Last updated on August 29th, 2023.
So you’re wondering what you can do to increase your chances of passing the college entrance exam? Well, rest assured that there are multiple tips that you will find useful in terms of preparation and understanding of the test itself. There are multiple ways to get creative while preparing ahead of time.
When approaching an entrance exam, you want to create and stick to your preparation plan, plan a review strategy, familiarize yourself with the structure of the test, and you may even want to put together a study group. These are just a few of the best tips to help set yourself up for success and passing the college entrance exam.
We’re going to share with you some things that work, and that should be done ahead of time to increase your chances of success. Keep reading to find out the 10 best tips to properly prepare yourself for not only passing your college entrance exam but not stressing out while doing so.
How Do I Pass the College Entrance Exam?
You may be wondering how to pass the college entrance exam or if there is a secret to passing the first time. Well, there is a secret, and that is practice.
There are a few things that you want to make sure to do when preparing to take your college entrance exam.
- Take practice tests practice test-taking while being timed.
- Put yourself on an adequate sleep schedule.
- Familiarize yourself with the testing center and the directions on how to get there.
- Become one with your confidence.
Taking preliminary tests will allow you to familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam. It takes away the surprise factor in testing and allows you to simulate real-world scenarios.
If you familiarize yourself with the actual exam, you want to make sure that you also know where the testing site is and how long it will take you to get there to increase your efficiency and chances of arriving early.
Put yourself on an adequate sleep schedule to decrease the chances of having a cram session before the exam. Once your body is on a proper sleep schedule, it will respond differently, and you will have less difficulty getting up on test day.
The most important takeaway here is to identify and become one with your confidence. Regardless of whether or not you are a good test taker or have good study habits, trust in your ability and flaunt your confidence.
If you believe in yourself, you are more likely to approach the exam with a positive attitude, a flexible way of thinking, and an open mind when it comes to difficult test questions that were designed to trick you intentionally.
What Kind of Questions Are Typically on a College Entrance Exam?
Generally speaking, entrance exams are more objective and often consist of multiple-choice questions. Those types of questions will usually have four options, with one of them being the correct answer. However, interest exams can also be descriptive or theoretical and require reading and grammar skills.
You may also encounter these types of questions on an entrance exam:
- Quantitative Aptitude
- English Comprehension
- Analytical Reasoning
- Data Interpretation
- General Awareness
- Verbal and Nonverbal Reasoning
Other than the types of questions you will see on the test, it is important to realize that college entrance exams are tricky and intended to be this way. You will experience questions that have answer choices that are very similar in structure. The point of this is to test your attention to detail and your comprehension skills.
Make sure that you familiarize yourself with the different instructions of the exam you intend to take to better understand how to prepare and approach the questions that you may see.
10 Tips for Passing the College Entrance Exam
There are no such things as being over-prepared, right?! While you know what kind of questions you might encounter on a college entrance exam, there are still more things you can do to give yourself the best chance for success. Here we have ten tips for passing the college entrance exam.
Know the Basics
One important thing to remember is that the basics are important, and if you can grasp the fundamentals of different topics, then you will be able to use what you know to break down more complex information.
You may not remember the basics, so go back to some introductory study materials and re-familiarize yourself with simple mathematical formulas and common grammar rules.
You may see questions on your college entrance exam that are fairly simple and some that are more complicated, but if you know the basics, you will easily be able to take the question apart and come to an appropriate answer.
Stay On Top of Time Management
Yes, your proctors will be keeping time for you, or there will be a clock present in the testing center but for your peace of mind and satisfaction, make sure that you wear a watch. Some materials are not allowed within testing centers, so make sure that you have an analog watch and not a digital or smartwatch in case it is not allowed.
You may want to check with your testing center to see what items are and aren’t allowed in the actual testing room.
Pace yourself, don’t rush, and don’t panic. Just do what you can with the time that you are allotted and trust in the preparation that you did before test day.
Learn The Directions Before Test Day
This does not necessarily mean physical directions to the test site, although it can. Learning the test directions that you are planning to take ahead of time can save you time on the test later.
If you familiarize yourself with what is going to be asked of you on the test before you get there, you will be able to jump right into answering questions while other students will still be familiarizing themselves with the instructions and becoming newly oriented.
Also, if your test is going to be held at a location other than your school, figure out where your test will be held ahead of time and find the directions before test day. If you are unfamiliar with the location, visit the testing center and familiarize yourself with the route and the traffic and time it will take you to get there from other locations.
