About the Exam

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. For entry into the fall of 2020, the HCHS Entrance Exam will be given on Friday, January 10th, 2020. In the event of inclement weather, the snow date is scheduled for Friday, January 17th, 2020.

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

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

The HCHS Entrance Exam will contain 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 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. 

The HCHS Entrance Exam that is administered in January 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 the 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 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.