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CPS Tiers, Part 2: CPS Tiers and Your SEHS Exam Score

CPS Tier Calculation and How to Find Your Tier

Please read Part 1 of our CPS Tiers series here.

What are CPS Tiers

Tiers are a means of measuring CPS’s diversity. The CPS Tier system was created after a court decision in 2009 threw out CPS’s previous race-based system. Your tier plays a critical role in the Selective Enrollment process. Your NWEA score carries considerable weight to your admission based on your tier.

Each Selective Enrollment school sets aside 30% of their admissions to the highest-scoring students regardless of residence. This student group is called Rank, and it is separate from the tier system. The other 70% factor in the tier system. Applicants are herded into their respective tiers. Each tier is analyzed by NWEA score and given a cutoff score. This is a key part of determining admission. It is up to the individual school to determine where the cutoff score is. This means that you compete just with students within your tier.

Cutoff scores for 2021-2022 will be posted when Round 1 of Selective Enrollment results are released. The SEHS exam score counted for 450/900 points in admission for the 2021-2022 academic year. In previous years, it counted for 300/900. We are unsure how the exam score will be weighted in the future and will update this blog post following the official CPS decision.

While the future weight of the SEHS exam is up in the air, it will remain a critical piece of the admission process. Tiger Tutor is ready to tutor you no matter the changes. We offer SEHS exam tutoring amongst other services you can read about on our Services page.

Please also note that tiers are not factored into Choice High Schools. Choice High School cutoff scores apply to all students.

Tiger Tutor SEHS Scores Database

Here is a database of SEHS exam scores sorted by tier, year, and school. The data currently covers the academic years 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021. You’ll find spreadsheets and graphs sorted in different ways. There are the three types, with an example from each:

  1. Scores by year:

  1. Scores by School:

  1. Scatter plots of each year by school:

Thank you for reading this blog post. Next time, we'll discuss the different types of CPS schools. Please check out our website for more information on Tiger Tutor and its services!


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