MS54 Delta Booker T. Washington Admissions Test


In order to be considered for the MS54 Honors Program (formally Delta program) at Booker T. Washington, students must apply for middle school admissions and take an admissions test created by the school.

Students need to meet several other admissions criteria, including that they live or attend a public elementary school in District 3.

Students must also rank MS54 as first or second choice for their middle school application.

Booker T. Washington Admissions Assessment

Following the submission of the middle school application, current fifth graders must take the Booker T Washington admissions test in the winter (usually February). 

Why take the Booker T entrance exam?

If you want to gain a place in the honors program at Booker T . Washington, then you will need to score highly on the admissions test.

The admissions test is created by the school and serves as a diagnostic for general academic ability and helps MS54 determine who will be admitted, and sorts students into the honors track for math, science, or humanities, or into the traditional MS54 Booker T. Washington curriculum. 

As described below, the entrance exam is only one element of the admissions criteria, but an important one.

What's on the MS 54 admissions test?

There are not too many surprises in terms of format and most of the content of the entrance exam. The school doesn't want to 'shock' kids with a new format so the exam is similar to the end of year ELA and math tests that focus on math and reading comprehension. This means that your child will face a multiple choice format, just like in the State-wide exams.

You child will face a range of questions in terms of difficulty: some will be easy, some of medium difficulty, and some will be challenging. The Booker T honors program is an accelerated program, and school administrators want to know that your child is up for the challenge and will be a good fit for the program. 

Why does MS 54 need an admissions test?

If the entrance exam is so similar to the end-of -year State exams, then why the need for a separate test? "Black box" tests, where the contents of the exam seem to be a closely guarded secret, only seem to add anxiety to the already fraught middle-school admissions process.

The reason is, according to Booker T Washington administration is that the school needs a more recent data point to assess students, given that  the State-wide ELA and Math results are from 4th grade. This is the school line, despite the fact that the school also considers the first half of the 5th grade report card in their admissions evaluation rubric (see below).

It is likely, then, that the test is also an opportunity to see how students approach more challenging material, some of which may not even have been covered in the first semester of 5th grade (students take the test at the beginning of second semester of 5th grade). The results of the entrance exam thus helps Ms54 separate those students who will more likely be able to handle an accelerated learning program from those who are less prepared to manage advanced material taught at a fast pace.

Is there a writing component on the test?

Yes, there is a short writing component. The writing piece varies from year to year. 

How long is the Booker T entrance exam?

The duration of the test is approximately one hour long.

Booker T. Washington : Admissions Criteria

In addition to the exam, students will be evaluated on other academic criteria.

Getting top scores on end of year exams will be important for current fourth grade students who want to attend MS54, while current fifth grade students need to ensure their report cards accurately reflect their performance to date. Attendance and punctuality as shown on the report card will be considered as well as grades and teacher comments.  
Another component is the teacher recommendation on the middle school application – students may want to approach a favorite teacher for a thoughtful evaluation, because this information will be considered for admittance. 
The Booker T entrance exam makes up the remainder of the admissions rubric. Using the results of this exam and the rest of a student’s application package, MS54 will rank applicants as follows: 

55% academics and entrance exam

  • Up to 80 points for the Booker T admissions test
  • Up to 20 points for the fifth grade report card to date (through the first half of year) 
  • Up to 10 points for teacher recommendations on the middle school application

45% standardized tests

  • Up to 90 points for fourth grade ELA and math standardized exams

The school suggests that students who want to attend the MS54 Delta Program at Booker T. Washington rank the middle school as their first choice. Students who rank the school as their second and third choice will be considered -- and invited to take the entrance exam --  but will not be given as high a priority as students who rank MS54 Booker T Washington as their first choice.

ms54 Delta Admissions Exam: Will private tutoring help? 

At Origins Tutoring, we believe that preparation for the MS54 admissions assessment 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 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 Booker T admissions 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. 

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 state-wide ELA and math exams, as well as the Booker T admissions test.

What's Next?

Learn more about other NYC public school middle school tests, including the entrance exam at Columbia Secondary School, and the Hunter test for seventh grade entry into Hunter College High School.

Find out information about the entrance tests for the city-wide gifted and talented schools, including the Anderson school's admissions test.

The admissions test for the New Explorations into Science, Technology and Math has a different format compared to the more familiar 'state-wide' format of many other middle school entrance exams, so it makes sense to get to know the format and content of the NEST+m test if you are also interested in this school.