Best 9th Grade SHSAT Study Guide in 2020 – Everything You Need to Know

By Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center | Updated on January 25, 2020

Best 9th Grade SHSAT Study Guide in 2020

9th Grade SHSAT different from regular SHSAT. You will need to aim higher cutoff scores, learn advanced math, understand complex reading comprehension passages and poems, and learn many grammar and writing rules to tackle the editing/revising questions. If you are still didn’t figure out how you are going to study for the Grade 9 SHSAT, no worries – we have got you covered with out all-you-need-to-know “Best 9th Grade SHSAT Study Guide”. This guide will help you prepare for the 9th grade SHSAT.

Is it still possible to get into a specialized high school?

Absolutely! This article should give you a guide on finding the best SHSAT prep and guide books for 9th Grade SHSAT. Additionally, you will get access to many free video lessons that can help you meet the minimum cutoff score, which will most likely be 30 to 40 points higher than what’s required for 8th Grade SHSAT.

What is the 9th Grade SHSAT?

The 9th Grade Specialized High School Admissions Test (9th Grade SHSAT) is an examination that offers students a chance at being accepted into a Specialized High School (SHSAT) in the New York City area. The exam, elapsing 3 hours, can be taken in November of the 9th grade year either for the first time or by students who were not offered entrance to a SHSAT Schools during 8th grade. The 9th-grade SHSAT is used to assess qualification for the following New York City Specialized High Schools:
  • 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
  • Stuyvesant High School
  • The Brooklyn Latin School
The highest possible score on the SHSAT is 800 points. The Math and English sections are each scored out of 400 points. Results are normalized, then composited. It has been shown that students who excel in one section, rather than receive average results on both sections, achieve higher composite scores.

While parents are often curious, cut-off scores for the SHSAT are not published by any organization. However, one can reasonably assume that students need to earn a score of 30 to 60 points higher than required for the 8th-grade SHSAT test. If the lowest possible score for entry to Stuyvesant High School is 560 for 8th graders, 9th graders need to earn a score of 590 to 600.

How many students take the 9th Grade SHSAT?

On Average, 3,000 9th Graders take the Grade 9 SHSAT, but only 100 to 130 students gain admissions per year. Compared to 9th Grade SHSAT, almost 30,000 students take the regular SHSAT. This means that approximately 10% of the test takers are rising 10th graders.

How many seats are offered for the 9th Grade SHSAT?

ninth tenth grade seat offered
In 2019, only 108 students gained admissions to one of the specialized high schools by taking the 9th grade SHSAT because SHSAT schools give majority of the seats to rising 9th graders. For example, these schools offered a total of 4,410 seats to 9th graders as opposed to only 108 seats to 10th graders. In fact, Stuyvesant offered only 10 seats to 10th graders compared to 814 seats offered to rising 9th graders. Similarly, Bronx Science offered only 3 seats to 10th graders compared to 730 seats to 9th graders. While the number of seats available for rising 10th graders is very low, Brooklyn Tech can give you some hope because they accept more 9th Grade SHSAT test takers than any other specialized high school. Brooklyn Tech offers a total of 34 seats to rising 10th graders.

What are the Cut-off Scores for 9th Grade SHSAT? High Competition?

While parents are often curious, cut-off scores for the SHSAT are not published by any organization. However, one can reasonably assume that students need to earn a score of 30 to 40 points higher than required for the 8th-grade SHSAT test. If the lowest possible score for entry to Stuyvesant is 560 for 8th graders, then 9th graders should aim to earn a score of 590 to 600 at least. This means 9th-grade test takers must achieve a high score if they can hope to gain acceptance into a Specialized High School. We urge students to focus on achieving the highest possible score on the 9th-grade test as opposed to worrying about their chances of getting in. Set a goal of earning a perfect score (800 points).

While you need a much higher SHSAT score, and the number of seats offered is less than 130, students still have a chance to gain admission. The main reason thousands of students don’t gain admission is that they simply lack proper guidance on how to study or what to study.

