Test preparation and test taking strategies are important to your success into getting into a good program or college, as well as securing financial aid. There are many resources you can use when preparing for standardized exams and tests. The information that you should research should include testing dates and times, the kinds of questions you will be required to answers, how long the different tests take, and the kinds of directions that each test requires you to follow.
Another important issue to remember is that as you prepare for your exam, give ample time between your reading and practice, i.e. adequate preparation time. This is critical to your success so that you do not feel rushed or anxious. The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) may allow you to earn college credit for skills and knowledge you already possess. The CLEP can be taken by students who want to obtain college credit by taking proficiency tests in selected courses. If the student scores high enough on the test, college credit can be awarded. There are CLEP study guides available for all subjects.
The General Educational Development (GED). The GED is a certificate representing the equivalent of a high-school diploma. The GED test covers Language Arts, Writing, Social Studies, Science, Reading, and Mathematics. The math test has two parts. Part one of the math exam does allow the use of a calculator and part two does not. GED test prep resources are available online and in print.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The TOEFL is required to assess the English proficiency of people who’s first language is not English. It is required for both undergraduate or graduate study in the United states. The TOEFL is a computer-based exam that is offered all year round. Various resources are available for studying. It has four sections: listening comprehension, structure, reading comprehension and writing.
College Entrance Exams
American College Testing (ACT) has four sections: Reading, English, Mathematics and Science. A maximum score is a 36. The ACT test is used to determine college applications.It was developed by the American College Testing Program. The ACT is more widely taken in the Midwestern and Southern sates, while the SAT more popular on the east and west coasts. Recently the ACT is becoming more popular on the East Coast. Select reliable ACT exam prep.
The Standardized Admission Test (SAT) is administered by College Board, and is developed, published, and scored by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The SAT has three sections: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. Scores on each section range from 200-800, with scores always being a multiple of 10. The essay part is scored from 1-6. SAT test preparation takes organization but it can be done. You can also Take a FREE Full-Length Practice SAT.
Test taking Tips
- Have a positive attitude and think success. If you think you can, you will!
- Have a plan and use it. For example make a list of topics you will need to cover. Plan extra time to cover challenging topics.
- Don’t cram! Instead follow your plan.
- Get enough rest the night before and eat a good breakfast on the day of the test.
- During the rest make sure you have everything you are allowed to bring into the exam room.
- Understand how the test is scored: Some exams drop points for answered or incorrect answers. Be sure to check the rules on your particular test. Some times it’s better to guess, other times it’s best to leave the questions answered.
- Read and understand instructions and directions!
- Manage Your time well. Some sections my give you less time than others.
- If you are stuck, move on. However some test do not let you go back to previous questions.
- When taking a multiple-choice tests, start by eliminating the obvious wrong answers and then narrow down your remaining choices.
- If you are before time is up, take the time to review your exam if you are allowed to. This will help you catch careless mistakes but be sure not to start second guessing yourself.
- Relax and remain calm during the exam.
Test Study Strategies
Whether you are preparing for an associates degree or bachelors degree, there are a few things to keep in mind in test preparation.
- Choose the right form of test prep that matches your learning style. For example some people are visual learners while others are kinesthetic. Consider this in your test preparation.
- Put in place (and practice) a feasible plan on how and when you will study.
- Know the format of the test very well, plus the nature and types of questions that you will be answering. For example, know how many questions are in each section, and how much time you have for each section.
- Start preparing in advance. Do not wait till the last minute to start preparing. By the same token, take your time in learning the test format so that you don’t feel rushed.
Ask for guidance and assistance. If it helps get some additional tutoring either through a teacher or a tutoring service. You can also form a study group if you learn well in groups.
- Vary you test prep style. Study at different time using different methods, and using different resources.
- Locate sample test preparation resources for example previous tests that are freely available, online resources, and book.
- During both the test preparation and the exam itself, be as calm and relaxed as you can. Get plenty of rest.
- Practice, practice, practice!!
You can also purchase or download test preparation software and other resources to increase your degree of success when you finally take the test.