HSPT Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the HSPT?
  2. Who creates the HSPT?
  3. When is the HSPT given?
  4. When should I register for the HSPT?
  5. How do I register?
  6. How much does it cost to take the HSPT?
  7. How long does it take to get my scores back?
  8. How many times can I take the HSPT?
  9. What is a good score on the HSPT?
  10. What is the difference between ISEE and HSPT?
  11. Why is ExcelTest the best choice for HSPT preparation?
  12. When should I start preparing for the HSPT?
  13. How much math do I need before I can start preparing for the HSPT?
     
  1. What is the HSPT?
    The HSPT is a nationally-recognized private school entrance examination available to students as part of the private school application process. The exam covers: Verbal Skills, Quantitative Skills, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics and Language.  The exam typically takes 3 hours to complete with breaks.

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  2. Who creates the HSPT?
    The HSPT is created by the Scholastic Testing Service (STS), Inc., headquartered in Bensenville, Illinois.

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  3. When is the HSPT given?
    There is no national administration of the HSPT; check with the school to which you are applying to find out when they will be administering the test.

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  4. When should I register for the HSPT?
    Registration is handled by individual schools; check with the school to which you are applying to find out when you should register for the exam.

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  5. How do I register?
    Registration is handled by individual schools; check with the school to which you are applying to find out how to register for the exam.

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  6. How much does it cost to take the HSPT?
    The cost of the test is included in the school's application fee; check with the school to which you are applying to find out what the fee is.

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  7. How long does it take to get my scores back?
    Check with your school to find out when they will have scores available for your student.

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  8. How many times can I take the HSPT?
    You may take the HSPT only once. According to the STS website, if you take the test more than once, your lower score will be used.

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  9. What is a good score on the HSPT?
    A score above 600 will generally be somewhere "above average," which means above the 80th percentile. Each individual school defines what a desirable score is for each candidate.
     
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  10. What is the difference between ISEE and HSPT?
    Both the HSPT and the ISEE are nationally administered standardized tests that help private schools evaluate candidates.  Below is a chart summarizing the differences:

     

    HSPT

    ISEE

    Length

    approximately 3 hours

    approximately 3 hours

    Sections

    5 test sections

    5 test sections

    Areas Tested

    Verbal Skills, Quantitative Skills, Reading Comprehension, Mathematics, and Language

    Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, Math Achievement, and Essay

    Verbal Skills (HSPT) / Verbal Reasoning (ISEE)

    Synonyms, antonyms, vocabulary, analogies, verbal logic

    Vocabulary, sentence completion

    Quantitative Skills (HSPT)/Quantitative Reasoning (ISEE)

    Number manipulation, Comparison questions (geometric/non-geometric), Patterns/sequences 
    Topics covered: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry

    Word problems, Number manipulation, Patterns/sequences 
    Topics covered: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry

    Reading Comprehension

    Reading comprehension passages, central meaning (vocabulary is tested as well)

    Reading comprehension passages, central meaning (vocabulary not tested)

    Mathematics (HSPT)/Math Achievement (ISEE)

    Problem solving, Mathematical concepts, arithmetic, basic algebra and geometry

    Problem solving, Mathematical concepts, word problems, arithmetic, basic algebra and geometry

    Language

    Grammar, Punctuation

    Not included

    Essay

    Not included

    Last section 
    30 minutes

    Scoring

    Each correct answer is worth one point; the raw score is converted to a score on a scale of 200-800 (like on the SAT).

    Each section receives a stanine (scored out of 9)

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  11. Why is ExcelTest the best choice for HSPT preparation?
    ExcelTest HSPT Courses offer an intensive program with 12 classes of 3 hours each over 4 - 5 weeks. ExcelTest Courses offer unique and extremely effective strategies not taught anywhere else, by highly experienced, dynamic instructors.
    All exams administered in class are official HSPT Practice Exams. The answers are run through our computer systems to analyze your strengths and weaknesses on the HSPT.
    Course materials include our ExcelTest HSPT Manual with tricks and tips to do well on the HSPT.
    Tutoring help (in-person or on the phone) is available for students during and after their ExcelTest course at a very competitive fee.
    Tens of thousands of Students have taken ExcelTest Courses from all across the country.

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  12. When should I start preparing for the HSPT?
    Each private school will accept applications at different times; check with the school to which you are applying to find out when applications begin. Plan to prepare for the HSPT a couple months in advance so that there is plenty of time to practice!

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  13. How much math do I need before I can start preparing for the HSPT?
    The math on the HSPT covers topics from arithmetic, elementary algebra, and very basic geometry.

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