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The High School Placement Test, or HSPT, is a standardized exam many private and independent high schools use as one factor in their competitive admission processes. It may also be used to determine scholarship awards. It is taken by students in Grade 8 in anticipation of enrolling in their new school for Grade 9. If you feel that your student's test prep could use a boost, working with an HSPT tutor may help them improve their study skills and self-confidence leading up to the exam.
One of the first questions you might want to ask your student's HSPT tutor is which test is most appropriate for your situation. The list below breaks down all of the options available to you:
HSPT Test Variations
- Closed HSPT
- Standardized and issued yearly, this exam is centrally scored and test takers receive a robust set of scoring data.
- Open HSPT
- Sold to schools, scoring the exam is the responsibility of the school. Schools may use the same exam for multiple years.
- A 7th-grade level version of the exam that is scored centrally and is used as an assessment tool and a practice exam for the 8th grade HSPT.
No matter which exam you choose, a knowledgeable HSPT tutor can help your student prepare for the big day.
How Would Working With An HSPT Tutor Near Me Benefit My Student?
Private HSPT tutoring allows the student in your life to study in a learning environment designed around their unique needs. Your student is the only pupil in question, ensuring that any questions asked receive a prompt response. In fact, many students find it easier to ask a private HSPT tutor for help, allowing them to address any misunderstandings before they have a chance to snowball out of control. Similarly, all of your student's work can receive immediate feedback so that they can review any mistakes in a timely manner.
Likewise, an HSPT tutor can adjust their teaching style to suit your student. If your student is a visual learner, their instructor might use charts, graphs, and other visual mediums to illustrate important concepts. Alternatively, an auditory learner might get more out of lecture-based HSPT tutoring sessions. Both approaches are perfectly valid, but large review courses tend to force students into a particular box regardless of their individual needs. Therefore, working with a private HSPT tutor is the best way to ensure that your student receives the personalized attention they need to pursue academic success.
A knowledgeable HSPT tutor can also answer any questions you or your student have about the content of the test. The graphic below breaks down the content on all five sections of the test:
HSPT Content Areas
- Verbal Skills
- Related to language, reading, and social studies.
- Perform language-based reasoning tasks
- Quantitative Skills
- Related to math, science, and similar disciplines.
- Perform number and quantity-based reasoning tasks
- Read passages and answer questions through inference, contextual understanding of words, and the use of other reading comprehension skills
- Answer questions and solve problems to demonstrate an understanding of arithmetic operations, math concepts, and reasoning skills.
- Answer questions related to standard English conventions such as grammar, punctuation, composition, and spelling.
- Optional Content Areas
That is a lot of material, but an HSPT tutor can help your student break it down into more digestible bits.
How Can HSPT Tutoring Near Me Help My Student Prepare For Each Section Of The Exam?
If your student has a hard time with the Verbal Skills section of the HSPT, their instructor might provide samples of language-based reasoning tasks to help them think like the test. If a student knows exactly what to expect on exam day, they may be able to calm down and tackle each question as it comes.
If your student struggles with the logic-based Quantitative Skills section of the exam, an HSPT tutor may provide a demonstration of how to solve a particular problem type. This type of tutorial can take the mystery out of the process. After that, your student might answer questions that require the same type of thinking so that they can get into the habit of thinking that way themselves.
If your student could retain more of the information they read, their instructor might review active reading techniques during HSPT tutoring sessions to help them identify the most important info. Students are permitted to write in the margins of their test booklet and ask for scrap paper during the test, so they can jot down the most important facts. Should they need to go back and look something up, it may also be faster to refer back to their handwritten notes than the passage itself.
Many students have a hard time with mathematics because advanced concepts seem impossible if you haven't yet mastered the requisite underlying skills. HSPT tutors offer the flexibility to go back and review concepts that your student had previously studied in order to develop a more comprehensive understanding of them. In turn, this may make it easier to understand the concepts on the HSPT math section. Note that calculators are not allowed on any section of the HSPT.
Finally, the HSPT Language section stresses the mechanical rules of the English language. If your student has a hard time remembering the parts of speech or how to spell particular words, their HSPT tutor may make them flashcards to make it easier to study whatever they might need to.
