What Should My Child Do Over the Summer to Prepare for the SHSAT?

Summer Study for the SHSAT

What should my child do over the summer to prepare for the SHSAT?

Almost all parents ask me this question, and for most my answer is the same: have them study a topic each week and take a full practice test at the end of each month.

A Topic a Week and a Test each Month

In math that means a week each for arithmetic, algebra (solving equations), algebra (writing equations) and geometry. In verbal it means a week each for Scrambled Paragraphs, Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension.

This suggested schedule is devised as a reasonable alternative to the student default (do nothing) and potentially unrealistic parental expectations. It should be possible to get this done working two days each week for 30-60 minutes each day. And if your child is away for one month of the summer, it can also easily be done in one month - studying two topics per week.

This plan is appropriate for students within 5 or 10 percentage points of the score needed for admission to their first choice school. Whether they are at that point can be determined by results on their latest practice exam, or through diagnostic testing. If more progress than that is needed, you may want to consider a summer course or tutoring.

Material for this practice can be found in the many commercially available SHSAT study books - most of which include one or more full length practice test. For more realistic practice tests, use those in the DOE published Specialized High Schools Handbook. You should have received this book from your school at year end and it is also available on the DOE website.


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