Used by parochial and Catholic schools nationwide for 8th graders applying to high school, the High School Placement Test (HSPT) is the shortest in length of time of the three high school entrance exams but includes the most questions (298). Students have two hours and thirty minutes to complete the exam, and the exam includes the following five sections: mathematics (64 questions, 45 minutes); quantitative skills (52 questions, 30 minutes); reading (40 questions in reading comprehension, 22 questions in vocabulary, 25 minutes); verbal skills (60 questions, 16 minutes); and language (60 questions, 25 minutes). There is no essay or writing sample required with this test, and as with the other two high school entrance exams, a calculator is not permitted, and there is no guessing penalty.
This test, designed by Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. is administered by St. Ignatius, Loyola Academy, as well as other parochial schools on the first Saturday in December. However, since the test is so infrequent, there are sometimes make-up exams in the cases of illnesses or emergencies. Where a student sits for the HSPT is very important. If students want to be considered for St. Ignatius OR Loyola Academy, they MUST sit for the HSPT at the respective school. Additionally, if students would like the chance to earn a scholarship at their first-choice school, they must test at that school. Students will not be considered for scholarships at schools in which they don’t sit for the HSPT.
Lastly, similar to the ISEE but unlike with the selective enrollment high school process, the HSPT is viewed in conjunction with a student’s transcript. Thus, a student’s score on the HSPT isn’t the only thing considered for admission but is still of great importance. To learn more about how to prepare for the HSPT, visit testprepchicago.com.
Lauren Lynch, Tutoring Coordinator