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EDITOR’S NOTE (1/15): This post has been updated to reflect the DOE’s new registration deadline for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT). Families/students may now register to take the SHSAT until January 28. Students with SHSAT registrations submitted after the original January 15 deadline may be given later testing dates—see your test ticket for details upon registration.


Seeking admission to one of New York City’s nine Specialized High Schools?

Time is running out!

From now until Thursday, January 28, 2021, NYC students in grades 8 or 9 can register on MySchools to take the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT) for admission to eight of the City’s nine Specialized High Schools, including Stuyvesant, Bronx High School of Science, and Brooklyn Tech.

Students interested in applying for the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts have until February 23 to register for auditions (also via MySchools).

Want to watch the rest of the videos in our Specialized High Schools Admissions Video Series? Visit our Specialized High Schools admissions webpage.

Applying to Test-Based Specialized High Schools

Current NYC residents who are currently in eighth grade or in ninth grade for the first time are eligible to apply to the eight testing Specialized High Schools. To apply, you need to:

  • Register to take the SHSAT by January 28, 2021

You can do so by logging into your MySchools account and clicking, “Get Started.” Then, click the “SHSAT” tab. You will then be able to list any or all of the eight testing schools in your order of preference, starting with your first choice at #1.

Need to create a MySchools account? Get started by watching our “How to Create a MySchools Account” video!

  • Take the SHSAT

Testing will begin on Wednesday, January 27. Eighth grade students attending City public schools will take the SHSAT at their current school, while all other students, including current ninth graders and non-public school students (i.e., students that attend private, independent, or parochial schools) will take the exam at various DOE locations. Testing locations and dates will be shared soon—check back here or on our Specialized High Schools webpage for more updates.

A banner that says, "Register to test or audition for the Specialized High Schools!" juxtaposed with a student writing musical notes on a whiteboard

Want to prepare for the SHSAT or your LaGuardia audition? Visit our Specialized High Schools webpage, and scroll down for links to sample SHSATs. Likewise, visit our High School Auditions page to learn more about this year’s Virtual Audition process.

Applying to Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

Students seeking admission to LaGuardia High School will first need to register for auditions and then submit audition materials—LaGuardia H.S. does NOT use the SHSAT for admission.

To get started, you need to:

  • Register to audition by February 23

Log into your MySchools account and click, “Get Started.” Then click the “LaGuardia” tab. Here, you will be able to indicate which programs your child wants to audition for. There are six programs at LaGuardia H.S.—instrumental music, vocal, drama, technical theater, dance, and art—and students can apply to any program or to all six of them.

  • Submit your audition by the week of March 1

This year, all high school auditions will take place virtually. Applicants will submit audition files through our Virtual Audition Submission tool. To learn about this year’s requirements for audition programs, visit our High School Auditions page.

For further details about this year’s Specialized High Schools admissions process, visit our official Specialized High Schools page.

Have questions? You can:

On behalf of the NYC Department of Education, we wish all of this year’s high school applicants a smooth admissions process!


Photo by Julia M. Cameron. Used under Creative Commons license. Original can be found on Pexels.

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NYC Department of Education, 2019