The Laura Dail Literary Agency

Review of Available SHSAT Practice Tests

By Jessie Mathisen

The most essential tool any student needs to study for the SHSAT is high quality practice tests. There are quite a few sample SHSATs available, but they were not all created equal. Some are easier than the actual exam and a few are riddled with errors. Others are very high quality. There are four brands of SHSAT practice book readily available in most large New York City bookstores and several brands of test available online. The gold standard for practice tests are the two tests that are written by New York City and given to every student who registers for the SHSAT. In this article, I will review each one of these resources.

Kaplan has an SHSAT book that is published under at least two separate names. One is Kaplan New York City Specialized High School Admissions Test and another is Kaplan SHSAT Advanced Prep. A spot check suggested that these two books are identical. The Kaplan book has two full length practice tests and is written at an appropriate level of difficulty. Unfortunately, it also has quite a few errors. In particular, many of the scrambled paragraphs are poorly constructed and don