The Higher Ability Selection Test (HAST) program has been devised by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) in response to requests from individual schools throughout Australia for a screening process that would assist them in identifying students for participation in gifted and talented programs.
These tests draw upon ACER's extensive experience in high-stakes testing for schools such as those for the Opportunity Placement Class Test and Selective High School test in NSW, the Ignite program in South Australia and the Queensland Academies Student Entrance Test.
The HAST-P will help with assessment and placement at the middle primary level by determining which students are working at higher levels than their peers. Results from this test can be used to verify existing information about a student or discriminate between those students already identified at the top end of performance.
HAST-P can be used for whole cohort testing or as a second stage screening instrument to discriminate more finely between highly able students at the upper end of the scale.
Schools choose the test date and register to use the test program with ACER. The costs and further details of the test packages in the program are available to download.
Candidates register with the school not with ACER.
The school lets ACER know its final candidate numbers no less than ten (10) working days before the test and sufficient test papers and detailed instructions for supervisors are sent out.
Upon completion of the test, the school returns the test papers to ACER, along with an alphabetical listing of the registered candidates who sat the examination.
There is a ten (10) working days turnaround between the receipt of the completed tests and the provision of results.