The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is an educational admissions test developed and maintained by Scholastic Testing Service. The HSPT is primarily used by Independent and Catholic high as part of the admission process. The HSPT is delivered to eighth-grade students for ninth grade admission. The entire HSPT has five component tests that count towards a student’s composite score – Verbal, Quantitative, Reading, Mathematics, and Language. Three optional component tests are often used to determine placement in advanced placement courses – Science, Religion, and Mechanical Aptitude.
The purpose of the HSPT is to determine a student’s potential success at the high school level.
This article discusses the Mathematics component of the HSPT exam.
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Each school handles registration and cost. Your admissions counselor has the information you need to register and pay for the exam. Often the cost of the test is included in the application fee; check with your intended school for specific information. In most cases, the HSPT is delivered in January for fall enrollment.
Admission information, including test dates, location, and required scores, are provided by the admissions office at the school(s) you are applying. If you have any questions, ask your counselor. It is important that you understand the application process.
HSPT Mathematics test section design
All components of the HSPT are paper-based. This means that your test includes a test booklet and an answer sheet. You will test in a group of your peers with a test proctor ensuring the rules of the exam are followed. The Mathematics test consists of 64 multiple-choice questions, and you are given 45 minutes to complete the exam.
The Math section examines your ability to answer questions dealing with arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. The knowledge-base is typical of information an eighth-grade student has accumulated.
Two parts make up the Mathematics section of the HSPT:
- Concepts – 24 questions
Concepts examined include number line, the order of operations, aspects of basic math, algebraic equations and concepts, and the understanding of geometric functions (area, volume, angles, and graphing).
- Problem-Solving – 40 questions
Word problems are presented where you have to solve for time, distance, rate, and work problems.
After each component test, you are given a short break.
You are allowed only two Number 2 pencils in the testing center. Calculators are not permitted in the Mathematics section of the HSPT. Your test booklet serves as scratch paper, and you are not allowed to bring items into the testing center beside the pencils.
Before beginning your exam, you have an opportunity to ask questions about the exam procedures, what to do if you have any questions, and what to do with your test booklet and answer sheet when you have completed your test.
The test booklet contains the questions. Read each question carefully and mark your response on the answer sheet. You have 45 minutes to complete answer 64 questions – do not take too much time on each question. It is better that you make a guess, annotate your test booklet for review, and move onto the next question than leave questions unanswered. Once you have worked through the entire exam, you can go back and review your answers.
Each correct response receives one point. Incorrect or blank questions do not receive any points. The points are totaled and become the raw score that the scaled score is based on. The scaled score range is 200 to 800, and 600 is generally accepted as an “above average” score.
Each test response form is machine-scored, and the results are sent to the high school(s) you identified when registering for the exam. Check with your admissions counselor about the procedure to notify you once your report is in. Admission counselors are trained to discuss the results and implications of your HSPT.
Standards are individually set by each school and can vary greatly from one educational institution to another. Ask any questions about your score report, the admission process, and anything else with your admissions counselor. Your school’s admission staff uses the HSPT as a predictor of success in their educational program. Therefore, most schools allow you to take the HSPT only once. If a school allows you to retake the test, often the lower score received is the one that is used to determine your admission status.
The HSPT is an admissions test designed to predict your success. Your results are used to judge whether or not you have the knowledge and aptitude needed to continue with your education at your chosen school. Because your success depends on your efforts, it is important that you have the right tools to guide you down the study path.
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