Free HSAP Practice Test

The South Carolina High School Assessment Program (HSAP) consists of two separate tests: 1) English language arts, and 2) mathematics. The HSAP is required of students in public schools, an adult education program, or in a home school program that has previously been approved by the local school board in South Carolina. The HSAP assesses various academic standards in the two subject areas and is intended to measure a mastery of skills that have been taught at multiple grade levels.

The English language arts examination consists of multiple-choice items, constructed response items, and a single extended response item. Dictionaries are permitted only during the extended response writing portion of the examination. Topics covered include reading, writing, and research. The mathematics exam consists of the same types of questions as the English language arts examination, with the exception of the single extended response item. Topics covered include number and operations, algebra, measurement and geometry, data analysis and probability, and mathematical processes. For the constructed response items of the mathematics exam, more than just the correct answer is required, as students need to show the work that supports how they arrived at the answers they provided. During both sections of the mathematics exam, students are permitted to use calculators. Both sections of the exam have four achievement levels: 1, 2, 3, and 4. To meet the graduation requirement, a student must score at level 1 or 2.

The English language arts exam is given over the course of two days and the mathematics exam is given in a single day. Neither of the exams is timed. In addition to the scores being used to determine graduation eligibility, scores are used to produce performance data for both individual schools and school districts, which in turn is used to determine the status of adequate yearly progress (AYP) for each school and district.

Tests are given at multiple times throughout the year. In the fall, students beyond the second year after their initial enrollment in the ninth grade (for example, a student who passed both ninth and tenth grades or a student who repeated ninth grade and is now in tenth grade) take just the test(s) that are required to receive a high school diploma from the state of South Carolina. In the spring, students in the second year after their initial enrollment take both tests. Those beyond their second year after initial enrollment in ninth grade take just the test(s) needed to meet diploma requirements in the spring. In the summer, the HSAP may be offered to those who have yet to qualify and are still intending to graduate prior to the beginning of the school year in the fall. The fall and spring examinations have a pre-scheduled day for make-up testing, though the summer session has no such day.

There are occasional exceptions to these guidelines. For students who have an individual education program (IEP) and have taken both parts of the HSAP at least once, each student's IEP team will individually determine on an annual basis whether and when the student will participate in the HSAP. In these instances, the student must have previously failed to pass either part of the HSAP, has not earned any Carnegie units in the core curriculum, and is currently not enrolled in a course in the core curriculum required to receive a diploma. These requirements are very strict, meaning nearly all students need to take the HSAP.

All student scores must be provided to the students and their parents or guardians. For students or parents and guardians who are interested in extra preparation materials, the South Carolina Department of Education's website offers test blueprints, additional information on scoring and the score report provided, and sample test questions. To help prepare their children for the best possible testing outcome, parents are encouraged to monitor their child's academic progress throughout the year and not just in the days or weeks leading up to the exams. In addition, parents should avoid scheduling vacations or appointments of any time during testing week in order to minimize distractions. To give their students the best possible chance to succeed in the HSAP, teachers are encouraged to reinforce content standards on an ongoing basis and not just leading up to the exams. In addition, teachers are told to give students opportunities to answer both constructed response and extended response questions all year long so they are familiar with that question format in both exams.


Last Updated: 03/01/2017

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