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How do I get into Queens High School for the Sciences at York College (QHSS), and why this school? 

By Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center | Updated on January 17, 2020

Queens High School for the Sciences, or QHSS, is another specialized high school that you can gain admittance to by acing the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). To get into QHSS, students are required to take the exam and obtain a score that is above the cutoff score of 514 for the eighth grade exam. Of 30,000 students who take the eighth grade exam, only 100 seats to QHSS are offered. This means that about 0.03% of test takers are able to get into QHSS, making it very competitive.

For ninth graders taking the exam, a score above the range of 544-554 is needed. Each year, 3,000 students take the 9th grade SHSAT, but only 3 tenth grade spots are available at QHSS, which means that only about 0.1% of students are able to gain admittance. As you can see, QHSS is a very competitive school to get into. The chances that students might get into QHSS are pretty small, but they undoubtedly can do it with the right combination of hard work and practice. How do students get into QHSS? And why would they even want to go there? Continue reading to learn more.


There are many benefits of attending an elite school like QHSS. To take advantage of these benefits, you must first prepare very seriously in order to transform yourself into a student who is worthy of attending QHSS. Even if you don’t have a perfect middle school record, you still have no reason to get discouraged. There are many benefits to changing your habits and becoming a more focused student, although it isn’t something that comes naturally or without some growing pains. Without the proper study habits, you won’t even be able to reap the benefits of attending an elite school like QHSS.

Something to remember as you are studying for the SHSAT in the hopes of attending QHSS is that this score range isn’t something that you can achieve without some serious work. But remember you will gain many benefits from attending QHSS, and that your hard work will undoubtedly be worth it. Attending QHSS is a great opportunity and with it will come benefits that you cannot gain anywhere else. You can take advantage of getting into QHSS as the stepping stone to a bright future.

Opportunities at QHSS

Attending QHSS is a very good way to prepare for your future. Not only will you be connected to a college, something we will talk about in more detail below, you will also be exposed to an environment that will stimulate intellectual growth.

To begin with, you can join the Science Research (Joule) Program at QHSS in order to gain a strong scientific research background, something that is beneficial not only for your college applications but also your growth as a student. QHSS is a small school that recognizes the value of a small academic community, noting that high academic achievement comes from the nurturing of intellectual curiosities. Students have the choice to choose between so many types of student clubs and organizations, supplementing their education in order to become global citizens. As a student at QHSS, you can join the school newspaper called the Cardinal, or join the highly ranked Robotics team to compete against other likeminded students. At QHSS, learning isn’t just what happens during academic class time.

Students at QHSS can take honors courses, and can choose between AP English Literature, AP US History and Government, AP Calculus, AP Biology, AP Chemistry and AP Physics. It is a school that values diverse learning perspectives, with a student body that hails from Bangladesh, Korea, China, Pakistan, Poland, Nigeria, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Germany, England and India.

If you want to attend QHSS and get involved at school, it is important that you put all of your effort into studying for the SHSAT to make sure you get there.

College Connection

Students at QHSS have the unique opportunity to engage in College Now courses at York College. The courses offered to students are Psychology, Sociology, Computer and Computer Science. By taking these courses, students will be able to gain credits towards their college degree at no cost and will be able to take less courses, and therefore pay less, when they are actually in college.

To further support students’ college readiness and preparedness, QHSS has several math and science research courses and routinely sends students to the Regeneron Science Talent Search, just as some other specialized high schools do. They are also a member of the National Consortium of Specialized Schools for Science, Mathematics and Technology.

Crucial Concepts 

To get into QHSS, there is no doubt that you must have a very strong SHSAT score. In order to do this, it is best for you to also master the most crucial concepts on the SHSAT. Achieving a score worthy of QHSS is anything but simple, so we have you covered with some crucial concepts that you should focus on to do well on the SHSAT.

1. Seemingly simple computations with hidden traps

Questions like these are very common on the exam and highlight a trap that test writers have laid out for test takers. The question lists the fraction that represents how much questions Lemont got incorrect, but then asks what percent he got correct. Answering these questions correctly illustrates your mathematical ability but also your reading comprehension! You will be rushing on the day of the test and test writers know that.
Comment below if you know the answer!

2. Probability

Questions like these are also common in the mathematics section. While this question may seem pretty basic, it goes back to the foundations of math that you learned earlier in your middle school career. Answering this question shows that you have the necessary knowledge to build on and can answer more difficult questions as well. Comment below if you know the answer!

Study Resources 

Students who are hoping to get into QHSS are required to put in the right amount of study time and practice needed to get a high score on the SHSAT. Only 100 spots are open for QHSS every year, so it isn’t easy to get in.We at Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center have quite a few study resources that we would like to share with you for getting into QHSS. Not only should you be consistently studying at home, but you should also be taking advantage of study resources like preparatory books, SHSAT classes, and private tutors. You can also use free resources like the DREAM Program and the Discovery Program to help boost your score. You can learn more about these in our SHSAT guide.Watch our President and SHSAT expert Mr. Tariq review the specific SHSAT concept of averaging consecutive integers here:


Learn more about students who we helped get into QHSS and other specialized high schools! These students worked extremely hard in Mr. Tariq’s class. They never gave up although the material was difficult and always put their best foot forward. We hope for all of our students to get into their dream high schools and colleges.
At Bobby-Tariq Tutoring Center, we have over 10 years of very successful experience, getting our students into the specialized high schools they always dreamed of. There are more testimonials like these all over our Instagram and Facebook. As the shortcut experts, we aim to help our students beast their limits and get into schools like QHSS, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science. Thousands of students have already gotten into these schools after attending Mr. Tariq’s class. Join us to start your SHSAT journey!
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