As you know, the HSPT can only be taken one time, which means preparation is key to help your child achieve their desired scores.  A trusted and knowledgeable educator guiding your child through this process is simply invaluable.

The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an important step for 8th graders seeking admission to parochial high schools. Schools make admissions decisions, curriculum placement, and determine scholarship awards based on the HSPT exam results.

Unlike other standardized admissions tests, the HSPT can only be taken one time. So as a parent, how can you help prepare your child for a successful testing experience? Let’s dive in and learn more about the HSPT test.

What to Expect on the HSPT?

The HSPT requires students to demonstrate mastery of several areas in English and math. It has 5 sections which include: language, math, reading comprehension, numerical reasoning, and verbal reasoning. The test includes a total of 298 questions to be completed in 2 hours and 23 minutes. Which means 29 seconds per question.  

What can be most challenging about this test is that it contains questions such as analogies and statistics which might not have been introduced yet in school, such as analogies, basic statistics questions or inference questions in the reading.

The language part of the test includes a grammar section and an essay section. In the grammar section you will be asked to identify parts of speech, punctuation rules, and sentence structure; in the essay section you will be asked to write an essay about a topic given by the test.

The math part of the test includes a pre-algebra section and an algebra section. In the pre-algebra section, you will be asked to solve multiple choice problems that require you to use simple arithmetic operations like addition and subtraction; in the algebra section you will be asked to solve problems using more advanced operations such as factoring expressions into their simplest form.

The reading comprehension part of the test includes three different sections: informational texts with short answers; literary short stories with long answers; and literary non-fiction essays with long answers. In all three sections you will read passages from different genres (informational text).

Analogy, synonym, logic, verbal classification, and antonym questions all appear on the Verbal Skills section of standardized tests. Analogies between words are a great way to test a student’s comprehension of concepts (a tree limb is like a human arm; both are parts of a whole). The definitions of the possible responses are included in the Synonym and Antonym questions to ensure that the student has a thorough understanding of the material. In a verbal classification task, students are given a set of options and asked to choose the one that does not fit in with the set. To answer a logical reasoning question, students are given a set of three statements and asked to determine whether the third statement is true, false, or uncertain based on the accuracy of the initial two statements.

Number series, geometric comparison, non-geometric comparison, and number manipulation questions make up the Quantitative Skills section. A student’s ability to recognize patterns in a sequence of numbers, letters, and/or symbols is put to the test by number series questions. Students are asked to determine the relationship between three different shapes or numbers in both geometric and non-geometric comparison questions. Number manipulation questions require students to use a variety of mathematical procedures to arrive at a solution.

Getting Ready for the HSPT

We think all test takers should be as prepared as possible to ensure they feel confident going into the test day.  Here are some options:

∙ Find out if your school has an HSPT test-prep program and what resources they can provide.
∙ Purchase HSPT Workbook and work through it.
∙ Take an HSPT prep course with an experienced instructor.
∙ Private one-on-one tutoring is a great option for students with irregular schedules (such as busy athletes) or for students who do best with the full attention of a tutor. 
∙ Groza experienced tutors and teachers can evaluate your student’s needs and build a plan unique to your student needs to help them achieve their goal score.

HSPT Test-Taking Tips from an Award-Winning Test Prep Groza Learning Center

In order to keep up with the pace of the test, students should avoid getting stuck on any one question and work at a steady but rapid pace. A student should bubble in an answer even if she is unsure of it or if she anticipates that it will take her a long time to solve a problem. She could probably answer five easier questions in the time it takes her to answer just one difficult one. If you do not know the answer, it is okay to guess since there is no penalty for giving the wrong one.

∙ Be sure to read and follow all test-taking instructions.
∙ Read each question carefully, but do not linger too long on anyone.
∙ Choose the most appropriate option and attempt to respond to as many questions as possible.
∙ Rather than subtracting points for wrong answers, the total number of correct responses is used to determine a student’s final grade.
∙ Watch that you are marking the correct response on the answer sheet.
∙ If you have time, go back over your test answers after you have finished the exam.

If your teen requires any sort of accommodation in order to take the HSPT exam, please get in touch with your admissions office immediately.

How Does the HSPT Scoring System Work?

The HSPT exam consists of different subtests. The test derives a raw score by adding up the number of correct answers in each subtest. There is no negative marking. The raw score in each subtest is then converted into a standard score. Each student’s standard score is compared to test results from a national sample of students. Based on this, a national percentile ranking (NPR) is derived for each subtest. The national percentile ranking indicates what percentage of students in the sample scored less than you.

As you know, the HSPT can only be taken one time, which means preparation is key to help your child achieve their desired scores.  A trusted and knowledgeable educator guiding your child through this process is simply invaluable.

With over 20 years’ experience and 95% of Groza Learning Center students getting accepted into the top three schools of their choice, Groza’s award-winning program will be your student’s personal guide to achieving their academic dreams.  The HSPT program is offered online, in-home, and in the beautiful facility in Los Angeles.

At Groza Learning Center we know how dedicated you are to your child’s success.  That’s why we have created an individual test prep tutoring program that will ensure your child is prepared for the HSPT.  

Our unique approach starts with an HSPT practice test to identify exactly what your child needs and then building a unique program to help them reach their goal. Your student will be armed with the skills and strategies required to address the challenges presented by this fast-paced test.   If your child is preparing for HSPT click here to schedule a practice test today.

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