HSPT Verbal Skills Practice Test
What Is the High School Placement Test (HSPT)?
The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an admissions examination administered by Scholastic Testing Services that has been designed for grade-level students pursuing entry into Catholic high schools. It is the first battery test that was specifically created as a way to help with the placement of students entering high school. Since 1955, the test has been used to assess students’ competencies in cognitive and major skill areas. In order to produce results that are comparable and accurate for freshman-level high school students, the HSPT exam is standardized.
Students are expected to register to take the HSPT exam at the high school they intend to attend, but they are given the ability to send their scores to additional schools as well. The exam is composed of five different multiple-choice test sections:
HSPT Exam Testing Options
Students will be taking the Open HSPT when they take any of the five HSPT test sections, a format which provides national normative measures for all of the skill areas tested. However, if a high school participates in a lease/score program, the school is provided with a seventh grade edition of the HSPT, referred to as the Pre-HSPT, or a secure test, the Closed HSPT.
HSPT Exam Formats
Upon request, the exam is available in the following specialized formats:
- Large Print
HSPT Exam Scoring
The HSPT exam is scored as follows:
- Per test section, one point is awarded for each correct response.
- No points are deducted for incorrect responses in all test sections, so it is recommended to answer all questions even if you are not sure of the answer.
The student will receive multiple scores for the exam performance:
- Raw Score: Total of correct responses in each of the test sections.
- Scaled Score: Scholastic Testing Service, the organization responsible for the administration of the HSPT, will use different versions of the HSPT test to assess students. A scaled score will thus translate accordingly across all versions of the test with each raw score converted into a scaled score between 200 and 800.
Students’ Percentile Ranks
The student will also be provided with their percentile ranks for each of the test sections (Language, Mathematics, Quantitative, Reading and Verbal) once they have been scored. The percentile ranks tell the student their standing in comparison to national and local samples of students that took the exams. The percentile ranks are followed by stanines, representative of the percentile rank in a score of one to nine. If the student is aiming to score well, it is recommended that they prep and practice for the HSPT by reviewing HSPT study guides and taking online practice tests.
Explanation of Scores
Cognitive Skills: Includes the CSQ, Scaled Scores, Percentile Ranks and Stanines from the Verbal and Quantitative Skills test sections.
Basic Skills: Includes Scaled Scores, Percentile Ranks and Stanine from the Reading, Mathematics and Language Skills test sections.
Composite: A combined Scaled Score, Percentile Rank and Stanine based on the student’s performance in all five test sections.
Cognitive Skills Quotient (CSQ): The CSQ is scored on a range of 55 to 145 and is designed to be similar to an IQ score. It is based on age to reflect the student’s potential learning ability.
Grade Equivalent (GE): The GE reflects how a student performed in terms of grade level. For example, a GE of 9.5 would mean that the student scored as well as a ninth grade in the fifth month of the academic year.
HSPT Exam Reports
Rank-Order List Reports: Uses composite scores to rank students from high to low.
Pressure-Sensitive Labels: Shows the student’s CSQ, Standard Scores, National and Local Percentiles and GE for the Reading, Mathematics and Language section tests.
Group Summary Statistical Reports: Provides a summary of overall group performance for each section test, individually and jointly.
Alphabetical List Reports: Provides CSQs, Standard Scores, National and Local Percentiles and GEs for the Reading, Mathematics and Language section tests for students, organized alphabetically.
HSPT Verbal Skills Test Section
The Verbal Skills test section of the High School Placement Test (HSPT) exam is a 16-minute long examination comprised of 60 questions. During the test, students will not be provided scratch paper but they may write on their exam booklet. The 60 questions are divided into the following content areas and skills:
- Antonyms (9 Questions)
- Logic (10 Questions)
- Synonyms (15 Questions)
- Verbal Analogies (10 Questions)
- Verbal Classifications (16 Questions)
Further defined, the content areas and skills within the Verbal Skills test section will assess the student’s ability to:
- Discern the correct response based on the definitions and meanings of answer choices (Antonym and Synonym).
- Determine whether a statement is true, false or uncertain based on information given in two prior, truthful statements (Logic).
- Understand the relationship between two words (Verbal Analogies).
- Identify an answer choice that does not correspond to the others (Verbal Classifications).
Preparing for the HSPT Verbal Skills Test Section
For preparation of the HSPT Verbal Skills test section, the student should first measure their current level of skills with an HSPT practice test. Part of their HSPT test prep should include use of a study guide and HSPT practice tests. These practice tests are available online through Mometrix.