It doesn’t matter whether you go to Washington State University or Florida State University, at the beginning of your freshman year you are going to need to take a college placement test. This test will determine your fluency in various courses and thus your course load for freshman year. If you don’t know how to prepare for this test, then you could really alter the course of your college career. Here are 5 college placement test practice tips.
1. Know the Subjects Requiring Placement Tests
In general, most schools will test in reading, writing and math. However, some schools have several different levels of math that they test for, such as arithmetic, algebra and advanced math, while others focus mainly on arithmetic and algebra. What your school tests you for may have to do with how you scored on your SAT or ACT, or it may have to do with your major – if indeed, you’ve already declared it.
2. Take Practice Tests Online
These days, there’s a lot of websites that will offer you practice tests online. Your school may even provide them for you so that you can get an idea of what you will be tested on. If so, be sure to take them well in advance so that you have time to study the material that is still unfamiliar to you. If you need a tutor, it might be well worth your while to get one, because if you don’t do well on your placement test, you could have to spend a lot of time and money taking remedial courses that you could have otherwise avoided completely.
3. Get a Good Night’s Rest
There may be a great party or other event going on the night before your big test, but you want to be sure that you make the responsible choice and get a good night of sleep. If you don’t, all the information could be there in your brain, but you won’t be able to access it as easily because you will be all foggy from lack of sleep. When you sleep, your brain is actually flushing all the debris from the previous day out of all of your synapses. If those synapses don’t get properly flushed, you won’t be able to access a lot of information that you normally would.
4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
In addition to getting a good night’s rest, you want to be sure that you eat a full, balanced breakfast the morning of your test. Eating a good breakfast will give you the strength and energy you need in order to get through those rigorous tests. If your stomach is growling and all you can think about is a breakfast burrito throughout the test, you’re not going to perform to your best abilities, and you might have to make up for the mistake by retaking courses that you already took in high school.
5. Take Your Time and Try Your Best
At the end of the day, a lot of people don’t perform well on tests because their anxiety levels shoot sky high whenever they sit down. If this is the case for you, just make sure that you take care of sleep and breakfast, and then get to your seat early enough to really relax and take a deep breath. Once the person who is proctoring your test gives you permission to begin, just reassure yourself that you can do it, and take one question at a time.