The High School Placement Test, or HSPT, is administered to 8th graders planning to apply to private Catholic high schools. The HSPT score plays a role in admissions, as well as any advanced placement and scholarship opportunities available. The test is offered in both an open and closed format, and assesses skill levels in five areas: verbal, quantitative, reading, mathematics, and language.
So how is the test scored? The HSPT is a multiple choice test. The student receives a point for every correct answer, and there are no penalties for incorrect or omitted answers. This “raw score” is then converted into a scaled score ranging from 200-800. Beyond this scaled score, the score report will most likely offer several other performance analyses, including national and local percentiles, standard scores, grade equivalents, and cognitive skills quotients.
The national and local percentiles both provide a comparison of the student’s score to either the nation or a select group of students in the area. For example, if a student receives a 50% in the national percentile, that means he or she scored better than 50% of all test takers of that grade in the nation. Standard scores compare the student’s score to standardized scales that do not vary year to year, allowing administrators to compare the body of test takers to previous years. Grade equivalents assess the student’s ability to perform compared to other grade levels, but they should not be taken to indicate future ability. Finally, the cognitive skills quotient, or CSQ, measures a student’s ability in terms of age and test score. Similar in ways to an IQ score, the CSQ is seen as an assessment of potential future academic success.
Although these various scoring methods may seem overwhelming, focus on what is in your control – preparing for and doing your best on the test!