Preparing for the HSPT

Are prep courses a good way to prepare for the HSPT?

The Scholastic Testing Service, Inc. (STS), which administers the HSPT, offers the following guidance for students who want to prepare for the HSPT:

Testing can be a rather anxious, but also, exciting experience for students and their parents. We receive many questions from parents inquiring on how their child can prepare for the HSPT®. STS offers the following tips to best prepare for a successful testing experience:

  • Listen to and read the directions for each subtest carefully.
  • Pace yourself – Time limits are set for each subtest. The test administrators should announce when time is halfway through so you can determine if you are working at a pace that will enable you to finish. Try not to spend too much time on one item.
  • 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 that the answer you are marking on your answer sheet corresponds to the item number in the test booklet.
  • While there are many test prep guides, books, and courses on the market available for purchase, STS is in no way affiliated with any of these products and does not endorse them. STS believes that parents and teachers are best advised to avoid expensive preparation materials and to trust that a well-rounded education is the best form of test preparation.

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.