Our 9th Grade SHSAT prep and books are designed to teach you exactly what you need to know. We have helped hundreds of 9th Graders gain admission into a top specialized high school.

What are the 9th Grade SHSAT Math Topics? Can I use a calculator?

The 9th-grade SHSAT covers a variety of mathematical disciplines, including advanced algebra and word problems, with a greater emphasis on coordinate geometry (graphing functions, slopes, transformations) and 3D geometry. The test also includes basic trigonometry (SOH CAH TOA), which is not covered in the 8th-grade test. The test contains a total of 57 math questions, with 40-47 questions at the 8th-grade level and 10-17 at the 9th-grade level.

What’s the difference between the regular SHSAT ELA and 9th Grade SHSAT ELA?

Compared to the 8th-grade test, 9th-grade students should expect to encounter more involved questions and complex reading sections. They should be able to display greater comprehension skills and enhanced vocabulary.

Like the math section, ELA contains 57 questions. Students will be challenged with 9-11 revising/editing questions and 46-48 reading comprehension questions. Among them will be 10 unscored (field) questions for test-makers to evaluate the relative difficulty of chosen questions. Both tests contain 3-4 informational texts, 1-2 literary prose texts, and 1 poem.

What are the best 9th Grade SHSAT Practice Tests or Review Books?

Book #1: What you’ll learn with Tariq’s Guide to NEW SHSAT MATH

Tariq’s Guide to SHSAT Math
Tariq’s Guide to NEW SHSAT MATH contains 50 explained Math Rules that can be used on the test, with topic-by-topic exercises, concepts, and 6 practice tests. This guide features a strong emphasis on conceptual based learning and shortcut techniques. With 10-20 practice questions per topic, this guide for Grade 9 SHSAT will help you navigate the math section easily. Tariq’s 50 Rules with solved examples, topic by topic exercise, and 6 practice tests are going to give you the edge you need for 9th Grade SHSAT.

Book #2: The Only 9th Grade SHSAT Prep Book with 5 Full-Length Practice Tests

9th Grade SHSAT Book 5 Practice Tests
9th GRADE SHSAT: 5 Practice Tests provide real insight into what it’s like to take the 9th-grade SHSAT. The tests in this book are very similar to the real test and will help you understand what to expect and how to prepare to pass. You’ll get thorough explanations of questions with shortcut techniques and 560+ samples of editing/revising, reading comprehension, poetry and mathematics questions (including word problems).

Designed by Tariq Hussain, President of Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center, this book compiles over a decade of SHSAT tutoring knowledge.

Book #3: The Only 9th Grade SHSAT Prep Book with 5 Full-Length Practice Tests

SHSAT ELA Grade 8 & 9
SHSAT ELA Grade 8 & 9: This book consists of 4 Full-Length Practice tests for the Grade 9 SHSAT. These practice tests are some of the most realistic SHSAT practice tests. The answer explanations contain all the shortcut techniques you need to know to answer those inference based and line evidence questions. It covers Editing/revising, Reading Comprehension, and Poetry Questions. There are over 400+ questions, which will challenge you and help you understand the tricky reading comprehension passages, including poems. This book is designed by Tariq Hussain, the president of Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center. Mr. Tariq has almost a decade of SHSAT teaching experience. He is currently pursuing his MA at Columbia University Overall, this practice book will help you recognize a pattern in reading questions.

Why should I retake the SHSAT test?

Reason #1 – Attend a Top-Ranked High School in New York City

Many of you probably want to get the “Prestige” in Call of Duty, so why not get “Prestige” status by attending one of the SHSAT Schools? This test is required to gain entrance into some of New York City’s most prestigious high schools. The specialized high schools are not only the top-ranked high schools in New York City but they are also among the top-ranked high schools in the entire United States. If you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped on the 8th-grade test or missed taking it, the 9th grade SHSAT gives you a second chance at acceptance.

