High School Entrance Exam Preparation
TACHS / HSPT / SHSAT / CHSEE
Elementary school students in New York City and Long Island have many options available to them when considering which high schools they wish to attend.
In addition to their local public high schools, New York City students can apply for admission to one of the City's many specialized public high schools. These students will be required to sit for the Specialized High School Admission Test (SHSAT).
Students also can choose to apply for admission to one of the many high schools operated by the Roman Catholic Church within the five boroughs. Students who want to attend a Catholic high schools in New York City are required to sit for the Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools (TACHS).
Students who wish to attend Catholic high schools on Long Island will be required to take the Catholic High School Entrance Examination (CHSEE).
Preparing for New York City and Long Island High School Entrance Examinations
The TACHS, CHSEE, and SHSAT examinations are very challenging, even for bright students; and competition for admission to either the Catholic schools or the specialized public high schools can be intense. Some of these schools rank among the finest high schools in the nation, and they're extremely selective. Even students who score in the 90th percentile aren't necessarily guaranteed to be accepted.
Getting into a good high school is important to your academic future, so the importance of getting a high score on the TACHS, CHSEE, or SHSAT can't be overstated. If you (or your child) are considering applying for any of these schools, it is in your child's interest to start preparing as early as possible.
I provide individual, private, one-on-one tutoring for the TACHS, CHSEE, and SHSAT examinations, as well as preparation for the interviews, essays, and other requirements for admission to these excellent schools.
The TACHS Exam
The Roman Catholic Church operates many high schools in the New York City area. These schools require a special examination known as TACH (Test for Admission into Catholic High Schools) as part of the admissions process.
The TACHS exam tests students' knowledge in four areas:
Reading. This exam tests the student's vocabulary and reading comprehension.
Language Skills. This test assesses the student's command of spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and usage, as well as his or her expression skills.
Mathematics. The math test measures the student's understanding of mathematical concepts such as number properties, measurement, probability, and statistics, as well as their estimation, and problem-solving / data interpretation skills.
Ability. This examination assesses the student's general abstract reasoning ability.
Students who wish to attend any of the Catholic high schools operated by the New York Archdiocese or the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens must do well on the TACHS exam, so preparation beginning in the seventh grade (or during the summer between the seventh and eight grade) is highly recommended.
The CHSEE Exam
Students who wish to apply for admission to Roman Catholic high schools in Long Island, New York are required to take the Catholic High School Entrance Examination (CHSEE), formerly known as the CO-OP test. This challenging examination tests the student's aptitude in five areas:
Mathematics. This examination measures the student's mastery of mathematical concepts, and their readiness for the study of high-school mathematics.
Reading. The reading examination measures a student's reading comprehension and ability to interpret and critically analyze written material, as well as memory and reasoning skills.
Writing, Vocabulary, and Grammar. Students taking the CHSEE are required to demonstrate mastery of basic writing skills (grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.) and vocabulary.
The HSPT Exam
The HSPT is a national examination administered to eight-grade students who are applying to certain elite Roman Catholic high schools. It is given twice a year, in the spring and fall; however, except in rare cases, students aren't allowed to take the test twice. If they do, the lowerscore will be the one reported to schools. It's therefore very important to show up prepared for this test the first time you take it.
The test itself consists of five parts:
Quantitative Skills. This section of the HSPT will test your ability to make geometric and non-geometric comparisons, including being able to recognize numeric patterns and to use a sequence of steps to solve word and number problems.
Verbal Skills. This section will test your ability to think, reason, and communicate in the English language. It includes questions testing your mastery of antonyms, synonyms, logic, verbal analogies, and verbal classifications.
Reading. This section will test your mastery of reading comprehension and vocabulary. You will have to answer questions about an article's main and supporting ideas, its theme and tone, the author's intent, and the meaning of words and phrases in the context of the article.
Mathematics. The Mathematics section measures both your conceptual understanding of math and your ability to use math to solve problems. You will be tested on your understanding of algebraic equations, arithmetic, and geometry, and your ability to solve word problems.
Language Skills. This section will test your mastery of English writing, including composition, punctuation and capitalization, spelling, and usage.
Please note that calculators are not allowed to be used during any part of the HSPT.
The SHSAT Exam
New York City operates many specialized high schools, some of which are among the finest in the world. The SHSAT (Specialized High School Admission Test) is a special examination required for admission to the following highly prestigious New York City public schools:
Bronx High School of Science
Brooklyn Technical High School
Brooklyn Latin School
High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College
High School of American Studies at Lehman College
Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
Staten Island Technical High School
Stuyvesant High School
The SHSAT consists of two sections:
Verbal. This portion measures students' reading comprehension and logical reasoning abilities.
Mathematics. The mathematics portion measures students' achievement in basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, basic coordinate graphing, logic, and solving word problems.
The SHSAT is extremely competitive, with more than 25,000 students taking the examination in a typical year. The schools also are highly selective: Even scoring in the 90th percentile doesn't guarantee that a student will be accepted into the most prestigious schools. Students who have an interest in attending any of the schools that require the SHSAT should start preparing during their seventh-grade year (or during the summer between seventh and eight grade).
Great colleges pay special attention to students from great high schools, so getting a good score on the TACHS or SHSAT is very important to your entire academic future. Please contact me for more information about how I can help you get a better grade on these tests.