Many private and parochial high schools require applicants to take the High School Placement Test, or HSPT test. Most students who take it do so in the 8th are very important, as they can be the deciding factor in whether a student is accepted or not. Because many colleges often give preference to applicants from private schools, your HSPT score can have a massive impact on your long-term future.

The test is given twice a year, in the spring and fall. 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. Retaking the test is strongly discouraged. In fact, the policy is that whichever score is lower is the one that gets reported, so taking the HSPT again and getting a higher score is essentially pointless. You’ll want to make sure you’re ready to do your very best the first time you take the HSPT test, and you’ll find an extensive library of free videos here on Mometrix Academy to help you prepare.


HSPT Test Prep Course

HSPT Practice Test

What’s on the HSPT

Purpose: This standardized test measures your basic skills and achievement in preparation for high school. Schools will use your results in different ways including assisting with curriculum placement, admissions (typically to private and catholic schools) and scholarships.

Sections: 5 tested areas including verbal skills, quantitative skills, reading comprehension, mathematics and language.

Length: approximately 3 hours.

Format: multiple choice (you will be awarded one point for each correct answer in all sections). Keep in mind there are no deductions for incorrect answers, so try to to answer all questions to the best of your ability.

Scoring: Range from 200 to 800.

Cost: Price ranges from $20 – $25. Please contact individual schools for exact pricing details.

How will my test be scored?

The Composite Score will tell high schools about your total performance on the five subtests of the HSPT battery. Because it is a total score, you must complete all subtests in order for this to be reported. It consists of three parts:

  • Total Cognitive Skills – Verbal and Quantitative subtests
  • Total Basic Skills – Reading, Math and Language subtests
  • Composite – Verbal, Quantitative, Reading, Math and Language subtests

Normative Scores are made up of five different types of scores. Your school will decide if and how to use each one:

  • National Percentile (NP) Rank – compares your individual performance with other students at the same grade on a national level. Scale ranges from 1 to 99.
  • Local Percentile (LP) Rank – similar to the national percentile rank, except it compares your performance to other local students at the same grade.
  • Grade Equivalents (GE) – will compare your performance with the average performance of students at other grade levels. This score is tricky and can be deceiving. For example, if you score a GE of 9 as an 8th grader, it does not mean you should skip a grade and be placed in 9th grade.
  • Cognitive Skills Quotient (CSQ) – serves to predict your future academic performance, replacing the traditional IQ score. It can be interpreted using the same IQ score guide. For example, above 130 being the upper echelon and below 70 being the lower echelon.
  • Standard Scores (SS) – ranges from 200 to 800. It is a frame of reference which allows for accurate group comparisons from one year to another.

Helpful Hints

  • Remember, there is no penalty for wrong answers. Scores are determined by the number of questions you answer correctly. Therefore, it is in your best interest to answer every question, even if you are unsure.
  • Read each question carefully, taking the time to choose the best answer. However, keep in mind you must pace yourself since this is a timed test. Practice managing your time wisely by timing yourself during practice sessions.
  • Be sure to read the directions for each subtest carefully. You will be required to perform different tasks for different portions of the test. Do not assume the next section is like the previous one you just completed.
  • Make studying fun by using word and math games. You can find a variety of games on the Internet, as well as taking advantage of games your teachers have introduced in the classroom.
  • Although dictionaries and calculators are not permitted during the test, take advantage of these tools while studying to help reinforce learning.

HSPT Study Guide

Mometrix Academy is a completely free resource provided by Mometrix Test Preparation. If you find benefit from our efforts here, check out our premium quality HSPT study guide to take your studying to the next level. Just click the HSPT Secrets Study Guide link below. Your purchase also helps us make even more great, free content for test-takers.

HSPT Study Guide HSPT Flashcards

Free HSPT Practice Test

Free HSPT Practice Test

Want to Learn More About the HSPT Test? Visit Exampedia!
HSPT Test Overview

Provided by: Mometrix Test Preparation

Last updated: 03/16/2018
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