Tips for doing well on the High School Placement Test

10:52 AM, Nov 19, 2019

In order to get into a private high school, you will need to take a High School Placement Test (HSPT), a standardized test for students entering their freshman year.

The exam tests students’ math, verbal, reading, language and quantitative skills. It was developed by Scholastic Testing Service to help private schools with admission decisions. The HSPT lasts about three hours with scheduled breaks. Pencils and calculators are provided.

To help a student prepare for the HSPT, here are some test-taking tips:

  1. Pay attention to all the testing directions.
  2. Read the questions thoroughly, but do not spend too much time on one question.
  3. Select the best choice and try to answer as many questions as you can.
  4. Students' scores are calculated based on the number of questions answered correctly; there is no deduction for incorrect ones.
  5. Ensure that you are selecting the answer for the right test question on your answer sheet.
  6. Review your answers when you are finished with the test, if time permits.

Here are some options for preparing for the HSPT:

  1. Ask your school if they offer a Pre-HSPT option. This is offered in the seventh grade by the Scholastic Testing Service, which allows schools to rent testing and scoring materials.
  2. You can find HSPT preparation books at your local bookstore or online. These books can offer practice test questions and study guides.
  3. For students who prefer personalized instruction, some schools that require HSPT scores for admission offer test prep courses and workshops. The courses help students build their skills in each of the five areas tested by the exam. Enrollment is open to 8th graders and instruction is delivered by a school's teachers or tutors.
  4. Schools where students applied will offer their own testing location. Schools tend to look at students who take the exam at their campus for higher scholarship possibilities. It also helps students get familiar with the classroom and teachers of their intended school.
  5. Some students prefer taking online courses; the available resources include a study guide and practice exam.

Here are some links to online courses:
HSPT Test: Practice & Study Guide
HSPT Test: Practice and Study Guide Final Exam

Here are some tips for the day of the test:

  1. Be well-rested and fed on test day.
  2. Make sure you have had a good night’s sleep.
  3. Eat a nutritious breakfast.
  4. Keep yourself alert with plenty of water and snacks (if allowed in the room)
  5. Visualize success
  6. Don’t panic! Just do your best.
  7. Practice visualizing success and finding a way to block out all distractions before you start each question.
  8. Say an encouraging mantra or find another way to remind yourself to stay positive and focused.

We hope these tips have helped ease the pressures of taking a High School Placement Test. Click here for more information about St. Francis High School, or you can call St. Francis High School at (716) 627-1200

For further information you can also check out these links:
How to apply for admission
Application for Catholic high schools in WNY
St. Francis HS admissions process timeline


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