What is the next number in the series 8, 12, 6, 10, 5, 9…? If all blips are blue and some blondes are bronze, can some blondes be blips? Which whole number is closest to the square root of 119? What is 25% of 3/4ths of 32?
The HSPT is full of short questions like these which, despite appearing in the verbal and math sections of the exam, test logical reasoning and other skills kids don’t really learn in school. In the Language section, they are tasked to identify grammatical, spelling, and usage mistakes most adults wouldn’t be able to find. In reading, they must quickly skim and dissect several texts from unfamiliar fields of interest, as well as define some arcane vocabulary. And then there’s the exam’s sheer length; odds are most eight graders won’t have ever taken a test that had a question number 298.
So is there any good news? Plenty! On the HSPT, perhaps more than on any other standardized test, a little prep goes a long way. With a good methodology, each of the example questions above can be solved in approximately ten seconds, less than the test allows (the answers, by the way, are 4.5, yes, 11 and 6). The concepts tested are, overall, pretty narrow in scope. Compared to the other two most common high school entrance exams eight graders take, the Upper Level ISEE and the Upper Level SSAT, the HSPT tests less advanced math, simpler vocabulary, and requires no essay. There is also no guessing penalty (unlike the Upper Level SSAT).
So what can you do? Start by having your child take a practice test. LA Tutors offers free diagnostic exams to prospective students, the best way to evaluate what areas your kid needs to focus on. To learn more about LA Tutors’ diagnostic exams, click here: FREE HSPT DIAGNOSTIC TESTS. Then, there’s no shortage of excellent HSPT prep books on the market, which an exceptionally motivated student may use on her own. And, of course, there is much to be said about the quick progress one can achieve in just a few hours with a pro tutor.
If you have any questions at all about HSPT test preparation, tools or resources, feel free to reach out to us directly. We are rooting for your success!