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Higher Ability Student Test (HAST)


The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority is requested by the Australian Council for Educational Research to introduce the Higher Ability Student Test.

  • HAST is a set of rigorous tests developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) for identifying academically gifted students
  • Widely used in Australia and internationally. For a list of participating schools, go to
  • Skill-based rather than curriculum-based, designed to assess students' general academic ability rather than specific content knowledge
  • Consists of Mathematical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Language Reasoning (optional)
  • Level 1 was introduced to Hong Kong through the HKEAA in 2007
  • Recommended for students aged approximately 10 to 13
  • An adapted version will be offered in Hong Kong to suit local context



Test Format

Mathematical Reasoning Compulsory Provided in Chinese / English 45-min multiple choice paper
Abstract Reasoning Compulsory Provided in Chinese / English 30-min multiple choice paper
Language Reasoning Optional Provided in English* 45-min multiple choice paper

* Language Reasoning is designed for students with first language proficiency in the English language.

Download the practice examples



Reasons for Taking HAST in Hong Kong

  • HAST offers an unconventional platform to enable students who are naturally capable academically to prove themselves
  • The test provides an option outside the formal education system for students to test their ability
  • The translation of Mathematical Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning into Chinese helps eliminating language and cultural barriers
  • The Language Reasoning Test (optional) provides a unique opportunity for students with first-language proficiency in the English language to prove both their English Language proficiency and the ability to acquire knowledge through language
  • Results in HAST can serve as additional evidence of academic performance for Hong Kong students who want to further study in Australia



Reporting of Results

  • There is no pass or fail.
  • Certificates will be sent to candidates approx. 1 month after the test date.
  • All candidates will be awarded an individual report.
  • Individual reports will show the candidates’ percentile rank scores amongst i) Hong Kong students and ii) Australian students who sat this test.
  • Percentile ranking sorts scores into one of 100 groups of scores. If a candidate's percentile ranking is 70, then s/he scored equal to or better than 70% of the candidates, i.e. the score is in the top 30% of scores.
  • HAST are challenging tests and therefore to achieve at any level indicates a good standard of performance in the area assessed.



Test Time/Date and Venue

Test Date: 26 / 11 / 2016 (Saturday)
Test Time: Mathematical Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning (Compulsory)
1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Language Reasoning (Optional)
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Test Centre: Candidates will be sent their respective admission tickets around 2 weeks in advance of the test date, in which the test venue will be given. If you have not received your admission ticket by then, please call the HKEAA at tel: (852) 3628 8191 for assistance.



Important Dates

Registration Period  Postal 26 / 9 / 2016 - 7 / 10 / 2016
 In-person 11 / 10 / 2016 - 17 / 10 / 2016
 Online 26 / 9 / 2016 - 21 / 10 / 2016
Receipt of admission ticket   Around 11 / 11 / 2016
Conduct of tests   26 / 11 / 2016 (Saturday)
Receipt of certificate   Around 30 /12 / 2016



Registration Procedures

  • Registration and payment by credit card (VISA or Mastercard) can be made online at Those who completed the registration online are not required to submit paper registration form again. The Authority cannot accept any responsibilities for unsuccessful registration because of technical / network failure.
  • Registrants can also submit their completed registration forms with payment (crossed cheque made payable to the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority) by post, in person or through a representative at the HKEAA San Po Kong Office : 3/F, 17 Tseuk Luk Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon. For postal registration, please ensire that sufficient postage is paid. The sender will bear any consequences arising from not paying sufficient postage.  The Authority cannot accept responsibility for any delay / loss in mail services.
  • Registration forms and notes to applicants may be obtained at the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority's website (
  • No entry will normally be accepted after the registration period. Candidates are advised to submit their entries as early as possible in order to avoid the rush in the last few days. If under exceptional circumstances a late entry is accepted, an additional fee will be charged.  

    Download Registration Form
    Download Notes to Applicants



      Examination Fees

      Mathematical Reasoning and Abstract Reasoning (2 subjects) HK$725
      Mathematical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Language Reasoning (3 subjects) HK$849



      Information for Candidates

      Make sure you find out the following before the test:
      • What day the test will be held
      • What time you should arrive the test centre
      • Where you should go on the day of the test

      Note: You should ensure to arrive the test centre at least 20 minutes in advance of the formal test commencement time. Candidates who arrive late for the first test will be admitted only at the discretion of the Supervisor, and additional time will NOT be allowed.

      You should bring:

      • Your ID document (HKID card or school handbook)
      • Your admission ticket
      • Two HB or B pencils
      • A good quality eraser
      • A pencil sharpener


      No other equipment will be needed. For example, you will not require a ruler, paper or calculator.


