The Baccalaureate High School of Queens is only about ten years old, but it’s quickly become one of the top high schools in New York City. It is one of only a few high schools in the city that offers an International Baccalaureate diploma instead of the typical Regents diploma. Students receive an International Baccalaureate diploma for completing advanced coursework and doing well on the IB exams, which unlike Advanced Placement exams are accepted around the world. In addition to passing these exams, students take college-level courses and produce a senior project, usually a long essay on a topic of the student’s choice. Although several private high schools in NYC offer an IB diploma, the Baccalaureate High School of Queens is one of only two public high schools in NYC that offers the International Baccalaureate diploma (the other is the Brooklyn Latin School, for which students must take the Specialized High School Admissions Test or SHSAT). Since receiving an IB diploma helps put students on a path to great colleges, many parents might want to talk to their kids about taking the school’s admissions test in sixth grade.
Baccalaureate School Admissions Test| How Do Students Get Admitted to the School?
Any sixth grade student may sign up to take the Baccalaureate admissions test. The admittance rate is just under 5%, making this one of the most competitive high schools in New York City. The exam is targeted to students in sixth grade, and it includes several different sections that test English and mathematics skills. The English sections include reading comprehension, logical reasoning, vocabulary, and language arts, similar to the topics kids might see on the Hunter test or the SHSAT. The math questions include algebra and geometry, but the focus is on challenging children by giving problems that take thought to solve, not just testing to see which students know formulas the best. There is no additional essay section.
In addition to scoring well on the exam, students will also have a group interview with five or six other candidates to test teamwork skills and general fit. The school used to offer a second admissions test for ninth grade placement, but due to high demand only offers an exam for seventh grade entry. For more information about the admissions process, check out the school’s website.
Baccalaureate School Admissions Test| How to Study for the Baccalaureate Admissions Test
While the school does not suggest particular ways to study for the exam, there are plenty of things that interested students can do in order to prepare. Building up a strong vocabulary is important for the English sections, as well as learning to read a text closely, answer questions about it, and compare two passages to see which conveys information in a better way. Thinking critically is the most important skill that the exam tests, so there will be plenty of brainteaser-style problems or questions that require students to draw diagrams in order to reach the right answer. The exam is similar to the Hunter test in terms of content, particularly for math questions, and because there are few practice exams available, taking sample Hunter tests can be a good way to prepare. Sample Hunter tests will be useful for getting practice with the tricky math problems that will show up on the exam, because these math questions aren’t as straightforward as what students might see on the ERBs or the ISEE. Getting ahead or brushing up on basic principles of algebra can also benefit students, because some of the problems will require one-variable equations.
How and When do I Register for the Test? Where and When do I Take the Test?
You will need to register for the 7th Grade Baccalaureate School Admissions Test on the school’s website. Online test registration begins in early January. The exam will take place in late January and is held at the Baccalaureate School for Global Education, at 34-12 36th Avenue, Astoria, NY, 11106.
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