HSPT, or High School Placement Test, is administered by Scholastic Testing Service of Bensenville, Illinois, and is used primarily by Catholic high schools. The HSPT is an examination specially designed for school systems with an 8/4 split. This means that the test measures aptitude and preparation for entrance to a four-year high school program. Because most Catholic high schools are organized in this manner, the HSPT is the exam of choice in more than 50% of Catholic schools nationwide. Some of the largest Catholic school systems in the country use the test exclusively in selecting students for admission to their institution. In Detroit, the HSPT is used for admission to public special academic high schools. Many independent Lutheran schools use the high school placement test, as do a number of unaffiliated independent secondary schools.


The highest score achievable on the HSPT is an 800, and different high schools consider different scores to be passing. The high school placement test consists of 298 questions and ranges from approximately 1 hr 40 minutes – to 2 hrs 30 minutes. The amount of time required for the test is dependent upon whether a school chooses to use additional sections of the exam or the base version alone. All the questions are in a multiple-choice format. There is no guessing penalty so you can make an educated guess or fill in all blanks before the end of the test.


The exam begins with Verbal Skills testing. The Quantitative Skills assessment is next, followed by Reading, Mathematics, and Language Skills. There is a difference between the Verbal Skills sections and the Language Skills. The verbal focuses on synonyms, antonyms, analogies and logic, while the Language Skills is devoted to punctuation, capitalization, usage and spelling.