An Overview of the Selective Enrollment High School Entrance Exam

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    • #9791 Reply
      Test Prep Chicago

      Designed specifically for the high school selective enrollment process in Chicago, the Selective Enrollment High School Entrance Exam is an achievement skills test. The exam, created by Chicago Public School’s Office of Access and Enrollment (OAE), is broken into four sections: math, reading comprehension, language, and vocabulary. The test takes approximately three hours to complete, and the number of questions can range from 40-56 per section. A calculator is not permitted and there is no guessing penalty on the SEHS.

      To take the SEHS, Chicago Public School, parochial school, and private school students must sign up for the exam in the fall of their 8th-grade year. The test is administered several times in the fall/winter season, with testing dates in October, November, December, and January. Like the NWEA MAP test (refer to our previous blog post), the SEHS counts as 1/3, or 300 of the 900 attainable points, to get into a selective enrollment high school. The final 300 points are taken from a student’s 7th-grade grades in math, reading, science, and social studies.

      Test Prep Chicago has prepared students for the SEHS the past 8 years through group courses and individual tutoring sessions. We have received very positive feedback from parents and students about our tutoring programs. To learn more about how to set-up private tutoring for the SEHS or to enroll in a SEHS prep course, please visit our website:

      Lauren Lynch, Tutoring Coordinator
      (312) 848-1266

      • This topic was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by Test Prep Chicago.
    • #10233 Reply

      what do you mean there is a no guessing penalty?

    • #10234 Reply
      Test Prep Chicago

      Some exams (namely the SSAT — the entrance exam for boarding schools) subtract points for incorrect answers. The SEHS does not have a guessing penalty (students are not penalized for incorrect answers). Thus, students should be sure to answer every question on the SEHS even if the student must guess.

      Feel free to email if you have any other questions.


    • #10239 Reply

      I’m daisy and I got to 8th grade

    • #11485 Reply

      I’m not sure if I got this, but are you saying that if I get an incorrect answer on the SEHS, (but complete the test). I could get all 300 points?

    • #11486 Reply

      Yes. You can miss questions and/or not complete the exam and get 300.

    • #11516 Reply

      If you get an answer wrong, you will not earn points for that question. That is to say, if you have wrong answers, you cannot get the full 300 points.  The lack of a guessing penalty means additional points will not be taken away for guessing incorrectly.  In tests such as the SSAT, an incorrect answer not only means you will not earn points but that points you earned on other correctly answered questions will be subtracted.  It is, in that case, better to leave the question blank than to answer it incorrectly.  The SEHS test does not penalize students in this way – it is better to guess in the hope that you guess correctly than to leave the answer blank.  You cannot however earn the full 300 points if you answer questions incorrectly (or leave them blank).

    • #11517 Reply

      (This is assuming there are not unscored questions that they are testing out to use for future exams.  But these will not affect your score positively or negatively no matter how you answer.)

    • #11677 Reply

      Does anyone know if the SEHS exam is on paper or on a computer?

    • #11683 Reply

      Last time I took the test it was on paper. Additionally I would recommend Selective Prep to those who want to ace the exam. Its costly but most of those who got into my school said they did it too.

    • #11685 Reply

      Are there any vocab words you need to study for the exam?

    • #11698 Reply

      Does anyone know if the test proctors announce the time remaining for each section? My son just took the test and indicated he was just told when the exam ended, rather than a ‘5min left’ time check. He ended up leaving 5 questions blank, and is very worried since he know he should guess on any remaining questions. I’m sure he should have watched the clock himself, but am just wondering if there is a norm that is usually done for time checks by the proctors.

    • #11706 Reply

      Hi, does anyone know whether scratch paper is allowed on this exam for the math section?

    • #11707 Reply

      yes scratch paper is allowed

    • #11718 Reply

      My kid took the SEHS test on 12/05/20, and said that there were questions outside of the realm of Algebra I, and also found out that some of her classmates who took the test at the same location (Lane Tech), on the same date, at the same time, had a different color of booklet that did not have the extra questions. Does anyone have a similar experience? What do these alternative, extra questions, booklets mean for the scoring? It’s tough enough that we’re classified as Tier 4 (but nowhere near the true demographic, oh well) … we don’t need additional “handicaps.” Thanks. 🙂

      • #11721 Reply

        Most likely, those were IQ test kind of questions (reported several years ago on cpsobsessed) and certainly they don’t count in SEHS scoring.  It’s a puzzle what CPS wants to do with such questions.  They may eventually become a part of SEHS scores, or CPS intends to use the data for longitudinal analysis.

    • #11719 Reply

      Not sure but if they are extra questions I guessing hoping it doesnt effect the score but its used to gauge and measure what the overall educational exposure all the students are receiving ??

    • #11722 Reply

      On MAP test, a calculator will pop on up the screen for certain questions. Any idea of they provide one during certain sections on the SEHS exam?

    • #11730 Reply

      When will the SEHS results/letters be posted this year? Does anyone know?

    • #11733 Reply


    • #11763 Reply

      Can we still re-rank the SEHS choices?  I think the deadline for that is 2/8.  Can anyone please confirm?

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