What Is the Purpose of the High School Placement Test?


Quick Answer

Catholic parochial schools use the High School Placement Test to determine the acceptance of students into school or their placement in classes once accepted. The standardized test, which is administered by Scholastic Testing Service, is given to eighth graders.

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Full Answer

The HSPT consists of 298 multiple-choice questions. The time allowed to take the test varies, ranging from an hour and 40 minutes to two and a half hours. The specific time depends on the school administering the test and whether it chooses to give the base version of the test or include additional sections. The test format is customizable depending on each school’s admission criteria. The standard test consists of state-mandated language, vocabulary, reading and mathematics testing criteria. Optional sections include scientific and religious knowledge and mechanical aptitudes.

On the HSPT, only correct answers are scored; therefore, testers are not at a disadvantage by guessing. Like the majority of standardized testing programs for middle school students, testers are compared to a database of other student testers. The maximum possible score for the high school placement test is 800. Depending on the value given to each test section, raw scores are translated to standard scores. Score reports include national and local rankings for each student.

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