The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an admissions test taken by eighth graders seeking admission to Catholic high schools. High School Placement Tests (HSPT) is given to individuals entering grade 9. It has been used since 1955. Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. develops and administers exams used by schools to make admissions decisions, place applicants, and award scholarships. Each spring and fall, the test is given. It is a multiple-choice exam, and it lasts two and a half hours. There are almost 300 questions, covering Verbal Skills, Math, Quantitative Skills, Language, and Reading.

HSPT Exam Breakdown:

HSPT Concept# of QuestionTime LimitContent Area/ skillPercentage of HSPT
Verbal Skill6016 MinutesVerbal Analogies, Synonyms, Logic, Verbal Classifications, Antonyms.  20%
Quantitative Skills/ Reasoning5230 MinutesNumber Series, Geometric Comparison, Non-Geometric Comparison, and Number manipulation.17%
Reading6225 MinutesComprehension, Vocabulary.20%
Mathematics6445 MinutesConcepts, Problem-Solving.21%
Language Skills6025 MinutesPunctuation and Capitalization, Usage, Spelling, Composition.20%

HSPT Exam Information:

The HSPT is also used to measure the math, reading, and writing skills of students entering high school. It is used in various private high schools across the country. 

  • Number of Questions: 298 questions 
  • Question Type: Multiple-choice 
  • Time Limit: approximately 2.5 hours 

HSPT Highlights:

  • 1 point is also an award for each correct answer in all sections
  • There are also no deductions for incorrect answers in all sections (answer all questions!)
  • Further, the student is not allowed a calculator for the math sections.
  • Also, students are not provided with scratch paper—all work is to be done on the test booklet.
  • The student will take the HSPT at the Catholic high school they would most prefer to attend, though a student may list other Catholic high schools that sent the student’s HSPT scores.
  • The HSPT features multiple scores: 
    • Raw score – Thus, the total number of correct answers in each section
    • Scaled score – each raw score is converted into a scaled score of 200 to 800.

Tips for Passing the HSPT Test:

  • Plan your practice and organize it. Practicing every day will help you retain the material. 
  • Arrive early at the school where the HSPT will be administered so you have time to locate the test room. 
  • Don’t panic; if you do, take some time for deep breathing and calming. If you are stressed, you have a greater chance of answering the questions incorrectly. 
  • Before the test starts, ensure that you are well-rested and have eaten and drank enough water. Also, ensure you’ve gotten to the toilet and won’t be distracted by physiological needs.
  • During the exam, listen and read all the instructions carefully.
  • Use scratch paper for all math questions. Calculators are not permitted, so you must do all calculations manually. 
  • Answer every question. Even if you’re unsure of the answer, give it your best shot. There are no penalties for guessing, and there is a chance of you getting the correct answer when you guess. 
  • Track your time and pace yourself. Don’t spend a lot of time on one question, but also don’t rush yourself when you know you have enough time. Proctors should announce the time left for each section; if they don’t, you can always ask for the remaining time. 
  • If you finish earlier, review your answers and double-check them.

Smart Strategy for HSPT preparation downloads a detailed Socrato diagnostic report

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