While every student at BSGE has gone through an admission process, we might not have all taken the same test. Over the last few years, the 7th grade admissions test has undergone some transformations.
Around 500 to 600 students register to take the 7th grade admissions test every year (however, this doesn’t guarantee that all those students will actually show up to take the test). In the next round, around half of the people that took the test are invited back for an interview. After the interview, around 80-100 students are accepted, depending on the number of streams the school is projecting to fill.
Meril Mousoom ’21, who was interviewed by Shantanu, felt that the test she took prior to the interview was fairly difficult. Currently, the test is 90 minutes of math and verbal skills, and it’s mostly multiple choice, with a few short answer questions. The questions asked of her in the interview were quite hypothetical and tested her social and decision-making skills. Some of the questions were, “If you were principal what would you do?”; “If you won the lottery what would you do?”; and “What would you do in the summer after 12th grade?”. Interviewers asked students how they would react to certain situations. Prior to the test Meril didn’t do extensive preparation; mainly, she reviewed several topics briefly.
The test Meril and her fellow 7th graders took may have little resemblance to the test taken by other grades previously. Each year, the test and interview format is modified to make it harder to cheat. Additionally, applicants no longer have to write an essay. However, as noted by Tim David-Lang, this doesn’t mean that the test has gotten easier. A few years ago, the test was made more difficult so that administrators could have a wider spread in terms of scoring. Students have continuously been asked for the final report card from 5th grade, and the first report card from 6th grade, as well as the grades from their state exams and attendance. All of these grades used to be asked for when students came to take the test, but as more and more people came to take it, this data was collected when people came to take the interview instead. This year, said Tim, due to the high number of applicants, the test was taken entirely on Scantron multiple choice sheets.
BSGE’s new, more numerical, and less personalized test format is beginning to resemble the specialized high school exam taken by thousands of eighth graders across New York City. What’s in store for our future? BSGE may still be special in many ways, but it’s possible that our admissions process might not be as unique as it was years ago.