      Note: Candidates without a proper ID document or their own admission tickets may not be allowed to sit the test.


      Writing Your Answers:

      You will be given multiple-choice answer sheets for all the papers. For each question there are 4 small ovals labeled A, B, C and D on the multiple-choice answer sheets. Use an HB or B pencil to mark clearly the oval of your choice.

      If you wish to change your answer, carefully rub out the first mark with a good quality eraser and then mark your new choice.

      Please remember, when working on the multiple-choice answer sheet

      • Do NOT fold or tear the answer sheet
      • Do NOT make marks anywhere other than in the designated areas on the answer sheet
      • Do NOT use ink, ball-point pen or felt pen on any part of the answer sheet


      What is the test like?

      • Mathematical Reasoning
        This paper attempts to measure mathematical ability, in contrast to a test of school achievement in mathematics. Consequently, the material used for the questions in this test is selected from a wide variety of sources, and may differ from standard school-based curriculum materials.
      • Abstract Reasoning
        This is a non-verbal test that measures abstract reasoning skills, including the capacity to make sense of complex situations, to draw meaning out of events, to perceive and think clearly. The paper will ask you to identify and complete various picture sequences and patterns.
      • Language Reasoning
        This paper is designed for students with first language proficiency in the English language. It measures how well you can understand and interpret ideas in language. The test asks you to look at written and visual material and answer questions on it. The topics for the material may be drawn from subject areas such as English, Art, History, Geography and Social Studies, though no special knowledge in these areas is needed. All the information you need to answer the questions is printed on the paper, so if you do not know or fully understand something you may be able to work out what it means from the stimulus material.




      Personal Data

      Personal data of applicants / candidates are used by the HKEAA and the Examination Board for delivery of examination and assessment services.  Whether you provide the requested personal data is voluntary.  However, if you fail to provide all the data, or if any of the data are inaccurate or incomplete, the HKEAA may not be able to accept your entry or provide all or part of the examination and assessment services.  The personal data submitted may also be used for: 

      (a)    assisting tertiary institutions and other government / public organisations in their admissions processes; 

      (b)    assisting tertiary institutions and other government / public organisations in respect of their requests for information in granting scholarships; 

      (c)     assisting tertiary institutions and other government / public organisations to confirm the candidates’ eligibility for financial assistance or other forms of subsidization, in which case, the necessary personal data of the candidates may have to be disclosed to the concerned organisations for verification; 

      (d)    certifying candidates’ examination results in response to legitimate requests; 

      (e)    processing any refund or payment in relation to the examination; 

      (f)     conducting educational research and analysis in an anonymous format in which the identities of candidates are not traceable; and 

      (g)    marketing the services and products of the Examination Board (including examination services, courses, events, publications, and other examination materials or resources) subject to the consent of the applicants/candidates*.   


      The HKEAA may also transfer the personal data of applicants / candidates to third parties for use for the above purposes or other directly related purposes, including government / public organisations, schools and educational institutions, banks (for processing refund or payment), and service providers providing various administrative or technical services to facilitate the delivery of the examination and assessment services including but not limited to data punching, registration process, dispatch of examination documents, and the capture, disposal or other processing of data. 


      In compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, access to all personal data will be made available, on payment of a fee, to anyone who can establish his / her right to be informed of such data as are retained by the HKEAA. Please also note that applicants’ / candidates’ personal data / correspondence / other information received by the HKEAA may be transferred to the Examination Board concerned for delivery of examination and assessment services and for any of the above mentioned purposes or other directly related purposes.  In general, upon completion of an examination or examination series and all the connecting examination services, the HKEAA will transfer all such data to the Examination Board who will then assume full control of such data.  By then, candidates should approach the Examination Board direct for their personal data/information handling policies if necessary. 


      * If you have given consent but wish to withdraw your consent for your personal data to be used for this purpose, please send a letter of request to the Registration Office. 


      Applicants / Candidates should accept that the HKEAA shall not be responsible for any non-performance of duties where such non-performance has been caused by an act of God, labour strike, natural disaster, governmental action or intervention, riot, or any other cause not reasonably foreseeable and beyond the reasonable control of the HKEAA. The HKEAA, including their contractors and subcontractors, shall not be liable to anyone claiming for any damages which are caused by, arising from or otherwise related to the failure of staff members, examination personnel or the examination centres to comply with the examination regulations, policies or procedures.  



      International and Professional Examinations Division
      Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority
      3/F 17 Tseuk Luk Street
      San Po Kong


      Tel: (852) 3628 8191
      Online registration:






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