High School Placement Test (HSPT)

High School Placement Test

Saturday, January 27th, 2024 

The High School Placement Test (HSPT), created by Scholastic Testing Service (STS), is a comprehensive placement test for eighth graders which high schools use to assist with their ninth grade placement and admissions.


What time does the HSPT start? When is it over? (in person test only)
You should arrive at 8:30 AM to check in. The test lasts from approximately 9:00 AM-12:30 PM.



What is the HSPT?
The HSPT is a standardized, timed test required of every 8th-grade student applying to attend a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It contains five sections. The first two sections measure verbal and quantitative ability. The next three sections include questions related to reading comprehension, mathematics, and the components of written language. The HSPT questions are designed to test students at their curriculum level.


How is this test used in the admissions process?
CSHM uses the test scores as one of several factors in evaluating a student's application for admission. Other factors include school transcripts and teacher/administration evaluations.


Are there accommodations available for students with a service plan, IEP, or a recent evaluation that specifically outlines the accommodations needed?
We do not provide accommodations on the test day. What we can do is have students test on a separate day that a CSHM faculty will administer the test. 


What is the registration process for the HSPT?
You register for the HSPT when your application to the school is submitted. Please note: students must have submitted an application 2 weeks prior to the test date. 


What is needed on testing day?
A good night's sleep! CSHM will provide the materials needed to take the test.


Are breaks offered during the testing period?
There will be brief breaks between the five sections of the test. CSHM will provide a light snack and drinks during the break.


Are calculators permitted?
Students may not use a calculator.


What happens if I'm late on the day of the test? 

If a student arrives after the test has begun, there will be one testing classroom that will begin at 9:15 AM Otherwise we ask that the student return for the second test date.


May I take the test more than once? 

No. The HSPT is taken only once and cannot be repeated.



When will scores be sent?
Score will be provided at the time of registration.


How do I read the scores?
STS includes a key on each score report. The HSPT score report includes five sections - verbal, quantitative, reading comprehension, mathematics, and language. Each of these scores is used to calculate a composite score. The sub-scores provide information on a student's strength of knowledge in three different areas. It is important to review the full range of scores, 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, if you take the HSPT and earn a score of 75%, this means your correct answers are where 75% of the norm group scored; it does not mean that you answered 75% of the questions correctly. The score is a comparison of test performance, not a measure of actual performance. Any questions regarding the interpretation of the HSPT scores should be directed to the admissions office of your high school of choice.


  • Listen to and read the directions for each subtest carefully.
  • Pace yourself - Time limits are set for each subtest. The test administrators should announce when time is halfway through so you can determine if you are working at a pace that will enable you to finish. Try not to spend too much time on one item.
  • Read each question carefully.
  • Work out the problem - Calculators are not permitted for the Mathematics subtest. You may use scratch paper or your 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 you answer correctly; there is no penalty for answering incorrectly.
  • Check your work - If there is time left, go back and review your answers. Check to make sure each item has only one response. Throughout the test, continuously check that the answer you are marking on your answer sheet corresponds to the item number in the test booklet.
  • STS believes that parents and teachers are best advised to avoid expensive preparation materials and to trust that a well-rounded education is the best form of test preparation.



PDF Sample Tests are below.



Every year CSHM offers a financial award to applicants who achieve one of the top scores on the High School Placement Test. This award honors students for their outstanding achievements and follows the student through all four years of attendance. The selected student will be notified in their acceptance letter of receiving the award. This particular award is given at the discretion of the principal and the CSHM administration and does not require an application.