Our goal is to help our students maximize their learning potential both in grade school and beyond. St. Mary of the Lake and St. Thomas of Canterbury graduates continue their education at some of the best high schools in Chicago. We hope that each student sets their sights high and works hard to be accepted into their school of choice.

It is important that students do their best during all years of their education, not just in eighth grade. The student's seventh grade report card and Terra Nova results that will be sent to high schools during the application process. Students should not rely on their Catholic high school exam or CPS MAP test result alone. 

It is never too early to begin researching high schools and preparing for the entrance exams.  


High School Application Process

Catholic high schools: 
Eighth grade students applying to Catholic high schools must take the exam at the high school they wish to attend on the day of the high school exam. The exam will not be administered at St. Mary or St. Thomas.

View all Archdiocesan Catholic High School Websites by clicking here.

Selective Enrollment Chicago public high schools:
Students must have a minimum of a stanine score of 5 on the 7th grade Terra Nova test to apply. CPS's Office of Selective Enrollment has created a webpage with a tool to help you determine your chances of admission to a Selective Enrollment high school. Click here to access the Point Calculation Tool.

Applications can be picked up from a Chicago public school starting October 1. Visit the CPS Selective Enrollment website for more information.

Neighborhood public high schools: 
Public high school registration forms must be obtained from a Chicago public school. They are not available online. There is no need to apply to go to your neighborhood high school AS LONG AS is not a selective enrollment school.


Open Houses / Recruitment

Loyola Academy 
Click here for more information.

St. Ignatius College Prep
Click here for more information.


High School Test Preparation

The best preparation for high school tests is working hard and keeping up in grade school. Again, it is the student's seventh grade report card and Terra Nova results that will be sent to high schools during the application process. Arco, Barrons, and REA all publish study guides for the high school entrance exams. They are available at most bookstores and public libraries. 

Remember:  Prepare for the "HSPT" exam, NOT the COOP or SSAT.

Click here to access Practice Tests.

Click here to download a Study Guide.

Click here to get more information about the Entrance Exam.