Hunter Test Prep | Critical Reading Section

Students who want to attend Hunter College High School must achieve top scores on the three hour entrance exam in order to join the school in 7th grade. This exam covers math topics, grammar concepts, an essay, and several critical reading skills and passages. Test-takers need to ace each section to be admitted, so it’s important for students to understand what they’re expected to know for the exam.

Hunter Test Prep | Critical Reading Question Format

While the whole test takes three hours, students can work on each section at their own pace, which can be a great benefit on long critical reading passages. Of the approximately fifty Language Arts questions, around two-thirds of the questions refer to reading passages, while the other questions test students on grammar and word usage in sentences.

During the critical reading subsection, students will see several different reading passages, each followed by approximately five to ten questions. Since test-takers can complete the exam in any order, students can work on one passage at a time, or skip to later passages and then return to the beginning of the critical reading questions, or choose any other order that feels helpful.

Hunter Test Prep | Types of Passages and Questions

On the Hunter entrance exam, students should expect to see several different passages. There may be a non-fiction excerpt, several stanzas from a poem, a fictional dialogue, an excerpt from a novel, or a first-person memoir piece. Because of the variety of these reading selections, students should have experience reading and understanding texts from a variety of genres.

The possible critical reading questions are just as varied as the passages. There will be a few questions which ask students to choose what a particular word means in a sentence, as well as questions about the narrator’s point of view or the general tone of the passages. Most of the questions ask students to make inferences from the test: these questions give test-takers a phrase from the passage and asks what that phrase suggests about some larger point. To check out some sample critical reading questions, look at the official practice test from the Hunter website.

Hunter Test Prep | Tips for Critical Reading Mastery

Again, a great way to prep for these questions is to read a variety of texts and to build up reading skills in school. In addition to plenty of reading experience, students should develop a strategy for recognizing vocabulary words and understanding their meaning in sentences, because there are always many questions of this sort on the Hunter test.

Starting with word definition questions, then moving to line-specific questions, then ending with general questions about passage meaning and tone is a good way to allocate time on critical reading questions. Since there are always many questions on word meaning and how to analyze specific phrases, students should spend more of their time on these questions. Only a few questions ask test-takers to interpret wider themes in the passage, so they’re best saved for last.

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

Preparation for the Hunter High School Admissions Exam 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 High School Admissions Exam, 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 Admissions Exam.


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.