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Are Poems included in the SHSAT ELA section, and how to tackle poems?

By Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center | Updated on January 17, 2020
How to tackle poems

The Specialized High Schools Admission Test (SHSAT) does, in fact, include poems. But lucky for our more math-focused students, there is only one poem on each exam. The test writers know that poetry might not be every middle school student’s forte, and therefore only want to test your comprehension of the poem.

Questions ask about what certain symbols might represent, the function of specific comparisons, and word choice. Furthermore, the exam targets the use of italics and the purpose of repetition as well as the impact of certain phrases. Of course, there are also questions about interpretation and meaning.

If you aren’t too good at decoding poetry, no worries – we’ve got your back. Use our 8th & 9th grade SHSAT ELA books to gain more experience not only with poetry but also with revising/editing and reading comprehension. The ELA section might seem daunting to many students, but it is actually all about practice, repetition, and learning the tricks and traps laid out by the test writers. The best practice for this section is to keep reading. Read stories, poems, novels, and more to make yourself a more experienced reader, and by default, a better test taker. The passages in the SHSAT are not going to be interesting – this is on purpose. The test aims to distinguish the best of the best, are you going to be one of those students?

Our student Yousha was very hesitant about undertaking the ELA section at first. But with a lot of practice, a strong work ethic, and a lot of dedication, he was able to gain admittance into Stuyvesant High School with an SHSAT score of 609. Yousha might have been worried about ELA, specifically poems, but he was able to beast the exam. You will too if you come join us at Bobby Tariq Tutoring Center, where we’ve been sharing the shortcuts needed to beast the SHSAT for over ten years, bringing thousands of students to their dream high schools.

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