Utilize Test Booklets and Study Resources
If you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a few practice test booklets and other resources that you think will benefit you. You want to be able to take a few practice exams on your own, so you can familiarize yourself with the structure of these types of exams as well as the time it would take you to finish different sections.
It may also be a good idea to time yourself while taking practice exams so you can get a feel for the actual structure of test day.
Make sure that you realize the benefits of marking up your test prep materials. Don’t be afraid to take a pencil or even a red pen and mark up your materials with arrows, lines, personal comments, or highlights of information that you want to make sure that you remember. Doing this will allow you to subconsciously take in more information whether you’re actively studying or not.
This is a tactic that can be used to remind yourself what things you may want to come back to or what information may be more important compared to other information.
When taking your exam, do not be afraid to use the scratch paper of your official test booklet that you are given. Utilizing the scratch paper is very beneficial for solving math problems and figuring out different things on paper which may make coming to a solution simpler.
Confidence is key, so be sure to prepare yourself ahead of time. You want to arrive on test day with a positive attitude, an open mind, and the satisfaction of the work that you put into preparing. If you have test anxiety and you are already aware of this, take proactive steps to alleviate your anxiety by arriving at the test center not just on time but early.
Touch up on materials you feel less prepared for, but don’t do this the night before.
Keeping yourself calm is a good way to clear your headspace before starting the exam. A clouded mind can often cloud your judgment and, in turn, lead you to improper test-taking approaches.
Learn Custom Test-Taking Strategies
Any prep guides or additional study materials would have come with specific strategies that you can use to answer subtests and different question types. The different strategies that you may come across are not necessarily universal as many of them are more tailored to the different sections of the test, such as if you were preparing to answer questions within the math portion of the entrance exam.
The way that you approach the mathematical portion will be different from the reading sections. It is important to note that you may come across test-specific question types that you are not familiar with, so it is vital to familiarize yourself with different test-taking strategies for each subtest that you will be given.
You may want to consider working with a tutor or test prep provider so that you can receive expert advice and preparation drills to increase your chances of making a high score.
Use Process of Elimination
The process of elimination is an extremely useful tactic when it comes to test-taking. It is a logical method used to identify one option among several options that could seemingly answer the question in the best way regardless of the similarities of the other choices.
You want to ensure that you have a full understanding of what is being asked of you. That way, you can increase your chances of utilizing the process of elimination in the most appropriate way.
You may also benefit from learning how to determine when to guess on these types of exams. Click here if you are unfamiliar with knowing when it is or isn’t a good time to guess a question.
Approach and Answer the Questions Carefully
It’s undeniable that you will come across some questions that you have no idea what the answer could be regardless of the amount of studying and preparation you put into it beforehand.
This is why it is important to completely read the instructions and prepare yourself ahead of time. It is even more essential to read every answer that comes with a question to confirm your understanding of what is being asked of you before you start narrowing down your answers.
Rest and Reward Your Body
Prepare a study plan for your college entrance exam. Do not plan to have a cram session the night before the test, and do not plan to study only a week before. Try to prepare yourself to study months in advance if you can.
Realize the importance of obtaining an adequate amount of sleep, hydration, and foods that will power your mind and increase your brain’s functionality and overall performance.
Take additional steps to prepare such as, packing snacks and water for when you can take a break, and remember that testing centers are often cool, so you may want to dress in layers or at least bring a jacket.
Make sure that you use the restroom before your test begins and if you suffer from test anxiety, consider doing a few stretches and even some meditation tactics before you are seated.
Your body will thank you if you treat it with kindness before the exam. You know the things that make you feel comfortable and prepared, so incorporate those things into your preparation technique while following the steps that you’ve read here.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Chances are that you already know your strings and weaknesses. If you know what you are strong in, especially when it comes to studying materials, touch up on that information but spend the most time on where you struggle the most. Your weaknesses do not have to work against you during the test as long as you prepare with that in mind.
Time To Get Started
Now you probably have a better idea of how you can properly prepare for your college entrance exams. The important thing here is to make sure you are not overthinking it. The key is not to overthink but not to underthink. This may sound impossible, but it most certainly isn’t. If you follow the steps above, you will put yourself ahead of your peers that will be taking the same exam.
Keep yourself calm and balanced, establish a study schedule far enough in advance, obtain and utilize proper study materials and resources and consider hiring a tutor or a test prep expert.
You are more than capable of making the score that you want to strive for, so as an additional tip, take a score range that you want to try reaching and curate your study plan around your end goal. You can make the score; you have to be willing to put in the work and prepare yourself to reach those goals.