HSPT Practice Test

The HSPT is the most commonly used high school entrance test given to 8th-grade students applying to private Catholic schools. The test is administered at individual schools and testing dates vary so contact the school ahead of time to register and get the schedule.  The test may be taken only once. If applying to multiple schools, the same result will be submitted. If multiple tests are taken, the lower score is considered to be the final score. 


  1. The HSPT  is extremely challenging because it tests students in five areas of learning that measure verbal ability, quantitative ability, reading comprehension, mathematics, and components of written language
  2. It follows more of the traditional curriculum so students who are not exposed to this kind of course program may exceptionally find the test difficult and need to prepare more.
  3. The HSPT has the largest time constraint of the tests.  There are approximately 300 multiple-choice questions to be answered within 2 hours and 30 minutes so students only have 30 seconds to answer each question.  
  4. Verbal skills are measured through analogies and logic-based questions. 
  5. Math and quantitative skills are tested through basic knowledge and skills in arithmetic, geometry, and algebra. 

HSPT Scoring:

  1. Every correct answer gets 1 point with no penalty for incorrect answers. All correct answers from each subtest are added which is regarded as the raw score. 
  2. The raw score is then converted to a scaled score of 200-800. 
  3. Raw scores are compared to a national percentile ranking and converted into percentile scores. The 50th percentile is considered to be average and a percentile rank of 75 would be regarded as a good HSPT score. 

HSPT Tutoring: 

  1. We give a series of practice tests for each section to assess a student’s strengths and weaknesses and devise an individualized program to focus on areas that need improvement.
  2. Our practice test materials are modeled after the HSPT so you will be very familiar and comfortable with the questions when you take the actual test.
  3. Our comprehensive grammar program prepares students to recognize essential English conventions, develop their writing skills and enhance their ability to think critically.
  4. We include other math concepts, like Roman numerals, which are not usually taught in most schools but are common in Catholic schools.  
  5. We teach test-taking strategies to develop a positive mindset and improve the pace at which students answer questions. 

The table below shows the different sections of the HSPT, the content of each section, the total number of items as well as the allotted time to answer all of the questions.

Section Content Number of Questions Time Limit
Verbal synonyms, logic reasoning, antonyms, etc. 60  16 minutes
Quantitative sequences and patterns 52 30 minutes
Reading vocabulary 62 25 minutes
Mathematics tests for math concepts 64 45 minutes
Language tests for grammar and spelling 60 25 minutes
TOTAL 298 2 hours 21 minutes

The HSPT is very challenging and you need to prepare to take the test. There are many areas and topics given in the test that are not usually covered in a regular curriculum. So even if you are a straight-A student, you would still benefit from taking HSPT practice tests with Cardinal Education.

You only have about 30 seconds to read, understand, and answer each question. There are a total of 298 questions that you have to answer within a limited time of 2 hours and 21 minutes. Speed is not the key, comprehension is. 

Yes! Even if you are getting good grades, you still need to prepare for the HSPT to get good scores. There are many concepts included in the test that are not normally covered in the curriculum that most American schools follow. 

Enroll in a test prep program that fully understands the rigors of the HSPT. It is not just about finishing the test on time. To be successful, you have to have a good understanding of the areas and concepts that are being tested. You need to study hard and prepare for the test. Working with expert tutors will help you achieve good scores. 

HSPT raw scores are converted into percentiles. 76th to 99th percentiles are considered high; 24th to 75th percentiles are average, and 1st to 23rd percentiles are low. The 50th percentile is regarded as an average HSPT score.