Academic Resources and Services*

Free/Low-Cost Test Prep Resources

Free & Low Cost SHSAT Test Prep Options

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2021 NYC High School and Specialized High Schools Admissions Information Page - HERE

Guide to the 2021 SHSAT and Specialized High School Admissions - HERE

Note - If any of the dates below are in the past, check with the provider for new dates.  We are keeping them here for reference.

Advice from a parent - Discounts!   Always ask if discounts are available.  Discounts might be available based on school affiliation and/or other factors.  Many test prep companies will discount their fees, sometimes significantly, for families with financial challenges so don't hesitate to ask.
There are many prep books that you can buy at a local bookstore or online. Most cost between $10 and $20 each. These books provide many of the same kinds of tips and advice that you’d get in a prep class. Maurice Frumkin, Founder and President of NYC Admissions Solutions, and a recent guest speaker at our PTA meeting mentioned he was a fan of the Barron's SHSAT book.
Kaplan Test Prep is offering a free, on-demand SHSAT Practice Test.  Questions can be addressed to
Applerouth Tutoring is offering free SHSAT Mock exams.  Sign up HERE!
Sheptin Tutoring Group is offering ESMS families free SHSAT Practice Exams! Please call 914-232-3743 to reserve your space
Free SHSAT Mock Exams from Cates, a vendor fair participant.  According to Cates, "mock tests are the single most useful tool for developing your test-taking skills".  Registration and details are here-
NYC Admissions Solutions is also offering ESMS families a free 15 minute consultation to discuss any topic of testing and/or high schools.
IVY Tutors Network is offering a free one-day ’tricks and strategies’ class to kickstart the SHSAT study process. While IVY Tutors has been helping students achieve their best SHSAT scores with one-on-one personalized education for over 16 years, we know that there are test taking tricks and strategies that anyone taking this test must learn. Join us for these small group classes. Free spots limited and offered on a first-come, first served basis. Email or schedule a free consultation here: Learn more about our program here:
The DOE’s Specialized High Schools Student Handbook includes practice exam questions and test-taking tips.
Check out Inside Schools Free Programs section for more options and also ask organizations in your neighborhood if they offer SHSAT prep.
For about $25 you can take an online prep course from This organization also offers free content, one-on-one tutoring for a fee, and some scholarships to cover the cost of their fees.
Outreach Prep, utilizing High School students as tutors, is offering free tutoring services for grade 5 thru 8 for exams and for an array of subjects.  They are also buying students free books for test prep and for enhancing reading skills. 
Some community organizations, such as the Hudson Guild offer free SHSAT prep to students.
PASSNYC is an organization dedicated to increasing the diversity of students taking the SHSAT. It offers resources for parents and students including a free summer SHSAT prep course for a limited number of rising 8th-graders.
Helicon Inc, a non-profit, offers a SHSAT prep program for free to African-American and Latina girls.
The DOE’s DREAM Program offers two free SHSAT prep programs open to New York City public school students who meet additional eligibility requirements. There’s a 22-month-long course open to 6th-graders and the Summer/Fall Intensive, a 38-session course open to rising 8th-graders.
Argo Prep offers a lower-cost, online test prep and tutoring. ArgoPrep is also providing free test prep material for the roughly 30,000 eighth-graders in New York City preparing for the Specialized High School Exam. NYC students can sign up online for a free 3-month subscription.
SamSchool now offers a FREE SHSAT Mini Test for the benefit of SHSAT Takers of 2020.  This test consists of 56 questions (ELA - 26, Math - 26) in SHSAT Style for 8th and 9th graders. Parents, students and educators may get the test at:
While not SHSAT specific, Khan Academy offers free online instruction/exercises/tests on a wide array of subjects including math and English. 


2020 Academic Resource Fair Participants and Sponsors

Thank you to all the vendors and sponsors who helped make this year's ESMS Academic Resource Fair a resounding success. Attendees were treated to an evening of great advice and a plethora of opportunities to help our students reach their full potential.  We encourage you to scroll through the listings below and contact the following vendors to learn more about their offerings and be sure to request your ESMS discount!

Academic Support Resources

College Planning

On 11/19/19, ESMS invited Anthony Becker, CFP, to return to our school to speak at our PTA meeting.  Mr. Becker's topic was "Planning for the Costs of College" which was highly received by the audience.  The key takeaway is that the time to start planning is NOW!
Here is Mr. Becker's handout and contact information - Becker Presentation College Nov 2019.PDF 
ESMS families receive a reduced fee consultation!
Student Financial Aid Presentation, provided by the NYS Higher Education Services  Corporation -  2020-21 Financial Aid PowerPoint.PDF

Students with IEPs

Hunter College Learning Lab offers free tutoring for students with IEPs.  For more information:

East Side Middle School Sponsors
Thank you to the following sponsors who have donated generously to the ESMS PTA

GRF Test Prep - GRF's Ten-Session Course prepares students to take the New York City Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Each of our class sessions is 3 hours in length. We teach and review all of the types of ELA and Mathematics questions that are tested on the exam. Our Homework Assignments always include questions that are similar to those asked on previous years' exams. The GRF Course teaches test taking techniques that help students to achieve a higher score. We provide our students with Five Complete Practice Exams that are similar to those given in recent years. We administer one of these exams under test conditions during SESSION # 9 of our Ten-Session course. A Progress Report is sent home each session to keep the student's parents informed of the student's progress. Past experience has shown the GRF Course provides excellent preparation for the SHSAT. 2020 IS OUR 40th YEAR OF PREPARING STUDENTS TO TAKE THE SHSAT!  Reach us at (201) 592 - 1592 or at​​.  Visit our website at for courses and locations.

Karen Berlin Ishii - Premier Academic Tutoring and Test Prep
All ESMS families are invited to schedule a complimentary 30-minute phone or Skype consultation: Ask Karen all your questions about tests and test prep – from tips for foundational study to strategizing your child's admissions testing, the best study materials and more.  Visit Karen's website to learn more and find contact information at:

Ivy Global- Ivy Global is a company that focuses on providing clients with premium educational services. We are distinguished by the team we've assembled — a dedicated, talented and passionate group. Our services include: SAT Prep, SSAT Prep, ISEE Prep, Admission Essays, Private Tutoring, and Strategy Consulting. Ivy Global is offering private tutoring at the discount rate of $80 per hour for school or curriculum help. Email us at for your free hour of online tutoring or essay editing or for a free 30-minute consultation.  Please visit our website at for additional offerings and promotions.


*  ESMS is providing the above listings & links for informational purposes only.  We do not endorse any of the offerings and encourage families to perform proper due-diligence before engaging with any service or provider.


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