Should my child take the Hunter Test? A quiz for parents.

In an earlier post, we discussed how the Lower Level ISEE is among the longest tasks a 4th or 5th grader will have encountered.

For some 6th graders, their first challenging standardized test is the three hour-long Hunter High School Entrance Exam, one that presents its own unique challenges to young test takers.

At City Smarts, being approached by parents of 6th graders looking to prepare for the Hunter Exam elicits more questions from us than any other test prep scenario. An 11th grader looking to take the SAT probably wants to go to college, probably needs a  good score, and likely understands what they are getting themselves into.

That is certainly not the case with your typical Hunter Exam student. But instead of giving you answers to questions you may have, let’s try something else. Here are the questions we ask parents when they decide to dive into Hunter prep. And let’s make it multiple choice – just like the Hunter Exam itself. Ours though will be about 82 questions shorter than the Hunter Exam itself. 

Should your child be preparing for this exam?

A. Yes

B. Probably

C. I’m not sure, but I’m clearly reading this blog post

D. No

The easiest thing your child can do is NOT prepare for the Hunter Test. That’s actually the advice we find hardest to give to parents. Hunter College High School is not the right fit for everyone. It’s a terrific option, but it’s not the only great public school, and it’s certainly one of the very hardest to get into. For the wrong students, a Hunter education can be exhausting and unrewarding. We have to ask parents to weigh the opportunities the school affords its students with the likely sacrifices they’ll make in the non-academic areas of their lives. 

Is your child good with numbers, and do they love numbers?

A. Yes and Yes

B. Yes and No

C. No and No

D. Her first word was “pi”

As one of our instructors likes to say, “You can do every math question on the Hunter Exam if you can count.” Now that might not be the most efficient way to do the problems, but it will work. But students who struggle with computation – fraction and decimal operations, long division – will find the Hunter Exam challenging, and so too will they find the curriculum at Hunter itself. Students who love numbers tend to be well positioned when embarking on the challenges of the Hunter Exam.  

Does your child love tests?

A. Does anyone?

B. Yes

C. No

D. I can persuade them to

It should come as no surprise that a kid who loves tennis just might love the idea of playing tennis on a weekday morning in lieu of having to go to school. The Hunter Exam takes place on a weekday morning, and yes, your kid gets excused from school that day. But what happens in that room is much more mentally and physically demanding than a day at school, or even a three-hour tennis match, and it should come as no surprise that the students who fare best tend to be the ones who feel, after the second hour of answering multiple choice questions, that there’s still something to be gained from giving it their best. That’s something to keep in mind. Is there love for the process? Because that will help. 

The goal of these questions is to ensure that any prep is meaningful, impactful, and valuable from the outset.