How to Get into Queens High School for the Sciences (QHSS) | Ivy Tutors Network
How to Get into Queens High School for the Sciences (QHSS)

How to Get into Queens High School for the Sciences (QHSS)

Founded in 2002, Queens High School for the Sciences is one of the 3 newer specialized high schools located on City College campuses. With small class sizes, a diverse student body, and devoted faculty, Queens High School provides both an intimate and intellectually rigorous educational experience. It’s also completely free to attend, making it a highly sought after option for NYC families. Want to apply? Here’s what you need to know…

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Queens High for the Sciences School Overview

Founded in 2002, Queens High School for the Sciences (QHSS) is one of the 3 newer specialized high schools located on City College campuses. With small class sizes, a diverse student body, and devoted faculty, Queens High School for the Sciences provides both an intimate and intellectually rigorous educational experience. It’s also completely free to attend, making it a highly sought after option for NYC families. Want to apply? Here’s what you need to know…

Where Is Queens High for the Sciences School located?

Queens High School for the Sciences is located at 94-50 159th Street in Jamaica, Queens, NY, and is actually housed on the York College Campus, one of the CUNY schools. It is accessible via the E and F trains, as well as several bus lines.

What does Queens High School for the Sciences at York College specialize in?

Queens High School for the Sciences specializes in science and mathematics, but all students are required to undergo a rigorous and well-rounded academic curriculum, including the humanities, social science, and foreign language. There is %100 AP participation at QHSS, and by virtue of being on a CUNY campus, students also have the opportunity to take college-level courses with professors at York college. QHSS also offers a wide variety of clubs, sports teams, extracurricular activities, such as Model UN, Chess Club, and Robotics Club.

How many students attend Queens High School for the Sciences at York College?

Queens High School for the Sciences has less than 500 students total, making it one of the smaller specialized high schools.

Queens High School for the Sciences Ranking

According to US News, Queens High School for the Sciences is ranked #4 in New York High Schools and #30 in National Rankings. Pretty amazing!

Queens High School for the Sciences at York Admissions Requirements

The sole requirement for admission to Queens High School for the Sciences is the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test). This 3-hour test is open to all New York City Students who are currently in eight grade or ninth grade. This means that QHSS does not look at grades (your transcript), attendance record, or supplemental essays — just the SHSAT, which is typically held the last weekend of October.

Queens High School for the Sciences at York College SHSAT Score

Queens High School for the Sciences has one of the lower SHSAT cut-off score. Students must still score relatively high on the SHSAT compared to other students who took it that year, and have QHSS ranked highly, in order to be accepted.

The approximate cut off scores for acceptance to the specialized high schools are listed below with their corresponding 2022 numbers.

SHSAT Score Cut-offs 2022

  • Queens Science @ York College 523
  • Stuyvesant 563
  • Bronx Science 524
  • Brooklyn Latin 497
  • Brooklyn Technical 506
  • HSMSE @ CCNY 532
  • HSAS @ Lehman 516
  • Staten Island Tech 527

Queens High School for the Sciences at York College Admission Process

The admissions process for Queens High School for the Science is simple, but not easy. To apply to QHSS students must register for and take the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test), a notoriously difficult exam. Students rank the schools in order of preference, and then score above a certain cut-off score to be accepted to the school of their choice.

IMPORTANT! If you want to get into Queens High School for the Sciences specifically, you need to 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 QHSS, but ranked Brooklyn Latin first, you will get into Brooklyn Latin but NOT QHSS.

Getting into Queens High School for the Sciences: in 5 Steps!

  1. Take a diagnostic SHSAT. Ivy Tutors Network can both administer the diagnostic and send you a comprehensive score report. A mock test is the best way to assess your strengths and weaknesses, which you can then use as a guide for future study.
  2. Begin SHSAT Prep. We suggest that students 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. Mastering the SHSAT requires ample and consistent practice. Students not only need to learn all the material covered on the test, they also need to practice test-taking skills and strategies, like time management and concentration.
  3. Take additional practice tests. Once students have filled in the major content gaps, they should commit to a regular schedule of times and proctored practice tests (administered by a parent or tutor). This is especially important in the months leading up to the test date. After each practice test, students should make sure to understand why they got each problem wrong (yes, all of them!) before moving on to more practice. Since it is up to students to decide how they divide their time between sections on the SHSAT, they should also experiment with different timing and test-taking strategies to figure out what the best approach is for them.
  4. Research Queen High School for the Sciences, as well as the other specialized high schools, in order to inform your decision on how to rank the schools. Learn more about all the specialized high schools by visiting their websites. It Is highly encouraged that students attend any tours or information sessions that are available to them, either in-person or online.
  5. Register for the SHSAT. Of course, 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 through their school counselor.

Tutors Network has helped thousands of students succeed on the SHSAT and get into their top choice school. Our tutors are experts at helping students learn essential test-taking strategies, fill in content gaps, and build confidence. Regular SHSAT Tutoring creates the necessary structure and reinforcement students often need to practice consistently and see results. In addition to individual and semi-private tutoring, we also offer SHSAT Strategies, a small online workshop in which students take a diagnostic test, review content, and learn the best tricks and strategies for excelling on the SHSAT.

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