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If you’re the parent of a brilliant young mind with their heart set on snagging a spot at one of New York’s finest specialized high schools, then you’re also no doubt familiar with the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (or SHSAT for short). A solid score on the SHSAT is an ambitious student’s strongest asset when it comes to being accepted at one of these highly competitive schools, and a SHSAT prep program can help them make the cut, but it’s imperative that it be the right one. Here’s what to look for when evaluating your choices.

1. Proven Track Record

The first thing you want to look for in a tutoring program or education center is tangible proof that they can actually do what they claim for young people preparing to take the SHSAT or any other important test. Start with some deep research into the center’s track record. What percentage of their pupils succeed at not only improving their scholastic abilities but at really acing the SHSAT in particular? What did those who’ve chosen that option in the past like and dislike about their experience?

2. Solid Tutoring Strategy

Studying for the SHSAT isn’t like studying for any other test, meaning acing it isn’t simply a matter of studying the material hard enough. In addition to knowing their way around the material, test takers need to be terrific at time management, as well as confident in their abilities. They need to be prepared to solve even difficult problems quickly and efficiently, and a truly effective tutoring center will teach them how.

3. Accurate Practice Testing

A huge part of properly prepping for the SHSAT is developing an accurate idea of what the testing process will really be like. Reliable tutoring methods always include focused practice testing drills that realistically mimic the authentic test-taking scenario to the greatest extent possible. They also include a follow-up assessment of each individual student’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the material. Each pupil will know exactly where they need to focus most intently as they move forward with their studies.

When you’re adequately prepared for something big, you’ve got your best chance at dominating that challenge like a boss. This is just as much the case when it comes to the SHSAT as it is anything else. Start your search for the perfect tutoring program today, and learn what it really means to be prepared for anything!