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Hunter College High School

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Entrance Exam

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Entrance Exam
About the Exam
The HCHS Entrance Exam consists of two multiple-choice sections covering English and Math and a writing assignment. Students have three hours to complete the Exam. It is given once per year, with no make-up dates or rescheduling. For entry into the 2018-2019 school year, the HCHS Entrance Exam will be given on Friday, January 5th, 2018. In the event of inclement weather, the snow date is scheduled for Friday, January 12th, 2018.
Above is a sample of the Hunter College High School (HCHS) Entrance Exam. This is a sample test, not an actual exam that was given in any year for admission to HCHS. There are slightly fewer Critical Reading questions than the actual test will contain. The Math sample test contains more items than the actual test will contain.

The exam you will take in January is designed to assess your learning. No one test can give a complete picture of your skills and knowledge, but your exam provides us with a sample of your comprehension and problem solving, analytic and writing abilities. The test will contain three sections: 50 multiple-choice English Language Arts questions, a Writing Assignment, and 30 multiple-choice Mathematics questions.  Each multiple-choice question is followed by five possible answers: A, B, C, D, or E. You must choose the best answer for each question.Students are given a total of three hours to complete the examination, including the Writing Assignment.

In the Critical Reading portion, your reading comprehension will be assessed. You will answer questions about specific reading passages to show your ability to understand, interpret, and analyze a number of types of writing. You will read five or six passages of varying lengths. Each is followed by multiple choice questions about it. Every fifth line of each passage is numbered so that you can find the part the question refers to.  You are asked to read the passage and answer the questions based on the content of the passage.

The passages in the Critical Reading section usually reflect a range of writing styles from different time periods. In this sample exam, all of the reading passages are older, allowing us to print them without costly special permissions. Each year, we secure limited permission to reprint more contemporary selections. In an actual exam you would read and answer questions about passages from a wider range of writing styles.

In the Writing Assignment section, you will write either an essay or a creative piece (up to two pages) to demonstrate the originality, effectiveness, and use of detail in your writing. There is scrap paper in the test booklet where you can jot down, outline thoughts, or compose a draft before writing the full assignment. Some years you are given a choice of topics; other years, there is only one topic. 

The Mathematics section tests your problem-solving ability. Students solve a variety of problems, including multi-step ones involving: estimation; computations with fractions, decimals, percents, and integers (including negative numbers); rules of divisibility; simple probability; rate; average; ratio; time; money; area of shaded regions; perimeter; counting; visual and numerical pattern recognition; and three dimensional figures. The Math sample test contains more items than the actual test will contain. 

We hope that this sample exam gives you an opportunity to prepare for the HCHS entrance exam, to know what kinds of questions to expect, and to feel your best on test day.

Good luck!

Sample Entrance Exam
Download Sample HS Entrance Exam
Sample is in PDF Format
The Test: Scoring and Student Selection
The multiple-choice sections are computer-scored and hand-checked for accuracy. A cut off score is established, allowing the top approximately 500 scorers to have their essays read by a panel of HCHS English faculty. Essays are read “blind”; at all times, students are identified solely by their HCHS Identification numbers. Readers do not know the students’ identities at any point in the assessment process. The students who write the top approximately 170 essays are selected for admission to HCHS.

HCHS also maintains a wait list pool of 20 to 30 students. If admitted students decline admission or withdraw from HCHS prior to the beginning of 7th grade, students from the wait list will be offered admission at HCHS’s discretion. No students will be admitted from the wait list after 7th grade.

HCHS does not rescore exams, reread essays, or reconsider admissions decisions.  HCHS does not share or publish any portion of the Exam and does not endorse any test preparation service or agency.