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Test for Admissions into Catholic High Schools (TACHS)

The Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) is required for admission to Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens and Archdiocese of New York. Students in eighth grade are eligible to take this exam.

Test Format: 

The TACHS exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and is divided into four sections, for a total time of two hours and 17 minutes:

  1. Reading (35 minutes)
    1. Vocabulary (20 questions, 10 minutes)
    2. Reading Comprehension (30 questions, 25 minutes)
  2. Language (30 minutes)
    1. Spelling, Capitalization, Punctuation, and Usage/Expression (40 questions, 23 minutes)
    2. Paragraphs (10 questions, 7 minutes)
  3. Mathematics (40 minutes)
    1. Concepts, Data Interpretation, Problem Solving (32 questions, 33 minutes)
    2. Estimation (18 questions, 7 minutes)
  4. Abilities (32 minutes)
    1. Similarities and Changes (40 questions, 25 minutes)
    2. Abstract Reasoning (10 questions, 7 minutes)

Test Dates: 

The TACHS exam is administered once a year in November.  One date is dedicated for the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens and one date is for the Archdiocese of New York. Students can only take this exam one time.

The test dates for 2020 are: 

Testing area Test Date Registration opens Registration deadline
Archdiocese of New York November 6, 2020 August 24, 2020 October 19, 2020
Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens November 7, 2020 August 24, 2020 October 19, 2020

How to register: 

Students can register for this exam online (preferred method) or by telephone at 1-866-61TACHS (1-866-618-2247). The total cost of the exam is $65, and includes a student handbook, test materials, and the reporting of scores to the three high schools of your choice.

After a student has registered for the exam, ensure to take a look at the TACHS registration checklist, which details the following:

  • Register for the exam online or by phone
  • Complete and submit the Eligibility form for Extended Time, if applicable
  • Receive Admit Card confirming test site
  • (Optional) Attend High School Information Fair
  • Have the student’s school complete and submit the Applicant Record
  • Write the three high schools of the students choice on the Admit Card before the day of testing. The Admit card also requires a parent’s signature. 
  • Prepare!
  • Bring Admit Card to the test site
  • Receive score report and admissions decisions mid-January.

For more information, please visit the TACHS website checklist.

Scoring: 

Students receive a scaled score on a range of 200 to 800.  Students are also sent a percentile score. Scores on the TACHS exam are calculated based upon the number of questions that a student answers correctly. Score reports are delivered to high schools prior to students receiving their scores.

Accommodations:

Extended time is available for the TACHS exam.  Students must submit an IEP or evaluation form along with the eligibility form in order to qualify.  These forms must be received in the Diocesan office by October 9, 2020. Information on where to mail forms is available here.

The High School Placement Test (HSPT)

The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is another commonly administered exam for students applying to Catholic high schools.  This test is known for having many questions in a short time period!

Test Format: 

The HSPT exam consists of 298 multiple-choice questions and is divided into four sections, for a total time of two and a half hours:

  1. Verbal skills (60 questions, 16 minutes)
    1. Topics include: analogies, logic, antonyms, synonyms and verbal classification.
  2. Quantitative (52 questions, 30 minutes)
    1. Topics include: geometric and non-geometric comparison, number manipulation and number series.
  3. Reading (62 questions, 25 minutes)
    1. Topics include: vocabulary and reading comprehension
  4. Mathematics (64 questions, 45 minutes)
    1. Topics include: word problems, math concepts and geometry.
  5. Language Skills (60 questions, 25 minutes)
    1. Topics include: capitalization, grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure.

It also has three optional sections that schools can choose to include on the test, which are:

  1. Mechanical Aptitude
  2. Science
  3. Catholic Religion

Many schools do not choose to include these sections on the test!

Test Dates & registration: 

All details of test dates are handled by individual schools. Please check with the school you are interested in for further information on test dates and how to register.

Scoring: 

Students receive a scaled score on a range of 200 to 800.  Students are also sent a “Cognitive Skills” score and a “Basic Skills” score. Scores on the HSPT are calculated based upon the number of questions that a student answers correctly. Score reports are delivered directly to high schools. Retaking this exam is strongly discouraged.

Accommodations:

Testing accommodations are handled by each specific school, and each school has their own testing policy with regard to accommodations.  We recommend that students and parents contact the school directly.

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