Help Your Student Prepare for College Entry ExamsJanuary 19, 2016
By Jessica Vician
If your high school junior is planning to apply to college, he or she should take the first college entry exam this spring. While colleges consider many factors during the admissions process, grade point average (GPA) and entry exam scores are very important, as they indicate how well the student may do in school.
Help your high school junior prepare for the exams with these tips.
Create a game plan.
Depending on the college, your student may need to take an SAT and/or ACT test. Ask your child to create a list of schools he or she wants to attend (including back-up choices) and find out which admission tests those schools require.
Then decide on exam dates. For example, the College Board recommends that students take the exam in the spring of junior year and then again in the fall of senior year. Students often take the exams more than once to try to improve their scores.
Once you have decided on exam dates, register for the exams to secure your child’s spot.
Make the most of studying for the exam. Many of the questions should cover topics that your student has already learned, but it’s important that he or she has a good grasp of these topics and concepts going into the exam.
The SAT website has several free practice options available, from a question of the day to sample questions and tests. You can also purchase a study guide or take an online course through the site for a fee. The ACT website also features a question of the day and sample questions for free, and you can purchase a study guide for more help.
Seek low-cost prep programs.
Your child’s high school may offer free or low-cost study sessions to prepare for the tests. Take advantage of these classes, as they teach your child how to maximize time on the tests and strategically answer questions.
You can also search community centers in your area to see if they offer free or reduced-cost prep sessions. Many companies offer online prep courses, which are less expensive than in-person courses, and some may offer free trials of their products.
A strong score on these admission tests can greatly increase your child’s chances for college admission and scholarships, especially at highly selective schools. Your child has already been preparing in his or her daily coursework, but it’s important that he or she makes an extra effort to prepare for these tests to ensure the best outcome.
Do you have any tips for college admission testing success? Share in the comments below.