5 Tips to Ace College Entry Exams
Because most colleges and universities require applicants to submit ACT or SAT results as part of admissions consideration, prepping for the test itself can be a critical component of that process.
While it can oftentimes be hard to deal with the anxiety that comes with a rigorous test meant to show your mastery of certain subjects and concepts, such as reading and mathematics, consider these test prep tips to help boost your score while simultaneously lowering stress.
To allow yourself as much flexibility as possible, taking college entrance exams during your junior year of high school is encouraged. If you don’t get an ideal score, you can refine your approach and retake the exam with a better idea of what to expect.
Take a Practice Test
Any test prep plan should start with a practice SAT or ACT exam. Taking practice tests under realistic conditions can help you gain a better understanding of the content of the test, improve your time management and help combat test anxiety. You can use your practice test as a baseline to set goals and focus the rest of your prep on areas you would like to improve before the real thing.
Sign Up for a Prep Course
If you find studying on your own difficult or not as successful as you’d hoped, a prep course can put you through the paces and hold you accountable. Complete with homework and in-class practice, prep classes can range from small groups to larger classes taught by test experts. Some school districts even offer after-school programs dedicated to ACT or SAT prep.
To help reduce test day stress, gather everything you’ll need the night before. Check the list of banned items – cellphones aren’t permitted – to make sure you don’t accidentally bring something you’re not allowed to have. Ensure your bag is packed with your admission ticket, valid photo identification, several sharpened pencils with erasers, an approved calculator (with fresh batteries) and a watch, if allowed.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Eat Breakfast
While it can be tempting to stay up late the night before the test to cram, you’re likely to perform better with a full night’s sleep. Sleep is important for retention, and eating a balanced breakfast before heading out the door can aid in your ability to focus. To make your morning easier, prep breakfast before bed to keep an early morning from starting even earlier.
Remember, the college admissions process involves more than just test scores.