Reason #2 – 9th Grade SHSAT Materials are tested on the PSAT, SAT, and ACT

No matter how you scored on the 8th-grade test, retaking the test in the 9th grade is an excellent practice for future examinations, such as the PSAT, SAT, and ACT. Test-taking is not only a measure of knowledge, but it’s also a skill in itself. In fact, students from specialized high schools usually score much higher than the national average SAT score.

Reason #3 – Look good during College Applications

Colleges know Specialized High Schools are some of the top high schools in the country. While colleges do not discriminate against high schools, college admission counselors are going to appreciate students applying from top-ranked high schools. Colleges know that you are going to be college-ready because you will have completed a very rigorous and extensive high school curriculum by attending one of the SHSAT schools.

Is there a Discovery Program for 9th Grade SHSAT?

No, there is no discovery program available for rising 10th graders. The discovery program is only for rising 9th graders, not 10th graders. This means that if a student takes the Grade 9 SHSAT, he or she will not be eligible for the Discovery Program. The Discovery program is a summer program for eligible 8th graders who take the SHSAT and score right below the cutoff score. Rising 9th Graders will have an opportunity to gain admission into a specialized high school even though they did not meet the minimum cutoff score.

According to the New York City Department of Education, to be eligible for the Discovery program, a specialized high schools’ applicant must:
  • Have scored within a certain range below the cutoff score on the SHSAT
  • Be one or more of the following: a student from a low-income household, a student in temporary housing, or an English Language Learner who moved to NYC within the past four years; and
  • Attend a high-poverty school. A school is defined as high-poverty if it has an Economic Need Index (ENI) of at least 60%. You can see a school’s historical ENI by visiting the School Performance Dashboard and selecting the school from the list.

Is there a DREAM Program for 9th Grade SHSAT?

No, the DREAM program is not available for Grade 9 SHSAT. This means that you won’t be eligible for DREAM if you are planning on taking the 9th Grade SHSAT. The DREAM Program is a FREE Saturday and summer tutoring program that prepares eligible 7th graders for SHSAT. DREAM is only available for students taking the SHSAT during 8th grade.

Do I need a SHSAT prep or tutor for the 9th grade SHSAT?

It is highly recommended that you prepare for the 9th grade SHSAT by attending a test prep course. Think about it: Only 4000 students get accepted to SHSAT Schools out of 30,000 students. Most students don’t gain admission because they lack proper guidance. They are not sure how to study or what to do differently for the 9th Grade SHSAT. If you did not get accepted the first try, it will be even more difficult to get accepted the 2nd time. However, a good 9th Grade SHSAT prep will be able to teach you many reading techniques, advanced math topics, and grammar rules you need to know to tackle the exam. The prep should help you make effective study plans and follow up with you every week to make sure you are on the right track. If you’re unable to participate in person, utilize text-based resources. Good test prep books will draw on knowledge from industry insiders and previous exams to help you achieve your best possible score.

While test prep books are considered complete resources, personalizing your studies with the instruction of a private tutor can increase your understanding and hold you accountable for the work. If you want home tutoring, we offer an excellent resource for finding a trusted tutor. Mr. Tariq, the president of Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center, provides 1 on 1 consultation and private tutoring for 9th Grade SHSAT students.

How do I self-study for the 9th grade SHSAT? Are there free online video lessons?

The 9th-grade SHSAT will likely be administered in mid-October. Plan to start studying, at the latest, in June or July to allow yourself enough time to work through your books and discover which types of questions give you the most difficulty.

Begin prepping with Bobby-Tariq’s Grade 9 SHSAT Prep, Practice Tests, books, and free online videos. Once you have completed the course work and feel that you are somewhat prepared, go ahead and take the practice exams released in the NYC DOE’s Specialized High Schools Student Handbook, then reevaluate. This free resource also features admission procedures, a calendar of important dates, test-taking tips, and testing accommodations. Additionally, some local libraries offer free resources that you should take advantage of.

For students and parents who value in-person tutoring, contact us about our group 9th grade SHSAT Prep or Summer SHSAT Prep courses.
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