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The Scholastic Testing Service High School Placement Test, or HSPT, is given to eighth-graders seeking admission to specific Catholic high schools. Schools use exam results to make admissions decisions, to place applicants, and to determine scholarship awards.

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Test Overview

The standard HSPT lasts approximately two and a half hours and contains 298 multiple-choice questions divided into five sections—Verbal, Quantitative, Reading, Mathematic, and Language Skills. The Scholastic Testing Service also provides a choice of one optional test in Mechanical Aptitude, Science, or Catholic Religion, but many schools do not administer these tests, and these test results are not included in the percentile ranking.


Time: 16 minutes
Format: 60 multiple-choice questions
Topics Tested: Synonyms and antonyms, analogies, logic, and verbal classifications


Time: 30 minutes
Format: 52 multiple-choice questions
Topics Tested: Series, geometric and non-geometric comparisons, and number manipulations


Time: 25 minutes
Format: 62 multiple-choice questions
Topics Tested: Ability to understand central meanings and details of reading passages


Time: 45 minutes
Format: 64 multiple-choice questions
Topics Tested: Mathematical concepts and problem solving, arithmetic, elementary algebra, and basic geometry

Language Skills

Time: 25 minutes
Format: 60 multiple-choice questions
Topics Tested: Capitalization and punctuation, spelling, usage, and composition

Your Score

Each question answered correctly on the HSPT is worth one point. There is no penalty or deduction for incorrect answers.

Your raw score, or the total number of points you earn, is tallied and then converted to a scaled score ranging from 200 to 800.

The Scholastic Testing Service will also determine your percentile rank according to your scaled score. Percentile rank shows where you stand in relationship to other students and allows the schools to compare candidates more easily. There is no passing or failing score on the HSPT, although each school determines what a desirable score is for its candidates.

How to Register

The HSPT is administered at the school to which you want to apply. Contact the school to find out where and when the test is offered. Schools will provide registration forms, a handbook of instructions, and an admission ticket to the exam. A registration fee is usually required although the actually fees vary by school.