In Part #1 of our series, an NYC 8th grader offered tips on prepping for the Standardized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). In Part #2, he reviewed which prep books are worth your time and money, and which aren't. Finally, in Part #3, What to Expect on Test Day, from one kid to another....
Here is my account of the day I took the SHSAT at Stuyvesant High School (two days before Hurricane Sandy struck New York City):
1. I arrived at the foot of the bridge that crosses West Street. I bade my father goodbye as I went up the stairs, past the sign stating NO PARENTS BEYOND THIS POINT and NO FOOD ONLY WATER
2. I held my ground on the bridge for a half an hour in a long line of 13 year olds while we trudged into the building…..
3. Everyone was given a yellow card stating which classroom they were to test in, with a space for your personal information as we went up the many flights of escalators nearing closer to our fate.
4. I walked into my designated classroom, number 636 to be exact, where I sat down at a desk which was quite different from the ones at my school as I filled out the seating chart with my name.
5. The electronic voice of the intercom buzzed on to conduct the test as we were given our booklets and Scantron sheets. The invisible voice echoed throughout the halls, reminding us to TURN OFF OUR CELL PHONES and to fill out the data sheet correctly using the admissions ticket which we were provided with at school. We were told to put our #2 pencils and erasers on our desk and the rest of our belongings below ourselves as we prepared to start the test.
6. The test began. I did the following sections in this order: Reading Comprehension, Scrambled Paragraphs, Logical Reasoning, and Mathematics. I did this order so I could have an extra 15 minutes to check over my work and to make sure I filled out the proper bubbles. One bubble off will ruin you!
7. The test ended after 180 minutes and everyone was let out of their pens, down the stairs and out the double-doors to the beautiful waterfront outside.
As a result of all this work, I was accepted it into my top choice of Stuyvesant. My final advice to you is to sleep well and keep your spirits up. Studying for months is not the end of the world. The apocalypse is.