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What is the HSPT?

The High School Placement Test is an exam offered to 8th grade students in order to get into particular Catholic schools for their following 4 years. This exam consists of only multiple choice sections split between five different sections. These five different sections are verbal skills, quantitative skills, reading, mathematics, and language. The total number of questions on this exam is 244 all together, and you will have about 2 and a half hours to complete it. Now, I know this may sound intimidating but as long as you prepare yourself, whether it’s at home or one on one tutoring, then you will have nothing to worry about. You are able to find many different practice test books online that include the curriculum based on the HSPT. below you can find some links to resourceful books:

What is the SSAT?

The secondary school admissions test is offered for all students from third grade all the way until eighth grade. The SSAT is for students who want admission into certain private middle schools and high schools. There are three different levels for this exam. The upper level is created for applicants in eighth grades and above, the middle level is for applicants in fifth, sixth, and seventh grade, and finally the elementary level is for applicants in 3rd and fourth grade. Breakdown of the exam:

● Quantitative (Math): Composed of math computation.

● Verbal: Vocabulary and analogy questions.

● Reading: Reading passages.

● Writing Sample: The writing sample is not scored, but schools use it to assess writing skills.

● Experimental: Mixed of multiple different topics, like verbal, reading, and math. This section does not count toward reported scores.


The exam has two separate formats. One of them being for middle and upper levels and the other being for elementary level.


Upper/middle level:

Full exam will take 3 hours and 10 minutes with 6 different sections, one of which is not counted in your final score(writing). You will be able to get two 10 minute breaks in between.


Elementary level:
Full exam will take 2 hours and 5 minutes with a total of 104 questions. There will be 5 sections all together but writing and experimental will not be counted towards your grade as stated before. You will be able to get two 10 minute breaks.

Upper and middle level students have the option of picking between taking their SSAT on paper, on a computer at a test center, or on a computer at home.


Elementary level students must take the exam in person or on paper.

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