Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are students allowed to take the HSPT more than once?
A: No. Students are permitted to take the HSPT only once.

Q: Are students allowed to make-up a test?
A: If a student is ill on the day of the December test or misses the test due to an emergency, parents/guardians must contact the HSPT Office by the Monday following the scheduled test to register for the make-up test. The details for the make-up test are announced in mid-December. The make-up test offered is the final administration of the HSPT for the current academic year. If the test is officially cancelled due to weather, the test will be administered at the same time and location on the following Saturday.

Q: What will happen if I arrive late on the day of the test?
A: If a student arrives after the test has begun, he/she will be asked to leave and register for another test date, if one is available. Testing begins at 9:00 a.m.

Q: Can seventh grade students take the HSPT?
A: No. Only, current 8th grade students may take the HSPT.

Q: What is the calculator policy for the HSPT?
A: Calculators may not be used on the High School Placement Test unless approved as a testing accommodation. Students who are permitted to use a calculator as an accommodation must provide their own basic, four function calculator.

Q: Can boys register to take the HSPT at an all girls school, and can girls register to take the HSPT at an all boys school?
A: Yes. Students may register to take the HSPT at any available testing center.

Q: Can a student register for the HSPT at one Catholic high school, but take the test at a different Catholic high school?
A: No. Students are permitted to take the HSPT at the testing location indicated on the registration confirmation letter.

Q: Can I register for the HSPT in the Archdiocese of Washington but take the test at a high school in the Diocese of Arlington or in the Archdiocese of Baltimore?
A: No. Students are permitted to take the test in the same (arch)diocese with which they are registered. For information on high school placement testing in the Diocese of Arlington or the Archdiocese of Baltimore, visit their websites.

Q: Do all high schools accept the HSPT?
A: 12 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Washington require the HSPT as part of their admissions process. There are 6 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Washington that have their own testing requirements for admission. However, you should speak with the admissions offices of the high schools to which you intend to apply to inquire about the tests that they are willing to accept with your child’s high school application. For a list of placement test times and locations, click HERE to view the 2020-21 ADW schedule of placement testing.

Q: I understand that I can select up to Four Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Washington to receive my HSPT scores. Does that mean that I cannot apply to the other Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Washington?
A: HSPT results will be sent to up to four of the 12 Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Washington that require the HSPT as part of their admissions process. Students interested in sending their score report to more than four schools should email [email protected] for instructions and assistance.

Students with their families may apply to as many of the 6 Catholic high schools that do not participate in the HSPT program as they would like.

For the 12 Catholic high schools that require the HSPT, a student’s application is incomplete and will not be considered for admission if the HSPT results are not included. Visit Applying to a Catholic High School on the ADW.org website for information on each school’s admissions criteria.

Q: Can test results be sent to schools outside of the Archdiocese of Washington?
A: The official HSPT Score Report may be mailed to only 1 high school in the Diocese of Arlington or the Archdiocese of Baltimore for an additional $15 fee.

Q: When are test scores released?
A: All parents/guardians of students taking the HSPT in December and January will receive a copy of their child’s HSPT scores via email, in January 2021. On the HSPT registration form, parents/guardians may request at the time of registration to have the scores sent via U.S. Mail to the address on the registration form. All test results will be emailed and mailed on the same day from Scholastic Testing Services, Inc. Electronic results will be emailed from [email protected] Scores will not be released until all archdiocesan testing is completed and all scores are available for release. ADW Catholic schools and the HSPT Office are not permitted to release students’ scores.

Q: What is a good score on the HSPT?
A: Standard scores range from 200-800. The average scaled score on the HSPT is 500. The average score for the Cognitive Skills Quotient is 100. Students in the Archdiocese of Washington have traditionally scored above the national average on the HSPT.

Q: What should I do to help my child to prepare for the HSPT?
A: Scholastic Testing Service will provide all Catholic elementary schools with a supply of practice questions and general HSPT preparation information. The intention of this preparation is to apprise students and their families of the substance and process involved in taking the HSPT. Students should be encouraged to become familiar with the test sections and the kind of questions they will be expected to address.

While guides are available in bookstores and libraries to supplement the materials that will be provided, content preparation is not advised, as the nature of the test does not lend itself to this kind of preparation.