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TACHS FAQ: Frequently asked questions about the TACHS exam and the high school admissions process

What is the TACHS?

The Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS) is an entrance examination used by Catholic high schools in the Archdioceses of New York and Brooklyn/Queens. It’s designed to measure a student’s readiness for high school, covering several academic areas, and is typically taken by 8th-grade students.

What sections are on the TACHS?

The TACHS consists of four sections:

  1. Reading: This section assesses a student’s reading comprehension skills, including their ability to understand and interpret text passages.
  2. Written Expression: This section evaluates a student’s command of English grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.
  3. Mathematics: This section tests students’ understanding of key mathematical concepts, including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and problem-solving skills.
  4. Ability: This section measures a student’s cognitive abilities, including reasoning and problem-solving skills.

How long is the TACHS?

The TACHS exam lasts approximately three hours, with each section timed separately. There are breaks between sections, with the total testing time, including breaks, typically amounting to about three hours and 15 minutes.

Is there an essay on the TACHS?

No, there is no essay component on the TACHS. The test is entirely multiple choice, including the written expression section, which focuses on grammar and sentence structure rather than essay writing.

Can I use a calculator on the TACHS?

No, the use of calculators is not permitted on the TACHS. Students are expected to perform all mathematical calculations without the assistance of a calculator.

When is the TACHS administered?

The TACHS is typically administered once a year, in early November. Specific dates may vary yearly, so it’s essential to check the official TACHS website for the most accurate information.

How is the TACHS scored?

Each of the four sections on the TACHS is scored separately, and there’s no composite or total score. Instead, students receive a percentile rank for each section, which indicates the percentage of test-takers who scored lower than they did.

What is the passing score for the TACHS?

There is no official “passing” score for the TACHS. Instead, each high school sets its admission criteria, including TACHS scores, grades, teacher recommendations, and other factors. It’s best to check with the schools you’re interested in for their admission requirements.

How are TACHS scores used in the admissions process?

TACHS scores are used alongside other criteria, such as academic records and teacher recommendations, in the admissions process. Each school weighs these factors differently. Some schools might emphasize TACHS scores, while others might consider them as just one of many factors.

What if I need accommodations for the TACHS?

If you have a documented disability and require accommodations for the TACHS, you must submit a request through your current school. This might involve extended time, large-print test books, or other modifications. Starting this process early is important, as it can take some time to arrange accommodations.

Can I get extra time on the TACHS?

Extra time is available for students with documented disabilities that warrant such an accommodation. This requires approval before the test, so apply for accommodations as early as possible. The only accommodation allowed will be extended testing time of time and a half. The IEP, 504 Request and Plan, or evaluation form must be submitted along with the Eligibility Form to qualify.

Do I have to study for TACHS?

While studying for the TACHS is not required, it’s certainly beneficial. Preparing for the TACHS can help familiarize you with the test format, question types, and content areas, which can reduce anxiety and improve performance. Many students find that using study guides, taking practice tests, and reviewing key content areas can be beneficial.

What is the fee to take the TACHS?

As of  May 2023, the TACHS fee is $71. This fee includes reporting your scores to up to three high schools of your choice. However, checking the official TACHS website for the most current information is recommended, as fees can change over time.

Where do I take the TACHS?

The TACHS is typically administered at various locations throughout the Archdioceses of New York and Brooklyn/Queens, including many Catholic high schools. You’ll select a test location when you register for the TACHS. Please refer to the TACHS website for the most accurate and current information.

Do I have to download or install anything to take the TACHS at home?

Yes. Students must download and install Proctorio. Proctorio is an artificial intelligence system that will monitor and record
each student’s test session to determine if students attempt to cheat during the test. You must consent to the contents of the Proctorio Consent Form before beginning the registration process.

What is the TACHS website?

The official TACHS website is The site provides information about the test, including registration details, test locations, dates, preparation materials, and updates about any changes to the test format or administration.

Where can I find TACHS practice test questions?

Official TACHS practice test questions can be found in the TACHS Student Handbook, which is available for free on the official TACHS website. In addition to the official resources, various third-party test prep companies, such as Caddell Prep, offer TACHS practice questions and study materials.

What is a TACHS prep course?

A TACHS prep course is a study program designed to help students prepare for the TACHS exam. These courses may cover the content areas tested on the TACHS, provide practice questions or tests, and offer test-taking strategies. Prep courses can be found online, in-person, and sometimes even by schools or community organizations.

Where can I take a diagnostic test?

Diagnostic tests for the TACHS are often included in TACHS prep courses or TACHS study materials. They help identify your strengths and weaknesses in the different areas tested by the TACHS. Diagnostic tests can be found online or through various test prep companies.

Caddell Prep offers a free diagnostic test on its website and a free one at its office. To take a free diagnostic test online, create a free account here: After creating a free account, you can find the link to the free diagnostic TACHS test on the “My Profile” page.

What kind of questions appears in the ability section?

The ability section of the TACHS is designed to measure a student’s cognitive abilities. This includes reasoning and problem-solving skills and does not require specific knowledge in subjects like math or English. The questions in this section typically involve patterns, sequences, and logical relationships. For example, a question might ask a student to identify the next shape in a sequence or to determine which of several shapes is different from the others.

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