High School Placement Test Information

Register here for the High School Placement Test!

What is the HSPT?

 

  • How is this test used in the high school admissions process?
  • How do the HSPT and Independent School Entrance Exam (ISEE) differ?
  • Are accommodations available for students with a service plan, IEP, or recent evaluation?
  • When and where is the HSPT administered?
  • What time does the HSPT start? When is it over?
  • What is the registration process for the HSPT?
  • What is the payment process?
  • What is needed on testing day?
  • Are breaks offered during the testing period?
  • Are calculators permitted?
  • What happens if I arrive late to the test?
  • What happens if there is inclement weather on the day of the test?
  • May I take the test more than once?
  • Will there be a make-up test?
  • Can 7th graders take the HSPT?
  • When are score reports sent?
  • How do I read the scores?
  • Should I complete questions if I am not exactly sure of the correct answer?
  • Are prep courses a good way to prepare for the HSPT?  

 

The HSPT is a standardized, timed test required of every 8th grader applying to attend a Catholic high school in the Diocese of Arlington. It contains five sections that measure verbal ability, quantitative ability, reading comprehension, mathematics, and components of written language. The questions are designed to test students at their curriculum level.

How is this test used in the high school admissions process?

This assessment tool is used by high schools for scholarship selection, and course placement. Each high school has its own guidelines for evaluating applicants for admission, including performance on the HSPT. Students should contact the admissions department at their schools of choice with questions regarding the admissions process.

Are accommodations available for students with a service plan, IEP, or a recent evaluation?

 

Yes, every testing site offers extended time to students with a documented need. Other accommodations vary according to the testing site. When registering for the HSPT, there will be a yes or no question asking whether a student needs accommodations. If indicated yes,

 

When and where is the HSPT administered?

 

Students who currently attend a diocesan elementary school will take the test on Thursday, November 21, 2019 during the school day.

 

Public school students may take the exam at any of our four high schools on Saturday, November 23, 2019.

 

  • St. Paul VI
  • 10675 Fairfax Blvd. Fairfax, VA 22030

 

  • Bishop O’ Connell
  • 6600 Little Falls Rd Arlington, VA 22213

 

  • St. John Paul the Great
  • 17700 Dominican Dr. Dumfries, VA 22026

 

  • Bishop Ireton
  • 201 Cambridge Rd. Alexandria, VA 22314

 

What time does the HSPT start? When is it over?

 

Check in begins at 8:30am, and the test lasts from approximately 9:00am to 12:00pm.

 

What is the registration process for the HSPT?

 

Each high school within the diocese has a registration form on its respective website or you may click on the link at the top of this page. Download the form, print and fill out the required information. Mail the form and payment to the high school where your student will sit for the exam.

 

What is the payment process?

 

The cost of the HSPT is $35. The $35 fee covers scoring the test and sending score reports to parents and high schools chosen by the student. Score reports may be sent to as many as three high schools in the Diocese of Arlington and one school in the Archdiocese of Washington (indicated as fourth choice only). 

 

What is needed on testing day?

 

Two number two pencils are all that each student needs to bring to the testing site.

 

Are breaks offered during the testing period?

 

Brief breaks are offered between the five sections of the test. Students qualifying for accommodations may receive more frequent breaks. Please keep this in mind when planning pick-up, as the test may last longer than three hours.

 

Are calculators permitted?

 

Students may not use a calculator, unless they have submitted qualifying documentation for accommodations, and been approved for calculator use by the testing site in advance.  

 

What happens if I arrive late to the test?

 

Those arriving after the test has begun will be asked to leave and register for another test date.

 

What happens if there is inclement weather on the day of the test?

 

In the event of inclement weather, each testing site administering the HSPT follows the county their school typically adheres to for closings and delays. If weather forces a cancellation, registered students will be instructed to test on the pre-determined snow date.  If weather forces cancellation of the test date, those sites will hold the test on (in addition to all of the sites originally scheduled to test on November 23, 2019).  If weather forces cancellation of the November test date, those sites will hold the test on December 9, 2019.

 

May I take the test more than once?

 

No. The HSPT may be taken only once, and only by 8th grade students. It cannot be repeated under any circumstances.

 

Will there be a make-up test?

 

Each year, the Diocese of Arlington determines whether a make-up test date is needed due to inclement weather or excessive absences. Any potential make-up date is not an opportunity to retake the HSPT; doing so would invalidate the studdent’s scores. Those who miss their December test date should contact the high school testing site for more information.

 

Can 7th graders take the HSPT?

 

No. The HSPT is designed to test the knowledge and achievements of 8th grade students, and scores are compared to that age group. If a 7th grader takes the HSPT, the score achieved is used as the final score, and the student will not be permitted to take the test again the following year.

 

When are score reports sent?

 

The schools chosen by students receive scores directly from Scholastic Testing Services (STS).  Students must limit their selection to three schools in the Diocese of Arlington and one school in the Archdiocese of Washington (designated as the fourth choice only).  STS will not send reports to additional schools.  If you have not received scores, please check your junk/spam email or contact STS at 1-800-642-6787.

 

How do I read the scores?

 

The score report includes five sections – verbal, quantitative, reading comprehension, mathematics, and language. Each score is used to calculate a composite score. The sub scores provide information on a student’s strength in these areas. It is important to review the full range of scores, and not just the composite score. The HSPT compares each student’s correct score to the national norm (a large group of students of similar age across the U.S.). The score represents not the percentage correct, but where that score falls compared to the large group of students. For example, a score of 75% indicates that your correct answers are where 75% of the norm group scored; it does not mean that 75% of the questions were answered correctly. The score is a comparison of test performance, not a measure of actual performance. Any questions regarding interpretation of scores should be directed to the admissions office of your high school of choice.

 

Should I complete questions if I am not exactly sure of the correct answer?

 

Students should answer all questions, as they are not penalized for wrong answers. The proctor explains all details prior to the start of the test.

 

Are prep courses a good way to prepare for the HSPT?

 

STS administers the HSPT, and offers the following guidance for students who want to adequately prepare:

 

Testing can be an anxious, yet exciting experience for students and their parents. STS offers the following tips to best prepare for a successful testing experience:

 

  • Listen to and read the directions for each subtest carefully.
  • Pace yourself – time limits are set for each sub-test. Test administrators announce when time is halfway through so students can check their pace. Avoid spending too much time on one item.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Work out the problem – Calculators are not permitted for the Mathematics subtest. Use scratch paper or the test booklet to do any figuring.
  • Answer every question – If you are unsure of an answer, take your best guess. Your score is determined by the number of items answered correctly; there is no penalty for answering incorrectly.
  • Check your work – If there is time left, go back and review your answers. Make sure each item has only one response. Throughout the test, check that the answer you are marking on your answer sheet corresponds to the item number in the test booklet.
  • While many test prep guides, books, and courses are available for purchase, STS is not affiliated with any of these products and does not endorse them. STS believes that parents and teachers are best advised to avoid expensive preparation materials, trusting that a well-rounded education is the best form of test preparation.