The Test for Admission to Catholic High Schools (TACHS) is required for admission in certain areas of New York, particularly in Roman Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn/Queens. TACHS is published by the Riverside Publishing Company, one of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt companies.
TACHS is designed to determine ability and achievement levels in the following areas:
- Reading: Interpreting literary and informational text to draw accurate conclusions.
- Written Expression: Understanding and applying the rules and structure of Standard English.
- Mathematics: Solving a variety of problems, including algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
- Ability: Using reasoning skills to solve experience-based problems.
Each correct answer on your TACHS test adds one point to your raw points total. Then, the raw points are scaled using a complex algorithm to determine your numeric score. Lastly, student scores are compared to calculate the percentile. Essentially, it reflects your performance in comparison to other students who took TACHS. The percentile score is typically what Catholic high schools will use to make decisions.
The range for scaled scores is 200 - 800 total points. In addition to your scaled score, you will also be sent a percentile score. On average, a good TACHS percentile score ranges from 70 to 99. The average percentile score is a 50.
Each school has a different range that is acceptable for admission and other decisions. Therefore, it's essential to check with your top three high school choices to identify their exact admissions criteria.
Depending on the competitiveness of the school, your test score may carry more weight in admissions decisions. For example, if an overabundance of students are scrambling for a spot at your selected school, the determining factor may come down to TACHS scores.
High School Admissions Considerations
Test results are just one aspect of your complete academic picture. Although different high schools have their own specific score requirements, test results are often considered along with several other factors. For example, a high school may look at your transcript to see not only the grades you received but the rigor of the courses you took. Additionally, some high schools may require letters of recommendation or an admissions interview. Be sure to contact your selected high schools for detailed admissions information. You may even want to ask for a meeting with the admissions team to learn more. Additionally, Catholic elementary and middle school guidance counselors often know a lot about area Catholic high schools and can provide valuable insight.
How Scores are Used
TACHS scores are not only used to determine whether you will be admitted to your school of choice; they may also be used to award scholarships. TACHS scores may determine academic placement, as well. If your score in the Mathematics section is high, you may be placed in a more challenging course. If your Written Expression score is low, you may be placed in a class that provides additional academic supports.
You can only select three schools to which your scores will be sent. Be sure to research and decide on these schools well in advance. On test day, you'll be required to write in the information for each of your selected schools so bring this information with you.
Score reports will be delivered to Catholic high schools in mid-December.
You will also receive your own copy of your scores, which will be sent in mid-January.
If you currently attend a Catholic school, scores will be sent directly to your elementary or middle school guidance department. If you do not receive the scores by the end of January, contact your school guidance office.
If you attend a private or public school, score reports will be sent instead to the address you listed on your test registration document. If you do not receive your scores by the first week of February, contact the TACHS team using this TACHS Contact Information.
Preparing for TACHS
There are no retakes for TACHS, so it's essential to be fully prepared before test day. Check out the following resources to help you in your studies: