The test is not NEARLY as hard as AMC 12. I just took AMC last week and let's just say it was a fail. :/ The SHP test was much, much easier (not easy, just easier). (I took AMC 10 last year and the SHP test was definitely easier than most of that too.) Don't freak out on the challenge part and you'll be fine.
I remember the science part of the test being split pretty evenly between bio & chem (maybe favoring bio a little) with some physics and earth science questions thrown in. They probably take account the fact that you probably haven't had at least one or two of these subjects, since you are a freshman. If you really want to prep that badly, learn Ohm's law (has to do with circuits), review earth science if you had it in middle school, and maybe glance through an AP Chem review book (learn moles, maybe radiation, especially basics about atoms & periodic table). I wouldn't really suggest prepping though.
The easy math part is easy (but you probably know that).
I also just want to commend (ew, that's a fancy word) you for applying as a freshman! (: I would have too if I had known about the program. However, know that very few freshman get in each year (but this could be because fewer freshman apply). If you don't get in, make sure you apply as a sophomore - the program really is great and you'll have already survived the test!
Overall, chill out! Pretend the test is fun (btw, this applies to the SAT/ACT too) and remember you have 2 more shots at it! It really works, trust me.
^Check out the facebook page...some of the schools are pretty impressive.
I will say this (not to be conceited but) I'm among the smarter kids at my school. The other SHP kids make me look really dumb. Seriously. They're really smart (although I do recognize that that doesn't always lead to "top 10" schools).
Thanks for the help, I was concerned as I have not taken Physics/Chemistry yet as Biology is the highest course offered to a freshman in my town. Do you remember if there were any questions about human anatomy on the test?
What subjects of math is on the test? Algebra I & II, Trig, Geometry, Pre-calc, Calc, Calc AB & CD? Are the challenge problems going to use calculus?
Also, what topics from biology do they use? Human systems, nomenclature, environmental sciences, molecular, evolution, genetics, cell theory, homeostasis, energy; did I get it all? Are every single one of these going to be tested on (aka there's an equal possibility that each topic will occur at some point, all of them or not)? Or do some topics come up more often then others? Any surprises?
For chemistry, do we need to memorize equations? Or is it more vocab and theory?
And for physics, what's going to be on the test? I'm only a sophomore so I haven't taken physics yet. Any recommended topics I should look up? Can someone list the major ideas discussed in physics class?
And for all science subjects, do we need to know people? i.e. Rutherford or something random like that.
Review nuclear fission and fusion and which one humans are able to control or not control. Learn some earth layers and earth science in general. Biology was basic. Chemistry was definitely doable- learn the basic scientific method and the reasoning behind each step. The first math is very easy- just make sure you don't do any dumb mistakes. Look up Young's modulus- basically, just buy a physics spark chart and skim through that. For the last challenge section, none of the problems were difficult perse, but make sure you learn some number theory, which will help you do the problems a lot quicker (at least 5). Review equations for conic sections, know how to find the intersection of two different functions. Make sure you can translate word problems into algebra and solve for the answer. I didn't find the need to use any combinatorics or really anything related to probability on there.
Ok I just rattled off everything that came to my head from last year.
Hey guys! I was in your shoes last year stressing out about the entrance exam, so I just wanted to share my *wisdom*! Basically, don't sweat too much about the test. I left at least 1 blank on the simple math section, ~5-8 on the science, and only answered 10/15 challenge math (and I'm not sure if I got all those right...) AND I STILL GOT IN! Conclusion: if you can get those scores, you'll be fine.
As for the program itself, to be honest, it's kinda boring. BUT- you get to meet some crazy cool professors and grad students and, of course, a lot of the high schoolers there are impressive beyond belief. I'm one of the top students at my school right now and I can surely say that I'm one of the least accomplished kids in my Columbia class right now. (Not that I care.) Plus, I wouldn't want to spend my Saturday mornings anywhere else. Columbia is beautiful.
Hey guys, this is going to be my 2nd time taking the test. I remember blanking out in the challenge section last year, so i really need some help. Right now i think ill do better since i am taking Alg 2 honors, but still a few questions...first is there a lot of number theory/sequences (arith, geometric)? Is it easier than the AMC 10's? Can anyone remember a few problems or topics in the challenge section?
thanks very much...