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The HSPT Explained




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Definition: HSPT® is the High School Placement Test. Many Roman Catholic high schools use the HSPT® as a standardized admissions test. The test is owned and administered by Scholastic Testing Service.

Purpose of the Test

Why does your child have to take a standardized admissions test for a Catholic high school when she has been in Catholic primary and middle schools since 1st grade? Since curricula, teaching and assessment standards can vary from school to school, a standardized test is one tool admissions personnel use to determine if an applicant can do the work at their school. It can help point out strengths and weaknesses in the core subjects like language arts and mathematics. The results of the test together with your child's transcripts give a complete picture of her academic achievements and preparation for high school level work. This information also helps the admissions staff recommend scholarship awards and make curriculum placement.

What Does the HSPT Assess?

The HSPT measures achievement in language and reading as well as mathematics. The test is administered once a year in the late fall. To take the test you must register with the high school to which your child is applying.


Your child's score compared to other students determines the percentile. High school admissions offices have their own standards regarding what score is acceptable to them. Remember: testing results are just one part of the overall admissions profile.

Find more terms in the Private School Glossary.

Also Known As: High School Placement Test
From the HSPT home page: "For over fifty years, academic high schools nationwide have used STS’ High School Placement Test (HSPT®) to assist with admissions, scholarship selection, and curriculum placement. The HSPT® is a comprehensive placement test for eighth graders for placement in the ninth grade. It provides a maximum of information in only one morning's testing time."

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