Will your eighth grader take the HSPT (High School Placement Test) as part of admissions to a Catholic high school? Customized, one-to-one tutoring with Nurturing Wisdom will help them get into a school they love!
At Nurturing Wisdom, we help students improve their HSPT score by addressing four core competencies: test taking strategies, academic skills, test anxiety, and timing. A deficiency in any of these areas can lead to a score that doesn't reflect a student's ability. For example, a student may have mastered their reading strategies, but have timing issues derail their performance on the reading portion of the test.
The HSPT timing is especially challenging: on one section, students have to finish 60 questions in 16 minutes! Learning how to handle this tight timing is key to significantly increasing scores. Test anxiety is also an obstacle for many test takers because, for many eighth graders, this will be the first time they'll sit for several hours to take a high-stakes standardized test. Nurturing Wisdom tutors use proven test-anxiety strategies that will help students stay calm, cool, and collected during the test! We use a variety of materials for in-session work and homework, including our own book of practice tests. You may purchase our book here!
Sections of the HSPTOver the past decade, we've perfected strategies for each section of the test:
- Verbal: On this section, we teach strategies specific to each question type: synonyms, antonyms, logic, analogies and classifications.
- Quantitative: On the quantitative section, we heavily emphasize techniques for math translation and number patterns. Since calculators are not allowed, we also focus heavily on mental math computation skills.
- Reading: We take a hands-on approach to the reading section, teaching active reading comprehension strategies, question-answering strategies, and timing strategies.
- Mathematics: We use a highly customized approach to the math section, focusing on skills that particular student struggles with, as well as techniques for deconstructing word problems.
- Language: Our tutors tackle this challenging section head-on, teaching students the picky grammar, mechanics, and sentence structure skills tested.
Scoring and Admissions
Selective schools typically look for HSPT scores at or above the 85th percentile. They also factor in grades and teacher recommendations; some schools consider whether the student is a practicing Catholic and/or attended a Catholic grade school.
The HSPT is unique in that each school determines its own policy on accommodations. This means that some schools don't offer any accommodations, and that those that do may offer only a small number of them. Nurturing Wisdom has successfully worked with hundreds of students who receive accommodations, and our directors can offer guidance for talking with schools to secure them for the HSPT. Our expert tutors are also well-versed in how to support students with accommodations.
All students begin by taking an HSPT pre-test, ideally in the summer before eighth grade (though we're happy to work with students once the school year has begun). After the pre-test is complete, we'll provide a detailed score analysis, as well as a tutoring timeline that outlines how much tutoring we recommend, goal scores, and potential test dates.
If you're in the Chicagoland area, sign up for one of our proctored pre-tests, a great opportunity to get a feel for the real test day. If you're outside Chicago or unable to make a proctored test date, contact us today to get a free pre-test!
Online Tutoring for the HSPT
If you live outside of Chicagoland or San Francisco Bay areas, we can still help! We love working one-on-one with students online to help them achieve their goals. Contact our online tutoring director, Jessica Lepore, at 312.260.7945 x3 to learn more!
Why Nurturing Wisdom?
Nurturing Wisdom goes beyond just helping your child get a great HSPT score. With a strong tutor match, your child will look forward to tutoring sessions, follow through on independent work, and become a more confident learner. Your tutoring director will take the stress out of the HSPT and walk you through every step of the process. They'll help you put together an optimal timeline, keep you posted on progress, remind you of important deadlines, and answer any questions you have along the way. If your child will need to take more than one type of high school entrance test, a director will help you figure out the most effective and efficient way to prep. (Learn more about high school entrance tests in general here).
One of our favorite things about HSPT tutoring is that it has a direct impact on a student's work in their academic classes. Typically, students don't experience academic challenges in isolation. For example, if a student is a poor test taker in school due to test anxiety, that is directly reflected on the HSPT. Addressing anxiety, along with our other core competencies, through HSPT tutoring gives students the tools they need to succeed in their academic classes as well.
Need some help navigating the ins, outs, ups, and downs of high school entrance tests and admissions? Our high school entrance specialist, Catherine Flynn, will be happy to answer your questions and help you decide on next best steps. Contact her at 312.260.7945 x110 or email@example.com.