Recent Changes to the SHSAT: Keeping Up With Updates for Test-Prep Success

The SHSAT isn’t the same ol’ test it used to be! A few key changes in recent years have impacted how students prepare. Let’s break down what’s new, so your student doesn’t walk into the test facing any surprises.

Bye-Bye Scrambled Paragraphs

Those notoriously tricky scrambled paragraph questions in the ELA section are a thing of the past! This change emphasizes a student’s ability to understand the logical flow of information and overall coherence in writing, rather than their ability to reorder scrambled sentences.

Revised Essay Focus Shift

The revised essay prompt still requires students to analyze a passage and revise for clarity and effectiveness. However, there’s a greater emphasis on how specific language choices contribute to the overall meaning and impact of the writing.

Math Section Adjustments

While the core math content hasn’t changed dramatically, there’s been a slight shift in the types of questions asked. Expect more real-world problem-solving and a greater emphasis on conceptual understanding rather than just rote calculations.

New Administration Policies

The SHSAT is now offered over multiple weekends instead of just one. This aims to increase accessibility and give students more flexibility when choosing a test date.

Why These Changes Matter

Understanding these updates impacts how students should adjust their prep strategies:

  • Strengthen Writing Skills: Focus on analyzing author’s purpose, tone, and word choice, not just grammar rules in isolation.
  • Think Critically in Math: Practice translating word problems into equations and understand the “why” behind mathematical concepts.
  • Up-to-date Practice Tests: Older practice materials won’t reflect these changes. Choose prep resources aligned with the current SHSAT format.

Where to Get Accurate Info on SHSAT Changes

Since the NYC Department of Education directly administers the SHSAT, checking their official website for the most current information is crucial.

Test prep companies like Caddell Prep also stay on top of any SHSAT updates and adjust their materials and teaching strategies accordingly.

Remember, being aware of recent changes allows your student to fine-tune their preparation. Keeping prep focused on the current test format ensures they walk into that exam room confidently, ready to tackle the specific challenges they’ll face.

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