Overview of the TACHS Exam
The Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) is required of all applicants to Catholic high schools within the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn. Catholic schools in these jurisdictions use TACHS test results, along with student records, to determine an applicant's eligibility for admission.
Exam Content and Structure
The actual testing time for the TACHS exam is roughly two hours, but time required for test instruction and brief rests between sections makes the total examination period last about three hours. The exam has four sections designed to measure a student's skills and knowledge in the following areas:
- Mathematics. Students are presented with questions requiring knowledge of algebra, number sense and operations, geometry, statistics and probability, data analysis, and measurement.
- Reading. Students are asked to read a series of texts and answer questions that gauge their comprehension of facts and their ability to evaluate and interpret information.
- Written Expression. To answer these questions, students are required to demonstrate grammar and editing skills as well as a knowledge of how to best express ideas in writing.
- Ability. This part of the exam measures a student's reasoning and problem-solving skills, with an emphasis on spatial and creative thinking.
Test Dates, Rules and Regulations
TACHS tests must be taken on set dates. In 2016, the Archdiocese of New York is administering the TACHS test on November 4th, and the Diocese of Brooklyn is administering the test on November 5th. Students must register for the 2016 TACHS exam between August 22nd and October 17th.
The only special testing accommodation allowed for TACHS exams is extended testing time, and students must apply for this accommodation during the registration process. In 2016, the deadline for this accommodation request is October 7th.
After registering, students will receive an Admit Card that lists their test location, which is typically a school within their diocese. Test results are released in mid-January.
Test Day Do's and Don'ts
Keep in mind that TACHS exams begin at 9 a.m. on the designated test day. Students should come to the testing location with the names of three schools they're interested in attending written on the back of their Admit Card so they can record their school choices on the test booklet. Additional tips are outlined below.
| *Arrive at the testing location by 8:15|
*Bring #2 pencils with erasers
*Bring the Admit Card
*Bring an I.D. (library cards and student IDs are acceptable)
|*Bring a cell phone, watch or other electronic device|
*Bring snacks or drinks
*Bring scratch paper
Schools Requiring the Tests
Catholic high schools in the following counties require TACHS exam scores for admission. Lists of schools within each diocese can be found online at either archny.org/education or dioceseofbrooklyn.org/schools.
|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|
Study Tips and Resources for the TACHS Exam
While reviewing notes and exams from current and previous classes will benefit students readying for the TACHS exam, they may also want to consider taking a prep course that focuses on the exact content of the test's four sections. Study.com, for example, offers a comprehensive TACHS Practice and Study Guide course that zeros in on the key skills and abilities measured by the exam. Instruction for this self-paced online course is delivered via short, easy-to-follow video lessons and includes self-assessment quizzes to help students measure their progress.
Students who struggle with anxiety about exams may also want to review this short Overcoming Test Anxiety: Steps & Strategies lesson prior to test day.