What Is the TACHS Exam?
If you’re looking to enter a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of New York or the Diocese of Brooklyn, you’ll have to pass the Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS). A good score on the TACHS exam, along with a positive school record, can allow you admission into an NYC Catholic high school.
The test time is two hours, but when you factor in the extra time for instructions and short breaks between the sections, the overall TACHS test process becomes three hours. There are four main sections on the TACHS:
Mathematics. Students must solve math problems from various subfields, including algebra, probability, geometry, and data analysis.
Reading. Students must read text passages and answer questions about the content, intention, tone, and other aspects of reading comprehension.
Written Expression. Students are shown texts and asked to identify errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure, as well as how to best convey written information.
Ability. Students are tested on their logic and problem-solving skills, particularly in regard to spatial reasoning and creative thinking.
Registration and Dates
There are specific dates the TACHS office sets for students to take the TACHS exam. You must register beforehand, entering all the requested information and paying the registration fee.
Registered students are sent an Admit Card that confirms their registration and reveals where they will take the TACHS exam. Students receive their results around mid-January.
Dos and Don’ts for the Test Day
The TACHS test always starts at 9 a.m. Students must indicate their three selected choices of schools on the test booklet, so it’s recommended to write the names on the Admit Card to not forget them. Below are a few more tips.
Arrive early—around 8:15 Bring extra #2 pencils (in case one breaks)
Bring clean erasers
Bring your Admit Card
Bring ID (student ID cards and library cards count)
Bring any electronic devices, such as cell phones or calculators
Bring anything to eat or drink
Bring scrap paper for notes
Schools That Use the TACHS in Admission Decisions
If a Catholic high school is in any of the following counties, it uses TACHS results to evaluate potential students. Consult the website of the Archdiocese of New York or the Diocese of Brooklyn for lists of the schools in these districts.
Archdiocese of New York: New York (Borough of Manhattan), Bronx, Richmond (Borough of Staten Island), Westchester, Rockland, Dutchess, Putnam, Orange, Sullivan, and Ulster
Diocese of Brooklyn: Kings (Borough of Brooklyn) and Queens
How to Study for the TACHS Exam
The key to studying for the TACHS exam is to start early. Cramming is a bad idea—and also extremely stressful. Give yourself plenty of time and stick to a study schedule. Study a bit every night instead of engaging in long, infrequent study sessions.
It’s a good idea to hire a TACHS tutor to help you prepare. A one-on-one teacher can identify your weaknesses and devise a plan to best address them. You’ll benefit from the guidance of a competent personal teacher, and working with him or her will give you confidence that will help you perform well on the TACHS test.