Test Info: HSPT

Test Info


Somewhat unique among entrance exams, the HSPT (High School Placement Test) is given and required only by a small subset of private high schools which often exclusively accept this exam rather than the ISEE or SSAT. Usually selective Catholic schools, these institutions administer the exam “in house,” offering a single administration on school premises on one date in the fall (usually in the first week of November). Xavier High School and Regis High School represent two of the most popular such institutions in the New York City area. Students do not see their scores, which are instead directly calculated and evaluated by the school in question, although some schools have transferability policies between them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, comparatively little information is available about HSPT or its score conversion (scaled scores range from 200 to 800), and no official tests written by the test writers have been released. However, its similarities in content to the ISEE, SSAT, and SHSAT allow students to prepare for strong performances on even this lesser known exam.

The HSPT has only a single level, intended for 8th graders applying for admission into 9th grade. The entire exam takes about two hours and 30 minutes. Its format consists exclusively of multiple-choice questions, divided into five subsections: verbal (60 questions in 16 minutes), quantitative (52 questions in 30 minutes), reading (62 questions in 25 minutes), mathematics (64 questions in 45 minutes), and language (59 questions in 25 minutes). While the timing on the HSPT is much faster than on other high school entrance exams, questions are generally less difficult and more straightforward. Most students find adjusting to the pace and technique of the HSPT manageable with practice and guidance.


Every school runs its own test administration; check each school’s admissions page for updates on its HSPT testing.