There are two optional sections of the HSPT: Catholic Religion and Science. If the schools you plan to apply to do not ask for these sections, there is no reason for your student to sit for them or spend any valuable HSPT tutoring time preparing for them. However, some schools require applicants to take these sections and weight them just as heavily as those above. The best thing to do is double-check the admission policies of all of the schools you plan to apply to. If any require an optional section, an HSPT tutor can incorporate it into your student's test prep regimen.
Once your student finishes the test, their score can be difficult to decipher. The graphic below should help you understand what it means:
- Each test earns a score between 200 and 800
- A Total Cognitive Skills score between 200 and 800 is determined by the average score of the Verbal Skills and Quantitative Skills tests
- A Total Basic Skills score between 200 and 800 is determined by the average score of the Reading, Mathematics, and Language tests
- An optional score is determined if an optional test is taken.
- All scores are averaged for the final composite HSPT score between 200 and 800
One of the most potentially confusing parts of the HSPT scoring system is that everything is on a 200-800 scale, including the composite scores determined by adding other scores together. The secret lies in that the scores are converted to a different scale to determine the composite scores. If you have any further questions regarding your student's performance, feel free to ask your student's instructor for a trustworthy answer.
Can HSPT Tutoring Near Me Improve My Student's Test-Taking Skills?
Absolutely! One of the reasons the HSPT is as challenging as it is is the strict time limit. Students need to answer approximately 300 questions in just 150 minutes, meaning that they only have an average of 30 seconds per question. This time is split evenly between the Mathematics and Verbal sections of the test. If your student's time management skills aren't up to snuff, their HSPT tutor may teach them how to make the most of the time available to them.
For example, many students take practice exams during HSPT tutoring sessions to get a sense of what the time available to them feels like. Firsthand experience with how long they have on each section may make it easier to budget their time accordingly. Completing practice tests can also help your student identify their academic strengths and any areas of opportunity they may want to review in a future HSPT tutoring session.
Likewise, an HSPT tutor may teach your student test-taking tips they can fall back on if they are feeling stumped. It may be possible to eliminate several of the incorrect answer choices even if you aren't sure of the correct response, raising the odds that your educated guess proves correct. It's also possible that one test item contains enough information to answer something else on the test. This isn't the most important skill reviewed during HSPT tutoring sessions, but may provide a jolt of self-confidence when your student really needs it.
Here are some additional tips your student might wish to keep in mind on exam day:
- Listen to and read the directions for each subtest carefully.
- Pace yourself - Time limits are set for each subtest.
- Read each question carefully.
- Work out the problem - Calculators are not permitted for the Mathematics subtest. You may use scratch paper or your test booklet to do any figuring.
- Answer every question - If you are unsure of an answer, take your best guess. Your score is determined by the number of items you answer correctly; there is no penalty for answering incorrectly.
- Check your work - If there is time left, go back and review your answers. Check to make sure each item has only one response. Throughout the test, continuously check against the test booklet that the answer you are marking is the one you intend.
The HSPT is a challenging test, but your student can work toward their academic goals with the right supports in place. Attending private school can be a great way for the student in your life to improve their grades and take on a challenging course schedule that could ultimately help their college application stand out. Working with a private HSPT tutor is one proven method of getting them the help they need to pursue their dreams.
Why Should I Choose Varsity Tutors In My Search For A HSPT Tutor Near Me?
We maintain an extensive database of certified, independent tutors who take their craft seriously. We don't show any favoritism in our selections, allowing us to refer every customer to the instructor best suited to their individual needs. We also take you schedule into consideration, as we feel that nobody should need to plan their entire schedule around standardized test prep.
We also offer a proprietary Live Learning Platform, an online classroom where your student can receive the benefits of face-to-face instruction without leaving home. It includes powerful features such as video chat functionality and a virtual whiteboard so that study sessions are just as effective as they would be in person, without the logistical headache!
If you have any additional questions or are ready to bring your search for "HSPT tutors near me" to an end once and for all, please reach out to us today. Expert operators are standing by to help you in any way they are able!