How to Prep for Your High School Placement Tests

Now that you have chosen the high schools to which you will apply, it is time to think about placement testing. Most schools require some type of exam as a part of the admissions process and below are some surefire tips to be certain you are prepared. Keep in mind that most schools look at your test results as just one part of your application and although you should try and do your best, it is not the only thing that will determine your chances of attending your dream high school. Keep your grades up and make sure that your teachers submit recommendations that describe you as a student and community member.

Placement tests help schools make sure that you are ready for their academic programs, of course, but many other factors are in play as well. So, now that you have signed up for your placement exam here are some tips to make the best of the big day!

  1. Take some practice tests. Practice tests for most placement exams are widely available online, or you can buy a test preparation booklet at any major bookstore. If you are really nervous about taking the test, you may even sign up for a test preparation class. Click here to practice for the HSPT. For the ISEE you can find some practice tests HERE. And if you are taking the SSAT you can find some help HERE. Even though you probably already know most of the material on these exams, learning the way they are designed will help you navigate them much easier when you finally sit down to officially take the test.
  2. If you have a learning difference be sure to request extra time! This is a great option for students who have documented learning differences and it should definitely be taken advantage of. Be sure to have your documentation available when you sign up so the school can coordinate extra time for you.
  3. Get plenty of rest the night before the exam. Most placement tests will take place early in the morning and usually on a Saturday. Make sure you get to bed early the night before so you are fresh and ready for the exam bright and early!
  4. Eat breakfast. Even though you might be nervous, be sure to have a good breakfast before your test. If you are hungry you may not be able to concentrate during your exam. Bring a small snack with you as well so you can refuel during your breaks!
  5. Give yourself time to find the testing location. Especially if you have not been to the testing location or school before, be sure you have directions and know exactly where you are to check in. Most test sites will not allow students to join the group after the testing has begun, so be early and be prepared.
  6. Don’t stress out. As mentioned before, the placement test is just one piece of the puzzle when admissions committees meet to discuss your application. Do your best and remember that you will know most of the material already!

Good luck with your placement exams and, as always, please don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions Office at FSHA if you have any questions!

Happy Holidays!

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