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Ace college entry exams with these 5 tips


Last updated 4/30/2020 at 5:30am

Family Features

Special to Village News

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 mastery of certain subjects and concepts, such as reading and mathematics, consider these test prep tips to help boost scores while simultaneously lowering stress.

Register early.

To allow as much flexibility as possible, a student should consider taking their college entrance exams during their junior year of high school. If they don’t get an ideal score, they can refine their 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 a student gain a better understanding of the content of the test, improve their time management and help combat test anxiety. Students can use their practice test as a baseline to set goals and focus the rest of their prep on areas they would like to improve before the real thing.

Sign up for a prep course.

If a student finds studying on their own difficult or not as successful as they’d hoped, a prep course can put them through their paces and hold them 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.

Gather supplies.

To help reduce test day stress, gather everything needed for the test the night before. Check the list of banned items – cellphones aren’t permitted – to make sure not to bring something that’s not allowed by mistake. Ensure a bag is packed with the student’s 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, a student is 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 their ability to focus. To make the 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. Visit for more education tips and information.


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