About the Exam

The process for entry into Hunter College High School in Fall 2022 has not yet been announced. The information on this page pertains to the HCHS Entrance Exam that is [traditionally] administered to prospective students.

The HCHS Entrance Exam consists of two multiple-choice sections covering Reading Comprehension and Math as well as a writing assignment. Students have three hours to complete the Exam. 

The HCHS Entrance Exam is administered once per year only, with no make-up or alternate dates.

**NOTE: HCHS does not share or publish any portion of the actual Exam and does not endorse any test preparation service or agency.**

To the right are "exam hints and tips" as well as two samples of the Hunter College High School (HCHS) Entrance Exam. These are sample tests only; they are not actual exams that were administered in any year for admission to HCHS. Sample exam #1 contains fewer Critical Reading questions than the actual test will contain, and a few more math questions than the actual test will contain.

Typically, the HCHS Entrance Exam contains three sections: 50 multiple-choice English Language Arts questions, a Writing Assignment, and 30 multiple-choice Mathematics questions (sample exam #1 contains 35 math 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 is 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 reflects 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, students are asked to 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. 

The HCHS Entrance Exam is designed to assess your learning. We recognize that one test will not offer a complete picture of your skills and knowledge, but your exam responses will provide us with a sample of your comprehension and problem solving, analytic and writing abilities.

We hope that these sample exams give you an opportunity to prepare for any actual HCHS entrance exam, to know what kinds of questions to expect, and to feel your best on test day.

Good luck!

The Test: Scoring and Student Selection

The multiple-choice sections are computer-scored and hand-checked for accuracy. At the end of the scoring process, a cut off score is established - based on the number of test takers, the cut off score varies from year to year. Once established, the cut off score will allow a percentage of test takers to have their essays read by a panel of evaluators. 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. A percentage of students who write the most impressive essays are selected for admission to HCHS.

HCHS also maintains a pool of wait listed students. If admitted students decline admission or withdraw from HCHS prior to the beginning of 7th grade (or during the first week 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 the first week of 7th grade or beyond 7th grade.

HCHS does not re-score exams, re-read 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.

Students and/or parents will NOT receive the score to any part of the HCHS Entrance Exam, and will not be informed if the applicant advanced to the essay-reading round.