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College Entrance Exam Tips
Category: General
Posted on: 02/26/2013
By: Angela Polloni

A college entrance exam is one of the tools college admissions representatives use to determine who will be accepted to their institution.  One of these tests is the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test).  Preparation for this test will help you get the highest score you can, increasing your chances for admission and even academic scholarships.  If you don’t know where to start, this can be a daunting task.  Here are some helpful tips to aid you through your preparation for the exam: 

  1. Take TIMED Practice Tests.  This will help you pace yourself and relieve most of the anxiety of the time constraint when it comes time to sit for the real exam.
  2. If you get a question wrong during preparation, don’t just stop at looking up the right answer, find out WHY it is the right answer.  Scientists look for the reasons things work the way they do, so why shouldn’t you?
  3. DO NOT procrastinate.  The worst thing you can do before a test is stay up extra late studying and exhaust your body and mind.  Cramming information is not practical, even though most of us would love to believe it is.  Your memory of studied information will be more accurate if that information is learned and reviewed over a longer period of time. 
  4. Build your vocabulary.  Since there is an entire section on the SAT devoted to reading, it only makes sense to make reading a substantial part of your preparation.  You should read a combination of books and newspaper articles to help form a strong vocabulary.  If you are not sure what a word means after you finish a sentence, try to use context clues to find its meaning, then look up the word in a dictionary (either a print version or online on your Smartphone).  Keep in mind that many words have more than one meaning.  For example, the word “list” can mean “to tilt to one side.”
  5. Take advantage of free tools!  The College Board will e-mail you daily with a “question of the day” if you choose to register for them for FREE. 
  6. Eat breakfast and stay hydrated the morning of testing day.  You need energy to take these exams, and you have to be able to focus on the exam questions, not your stomach growling. 
  7. Gather everything you need to bring to the testing site the night before.  This is just a little tip to allow you to double check you have everything, and to save yourself from running around your house the morning of.  I suggest wearing a watch to keep track of time in case the testing room does not have a functioning clock. 

As young adults, you should take the responsibility of being aware of registration deadlines for these exams.  Do not wait for the last minute to register, as space in testing sites does run out.  Registering after the deadline will result in an extra fee and you may be put on a waiting list for a testing site.  So remember, be responsible and prepare well ahead of testing day.  Best of luck everyone! 

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