All About the Hunter High School Admissions Test

What is the Hunter High School Admissions Test?

The HCHS admissions test is an English & Math based examination given to students in the 6th grade to determine if they can get into Hunter High School.

Where is Hunter High School Test Held?

The exam takes place mainly at Hunter High School, on the upper east side of New York City. The school’s address is 71East 94th Street, New York, NY 10128. Three locations may open up as well.

1. HCHS at 94th St. between Park and Madison Avenues

2. Hunter College – West Building at 68th St.and Lexington Avenue

3. Hunter College – North Building at 69th St. between Park and Lexington Avenues

How Many Times Can My Child Take the Hunter High School Exam?

You have only ONE chance to be admitted into Hunter High School via an admissions exam. This is only once, and only admissions are granted to students in the 7th grade. As stated on their website, “It is given once per year, with no make-up dates or rescheduling.”
I know this may not seem fair. I didn’t make up the rules. I’m merely breaking them down. Don’t be mad at the messenger!

Can My Child Just Take the Hunter High School Test?

No. You can take the test by invitation only. Students who achieve the highest scores on ELA & Math are “invited” to sit for the test.

When Can My Child Get Into Hunter High School?

The test is given in January of the sixth grade. Only students with stellar report card grades are even eligible to sit for the test. Hunter will look at the child’s fifth grade math and ELA scores to see if he or she is eligible to sit for the test. These scores must be in the 90th percentile for consideration.

What are the cut-off scores for the ELA & Math?

Exact scores vary from year to year. In 2011, sixth grade students who wished to enter Hunter during the 2011–2012 school year must have achieved scores of at least 690 out of 770 on the reading test and 733 out of 780 on the math test, that is, scores in the 90th-and-above percentile of all test takers (Source: HunterHS.Org). The cut off scores in 2012 were 689 ELA and 722 in Math.

What if My Child Does Not Have 5th Grade Scores? Can He or She Still Sit for the Test?

Yes. You can request that your child’s principal write a letter of recommendation to allow students who do not have any fifth grade scores to sit for a “Qualifying Exam.” This particular “Pre-test” will be held on December 1st, 2012.

How Competitive is Admission to Hunter High School?

This school is absolutely excellent, on the glitzy Upper East Side, and completely free, so competition is high and fierce. Students from all 5 boroughs of New York City will be competing for just a few select spots. It is, by far, one of the most selective public high schools in the United States. Competition is fierce.

Out of about 3,000 test-takers, about 175 are offered admission on the basis of the exam. Only about 6% of the students who take the Hunter High School exam get into the High School. This means that it is EASIER TO GET INTO HARVARD UNIVERSITY, a school with a 10% admissions rate, than it is to get into Hunter High School.

US News and World report Magazine consistently ranks Hunter High School as the #1 Public High School in the nation.

What kinds of Colleges do HCHS students later attend?

Each year, approximately 25% of HCHS students attend Harvard, Yale, Cornell, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Columbia, Brown and Dartmouth. Several more attend Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Is Hunter High School a Specialized High School?

No. Hunter is not a Specialized High School like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, or Brooklyn Technical. Specialized High Schools are separate schools that require an SHSAT test to get in. Please see Kweller Prep’s Article, “SHSAT: Frequently Asked Questions” to learn more about the SHSAT. The article can be found here:

Who is In Charge of Hunter High School?

Hunter High School is funded by the New York State Board of Higher Education and is run by Hunter College. The school is exempt from many stringent rules set forth by the Department of Education.

Is the Hunter High School Test Free?

Nope. Taking the Hunter test ($70) actually costs more than taking the SAT ($49). It costs more than many applications to colleges!

Is it worth it? Definitely! If you get in and pass the test, you can get a full 5 years of outstanding education for free, at a breakdown of about $14 a year, it’s certainly a steal!

How do I Pay for the Test?

You can pay online with a credit card or a debit card. You can also pay by money order. No checks are accepted. The fee is not refundable, under any circumstances. Hunter does not mess around!

What if I Can’t Afford to Pay for the Test?

You still have to pay! But less. Students who qualify for free or reduced price lunch may apply for a reduced administrative fee for the entrance exam. This doesn’t make the test free, but only cheaper. Applications must be accompanied by a money order for the reduced fee of $35, the completed Reduced Fee Application form and documentation for BOTH parents. There is no way to avoid the “both parents” part.

How Do I Register for the Test?

You can register online at and then click on the top menu bar that states “Admissions.”

When is the Application Deadline?

All applications must be submitted by 4:00 pm on Friday, November 2nd, 2012. The online system will close at that time. There is no other way to receive an admission ticket for the test.

What Day is the Hunter High School Test?

January 11th, 2013. The test is held the second Friday morning of January every year. Be prepared for crazy snow storms, sub-zero temperatures, lots of traffic, and be sure to dress appropriately.

How Long is The Test?

The exam is 3 hours long. This includes the time to write the essay.

What Time Does the Exam Start?

The Hunter High School Admissions Test Begins at 9:00 AM, but most students and parents arrive by 8:00 AM, some as early as 7:30 AM.

What is the Breakdown for the Hunter Admissions Test?

