Why a Low Score on the HSPT Diagnostic Assessment Does Not Mean Your Middle School Is Failing to Prepare Your Child
Low scores on the HSPT Diagnostic Assessment do not indicate that a school is “not doing its job” or inadequately preparing your child for high school. In fact, scores on this assessment are typically much lower than one might expect.
There are many reasons for this: The HSPT is a very specific timed exam that tests concepts that students have learned as far back as the fourth grade. Some students may have forgotten basic math and English fundamentals which they simply need to refresh, review and practice. Other students perform poorly or average because they are not familiar with the timing and structure of the test. In fact, many students do not finish the test the first time they take it. Moreover, there are certain problem types specific to the HSPT that students may not have been presented with or practiced as part of their middle school curriculum.
We like to compare the idea of 8th graders preparing for the HSPT to that of high school students preparing for the SAT. Students learn the concepts they will be tested on over the course of their high school career, but most students (if not all) will need to refresh this information to perform their best on the SAT. In addition, high schools do not specifically train students on the timing, structure, and problem types they will encounter on the SAT. For this reason, many high school students choose to either study on their own or take a prep class to prepare more thoroughly for the exam. We feel this is analogous to middle school students preparing for the HSPT.
Parents would do well to remember that the HSPT Diagnostic Assessment is intended to indicate what areas a student needs to strengthen in order to perform his or her best on the HSPT and should not be a source of anxiety, worry or concern. We believe this assessment should serve as a starting point rather than a prediction of a future score. And after taking the assessment, a student has plenty of time to take the necessary actions to help prepare for success on the exam. And whether you choose to take a class with us, with someone else, or go the self-study route, we appreciate being able to play an important role in your child’s HSPT preparation process.
You can register for a summer or fall HSPT prep class by visiting our website at www.sasohsp.com.
Saso High School Prep