High School of American Studies Overview
The High School of American Studies (HSAS), founded in 2002, is one of the newer specialized high schools, all of which require the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test) for admission. HSAS has a special emphasis on history, and with only 400 students, is also smaller than most of the specialized high schools. HSAS provides an amazing opportunity for students to attend a small, completely free high school with a unique curriculum focus. Here’s what you need to know to apply!
Where is HSAS located?
American Studies is housed on the Lehman College campus, part of the CUNY system. It is located at 2925 Goulden Avenue in the Bronx, NY. It is accessible by the B,D, and 4 trains, as well as several bus lines.
What Does the High School of American Studies at Lehman College Specialize in?
As the name suggests, the High School of American Studies specializes in American History. Students are required to take three years of American history and must take the AP US History Exam in their junior year. Students are taken on trips to key historic sites, learn how to analyze primary source material and conduct research, and attend special seminars by guest lecturers. HSAS also has robust AP and Honors programs, and students even have the opportunity to earn college credit by taking courses at Lehman College during free periods!
High School of American Studies Ranking
According to US News, the High School of American Studies is ranked #8 in New York High Schools and #49 in national rankings. Quite impressive!
High School of American Studies Admissions Requirements
To get into the High School of American Studies, you must score relatively high on the SHSAT compared to other students who took it that year. HSAS has the 5th highest SHSAT cut-off score. The SHSAT is the only requirement for entry. In other words, HSAS does not look at past standardized test scores, transcripts (grades), attendance, or writing samples. There is no interview either – just the SHSAT, which is typically given the last weekend of October.
HSAS Acceptance Rate
Because of its small size, the High School of American Studies is very competitive to get into. According to the NYC Department of Education, out of the approximately 28,000 students who take the SHSAT in a typical year, only about 5000 receive an offer from one of the specialized high schools, and approximately 80-110 are accepted to HSAS.
High School of American Studies Admission Process
The SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test) is the only criterion for admission to the High School of American Studies. This 3-hour test is open to all New York City Students who are currently in eight grade or ninth grade. Students must register for the SHSAT and rank the schools in order of preference. They then must score above a certain cut-off score to be accepted to HSAS.
IMPORTANT! If you want to get into HSAS, you must rank it as your first choice school when registering for the SHSAT. Students are automatically placed in their highest choice school for which they score higher than the cutoff. It is not possible to change your first choice after the test, which means that if you score high enough for HSAS, but ranked Brooklyn Latin first, you will get into Brooklyn Latin but NOT HSAS.
Getting Into HSAS: in 5 Steps!
- Take a diagnostic SHSAT. Ivy Tutors Network can both administer the diagnostic and send you a comprehensive score report. Mock testing is the best way to assess your strengths and weaknesses, which you can then use as a roadmap for future study.
- Practice, Practice Practice! The key to doing well on the SHSAT lies in consistent practice. Students should start studying for the SHSAT in the second semester of 7th grade if they are taking it as an 8th grader, or the second semester of 8th grade if they are taking it as a 9th grader. Start by filling in content gaps, and then take periodic time proctored practice tests (administered by a parent or tutor), especially in the months leading up to the test date.
- Learn from your mistakes. After each practice test, students should make sure they understand why they got each problem wrong (yes, all of them!) before moving on to more practice. Students should also experiment with different timing and test-taking strategies. It is up to students to decide how they divide their time between sections on the SHSAT, so it can take a while to figure out what the best approach is for them.
- Research HSAS and the other specialized high schools. You can learn more about all the specialized high schools by visiting their websites. We highly encourage students to attend any tours or information sessions that are available, either in-person or online. This will help you make a decision on how to rank the schools when you register.
- Register for the SHSAT. In order to take the test, you will also need to register for the SHSAT and rank your schools in order or preference. Students can register through their MySchools account or their school counselor.
The brilliant and caring tutors at Ivy Tutors Network have helped thousands of students succeed on the SHSAT. We are experts at helping students learn key concepts, develop smart test-taking strategies, and build confidence, skills that are essential not just for SHSAT, but for the SAT, ACT, and beyond! Regular SHSAT Tutoring creates the necessary structure and reinforcement students often need to practice consistently and see results. We also offer SHSAT Strategies, a small online workshop, in which students take a diagnostic, review content, and learn the best tricks and strategies for excelling on the exam.