How To Get Into Stuyvesant: All About Stuyvesant High School Admissions!

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Stuyvesant High School (commonly known as “Stuy”), is one of the best high schools in New York City and consistently ranks in the top hundred high schools for New York State. Stuy is one of the specialized high schools in NYC, but students don't need to show a portfolio of work or do any interviews. In fact, the only way to be accepted is to ace the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) in the fall for entry the following year. Read on to find out how to get into Stuyvesant and whether it is the right school for you if you qualify.

Stuyvesant High School | School Overview

Stuy was founded in 1904 as a small all-boys school, but it became co-ed in 1969 and has grown to over three thousand students. The people at Stuy tend to have strong STEM interests (science, technology, engineering, and math), and the school sends many of its students to top colleges every year.

At Stuy, students follow an accelerated course of study and generally finish their Regents requirements by the end of junior year. This leaves senior year free for students to pursue electives, ranging from technical drawing to computer science to robotics. There is a strong computer science set of electives, as well as programming and foreign language classes. While Stuy is known for its math and science courses, its humanities program is comprehensive and gives students exposure to a wide variety of subjects. Total students at the school is approximately 3050, and there are about 800 students per grade. For more information, check out the Stuy website.

How to Get Into Stuyvesant | Admissions Information

Stuy is one of the specialized high schools in New York City, so admittance is only granted through getting a top score on the SHSAT.

Stuyvesant High School | What is the SHSAT?

This comprehensive exam is required for all of the specialized high schools in NYC, and it covers a variety of math and verbal topics. The exam is broken into math and verbal – the math questions are all multiple-choice and make up roughly half the exam. The verbal section has plenty of different problems, including logic, scrambled paragraphs, and reading comprehensive based on selected passages. With all the studying going on for these topics, students should be relieved that there is no mandatory essay.

Stuyvesant High School | How is the SHSAT Scored? What is the Format?

All of the questions on the SHSAT are multiple-choice. There is no guessing penalty for performance on the exam, so students should choose answers for every question. The entire exam lasts approximately two and a half hours, and it is self-timed. This means students need to study and to practice timing themselves with a watch so they can build up stamina for the real test.

Scoring on the SHSAT is done by the Department of Education, which administers the test. Every year, the DOE curves test results to reach the right target student performance, and they allocate scaled scores to the test-takers from 200 through 800. These scores are key for high school admittance, because the high schools all have specific cutoff scores for their new freshman classes.

Cutoff scores* for Stuy over the last three years were:


2015 556
2014 559
2013 562

*Cut-off scores for each school vary yearly, determined simply by the number of open places in each school and how the candidates score. The DOE does not publish score results, the numbers below are self-reported by interested parents on public forums.

Stuyvesant High School | How Should Students Time Themselves?

For some middle school students, the SHSAT may be the first exam they take under self-timed conditions. This means that even though the full exam has a strict time limit, no one tells students when to start and stop each individual section. It is key that students take several practice tests under the two and a half hour limit, during which they practice tracking how long questions take on their own. Otherwise, students may find themselves running out of time on test day.

Stuyvesant High School | How to Register and Prepare for the SHSAT

Interested students need to speak with their middle school guidance counselors and get an SHSAT admissions ticket. During this registration process, students will be assigned a test date in the fall, usually in late October. There are accommodations available for anyone who identifies as a Sabbath observer.

The SHSAT is a comprehensive and lengthy exam, so students must study hard to get top scores and join a specialized high school in the fall. More information on the SHSAT is available on our earlier blog post, and it includes lots of useful details about studying and getting up to speed before the test.


For more info on the SHSAT, get the DOE's Student Handbook for the Specialized  High Schools, which contains the "gold standard" SHSAT practice tests.

Do you also need some critical strategies to help you use these tests to get the most improvement possible? If so, please download the DOE's SHSAT free online practice tests by clicking the button below, and we will also send you our guide about the top "5 Key Strategies To Use SHSAT Practice Tests Effectively and Improve Your Score."

This article has provided an overview of how to get into Stuyvesant. To get more details go directly the Stuyvesant website.