PUTTING DREAMS TO THE TEST: A special report; Elite High School Is a Grueling Exam Away

A NYTimes overview of the test and experiences in 1998.

The Stuyvesant test is officially called the ”Examination for the Specialized Science High Schools” — Stuyvesant, the Bronx High School of Science and Brooklyn Technical High School. The same test is given for admission to all three, and students simply list their first, second and third choice. Since a majority of students list Stuyvesant first — 11,397 out of 18,524 eighth graders who took the most recent test — the cutoff for admission to Stuyvesant is higher. This year students had to score 559 or better for Stuyvesant’s admission, or get about 85 of the 100 questions right.

The test is divided into English and math sections, just like the S.A.T., and is prepared and graded by American Guidance Service, an educational publishing company outside Minneapolis-St. Paul. To make the test more fair to immigrants whose English lags, sections on sentence completion and word synonyms, antonyms and analogies have been eliminated. The English part of the Stuyvesant test emphasizes ”logical reasoning,” which educators say makes the test more difficult.