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High School Placement Test

St. Mary’s Academy administers the Scholastic Testing Service’s (STS) High School Placement Test (HSPT) to all eighth-grade applicants. St. Mary's uses the test scores to determine qualification for admission and eligibility for the Virginia Mathews Academic Scholars Program.

Register for the HSPT

Please note: Applicants to grades 10-12 do not need to take the HSPT. It is only an admissions requirement for applicants to grade 9.


St. Mary’s will administer the High School Placement Test on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 8:45am to 1:00pm and on Monday, December 9, 2019 from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Students are encouraged to sign up for the Saturday test.

Once the test is underway, SMA Administrators will hold a parent information meeting to review how to read test results and explain how St. Mary's uses the test scores. The Saturday parent meeting will be held in the Student Commons and will begin at 9:00am. The Monday parent meeting will begin at 3:45pm.

Parents are welcome to explore downtown or wait in our Student Commons while students take the test. As it is a timed test, they will not be finished before the noted end time.

The test is taken only once and we encourage students to take it at the school of their first choice.

Indicate on the registration form if you wish for St. Mary’s to send your HSPT scores to another Portland-area Catholic high school.

The fee for the exam is $25. Pencils and a snack during break time are included with this fee.

Test Information

The STS High School Placement Test is a standardized exam that evaluates the students in both cognitive and basic skill areas. The cognitive skills tested are verbal and quantitative. The basic skills tested are reading, math and language. The test is multiple choice and separated into five testing sections.

Students do not need to study for the exam. The best preparation students can get is a good night’s sleep and a good meal before the exam.

The use of calculators is not permitted on the exam.

Testing Schedule:

      • Essay (15 minutes)
      • Verbal skills test (18 minutes)
      • Quantitative skills test (30 minutes)
      • Stretch break
      • Reading test (25 minutes)
      • Full break
      • Mathematics test (40 minutes)
      • Stretch break
      • Language Arts test (25 minutes)
      • Closing

Test Scores

St. Mary’s administers the HSPT to evaluate a student’s performance level. We currently have over 100 middle schools represented in our student body from Oregon and Southwest Washington, private, public, Catholic and home-schooling environments. The HSPT offers the Admissions Committee an even playing field from which to ascertain a student's potential for success in our academic programs.

The Admissions Committee reviews a wide range of criteria when evaluating a student for admission to St. Mary’s Academy. Transcripts, teacher recommendations, student and parent questionnaires and placement exam scores are all reviewed in the application process.

Test scores are mailed home to families as soon as we receive them from STS. Typically we receive and send the test scores at the beginning of January.

Students that place in the 90th percentile nationally on the High School Placement Test are eligible to apply to the Virginia Mathews Academic Scholars Program. The Office of Admissions will send personal invitations to eligible candidates once test scores are received. We offer five (5) non-renewable scholarships in the amount of $2,500 that will be applied toward freshman year tuition.