CHSPE Test Preparation

A strong desire to succeed in a task is not sufficient for eventual success in the task. It is true that you need to be motivated for pursuing your aim, but you cannot achieve that aim unless you put in hard work on ground. There are two important aspects of preparing to succeed in a task:





  • Set an aim for yourself
  • Work out a plan to achieve that aim

How to Succeed in Passing the CHSPE

Taking the CHSPE is also a task. Success in this would be achieved if you are able to pass it.  You can achieve this success only with meticulous planning and a detailed understanding of the aim that has to be accomplished. The two important aspects of preparing to succeed in the test, can be elaborated upon as follows:

  • Set an aim for yourself

You can prepare yourself and accomplish success in passing the CHSPE only if you are clear about the exact target that you have to achieve. The target in this case would be the minimum scores that are required for passing it. This calls for a detailed understanding of the scoring procedure and the scores that are required for passing the test. The CHSPE consists of two test sections and the passing scores for each of the test sections are

-           English-language Arts Section: This test section consists of two subtests both of which have to be passed for passing this test section.

Reading subtest: A scale score of 350 is required to pass this subtest consisting of 84 multiple-choice questions.

Language subtest: This subtest consists of 48 multiple-choice questions and 1 writing task in which you have to write an essay. The essay is scored on a 5-point scale with 1 being the minimum score and 5 is the maximum score. It is crucial for you to do well in the writing task as your passing standards for the Language subtest are a combination of your scores in the multiple-choice questions and the writing task. You will fail this subtest if you score 2 or lower in the writing task. If you score 2.5 in the writing task, then you will pass the subtest provided your multiple-choice scale score is at least 365. At the same time, the passing standards for this subtest require that your multiple-choice scale score is at least 350, if you have scored 3 in the writing task and it is at least 342 if you have scored 3.5 in the writing task.

  1. Mathematics Section: There are 50 multiple-choice questions and you need a scale score of 350 to pass this test section.
  1. Work out a plan to achieve your aim

Once you know what your aim is, the next obvious step is to work out a plan to achieve that aim. In this case, your aim is to achieve the passing scores in each of the test sections. Your aim can be met if you work out a prep plan and a study schedule keeping the following aspects in mind:

      -  Cover the entire test content: The study schedule should cover the entire content. Remember that the test content of CHSPE is divided into content clusters and a fixed number of questions will be asked from each content cluster. Ignoring a particular subject area of the test content can have serious repercussions as you will not be able to answer any of the questions that have been asked from that particular subject area and this will affect your scores adversely. Go to the official website, www.chspe.net and make a note of the test content that falls under each content cluster along with the number of questions that will be asked from that content cluster. Accordingly, allocate time for studying that subject area depending upon your familiarity with the subject area and the number of questions that will be asked from that content cluster.

      -  Avoid monotony: Work out your study schedule in such a way that it is interesting for you and you do not get bored of studying on a daily basis. Boredom can lead to lack of interest in studying and this can have adverse effect on the scores that you will achieve in the CHSPE. You can adopt some of the following means to make your study schedule interesting:

      - Devise new ways and means for improving your vocabulary other than memorising new words from word lists and guides. The vocabulary questions will test your knowledge of synonyms and multiple-meaning words. Make it a habit to read good quality magazines and newspapers on a daily basis. Play word games. Listen to news channels. Not only will you find these activities interesting, but you will also learn new words. If you come across words that you do not understand, then look up their meanings. Once you have understood their meanings, start using them in your daily conversation so that you are familiar with their meanings and usage.

      -  You can utilize flash cards for memorizing difficult concepts and mathematical formulae. Ask your friends to quiz you whenever you are taking a break from routine study work. Review the flashcards when you are travelling or just relaxing.

      -  Form a group of students who are taking the CHSPE at the same time. Hold discussions and solve problems together. You will learn from each other’s knowledge and also from each other’s mistakes.

Careful selection of study method: It is of utmost importance that you do not ape your friends and peers who are giving the CHSPE with you when it comes to following a particular method for studying. For instance, studying in a group is an interesting and effective way provided you are comfortable studying in a group. If you are better off studying on your own, then you can reduce the frequency of getting together with other students for discussions on problem solving. Do not follow a method of studying just because your friends are following it. Alter the study method to suit your personal requirements. Do not study late into the night if you have difficulties in concentrating on studies at late night hours. Take the assistance of prep courses if you are unable to study on your own for the CHSPE.

A detailed prep plan: Work out a detailed prep plan that takes into account the time you have at hand with respect to the test date. Keep time aside for studying on a daily basis. Give more time to subject areas in which you need to study more. Start your prep with a review of the test content. As the test date draws closer, start concentrating on solving practice tests and practice problems. Look for practice problems that come with the explanations to the correct answers. These explanations will help you in identifying and rectifying the mistakes that you may be committing while solving problems. You will find sample questions on the official website and also in study guides that are easily available in bookstores and also on the internet.

Points to be Kept in Mind        

Here are some very important points that need to be kept in mind for doing well in the CHSPE:

  1. There is no penalty for incorrect answers. Therefore, do not leave any question unanswered. If you are not sure of the answer, take a guess. You do not stand to lose anything. On the other hand, if your guess is correct, you will gain scores.

  2. It is very important to do well in the essay that has to be written by you. The passing standards for the Language subtest of the English-language Arts test section make it evident that you need to do well in the essay in order to pass the test section.

  3. The individual test sections are not timed. The total time is 3 and a half hour. So you can decide how much time you would like to spend on each test section. Take this decision very carefully and use it to your advantage.

  4. There is no restriction on the number of retests you can take for CHSPE.  Therefore, do not despair if you have not been able to pass in the first attempt. Study your score report and identify the content clusters in which you need improvement. Concentrate on those subject areas and you are bound to pass  in the retest.

Stick to your prep plan and study well. Walk into the test centre with self-confidence and you will definitely pass the CHSPE!