What’s On the HSPT?
The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is used by most catholic and parochial high schools to evaluate 8th graders’ reading, verbal, and math skills. The test includes a total of 298 multiple choice questions that must be answered in 2 ½ hours. There are 5 main sections on the HSPT designed to emphasize application over content-related abilities.
Reading (25 minutes)
The reading section includes 62 questions covering text analysis, drawing logical conclusions, making predictions, and vocabulary in context. Students must boost their critical reading skills and increase their word banks to succeed on this section.
Mathematics (45 minutes)
The math section includes 64 questions in the following topics:
- Converting Decimals/Percent/Fractions
- Word Problems
- Percent and Ratio
- Graph/Table/Chart Interpretation
- Geometry Concepts
- Basic Algebra
Language (25 minutes)
The language section includes 60 questions involving grammar, capitalization, usage, spelling, and sentence structure. Students must be able to identify and fix common errors in English.
Verbal Skills (16 minutes)
The verbal section includes 60 questions in verbal analogies, synonyms and antonyms, and verbal classification/logical reasoning. Students must be able to identify answer choices that do not belong in certain groups and understand word relationships.
Quantitative Skills (30 minutes)
The quantitative skills section includes 52 questions in the following topics:
- Geometric and Non-Geometric Comparisons
- Number Manipulation
- Number Series
*The HSPT also includes optional sections in Mechanical Aptitude, Science, and Catholic Religion. Depending on the schools to which your child is applying, he or she may be required to take 1 of the 3 optional sections. MEK does not prepare students for these optional sections.