HSPT Test Preparation

Certain Catholic high schools and private parochial schools require the HSPT (High School Placement Test) scores to consider the suitability of students for admissions. This makes it necessary for a student to do well in the HSPT so that his application gains an edge over those of the other candidates who would have applied for admissions to the same school. Although different schools may assign a different weight to these scores, a high score will definitely catch the attention of the school admission committees and improve your chances of selection. Certain schools may require you to take the additional test sections, Mechanical Aptitude, Science, and Religion. Therefore, you may have to check with your desired school and find out their policies regarding this test.

Avoiding Test Anxiety

School students tend to be apprehensive about taking tests. They are under undue stress due to the anxiety surrounding taking a test. The young minds of school students are easily influenced by fears related to how they will fare in the test and what the reaction of their parents will be if they fail to get good scores. The only way to counter this test anxiety is by guiding the students to prepare in such a way that they are ready to face the questions on the test day with confidence and composure. This calm and confident state of mind of the test-taker will enable him to:

  • Read through the questions without any anxiety, thereby giving him the time to think over what the correct answer should be.
  • Relate the questions asked to the ones he had solved during his preparation and solve the questions accordingly.
  • Easily recall important concepts and formulae that he had memorized.
  • Comfortably finish the test on time by attempting all the questions asked.

If you are able to solve the questions in the manner just discussed, you will be able to get good scores in the HSPT and improve your chances of getting admission to a desired high school. Hence, it is of utmost importance that you get rid of test anxiety as the first step in your preparation.

The Best Way to Prepare for HSPT: Get Rid of Test Anxiety

  • Be positive about taking the test: Look at the test with a positive frame of mind. The test has not been formulated to burden you. It has been designed to showcase your skills to the school admission committees. Look at the test as an opportunity to demonstrate your verbal, quantitative, reading, math, and language skills. These are the skills being tested as they are vital for success in academic studies in school and your scores are a reflection of your levels in these skills. High schools are looking for students with a good grasp of these skills and adequate knowledge in the related subject areas. Consider this as a good opportunity to demonstrate to the high school of your choice how proficient you are in these skills. This kind of an attitude will not only help you in strengthening your will power for studying for the HSPT with zeal and determination, but you will also be able to get rid of the test anxiety that might mar your chances of doing well in the test.

2.   Be thorough with the test content: It is good to have a positive attitude towards taking the test, but you need to supplement your optimism with awareness of the test content. A thorough review of the test content will make you very confident as you will be well prepared to tackle the questions that will be asked in the test. A visit to the official website, www.ststesting.com/hsptpg9.html will acquaint you with the finer details of the test content. Familiarize yourself with the subject areas from which questions will be asked. Familiarity with the subject areas and the test content will help you in building up your confidence not only for taking the test, but also for preparing.

3.   Awareness of the test format: Once you are aware of the test content, you should be aware of how your verbal, quantitative, reading, math, and language skills will be tested. These skills will be tested in the form of questions that have been specifically designed for this purpose. There will be a test section for each of the skills being assessed. Your verbal skills will be assessed by questions based on synonyms, antonyms, analogies etc. Questions involving numbers and geometry will assess your quantitative skills. There will be reading comprehension questions and questions based on vocabulary for testing your reading skills. Questions based on arithmetic, algebra and geometry will evaluate your mathematical skills.  Your language skills will be put to test by questions based on grammar, usage, spelling etc. Find out the number of questions for testing each skill and the time available for answering them. This knowledge will make you better prepared to take the HSPT and you will be able to work out the amount of preparedness required for attempting each type of question depending upon your familiarity with the subject area.

4.   Problem solving: You may be having a good grasp over the skills being tested, but you will need practice in utilizing those skills for solving the problems presented to you. Having a good knowledge of the fundamentals of the subjects being assessed does not guarantee that you will be able to use that knowledge effectively for solving problems based on the same subject area. You need expertise in understanding what the questions require you to do. You will also need to understand how to employ your knowledge for solving tricky questions. As all the questions asked will be multiple-choice questions, there is a good chance that you might get confused after seeing the answer options available. Some of the options may be so close to the actual answer that you will start having doubts as to what the correct answer is. Therefore, there is a need to include problem solving in your prep plan. Problem solving will help you in doing away with the uncertainty surrounding the solution of difficult and confusing questions.

5.   Prep materials: A good collection of study materials will boost your morale and confidence. Although your school books will be good enough to review the test content, a study guide is a better choice as it is specifically tailor made to help you study for this test. There are various study guides like Barron’s HSPT study guide. Prep materials from Peterson’s and Kaplan are equally trustworthy as these are well known names in the test prep industry. Look for study guides that contain a review of the test content along with practice problems and their solutions. Ensure that you solve all problems given in the study guides. Simply getting hold of a study guide does not ensure success. You have to study from the guide in order to use it to your advantage. Such study will help you gain confidence in yourself for taking the HSPT.

More Assistance
Despite having worked out a good prep plan that has done away with all aspects of test anxiety, you may still be unsure about how you will fare in the HSPT. This lack of confidence may arise from having limited knowledge of the test content and test format or from being unable to find good prep materials and guidance. In such a case, you can resort to attending prep classes, which are available both as regular classes and as online courses. The prep classes will contain a review of the test content and you will also gain access to practice problems. Such classes prove to be helpful provided they have a good reputation and the students attending them have actually been successful in scoring high in HSPT. Therefore, make a careful choice before you enroll yourself for a prep class by investing your time and money.
Instead of being nervous of taking the HSPT, prepare for it with zest and you will find yourself gaining confidence which in turn will ensure success!