# How Much Math Do You Need To Graduate High School HSPT – What You Need To Know About the High School Placement Test

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## HSPT – What You Need To Know About the High School Placement Test

What is HSPT?

The High School Placement Test (HSPT) is a nationally recognized private school entrance exam, created by the School Testing Service (STS), available to students as part of the private school application. The test is designed for middle school students trying to enter high school, so most participants are eighth graders, although some seventh graders also take the test. For the most part, a typical middle school curriculum will have exposed students to the content tested on the HSPT, although a basic understanding of algebra and geometry is required for the math sections.

Unlike most other standardized tests, the HSPT does not have national administration dates. Private schools administer the HSPT as part of the application process. According to the STS website, students should not take the test more than once. In fact, if a student takes the test more than once, the STS indicates that the lower of the two scores should be considered. Enrollment and test schedules are managed on a school-by-school basis; parents will have to contact the schools to which their children apply for specific dates and deadlines. STS does not manage exam registration, this is also managed on a school-by-school basis.

What’s in the HSPT?

The exam, lasting about 2.5 hours, tests the following skills: Verbal Skills, Quantitative Skills, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics and Language.

Verbal skills

Verbal skills section contains questions related to analogies, synonyms, antonyms, vocabulary and verbal logic. The aim of this section is to check the student’s ability to understand the relationships between words and concepts.

Quantitative skills

The quantitative skills section contains questions related to number manipulation, geometric and non-geometric comparison, and patterns and sequences. Topics covered in this section include arithmetic, basic algebra, and basic geometry.

The reading comprehension section contains passages and questions that test the student’s understanding of central meaning, ability to glean information from the reading, and basic understanding of vocabulary.

Maths

The math section contains questions that test the student’s problem-solving ability and understanding of math concepts. Topics covered in this section include arithmetic, basic algebra, and basic geometry.

language

The language section tests the student’s understanding of written English. The problems are largely related to spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax.

Some schools also administer an optional science section, covering general topics in astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science and physics.

The HSPT vs the ISEE

The HSPT is comparable in both content and format to the ISEE Upper Level, another private school entrance exam. In terms of content, the biggest difference between the two tests is that there is no essay on the HSPT. The HSPT is primarily used by Catholic private schools; the ISEE is used by a wider range of private schools. In addition, the ISEE has three levels: lower, middle and higher, which correspond to which grade the student is in; the HSPT is for prospective high school students only.

Preparation for the HSPT

As with any standardized test, preparation is essential to success. There are a few HSPT study guides available online and in stores; if, after reviewing concepts and practicing problems, you and your student decide that additional help would be beneficial, then consider professional HSPT exam preparation. The HSPT can have a significant impact on a student’s future and should not be taken lightly. Thorough preparation is the key to making the HSPT experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.

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