Mater Dei High School

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Entrance Exam

Entrance Exam

Who needs to take the MDHS Entrance Exam (HSPT) and WHY? 

Students applying for FRESHMAN admission for the 2017-18 school year.

The exam consists of multiple choice sections in language arts and mathematics.

Results of the Entrance Exam are a major factor in determining a student's acceptance or non-acceptance to Mater Dei High School. The exam (HSPT) tests students' grade level abilities in reading, language, and math skills and helps determine placement in the appropriate English, Math and Science courses as they enter Mater Dei High School.

Specific scores from the Entrance Exam and qualifying exams can determine if a student is qualified to be enrolled in an honors or upper level course as an incoming freshman. Our English, Math and Foreign Language Departments offer qualifying exams in the spring to determine a student’s exact course placement for the fall.


If your student has a documented learning disability, please submit the paperwork with your application so that they will be entitled to extended time on the entrance exam.

Transfer students DO NOT need to take the Entrance Exam.

Testing Dates

Our first test will be held on Saturday, January 21, 2017. Students should arrive at 7:45am and report to the Meruelo Athletic Center. The test will conclude at about 11:45am. To register your student for the test, please CLICK HERE. When you are on the page, check that box labeled "schedule Entrance Exam" and submit the form. You do not need to pre-register your student, but it is encouraged.

Our second test date will be on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 7:45am - 11:45am. To register for this test, please CLICK HERE.

Taking the test at a different school?
If you are taking the Entrance Exam at a different school, please make sure they are giving the High School Placement Test (HSPT). Also, please fill our this FORM and have the school you are taking your exam at email your scores to admissions@materdei.org. Should you have any questions, please call (714)754-1175.


What to Bring on Exam Day

  • $75 application fee (check or money order payable to Mater Dei or cash only please) if you did not pay via credit card during the beginning of the admissions process.
  • An index card with the following information: home address, parent phone number(s), parent e-mail(s), name of child’s current school, name of parish (if applicable)
  • A light snack and drink is also recommended as there will be breaks throughout the testing period.

Students do not need to bring pencils, erasers or paper. Mater Dei provides all testing materials.  Please note that calculators are not permitted.

Applying to More than One Catholic High School?


If your child is applying to more than one high school that requires the HSPT, he/she only needs to sit for the exam ONE time; however we do recommend they test at their first choice school. We administer the HSPT test.  If your child is testing elsewhere, be certain he/she is taking the HSPT exam at that school.

If the student is testing at another school, please enclose the $75 application fee (check payable to Mater Dei High School) if you did not pay via credit card when you completed the application.

Please request for scores to be forwarded to Mater Dei from the school where your student tests by mail, fax (714-754-1880) or e-mail admissions@materdei.org.

Preparing for the Entrance Exam

There is a test prep book for the Entrance Exam. Some students find it helpful in becoming familiar with the format of the exam. However, the daily academic activity in their current school is adequate preparation for the exam. 

Test prep books are available and we recommend Peterson's Master the Catholic High School Entrance Exam 2017. This book is available for purchase in Mater Dei’s bookstore or you can purchase a copy from
Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com