This test contains three sections:

35 Multiple choice MATH questions

60 Multiple Choice ENGLISH questions “English Language Arts”

1 Essay

There are 5 possible answer choices: A, B, C, D, or E.

A student’s essay will be read only if he or she scores at least in the 80th percentile on the reading & math.

Is there a “guessing penalty”?

No. So please do not leave any answers blank. You never know!

What if my child goes to Hunter for Elementary School. Does That Guarantee that my child will get into Hunter High School?

No. Only the best of the best go onto the high school, and Hunter does not show favoritism to those who attend their elementary school.

Therefore, the best way to prepare for the Hunter High School Admissions Test is to go to Kweller Prep, and to take our intensive Hunter High School prep course.

What Are Some Interesting Facts About Hunter High School?

  1. 1. Hunter places the majority of its students in top universities and Ivy League Schools.
  2. 2. Hunter is an open campus, so students can actually leave the school building to get lunch and walk around the area during free periods.
  3. 3. Hunter High School is completely free, and one of the best schools in the United States.
  4. 4. Admissions rates to Hunter are more selective than admissions rates to Harvard.
  5. 5. 93% of the students who get into Hunter High School have taken some form of Test Prep.
  6. 6. The majority of students at Hunter High School are White and Asian from affluent households. Lack of diversity at the school has been the subject of many news articles.
  7. 7. There are about 180-200 students in each grade (7-12)
  8. 8. During the 12th grade, students at Hunter High School can take classes at Columbia University for transferable credit.
  9. 9. Students must take French, Latin, or Spanish starting the 7th grade.
  10. 10. 99% of Hunter High School Students go onto top colleges.
  11. 11. 25% go to Ivy Leagues.
  12. 12. The Wall Street Journal refers to Hunter High School as a “feeder” to the Ivy Leagues
  13. 13. All students at Hunter possess outstanding SAT and ACT scores, among the top in the nation.
  14. 14. US News and World report Magazine consistently ranks Hunter High School as the #1 Public High School in the nation.

How Many Students from Queens Take the Test?

Roughly 1,200 of the students who take the HCHS test are from Queens, NewYork.

Where Can I Access a Practice Test for Hunter High School?

Are Calculators Allowed?

No. Calculators are not permitted on this test.

When do I get my Test Results?

Results are usually available by the end of February.

What’s the difference between Stuyvesant High School and Hunter High School?

There are a few, but here are the basic ones.

1. To get into Hunter H.S., you need to take their admissions test January of 6th Grade. To get into Stuyvesant, you need to take the SHSAT test November of 8th or 9th grade.

2. Hunter H.S. starts from Grade 7, Stuyvesant starts from Grade 9.

3. Hunter High School is more of a humanities (English & Writing) based school while Stuyvesant is more of a science and math based school.

4. Stuyvesant is located downtown NYC, Hunter is on the upper East Side.

5. Hunter is affiliated with Hunter College; you can easily take classes there for transferable college credit. Stuyvesant HS stands alone with no college affiliation.

6. Overall, both school reputations are excellent.

7. Kweller Prep runs prep courses and offers tutoring for both tests. While the exams are both English and Math based, the format is very different and so are the question types.

8. The Hunter High School test requires students to write an essay (similar to the SAT) while the Stuyvesant High School test does not.

9. Hunter high school is much smaller than Stuyvesant.


Which One of the Two Schools Do You prefer?

That’s a tough one, because my company employs 32 Stuyvesant graduates but only 5 Hunter HS grads to date. Both schools are excellent choices with stellar reputations. I don’t want my stuy kids to be upset. But personally, I’m more of a humanities based person, and I really like the idea of my kids having the same circle of friends from the 7th grade attending the same small school on the quiet enclosed Upper East Side, which is why I choose Hunter. Downtown is crazy and noisy. I did that all throughout college at NYU. I also like the idea of starting high school early, in the 7th grade instead of the 9th. After all, I did apply and was accepted to both NYU college and law school via early decision. I certainly have no regrets with that. I see, I like, I buy. If your child is invited to take this test, it is quite an honor. Please prepare well for this exam and for this incredible opportunity.

What is The BEST Way to Prepare for the Hunter High School Examination?

Kweller Prep. There, students can take multiple proctored practice tests, and work through some of the toughest math and English questions on the Hunter High School Entrance Exam with an experienced instructor. We have excellent Hunter Prep programs.

Yes, you can study on your own, but it is incredibly difficult to do so. Visit our website or register for classes at

We have offices in Queens and Manhattan.

Call Today! 1(800) 631-1757


Parker Towers Building

104-40 Queens Blvd Suite 1F

Forest Hills NY 11375



Regis Towers Building

445 Park Avenue Suite 9A

New York NY 10022

Register for Hunter High School Exam Prep classes by calling 1(800) 631-1757 or email

Sample Eligibility Letter (usually received in September of 6th Grade

Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York

Sample of Math State Test Scores needed for 2012 Admission to take the Hunter High School Entrance Exam

Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York

Sample of ELA English State Test Scores needed for 2012 Admission to take the Hunter High School Entrance Exam

Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York


Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York


Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York

Students at Kweller Prep’s Intensive Test Prep Program

Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York

Tutoring Team at Kweller Prep

Education Blog | Education Site | Queens | Manhattan | New York

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