Frequently Asked Questions about the HSPT

Do you or your child have questions about taking the HSPT? See if your questions is answered by this list of Frequently Asked Questions about the HSPT.

  1. What is the HSPT? The HSPT is a nationally-recognized private school entrance examination available to students as part of the private school application process. The exam covers the following subjects: Verbal Skills, Quantitative Skills, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Language. The exam typically takes 3 hours to complete with breaks.
  2. Who creates the HSPT? The HSPT is created by the Scholastic Testing Service (STS), Inc., headquartered in Bensenville, Illinois.
  3. When is the HSPT administered? There is no national administration of the HSPT; check with the school to which you are applying to find out when they will be administering the test.
  4. When should I register for the HSPT? Registration is handled by individual schools; check with the school to which you are applying to find out when you should register for the exam.
  5. How do I register? Registration is handled by individual schools; check with the school to which you are applying to find out how to register for the exam.
  6. How much does it cost to take the HSPT? The cost of the test is included in the school’s application fee; check with the school to which you are applying to find out what the fee is.
  7. How long does it take to get my scores back? Check with your school to find out when they will have scores available for your student.
  8. How many times can I take the HSPT? You may take the HSPT only once. According to the STS website, if you take the test more than once, your lower score will be used.
  9. What is a good score on the HSPT? A score above 600 will generally be somewhere “above average,” which means above the 80th percentile. Each individual school defines what a desirable score is for each candidate.
  10. What is the difference between ISEE and HSPT? Both the HSPT and the ISEE are nationally administered standardized tests that help private schools evaluate candidates. Both take approximately 3 hours and have 5 similar testing sections. One main difference is between the language sections; the HSPT tests grammar and punctuation, while the ISEE has a 30-minute essay. The ISEE contains word problems in the mathematics section, while the HSPT does not. The verbal focus of the HSPT is on synonyms, antonyms, and verbal logic, while the ISEE focus is more on vocabulary and sentence completion. The tests are also scored differently.
  11. When should I start preparing for the HSPT? Each private school will accept applications at different times; check with the school to which you are applying to find out when applications begin. Plan to prepare for the HSPT a couple months in advance so that there is plenty of time to practice!

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