What is TACHS?
The Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools, or TACHS, is the exam used for admission to Catholic High Schools in New York. It is given once a year in November.
Prior to the exam, students must list their 3 top choice schools that they would like their scores sent to. They are then evaluated for admission based on these scores, along with their school transcripts and other criteria.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the TACHS exam and how best to prepare for it!
When is the TACHS exam in 2023?
The three 2023 TACHS exam dates are as follows:
November 3rd - Archdiocese of New York
November 4th - Archdiocese of Brooklyn/Queens
November 4th - Archdiocese of Rockville Centre (Catholic High Schools of Long Island)
How to register for the TACHS test?
You can register for the TACHs exam online at Tachsinfo.com or by telephone at 1-866-61TACHS (1-866-618-2247).
In 2023, the Registration deadline is between August 21st and October 26th. If you do not register by the deadline, your student will not be able to take the exam! You must also enter your high school choices at Tachsinfo.com sometime between registration and November 4th.
What is on the TACHS exam?
TACHS Test Structure
There are four multiple-choice sections on the TACHS exam: Reading, Written Expression, Mathematics, and Ability.
This section is fairly straightforward reading comprehension. Students are presented with short passages and then asked questions that test their undertaking and ability to synthesize the information in the passage. They may also be asked about the meaning of words in context, main ideas, and the author’s intent.
The Mathematics section tests students' knowledge of numbers and operations, data analysis/statistics, geometry, basic algebra, and measurement.
The Written Expression section tests students on standard English language conventions. Students are asked to identify and correct errors in sentences and short passages by attending to syntax, organization, clarity, and tone.
This is the most unique section of the TACHS exam. It purports to test students' reasoning abilities, and most of the problems involve spatial reasoning and pattern recognition. Students will definitely want to spend some time familiarizing themselves with these question types, as they are particular to the TACHS and wont come up in their preparation for the other HS entrance exams.
How long is the TACHS exam?
The TACHS exam is approximately two and a half hours long.
How many questions are on the TACHS exam?
The TACHS exam contains approximately 200 multiple choice questions.
TACHS Test Rules
Can you use a calculator on the TACHS test?
Students may NOT use a calculator on the TACHS exam.
How is the TACHS exam graded?
Students receive both a scaled score between 200 and 800 points and a percentile score, ranging from 1st through 99th percentile, which indicates how well you performed compared to all other students who sat the exam. Most schools use the percentile score to evaluate applicants.
Students are graded based on the number of questions they answer correctly, and are not penalized for wrong answers. They should therefore make an educated guess on every question even if they do not know the answer.
Is the TACHS test hard?
What is the passing score for the TACHS exam?
There is no passing score for the TACHS. Rather, students must receive a high enough percentile score to meet the admissions criteria of the schools they listed during registration.
What is a good TACHS score?
A percentile score between 70 and 99 would be considered a good score on the TACHS exam.
What happens if you fail the TACHS exam?
You don’t fail the TACHS exam but you can fail to meet the admissions criteria of the schools you are applying to if your score is too low.
When do TACHS scores come out?
Students receive admission notices from the schools they listed in mid January, and will also receive their score reports shortly after.
How to find out your TACHS score?
Students can access their TACHS scores online at tachsinfo.com.
How to read the TACHS home report?
Students receive both a National Percentile Rank (NPR) and Local Percentile Rank (LPR) for each of the 5 sections on the TACHS exam. These scores show how well you perfomed compared to all other students who took the exam both nationally and locally. For example, if you receive an 83 NPR, that means that you scored higher than 83 percent of all other students who took a similar test across the nation.
It is common for the LPR to be much lower than the NPR. This is because the LPR compares your score to all other students in the same diocese who took the test on the same day, making it a much more competitive sample.
For more information on how to read the TACHS home report, click here.
How to prepare for the TACHS exam?
- Take a diagnostic exam - For any test prep regimen, taking a mock test is the best place to start, as it helps students assess their strength and weakness and get a sense of how much they will need to study. Ivy Tutors Network can administer the diagnostic exam and send you a score report. To register for a diagnostic, sign up here.
- Read the TACHS Student Handbook - Be sure to read through the official TACHS Student Handbook for more detail on dates, registration, and examples of the types of questions that will appear on the exam.
- Fill in content gaps - Based on the diagnostic, you will need to determine what content areas will need to be learned and/or reinforced. Perhaps a student needs to brush up on fractions, or learn more vocabulary. Now is the time to make sure that any knowledge gaps are being addressed through practice exercises in a test prep book or with a tutor. Much of the TACHS content is the same as that on other exams students may be taking, like the ISEE, SSAT, or SHSAT.
- Read - Independent reading of novels, short stories, magazine and newspaper articles etc., is truly the best way to prepare for both the Reading and Written Expression sections of the exam. It increases reading speed and comprehension and exposes students to more vocabulary and proper grammar and syntax.
- Practice - Subsequent practice tests will help students reinforce the concepts they are learning and also allow them to master essential test taking strategies like time management and intelligent guessing.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Test prep can be very overwhelming, but working with an experienced TACHS tutor is a great way for students to structure their study plans, fill in content gaps, and build confidence. At Ivy Tutors Network, we have 20 years of experience helping students increase their scores and get into their top-choice catholic high schools.
Don't hesitate to contact us to schedule a diagnostic exam, find TACHS tutors, or book a free consultation. No matter where you are in your test prep journey, IVY is here to support you every step of the way!