How to study for a college assessment test

Written by erin schreiner Google
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How to study for a college assessment test
Do your best on your test. (taking test image by Petro Feketa from

Many colleges provide incoming students with an assessment test. These tests allow colleges to gauge the knowledge level of incoming students, and ensure that they place these students in appropriate courses. By preparing for, and scoring high on, college assessment tests, students can earn the opportunity to skip entry level courses and proceed to more advanced coursework. College assessment tests are intended to measure your overall ability level, so there is no comprehensive list of knowledge needed to score well on these tests. The best way to study for these types of tests is to review test taking skills, and brush up on your previously learnt skills to ensure that you score as high as possible.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Check with your college or university to determine in which subjects you will be assessed. Most schools provide assessments in the areas of math, reading and writing only, but others elect to assess in more areas.

  2. 2

    Gather information on the assessment tests. Speak to the admissions office, and ask what types of questions will be on your assessment tests. There is no standardised entry assessment, so the tests vary from university to university. By learning what types of questions will be on the test, you can better prepare yourself to answer the questions effectively.

  3. 3

    Review test taking procedures. There are certain principles that can be applied to any assessment, such as reading all possible options before selecting an answer when completing multiple choice tests, and restating the question when crafting answers to essay questions. Remembering these principles can help you pick up points throughout the test. The College Board offers an extensive list of tips that can be helpful to test-takers. Commit these rules to memory, and be sure to abide by them, as you complete your assessment.

  4. 4

    Flip through your previous text books. To ensure that the concepts you have previously learnt are fresh in your mind, take a bit of time to reflect upon your most recent courses. Use your textbooks as a tool, and move through the chapters one at a time. Make notes on any areas in which you do not feel comfortable.

  5. 5

    Brush up on noted areas. Look over the notes you made as you flipped through your textbooks, and review those identified areas. Complete sample problems from your text book to review for math, and review text questions in your literature book for English.

  6. 6

    Practice your essay writing. Almost all colleges require a composition exam to place students in an entry level composition course. Ask your current English teacher to help you prepare for this by providing you with a sample writing prompt. At home, time yourself and compose your sample. Ask your teacher to look over your sample, and give you suggestions, or enlist a friend or family member to review the work if your teacher is unavailable.

Tips and warnings

  • Don't dismay if you do not score as high as you wanted to score on your test. While it is nice to skip some courses, taking the courses will certainly not hurt you, and may even help you in the long run.

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