Hunter Test : 10 Things You Need to Know About The Hunter Test

What are the top 10 things you need to know about the Hunter test? Read on to find out. 

1. It’s the Only High School Entrance Point

Although children can start at Hunter in elementary school, there is only one admission point for the high school: the year of 7th grade. Interested students must do well on the entrance exam to be admitted to the high school.

2. Not Everyone Can Take the Test

Only students with high scores on their NY state tests can take the Hunter entrance exam. The cutoff score changes every year, but as a rule of thumb only students who score in the 90th percentile will be invited to take the Hunter test.

3. Location Matters

Only children who live in the five boroughs of New York City can attend Hunter, and test-takers need to verify their addresses when applying for the Hunter test.

4. It’s Not Free

Families should be prepared to pay $70 (or $35 for qualifying families) as an administrative fee for the exam. However, all six years at Hunter are free, even though the education is comparable to a top-notch private school.

5. Well-Rounded Students Do Best

The exam has three sections: two multiple-choice sections on English/Language Arts and math, along with an open-ended essay. Students must score well on the multiple choice before graders evaluate the essay, so strong math and English skills are important.

6. One Official Practice Test

The Hunter website has one official practice test There are no other official versions of past tests, and Hunter does not release old test questions.

7. Students Pace Themselves

The exam lasts for three hours, and students are free to take the exam at their own pace. While proctors keep track of time left on the board, students should have a watch to track how long it takes to answer questions.

8. No Guessing Penalty

Each question is worth the same number of points, and there is no penalty for incorrect answers. Test-takers should fill in a bubble for every question, even if they’re not sure about the correct answer choice.

9. Clever, Not Time-Consuming

There are many types of math problems on the Hunter test, and some of these problems have an obvious (but lengthy) solution. Instead of wasting time on complicated solutions, students should think creatively and see if there’s a better way to find the answer. Clever strategies can save time for other problems later.

10. Practice Helps

Just like any other exam, doing test prep can help students get ready for the Hunter entrance exam. Practicing reading comprehension questions, studying vocab, and working through challenging math problems are all good ways to prepare. Trying a few sample essays within a time limit is also a wise choice, as long as math and English/Language Arts skills are in good shape.


Preparation for the Hunter test 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. 

At Origins Tutoring, 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 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 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.