Study Strategies for HSPT Success

The High School Placement Test – or the HSPT – is an exam administered to 8th grade students who are applying to certain Catholic high schools. The HSPT helps to determine admissions decisions, class placement, and scholarship awards. If you are If you are unsure how the HSPT is scored, these points may help you. Here are seven study strategies for HSPT success:

Break it down

Because the HSPT consists of nearly 300 questions in five separate sections, one of the best study strategies is to break the test into its respective parts. For example, if you begin your prep with the Math section, finish reviewing these concepts before you move on to Verbal.

Studying for each section individually can help you reinforce and build your HSPT content knowledge. At the beginning of each study session, review the areas you have previously addressed. Begin prepping early, rather than late. 

Practice, practice, practice

While it may be tiresome to take practice test after practice test, doing so is a phenomenal way to prepare for the HSPT. Completing practice exams can help you in a number of ways. First, you are able to master your timing. Each section on the test must be completed within a certain time frame, so the more you practice finishing the HSPT within this window, the faster you will become.

Practice exams can also help you identify your problem areas. You will quickly see where the gaps in your knowledge are – perhaps you need additional help in Math, or perhaps a particular kind of Reading question gives you trouble.

Write it down

Once you have determined where you are struggling, start writing down what you learn. This might mean typing up an outline for later review, or creating flashcards that you can reference during your prep. When we write information down, our brains are more likely to remember it. Find a specific method that works for you, and use it across all sections of the HSPT.

Avoid procrastination

It can be tempting to wait until the week before the HSPT to begin studying. However, this rarely – if ever – pays off. Start reviewing as soon as you learn your test date. This way, you can spend adequate time on each section.

To help prevent procrastination, create a prep plan early on, and then adhere to it. Be sure to include study goals, as well as to measure your progress toward them. If you are not meeting these goals, it may be time to reassess your prep plan. You may want to consider seeking an HSPT tutor to help you prepare.

Designate a study space

Try to create a space that fosters effective study habits. This may involve moving your desk to a quieter room, or locating a library with hours that suit your schedule. Your ultimate goal should be to find a space that will allow you to effectively learn and to maximize your prep time.

Read a book

Another great strategy is to read. The simple act of reading can familiarize you with vocabulary words, foster your comprehension skills, and enhance your understanding of grammar and syntax. 

Prepare for your test session

On your test day, you may feel nervous. This is completely normal. To ensure you do your best on the HSPT, get plenty of sleep the evening before and eat a balanced breakfast. These points may help you succeed on the HSPT! Remember, too, that you have prepared for this day – you are more ready than you may believe, so be confident and show the HSPT just how much you know. Success is only a few hours away!