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Admissions Process

1. Academic Testing

As part of the Honors Academy application process, all students must have a quantitative academic measurement. Please sign up for testing to be given at Houston High School during the following dates and times. Testing lasts approximately 2.5 hours.

Option A:

The ACT Explore, an 8th grade version of the ACT,  will be given at Houston High School during the following dates and times. Testing lasts approximately 2.5 hours. You DO NOT need to register with the ACT, but you DO need to sign up for a testing date.

Please email to sign up for a testing date.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 3:30 PM

Monday, February 20, 2023 at 9 AM

Option B: If you have already taken a nationally normed achievement test (e.g. Pre-ACT, PSAT, ACT, SAT, ISEE, ERB, Iowa) these may be accepted to meet this requirement with approval from the admissions committee. You will need to upload a copy of the results on the application.


For more information, email

2. Prepare your Writing Sample


Writing Prompt:


Many scientists and environmental activists have been researching and refining alternative energy sources for transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but this comes at a high cost to consumers. After exploring the articles below, write an essay based on the following prompt:

Electric cars are a viable alternative to gas-powered vehicles. Defend, challenge, or qualify this statement using evidence from the provided articles. 



1.  "Will hot sales of hot car help us cool down the planet? Tesla betting on it"

2. "California Gov. Newsom orders 2035 phaseout of gas-powered vehicles, calls for fracking ban​"

3. "Should the government subsidize electric cars?"


  • To support your ideas, cite textual evidence from at least two of the provided articles and incorporate specific examples from your own knowledge and experience. ​

  • Be sure to identify your sources by the name of the publication.

  • If you use outside sources, please identify them in your essay and include a list of sources at the end of your essay in MLA format. 

  • Remember that your response will be evaluated on your understanding of the articles and on the quality of your writing.


Your essay should be between 500-600 words in length. After composing your essay in a word processing program, you will need to copy it into the box on the application form.

3. Fill out the Application
  • Have your writing sample ready to copy and paste into the form

  • If you have outside standardized testing (Option B above) gather those score reports. If you took the ACT Explore at Houston High, you DO NOT need those score reports to complete your application.

  • Current Semester Grades

  • List of School Sponsored Activities

  • List of Extra Curricular Activities

  • Community Service Experiences

  • Examples of Leadership

Application Link

4. Interviews
  • Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of their application responses, test scores, grades, and writing samples.

  • Interviews will be conducted at the feeder schools during the first two weeks of February.

  • Interviews for students who do not currently attend a GMSD school will be held at Houston High School.

Honors Academy Statement of Intent (please print, sign, and bring to interview)

5. Acceptance Confirmation
  • Students must confirm acceptance to keep their spot.

  • Students must register for at least 3 honors classes including Honors English.

  • Open Enrollment applicants must complete open enrollment process with GMSD.

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