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 that 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 

Sections of the HSPT Test

The HSPT test contains five sections, each assessing: 

  1. Verbal
  2. Quantitative
  3. Reading
  4. Mathematics
  5. Language skills

1. Verbal

There are 60 questions in the Verbal component of the HSPT test, and 16 minutes are allotted for completion. 

The purpose of this test part is to measure the student’s ability to use words, sentences, and grammatical structures to make sense of the meaning of sentences. 

These are the skills tested in the HSPT Verbal test:

  • Logical thinking
  • Verbal Classifications
  • Knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Analogies

2. Quantitative

The quantitative component consists of 52 questions and has a 30-minute completion time. 

Math problems are solved with logical thinking using numbers and quantities in this section. 

These are some of the skills that the HSPT Quantitative test will measure:

  • Manipulating numbers and operations
  • Doing geometric and non-geometric comparisons
  • Ability to understand a series’ progression and give the next sequence

3. Reading

There will be 62 questions on the reading portion of the HSPT test, and students will have 25 minutes to complete them. 

In the Reading HSPT, students are tested on their ability to comprehend a passage’s meaning and supporting details. 

The topics that the student should show their knowledge in include:

  • Vocabulary knowledge and usage 
  • Finding, understanding, and paraphrasing the main idea
  • Remembering, understanding, and paraphrasing details 

4. Mathematics

The Math section of the HSPT test has 64 questions that need to be answered in 45 minutes. 

This section of the test will test knowledge of math formulas, measurement conversions, and the order of operations.

The topics included in the Mathematics HSPT test are:

  • Arithmetic’s 
  • Math concepts and problem-solving 
  • Geometry
  • Elementary Algebra

5. Language

A maximum of 25 minutes will be allotted to the language section of the HSPT test. 

Students are tested on their ability to understand, use and write words and sentences in the Language section of the HSPT test. 

The Language HSPT test will assess the following:

  • Spelling and grammar knowledge
  • Composition abilities
  • Usage of words and terms
  • Capitalization and punctuation 

HSPT Highlights

  • 1 point is an award for each correct answer in all sections
  • There are also no deductions for incorrect answers in all sections (answer all questions!)
  • The student is not allowed a calculator for the math sections.
  • 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 – the total number of correct answers in each section
    • Scaled score – each raw score is converted into a scaled score of 200 to 800.

Smart Strategy for HSPT preparation downloads a detailed Socrato diagnostic report

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