:

The student with the highest SHSAT score receives an offer to their first choice school. The student with the next highest SHSAT score receives an offer to their first choice school. This continues student by student in downward score order until a student’s first-choice school does not have any remaining seats. That student is then considered for their second-choice school. If there are remaining seats at the second-choice school, that student receives an offer there. If the second-choice school has no remaining seats, that student is considered for their third-choice school, and so on. This continues until all seats at all Specialized High Schools have been filled.

If a student doesn’t get an offer to their first-choice school, it is because all seats at that school have been filled by students with higher SHSAT scores. Similarly, if a student gets an offer to a non-first choice school, it is because all seats at schools they listed higher have been filled by students with higher SHSAT scores (e.g., if a student gets an offer to their fourth-choice school, then seats at their first to third-choice schools are filled with higher scoring students.)

If a student doesn’t get any offer to a testing Specialized High School, it is because all seats at all the schools they listed on their SHSAT registration are filled by students with higher SHSAT scores. Students are not considered for offers to schools that are not listed on their SHSAT registration.

The SHSAT is the only criteria used to admit students to the eight testing Specialized High Schools; no other criteria are used.

Specialized High SchoolEst. Raw ScoreCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoffCutoff
Stuyvesant High School84%561563560566557559555552555559562562
High School For Mathematics, Science And Engineering At City College (HSMSE)79%518532515523519516504513503512498495
Staten Island Technical High School77%521527525551*527519515508508506503499
The Bronx High School of Science77%521524517532525518512511510517513512
Queens High School For The Sciences At York College76%527523481535514511507516505n/a500n/a
High School Of American Studies At Lehman College75%510516488520524516516506503506501502
Brooklyn Technical High School72%503506492507498493486482483486483482
The Brooklyn Latin School70%493497481498488482479477477480471472

The table above shows the lowest qualifying score that resulted in an offer to each testing Specialized High School from 2012 to 2023. This means that any student with a SHSAT score lower than one listed on the table did not get an offer to that school. The lowest score to result in an offer changes each year based on that SHSAT scores and preferences of the pool of testers for that specific SHSAT administration.

*This outlier is the result of incomplete crowdsourced data.


The cutoff score for Stuyvesant in 2023 was 561. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 756 students (2.73%) were offered admission to Stuyvesant High School.


The cutoff score for HSMSE in 2023 was 518. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 152 students (0.55%) were offered admission to HSMSE.


The cutoff score for Staten Island Tech in 2023 was 521. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 286 students (1.03%) were offered admission to Staten Island Tech.


The cutoff score for Bronx Science in 2023 was 521. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 722 students (2.61%) were offered admission to Bronx Science.


The cutoff score for QHSS in 2023 was 527. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 121 students (0.44%) were offered admission to QHSS.


The cutoff score for HSAS-Lehman in 2023 was 510. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 131 students (0.47%) were offered admission to HSAS-Lehman.


The cutoff score for Brooklyn Tech in 2023 was 503. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 1,498 students (5.41%) were offered admission to Brooklyn Tech.


The cutoff score for Brooklyn Latin in 2023 was 493. Out of the 27,669 students who took the SHSAT for 2022 Admissions, 387 students (1.40%) were offered admission to Brooklyn Tech.


600 is an excellent SHSAT score that would guarantee admission to any of the Specialized High Schools.


The maximum score on each section is usually around 350, and the maximum composite score is usually around 700; however, the actual maximum and minimum scores change from year to year.


There is no single passing score on the SHSAT. Read more about each high school’s cutoff score at the top of this page.

Source: Kenny Tan Test Prep

2023 SHSAT Score Calculator/ Conversion Table

This SHSAT score conversion table can be used to convert RAW scores into SCALED scores. It will produce a conservative estimate of your score for each section (ELA/Math).


The DOE website tells us…

  • In the middle of the range of scores, an increase of one raw score point may correspond to an increase of 3 or 4 scaled score points.
  • At the top or bottom of the range of scores, an increase of one raw score point may correspond to 10–20 scaled score points.
  • The maximum score on each section is usually around 350.

Furthermore, while there are 57 questions in each section of the test, 10 questions in each section are field (experimental) questions. Older versions of the SHSAT handbook mention this, while newer editions omit this fact:

Description of field questions from 2020-2021 SHSAT handbook
Description of field questions from the 2020-2021 SHSAT handbook

Based on this information, I reverse-engineered the following conversion table for RAW scores out of 47. The actual conversion table used for your SHSAT will be more/less generous depending on the difficulty of the version of the test that you receive.

Kenny Tan, a tutor who compiled this information, then multiplied each RAW score by (57/47) and used polynomial interpolation to calculate SCALED scores for each integer from 0 to 57.

