Test Info: HCHS

Test Info


The HCHS (Hunter College High School) entrance exam is an exam written by the school itself to evaluate applicants to its high school program, which spans grades seven through twelve. The exam is taken by sixth grade students seeking entrance in the fall of seventh grade, the only grade level at which students are admitted; accordingly, the exam has only one level.

The HCHS exam consists of 50 multiple-choice English Language Arts questions, a Writing assignment, and 30 multiple-choice Math questions; students have three hours to complete the entire exam which they may allocate as they choose among the three sections. The ELA section requires critical reading of five or six texts, some historical and others contemporary, with analysis and comprehension questions; the Mathematics section centers on problem-solving and spans fraction and decimal calculations, percents, integers, probability, area and perimeter, pattern recognition, rates and averages, and three-dimensional solids.

For the Writing Assignment, students are asked to write an essay or creative writing sample no longer than two pages which shows the “originality, effectiveness, and use of detail” in their writing. Some years students may choose among multiple topics; on other exams, only one prompt is provided.

Students’ exams are initially scored based on their multiple-choice performance; scoring is purely by rank order (students should not expect to get their test scores returned), and Hunter College High School determines a cohort-specific cut off score that allows approximately 500 students to move on to the next round of admissions. During that round, students’ Writing assignments are read by HCHS faculty. Approximately 170 students are offered admission and another 20 to 30 students are placed on a wait list.

The HCHS is given at the Hunter College High School campus on a single date, typically in January, for applicants seeking admission in the fall of the same calendar year.

  • Find the latest info and updates on the HCHS Entrance Exams here.


Time Alloted:

Three hours total, to be allocated across all three sections at student’s discretion

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