Passing the HSPT (High School Placement Test) requires the mastering four skill sets: quantitative, math, reading, and language. There are several things to keep in mind while preparing for this admission test to parochial schools. The following is a list of strategies that, if followed, should lead to a passing score on the HSPT.

Check with the admissions office of the school to which you're applying to find out the goal scores for the HSPT that they require for admission consideration.

Prepare for the exam by understanding all sections involved in the test. Some schools require one of three optional tests in addition to the regular HSPT. These optional tests include Mechanical Aptitude, Science, and Religion. Again, check with the admissions office of your desired school to find out if one of these optional tests will also be administered.

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Enroll in an online HSPT preparation class. These can take various forms, from actual graded preparation courses to speed drills and practice tests. Check the fine print on company websites that provide online classes to determine who is a reputable source.

Study with hard copy test prep materials, such as books and CD-ROMs. Many libraries have up-to-date copies of test prep books with interactive media included.

Double check the time, location, and materials needed for the HSPT with the admissions office of the school to which you're applying. Make sure you write down this information and keep it in a convenient location.

Arrive early for the exam. Some schools will not let you take the exam if you arrive after the designated start time.

Answer every question. With the HSPT, every correct answer counts. You are not marked off for incorrect answers, therefore guessing on the questions you don't know could end up helping your score if you guess correctly.


  • Barron's, Kaplan and Peterson's are standard names in test prep materials, so anything affiliated with them should be trustworthy.
  • Try to relax the night before the exam. Cramming until the wee hours will only cause more stress. Instead, do something to take your mind off of the exam, like going for a swim, or watching a movie with friends.
  • Ask a current Catholic high school student for advice on passing the HSPT. They might have the "insider's track" on what you need to know about the test.

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