Are you looking for help preparing for the SHSAT? Schedule a free consultation with Kenny Tan today to discuss how one-on-one tutoring can help you get admitted to the Specialized High School of your choice.


The SHSAT is the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test, used to determine admission to certain public high schools in New York City. On top of attending daily classes, students would also have to prepare for the exam, balancing their school work, review periods, and extracurricular activities. Therefore, it takes skills to do well on the exam while doing other tasks simultaneously. But how can students prepare better for the SHSAT? Here are some ideas.

The first step is to know more about specialized high schools. There are nine specialized high schools in New York City: Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College, High School of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens High School for the Sciences at York College, Staten Island Technical High School, Brooklyn Latin School, and Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

These schools are known for their rigorous academics, and students must take and pass the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) to be eligible for admission. The SHSAT is a multiple-choice test that covers reading comprehension, writing, and mathematics. Students should research and learn more about the schools and what they offer. They can use the internet, books, and other resources to learn about the schools. If they know what they want, they can focus on that school and prepare better for the exam.

As a student, it is essential to challenge yourself to improve your skills. They should try to read more challenging books and texts. It will help them improve their reading comprehension and prepare for the SHSAT. They can read recommended books for high school students or even college students. Overall, advanced reading sessions should help them prepare for the topics covered by the SHSAT and help students study for them.

A diagnostic test can help a student identify their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, it will help them focus on the areas they need to work on and prepare better for the test. There are many diagnostic tests available online, and they are usually free. Students who know their weaknesses can find ways to refocus their study sessions on tricky topics.

The Math section of the SHSAT is one of the most challenging sections for students. Therefore, students must brush up on their math skills to prepare for the SHSAT. They can do this by practicing various problems and reviewing their math notes from school. Even if students are not great at math, they should try to improve their skills by studying for the SHSAT.

Students should take a variety of practice tests to improve their test-taking skills. By taking practice tests, students can enhance their time management skills, learn how to better pace themselves on the test, and become more familiar with the questions that the questionnaire will ask on the SHSAT.

The SHSAT is a significant test for students who want to attend one of the specialized high schools in New York City. Students must work hard and prepare for the test if they’re going to have a chance of getting into one of these schools. The tips above will help students prepare for the SHSAT and improve their chances of getting into their dream school.

Content used with permission by Kenny Tan Test Prep, a professional SHSAT tutor based in Brooklyn. Kenny Tan Test Prep aims to identify every student’s weaknesses and invest in them to help them excel in exams. However, instead of following the traditional way of tutoring, Kenny Tan Test Prep tries to make every session dynamic, engaging, and enjoyable. Schedule a free consultation and prepare for the SHSAT.

The Dirty Little Secret Other Parents Don’t Want You to Know…Until it’s Too Late!

On a beautiful hot summer day at an Ivy League university, some parents of incoming freshmen are at a garden reception to welcome them and their students to the school. There are cheese and crackers, freshly baked cookies and lemonade, and the parents are catching their breath after moving their kids into their dorms.

The topic of conversation between the parents soon become how many schools the kids applied to and how they were accepted to this top Ivy League school. It turned out that both students took advantage of admissions consulting services.

The dirty little secret of Ivy League parents is that many of them use admissions consultants, but they won’t let you know until their kids are already attending the school of their choice. When their kids are applying, they will not likely let you know for fear of competition. It is after their kids are attending the schools that they start trading notes. Ivy week came and went, and there were many tears from parents and kids who didn’t get in. What went wrong? You didn’t know what you were doing!

I recently received this mailing from Solomon Admissions showing the 2020-2021 average acceptance rates of students to top schools with and without Solomon’s consulting:

As you can see from the above, there is definitely an advantage to hiring a consultant. A consultant will guide the student throughout the admissions process. The schools are looking for passion and the consultant can help find that passion and make the student’s application be the best it can be.

One parent we interviewed paid over $10,000 to Solomon for their services. Was he happy with the results? Well, his kid didn’t get into Harvard (the student didn’t apply). However, the student did get into one of the Ivy League universities listed in Solomon’s mailing. The parent’s only regret is that Solomon did not get involved sooner. If Solomon had started guiding the student during her freshman year in high school, she would not have wasted time on less important things like science Olympiad, which she was not passionate about, and instead focused on her passion, which was sports and fitness. But to tell you the truth, how can normal teenagers be expected to know what their passion is? It’s all a crapshoot anyway. The college consultant just makes your student sound better than the rest. And that is the dirty truth no one wants you to know until their kids get into the top schools.

Why is Staten Island Technical High School Arguably the Best High School in NYC?

