Key Strategies for SHSAT Verbal Section: Mastering the Skills

The SHSAT Verbal section tests your reading comprehension, vocabulary, and critical thinking skills. You’ll need a strategic approach to verbal reasoning and reading comprehension components to excel in this portion of the exam.

Verbal Reasoning Strategies

  • Understand Question Types: Familiarize yourself with common verbal reasoning question formats (analogies, logical reasoning, scrambled paragraphs).
  • Strengthen Your Vocabulary: Regularly review vocabulary words, including synonyms, antonyms, and word roots. There are many SHSAT-specific word lists available online.
  • Identify Patterns: Practice analyzing word relationships in analogies and dissecting the logic behind scrambled paragraphs.
  • Process of Elimination: Use logic and context clues to confidently eliminate incorrect answer choices, allowing you to focus on potential answers.

Reading Comprehension Strategies

  • Active Reading: Don’t just skim the passages. Underline keywords, make notes, and engage with the text.
  • Predict and Visualize: Anticipate what the passage might be about and visualize the situations or concepts presented.
  • Focus on Main Ideas: Identify the central theme or argument of each passage and how the details support it.
  • Author’s Purpose: Determine the author’s intent (to inform, persuade, entertain). This will help you better understand tone and word choices.
  • Attack the Questions First: For some passages, reading the related questions before the passage can be helpful. This helps you know what to look for as you read.

General SHSAT Verbal Tips

  • Time Management: Practice pacing yourself during practice tests. Devote the most time to reading comprehension, but don’t neglect the verbal reasoning altogether.
  • Relax and Focus: Avoid getting flustered by unfamiliar vocabulary or complex passages. Trust your preparation and employ your strategies.
  • Guess Strategically: If you’re unsure of an answer, eliminate obviously wrong choices and guess from the remaining options.

Practice is Key

Remember that mastering these strategies takes time and consistent practice. Here are some ways to improve your SHSAT Verbal skills:

  • SHSAT-specific Practice Tests: Take full-length practice tests under timed conditions to simulate the real exam experience.
  • Vocabulary Flashcards: Create or use pre-made flashcards to boost your word knowledge.
  • Reading Websites/Apps: Find resources that offer reading passages with comprehension questions, tailored to your skill level.

Additional Resources

  • NYC DOE SHSAT Website: Access official practice materials and sample questions.
  • SHSAT Prep Books and Courses: Invest in quality prep resources for more structured practice and guidance.

Conquer the SHSAT Verbal Section

With dedication, practice, and the right strategies, you can significantly improve your SHSAT Verbal score. Remember, every challenging passage and vocabulary word you conquer puts you one step closer to your dream school