Exam High School Application Requirements

  • Admission to examination high schools requires two main components: The examination and an application. Read below for details regarding the application and click here for application supports available to students.


    All applicants must take the High School Placement Test, which covers Verbal Skills, Quantitative Skills, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, English Language Arts, and Science. All current District eight-grade students will have the opportunity to select to take the exam at their school during normal school hours. The test window for District students will be November 4-20, 2020. Current District high school students and all out-of-district students will select a test date as part of the application.

    The exam may only be taken once per application cycle. This means students who take the test in November/ December may not take it again in July. For more details, please visit the Taking the Exam page.


    Every applicant must complete an online application on Submittable. The application requires an email address to set up an account, which will be used throughout the admissions process. Parents/guardians are expected to complete the application. 

    The following items are required:

    • Student-authored essay 
    • A transcript that shows the student's current Cumulative Grade Point Average or multiple year-end report cards that may be used to calculate a cumulative GPA.
    • References who may be contacted on behalf of the applicant 
    • If applicable, the student's IEP or NPSP  

    In addition to the items that must be uploaded or provided, the application will gather information about the student and their interests.

    Cumulative Grade Point Average

    If the report cards do not show the student's Cumulative Grade Point Average, one will be calculated using the report cards submitted. Partially complete report cards will earn a commensurate proportion of the available GPA points if the report cards don't show a cumulative GPA. If we have to calculate a GPA, the GPA calculation will be based on Math, ELA, Science and Social Studies grades only.
    Due to the interruption in school as a result of Covid-19, grades from Spring 2020 will not be included in GPA calculations. Applications who meet the GPA submission guidelines by the deadline are eligible for 5 bonus points. Applications that are updated after the deadline will not be eligible for the bonus points. 
    For more information about the GPA requirements, please see the Grade Point Average section on the right side of the webpage.
    Visit the Application Assistance page to download a Transcript Request Form that you can submit to your school or a school you previously attended.

    Student-Authored Essay

    All applicants are required to submit an essay, which will count as their official writing sample. The essay is the applicant's opportunity to make a persuasive argument regarding their admission to their school(s) of choice. The limit is 750 words, and the essay must be typed or pasted directly into the application. The following guiding questions should be answered in each applicant's essay:

    1. Which Examination High School(s) do you want to attend and why do you want to attend?
    2. What makes you an exceptional candidate for admission?
    3.Describe one or more qualities that make you stand out and provide examples to demonstrate those qualities to the admissions team.
    4. How will admittance help you achieve your goals for the future?

    Essay Tips

    • We recommend drafting the essay using a program like Microsoft Word, Google Docs or similar and saving it onto a flash drive or your hard drive until you're ready to submit it. When you're finalizing your essay, you can copy and paste it into the application form. You may also type the essay directly into the application.
    • Measure your essay while drafting to ensure you do not exceed the 750-word limit.
    • Read and re-read your essay, then have someone proofread it for you. Be sure it is grammatically correct and written in a formal tone.
    • Be sure to answer the guiding questions. 
    • Don't be shy. Talk about your accomplishments and talents.

    Student Essay Rubric


    Each applicant must provide three references. Applicants may use anyone other than an immediate family member as a reference (e.g. mentor, teacher, principal, coach, etc.) Parents/guardians and close relatives are prohibited from serving as references. A reference letter is not required. The following information must be provided as part of the application:

    • Name
    • Phone
    • Email address
    • Relationship to the applicant

    Application Scoring

    The exam is scored independently by the test provider. Each application is reviewed by two or more independent reviewers. The average of the reviews serves as the student's final score. Rubrics are used to assign points to the interest letter and grade point average (see GPA rubric on the right side of this page.) 

    Bonus Points

    Current Detroit Public Schools Community District students will receive 10 additional points on their application. Students who submit their cumulative GPA or documents that allow us to calculate a GPA by the deadline will receive 5 additional GPA points on their application.

    Students who apply to The School at Marygrove will receive priority if they live within the school's catchment area. Students who live within 1 mile of the Marygrove campus will receive 10 additional points (Primary Area), while those who live within 2 miles will receive an additional 5 points on their application (Secondary Area). Please see the Marygrove catchment map below for more detail.

    Application Component Total Potential Points
    Examination score 45
    Grade Point Average 30
    Student-Authored Essay 20
    DPSCD Current Student Bonus +10 
    GPA complete and on-time +5
    Marygrove school applicants - live within Primary Area +10
    Marygrove school applicants - live within Secondary Area +5

     Marygrove Catchment Map

  • Grade Point Average

    Applicants' grade point average (GPA) is a critical part of the application. It is worth up to 35% of the total score.

    The GPA itself is worth a maximum of 30 points, with an additional 5 points for applications that contain a clearly visible cumulative GPA or multiple report cards that may be used to calculate a cumulative GPA. Both must be submitted by the deadline. Documents submitted after the deadline will not receive the bonus 5 points.

    Current DPSCD Students

    Applicants who currently attend a DPSCD school and have continuously attended school in DPSCD for at least 2 years will be required to enter their DPSCD Student ID. This is the number you use to log into Clever and other learning tools. You can find your ID number on your report card and in the PowerSchool Parent Portal. The Student ID number will be used to access student academic transcripts and GPA. Transcripts do not need to be uploaded to the application for a student’s DPSCD academic record.

    If you recently transferred to DPSCD and attended a DPSCD school for less than 2 full school years, please submit a transcript or report card for the years you did not attend a DPSCD school. Please refer to the submission requirements below. 

    Non-DPSCD Students

    Applicants who currently attend an Out of District school will be required to submit a Cumulative Grade Point Average. Please refer to the submission requirements below. 

    Submission Requirements

    A transcript that clearly shows your Cumulative Grade Point Average
    Report cards from the 2 most recent consecutive schools years: the 2018-19 and 2019-20 

    Note: If the report cards do not show your Cumulative Grade Point Average, one will be calculated for you using the report cards submitted. The GPA calculation will be based on Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies grades only. Grades from Spring 2020 will not be included in the calculation. 






















































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