I admit, as a Stuyvesant High School alum, I was kind of disappointed when my daughter decided to check off Staten Island Technical High School as her number one choice before she took the SHSATs. You must pick one high school, and if you score high enough, that is the school you will attend, no changing of minds. I had worked so hard to try to get her ready for the SHSATs: three years before the test, I took her to Kaplan in Manhattan, and then every weekend, I hired a private tutor to hone her math and English skills. The tutoring was not for naught, because she was able to get straight As in class as well as score a near-perfect score on the SAT. I just kind of wished that she could have attended Stuy like I did. But– is Stuy really the best high school in NY? It is in Manhattan, and Manhattan is supposed to be the best, right? However, for kids who do not live in Manhattan, the commute is terrible. Why subject a young teen to four hours of commuting everyday?

Unfortunately, Stuyvesant is near the World Trade Center, which has been the target of at least three terrorist attacks. In 2017, someone even ran his car across the pedestrian walkway near Stuy, killing and injuring many. For this reason, Stuy will always be more dangerous than other high schools in the other boroughs. As for traffic, a Stuy kid can cross the pedestrian bridge to cross the West Side Highway to get to the high school. A kid from Brooklyn who takes the S79 bus to get to Staten Island Tech will need to cross Hylan Boulevard to go home.

Staten Island Tech has some excellent athletic facilities right on campus, including a football field, track, and tennis court. Being in Manhattan, Stuy’s space is more vertical, with many floors in the building, each dedicated to a specific topic like math and science. Of course, Stuy’s Olympic pool is very special and Tech does not have a pool.

The competition at Stuy is fierce; more so than at any other school. Seems like your kid will constantly be competing with others in the class. However, college admissions officers might be more inclined to accept a student from Stuy due to past acceptances. Staten Island is also competitive, but not as bad as Stuy. But isn’t the goal to aim high and see where you land? If your goal is Stuy, then go for it. After all, Stuy is a feeder school to Harvard. Stuyvesant probably gets more students than Staten Island Tech into the elite schools. However, the competition is stiff, and your kid would be way more stressed out all the time. The two things you must do to help your kid get into an Ivy are: hire a professional college coach and spend money on tutoring. The competition is so stiff nowadays, you need a strategy for applying to schools. Even if schools don’t require SAT scores, tutoring is key to scoring high grades in class.

What if you are undecided and your goal is just to get into a specialized high school? Should you just pick the school you really want to attend? We asked Kenny Tan, an SHSAT tutor in New York City, and he replied:

Students are ranked according to their score on the test and assigned to a school depending on their rank, the priority in which they placed schools on their application, and the seats available at each school.

The cutoff score for a school changes from year to year depending on how the test takers perform that year. Students are ranked from highest to lowest score. The student with the highest score always gets their first choice. Then the next student gets their first choice and so on and so. If, by the time the system gets to you, your first choice school is full, then you’ll get your 2nd choice, unless that one is also full, then you’ll get your 3rd choice unless that one is also full, and so on and so on. The cutoff score for a school is whatever score the last student that gets admitted into that school scored.

Not all students who took the SHSAT will get an offer to a testing Specialized High School, and the Specialized High Schools do not have waitlists.

Kenny Tan, SHSAT Tutor

The moral of the story is that the SHSAT is like musical chairs, and if you do not choose your first choice wisely, you might not wind up with a seat!

How to Get Into Stuyvesant High School

Mom Who Attended Stuyvesant Shares How Her Kid Also Passed the SHSAT:

Stuyvesant High School is a top feeder school to Harvard. In fact, according to The Harvard Crimson, one out of every twenty Harvard freshmen attended one of the following seven high schools most represented in the class of 2017: Boston Latin, Phillips Academy in Andover, Stuyvesant High School, Noble and Greenough School, Phillips Exeter Academy, Trinity School in New York City, and Lexington High School. If you are thinking of attending Stuyvesant High School, you probably live in or are thinking of moving to New York City. The two schools that are Harvard feeder schools that are located in New York are Trinity School and Stuyvesant. Trinity costs around $60,000 per year and Stuyvesant is free. Yes, Trinity is wonderful if you can afford it, but there is something to be said for a free education. Plus, Stuyvesant is an entire building of top-notch learning: an entire floor dedicated to math, another floor dedicated to biology, and an Olympic-sized pool.

Stuyvesant High School made public the students from 2016-2019 of the number of kids who attended the Ivy+ schools (Ivies, UChicago, Stanford, MIT) for 2016 to 2019:

Cornell – 193
UChicago – 100
MIT – 42
Harvard – 41
Yale – 35
Princeton – 34
Columbia – 16
Penn between 15 to 23
Brown between 9 to 21
Dartmouth between 8 to 16
Stanford  between 3 to 15

Total 496 to 536 for four years

That’s 124 to 134 per year 

About 842 seniors in Class of 2019

So 14.7% to 15.9% each year to Ivy+ (source

However, the numbers above are pretty darn good for a free public school education! 

