HSPT 101: What You Need to Know About the HSPT

The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an admission test given to eighth graders who are seeking entrance into specific high schools. Schools make admissions decisions, place applicants, and determine scholarship awards based on the exam results.

Students must register for the test directly with the schools to which they are applying.  The exams take place at the schools themselves, not at a designated testing site. Students should confirm with target schools for specific registration procedures.

Students may take the exam at only one Catholic school in order to be considered for admission. In the event the HSPT is taken more than once by a student, the lower score is considered to be the final score.

Test Format & Structure

Section Timing Number of Questions Content Covered
Verbal Skills 16 minutes 60 multiple-choice questions Synonyms and antonyms, analogies, logic-based questions, and verbal classifications.
Quantitative Skills 30 minutes 52 multiple-choice questions Number series, geometric and non-geometric comparisons, and number manipulations.
Reading Comprehension 25 minutes 62 multiple-choice questions Reading aptitude for humanities and short nonfiction and narrative passages, and vocabulary.
Mathematics 45 minutes 64 multiple-choice questions Skills, comprehension, and knowledge of arithmetic, basic algebra, and geometry.
Language Skills 25 minutes 60 multiple-choice questions Capitalization, grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure.

Each section of the HSPT is reported as a scaled score from 200 to 800. The Scholastic Testing Service (STS) compiles correct answers to obtain a raw score, which it then converts to a scaled score, adjusting for small variations in difficulty among different test administrations. There is no penalty for guessing on the HSPT, so students make their best guess on every question.

Test Dates
Test dates vary by individual schools or dioceses, so contact your target school directly to find out their testing date(s).

The cost to take the test varies from school to school. Many schools include the test as part of the application fee, though some may charge an additional $20-$40 to take the test.

Individual schools have varying policies and procedures around accommodations and should be contacted directly for what those policies and procedures are. The Scholastic Testing Service, which supplies the tests, does provide large print bubble test booklets and answer sheets for those who are visually impaired. These can be requested through the individual school.

Boston Tutoring Services provides tutoring for the HSPT. Our test prep program is customized to address each child’s individual strengths and weaknesses. For more information, please click here.

Allison Green
Boston Tutoring Services

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