How to Pass a High School Placement Test (HSPT)

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A large percentage of private high schools in the country use the HSPT (High School Placement Test) as a screening prospective students, and even though these schools will accept new students from different backgrounds, it’s necessary to implement standardized testing in order to determine the exactly where each new student is among various subjects. Given once a year, the HSPT is multiple choice and is usually given at private high schools.

The HSPT has five sections; the Reading Skills contains 62 questions and lasts approximately 25 minutes, Quantitative Skills is composed of 52 questions and is 30 minutes in duration and the Verbal Skills portion consists of 60 questions and students have 16 minutes to complete it. Students are given 45 minutes to complete the Mathematics portion which is 64 questions. The Language Skills assessment is 60 questions in length and lasts for 25 minutes. The entire test is two and a half hours in length.

Preparing for the High School Placement Test

When preparing for the HSPT, there are several things you should keep in mind. Below is a list of strategies that can assist you when taking the exam.

  • Contact the school’s admission office and inquire what’s the baseline score they will accept for admission.
  • You need to thoroughly understand all of the material that is involved when taking the test. Start preparing for the exam by taking the time to familiarize yourself with all sections of the exam. In addition to standard HSPT, some schools may require additional tests such as Science, Religion and Mechanical Aptitude. As stated above, the first step on you’re the road to success to call the school’s admission office and ask if there will be optional testing in addition to the standard HSPT.
  • Consider enrolling in an HSPT preparation course that offers a variety of exercises, drills and practice tests. Although they are readily found online, check the small print to ensure the company offering the course is reputable.
  • In addition to online learning, use hard copy test prep resources such as books and CDs. Ask at your local library for the most current copies of test booklets that include an interactive CD.
  • Be certain of the date, time, location and specific materials needed to take the HSPT. You can verify this information when double checking if there will be optional testing. Write down all the information and keep it in a safe place.
  • On the day of the exam, arrive on time. If you are late, you may not be able to take the test.
  • Do your best to answer every question on the exam. Every correct answer counts when taking the HSPT. You won’t be marked off for wrong answers, therefore making you best guess on questions you aren’t sure of could very well help you score higher than if you left them blank.

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