Hunter College High School Test Prep | 10 Test Prep Tips for Hunter High School Test

Considering test prep for Hunter College High School? If so, please read our top 10 test prep tips for the Hunter College High School Admissions Test.

1. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Understand the Format

Before students throw themselves into test prep, it’s key to make sure they know what will be on the exam! So what does the entrance exam look like? This is not an easy question to answer. Hunter provides a 'sample' exam on its website for prospective students to download. However, the sample exam does not always include the same question types that are on the actual test. For example, a section on sentence completions on the practice exam was not included on the 2015 actual test. What we do know is that the exam is very challenging for 6th graders, and students can expect to encounter difficult and complex problems that require 'out of the box' thinking.

The three hour sample test includes three sections. There are two multiple choice sections on English/Language Arts and Mathematics, and then a writing assignment that requires students to respond to a prompt.

2. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Practice the Essay

If students score in the top 500 based on the multiple choice sections, their essays get graded by professionals. From these top 500 kids, the final 200 will be accepted to Hunter.

Since the essay is the only criterion for moving on during the second round, students must make sure that their essays are unique, engaging, and show off strong writing abilities.

Most of the essay questions ask students to tell a story, write about a particular event, and use sensory details as they respond to a prompt involving New York City. Since all test-takers must live in one of the five boroughs of NYC, each student will have plenty of details to use as they respond to the prompt. The key is writing something that engages the graders, and a great way to do this is to write about familiar places and strong memories that can be described using plenty of detail. To see a sample essay topic, look at the official sample test from the Hunter website.

Since there is no time limit for each section on the entrance exam, only a three hour limit overall, it’s essential for students to keep track of their time during the essay. Aiming for a half-hour block of time is a good way to begin the essay, and that way students won’t look up at the clock and see that half their time gone. Starting with a quick brainstorming session about key memories, places, and important details will help test-takers get going, and then it’s smart to jot down a quick outline. No grader wants to be confused or feel unable to follow a student’s reasoning, so clear and logical transitions are important.

While there’s no required length for the response, a goal of approximately five paragraphs is a great base. There’s always room to return to the essay after finishing the multiple choice questions. Working to develop strong writing skills in school and practicing descriptive language on test day can help.

3. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Pause While Reading

Some students race through test questions without taking in all the information. There are lots of trick answers that seem correct on the Hunter test, which means students have to read carefully and think before jumping to a particular answer.

4. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Find an Answer Before Reading the Choices

Sometimes it’s easy to look at the answers before solving a problem. For math questions, that’s not the correct strategy. Students should try solving the problem first before checking the possible answers.

5. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Easy Questions First

Students can answer questions in whatever order they prefer, and there’s no guessing penalty. That means students should aim for easy questions first to score points, and then they should try hard questions at the end.

6. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Pacing is Key

The exam is given within a three hour time limit, but it’s up to students to pace themselves. Students should make sure to bring a watch and track how long they spend on questions.

7. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Reread the Sentences

During the English/Language Arts section, students should take a second to reread sentences with the selected answer choice. Sometimes this is a good way to catch mistakes with singular/plural words or subject/verb agreement.

8. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Get Rid of Answer Choices

Sometimes tough math problems seem confusing, but students can take steps to eliminate choices that are obviously wrong. Figuring out that the answer must be positive (or negative) or greater than a certain number will get rid of some options.

9. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Fill in the Bubbles

Since there is no guessing penalty for the Hunter test, students should makes sure to pick an answer for every question. Even if test-takers aren’t sure of a particular question, they should pick an answer bubble for every line on the answer sheet.

10. Hunter College High School Test Prep | Keep Up the Self-Confidence

When there’s a frustrating question, students can freeze up and start thinking all kinds of negative ideas, which kills self-esteem during the exam. Instead, test-takers can use positive self-talk, including “I’ve studied this,” “I can do this,” and “I can figure this problem out.”

Hunter College High School Test Prep | Are You Considering Test Prep for Hunter?

Hunter College High School test prep does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation can be transformative and last a lifetime.

Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills tested by the Hunter College High School Test, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus. Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.

All students who work with Origins Tutoring undergo a diagnostic evaluation and are provided with full-length 'sample' Hunter practice tests. You can also access for free one of our sample tests here: 

Please call 917.287.7927 now for a complimentary consultation to discuss how we can help your child achieve his or her personal best on the Hunter High School test.


Origins Tutoring also offers the "Hunter College High School Preparation E-Guide"  The Preparation Guide is the only test prep book on the market devoted to helping students prepare for the HCHS admissions exam. It contains three practice tests and much more. You can learn about the Guide here.