An Overview of the Selective Enrollment High School Admissions Process

If you have a rising 7th grader, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed about the Selective Enrollment High School admissions process. Below is information about the process which should help clarify things!

To get into a selective enrollment high school, students need three things: good grades in 7th grade, a high score on their NWEA MAP exam, and a high score on the Selective Enrollment High School Entrance Exam (SEHS). Each of these three designations is worth 300 points, with a total of 900 points available. CPS looks at a student’s grades in the following four subjects: math, reading, science, and social studies. Each A grade is the equivalent of 75 points, totaling at 300 points, or 1/3 of the 900 points obtainable. Each B grade results in 50 points, each C grade results in 25 points, and no points are awarded for grades of D or F.

The second third of the 900 points comes from a student’s NWEA MAP score (see next week’s blog post for more information about the NWEA MAP Exam). This test is divided into two sections: math and reading. Each section is worth 150 points, totaling at 300. For Chicago Public School students, this test is administered in the spring of 7th grade and this year’s testing window runs from May 13th to June 14th. Each school has discretion on when they test within that window. For private and parochial school students, they will take the NWEA MAP exam in the fall of their 8th grade year. Generally, this occurs in mid-September, but CPS will release the exact date over the summer. (I recommend subscribing to our newsletter as we will email all of our subscribers as soon as CPS makes an announcement).

The final third of the 900 points comes from the Selective Enrollment High School Exam (we will post more information about the SEHS in the coming weeks). This test has four sections: math, reading comprehension, language, and vocabulary. Testing for the SEHS is held on weekends in October, November, December, and January.

In addition to the 900 points, students will also need to fill out a Selective Enrollment application using the CPS website. On the application, parents will have to declare in which neighborhood tier their family lives (to find out in what tier your neighborhood is, visit the CPS website). The final score a student needs out of 900 to be granted admission for each selective enrollment high school will be determined by their socio-economic tier. These applications are usually due in mid-December, but official dates will be released by CPS in the fall.

Lauren Lynch, Tutoring Coordinator
(312) 848-1266