Now compare Phillips Academy in Andover (2017 to 2020)…

UChicago – 55

Harvard – 48

Yale – 43

Cornell – 36

Penn – 34

Columbia – 32

MIT – 30 

Brown – 29

Stanford – 27

Princeton – 26

Dartmouth – 19

Total 379 for four years

That’s about 94.75 per year

About 294 seniors in Class of 2020

So about 32.2% each year go to Ivy+(source

I am especially qualified to teach you how to get into Stuyvesant because not only did I graduate from Stuy, my child also scored high enough on the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) to get in there. To attend Stuyvesant and other specialized high schools in New York City, you have to pass the SHSAT. If you are a parent who has dreams of your child attending Stuyvesant someday, then start with workbooks that you can order from Amazon for math and English. Teach your child to read by age 3 with Hooked on Phonics. Yes, three-year-olds can learn to read if you just sit there with them and teach them.

Also, Sudoku puzzles are excellent for training the brain. At least two years before the test, send your child to group tutoring classes such as Kaplan, and if economically feasible, hire private tutors. However, if money is an issue, then just order some SHSAT workbooks and have your child do the problems in the book. Active learning (doing problems and looking up the answers) is key. There are also Official SHSAT Handbooks with the real tests, which you can also have your child practice as if she were taking the actual exam. The goal is to have thousands of questions answered under your belt so the answers pop out at you during the test. Yes, your brain works in mysterious ways when you train it right.

Also, visit Stuyvesant and have your child see what is possible.  Let your child imagine swimming in the beautiful Olympic pool.  Manifest your destiny, work hard, and you will attend the school of your choice.

Since Stuyvesant has the highest cut-off score of all the specialized high schools, consider Staten Island Technical High School, Bronx High School of Sciences or Brooklyn Technical High School. The aforementioned schools are also top schools in boroughs other than Manhattan, and although not necessarily feeder schools to the Ivy League, send plenty of students to the Ivies. Rest assured that your child will get a great education for the bargain price of free. This allows you to save money for other things, such as tutoring, summer programs, extra-curricular activities, college tuition, etc.

When I studied for the SHSAT many decades ago, I did not use a tutor. However, nowadays, almost everyone hires tutors, so you don’t want to miss out. I found Kenny Tan on Wyzant, and contacted him immediately. Kenny tutored my daughter for the SHSAT and as a result, she scored high enough on the SHSAT to gain admission to Stuyvesant High School. My daughter became so good at math that she started to tutor students younger than her for one of her extra-curricular activities. She also achieved an almost perfect score on the SAT. I am happy to report that my kid was accepted into an Ivy League university recently.

I had the opportunity to speak to Kenny Tan recently and asked him what made his method so effective?

I am different from many tutors because I encourage students to use answer explanations to study their mistakes before each lesson. During the lesson, I check for complete understanding by asking students to explain why the answer choice they chose was incorrect and why a different answer choice was actually the correct answer. I then bridge any gaps in understanding that we identify. I believe that students haven’t mastered a concept unless they can teach it correctly themselves. Students who self-prep or enroll in a group class are rarely given such a challenge. Therefore, the real value of a tutor is in ensuring students have correctly understood each concept before moving on to the next one.

Kenny Tan, tutor

Some of my favorite tips from Kenny about how to do well on the SHSAT:

  1. Use High Quality Material– You can find all authentic SHSAT tests here. See the latest SHSAT test below, but be sure to save it for testing under real simulation: timed, in a classroom setting, after your student has sufficiently prepared.

2. Be Relentless in Learning from Your Mistakes. Yes, I agree with Kenny, and mistakes are necessary for you to learn. It was helpful to have Kenny explain what my daughter did wrong in a tutoring session and for her to learn from her mistakes.

Anyone interested in tutoring can schedule a consultation with Kenny Tan using this link.

Also, check out Kenny’s website which contains a wealth of information on the SHSAT.

Kenny Tan, Tutor

What if your child does not score high enough to get into any of the specialized high schools? Consider moving to Great Neck, NY, with the #2 top school district in New York. Students in Great Neck South High School receive a stellar education and get admitted to Ivy League universities. Here is a renovated 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment for sale in the Great Neck South school district. See it before it gets sold!

Would you like more information about how to get into Stuyvesant High School? Subscribe to the Ivy League Mom newsletter for top tips:

*How to score high enough on the SHSAT to get into Stuyvesant High School, Staten Island Technical High School, Brooklyn Technical High School and the Bronx High School of Science.

*Which school should you select on the SHSAT form for the best chance of getting into a specialized high school?

*Is Stuyvesant High School always the best option?

*The best way to prep for the SHSAT.

*Questions and answers for top scores.

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