TACHS Policies: Retesting or Retaking the Exam
To enroll in a Catholic high school in New York City and many of the surrounding areas, your student must take the TACHS in their eighth-grade year. Obviously, this places a lot of pressure on a single exam, and unfortunately, there are no retakes. The TACHS score is absolutely final. There is no reviewing or rescoring of exams, and students may not retest or retake the exam. The score they got is what will be reported.
TACHS and Admissions
So, what does all of this mean in terms of your student's potential enrollment and admission into a New York Catholic high school? Admission is not based on the TACHS exclusively. For most schools, admissions decisions are made based partly on the TACHS, and partly on the student's Applicant Record.
Let's start with the Applicant Record. This will include the student's grade, academic standing, and other pertinent information. If your student is enrolled in a Catholic elementary school in New York, then the school will most likely make these records available to the TACHS office. You don't have to worry about submitting the Applicant Record yourself. If your student attends a non-diocesan public or private school, however, you will need to fill out Section A of the Applicant Record form found in the TACHS student handbook. Give the rest of the form to the principal or counselor of your student's school to complete. They will then mail this to the high schools that your student applied to.
Selecting the schools is also a crucial part of this process. Your student's TACHS scores will be sent to three schools. These are the three schools where they are applying for admission. You will write the names and school codes for these high schools on the student's Admit Card, which they take with them to the exam. The codes of Catholic schools can be found in the TACHS student handbook, available online.
Since your student can only take the TACHS once, it's important to be strategic when selecting the three schools that will receive the scores. If your student does not have the grades to get into a certain high school, you can still apply, but you're betting on an exceptional TACHS score to override the Applicant Record. Make sure your student meets the minimum qualifications for admission so you don't waste your time applying to a school that they cannot attend. Also, it's worth traveling to several schools to get a feel for the faculty, buildings, and student bodies. Most schools offer open houses for this purpose. Not only can this help you feel more comfortable with the school, but traveling from your home to the school can give you an idea about the realities of the commute and whether it's worth it.
If a Student is Not Admitted
So, what happens if a student is not admitted to any of the three schools that received their TACHS scores? Again, there is no retaking or retesting allowed. Students may only take the TACHS one time, during their eighth-grade year. You are certainly welcome to apply to a Catholic school after this, but once the student is in ninth grade, you will have to apply to the school independently. Contact that school to learn what their specific policies are for accepting students after ninth grade.
Studying for the TACHS
Worried about getting a good score on the TACHS? The TACHS office states that the exam is designed to evaluate the basic knowledge a student should have by the eighth grade, so a student with fairly good grades should not struggle to get a respectable score on the TACHS. Still, it can't hurt to study. The TACHS Information Guide on Study.com is a great place to start, with access to lessons, practice tests, and information about the exam. You can also try the Test For Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS): Practice & Study Guide, which has 47 chapters of lessons, flashcards, and other resources to help you prepare.