If you’re a high school student, you probably have many questions regarding college entrance exams. You decided what subject you want to study and the college you want to go to, but you’re anxious you may not pass the tests.

College entrance exams

College admission officers assess your activities, essays, test scores, courses, high school grades, and interview answers. However, some educational institutions organise an entrance exam part of the application to ensure that you’re eligible for their classes. 

When you check the colleges’ conditions for enrolling on their classes, check if they have a standardised test you should pass. Supposing the one you want to attend has, then you should prepare for and take it. It may sound more stressful than preparing your application, but if you don’t have the best high school grades, it may your chance to get into the college you’ve always dreamt of because they’ll admit you based on the score you get for the test. 

Study ahead

All colleges that organise tests to admit candidates post the bibliography for their exams, months before admission, so that candidates can study everything they need. 

Check the college’s official website for bibliography and start studying ahead to prepare for the exam. You can do it on your own or with a group of friends who want to enrol in the same college. You can use the summer break before your final high school year to review the books you need to read for the entrance exam and take mock tests to understand how you’d perform. 

Know the fundamental

Let’s say you apply for college to study chemistry, and you’re pretty sure you have great knowledge of the basics of chemistry and other subjects fundamental for your exam. You should still review your knowledge with a professional tutor to ensure that you know the fundamentals. When you study alone, you may miss some pieces or fail to understand them properly. But if you study together with a chemistry tutor, they can evaluate your knowledge and recommend what aspects to explore in-depth.  


For the college entrance exam, you need to know chemistry formulas from memory, and it’s a good idea to go over the basic rules and formulas for chemistry a month before the test. 

Know what to expect

It doesn’t matter what college you apply for; it’s vital to be knowledgeable about the kind of tests they prepare annually for their candidates. Check the exam papers for the previous years and try to solve the subjects. If you know what subjects the exam includes, you can study appropriately. Some educational institutions allow candidates to take a preliminary test so they can familiarise themselves with the format. Check if the college you want to apply for provides this opportunity and register for a preliminary test. You’ll feel more confident to go to the exam if you know what to expect. 


Once you read all the books listed in the mandatory bibliography, take as make practice tests as possible to determine if you managed to memorise the needed information. Many online resources provide practise tests for the main colleges. Most of them offer the tests and answers free, so you can check the final scores. You can also find tutorial videos on how to solve some challenging test questions, tips for the exams, and quizzes that help you prepare. 

It would help if you also practised timing because all entrance exams are timed. When you take a practice test, set the timer to train yourself to complete it in time. It’s overwhelming to know that you have to complete such an important test in a limited amount of time, but if you train yourself to face the situation, you’ll be less stressed on the actual exam day. 

Preparation helps you determine which areas you need to focus on and what areas you already manage. 

Take care of your health

Staying up late to study for the exam while drinking coffee and energy drinks and eating sugary foods won’t do you any favour in the long run. You can run out of steam if you do this for prolonged periods, so it’s best to develop a healthy routine that allows you to rest and includes nutritious meals and relaxation time. When you prepare for the college entrance exams, you should eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and sleep at least 8 hours a night to ensure that you perform your best. 

On the day of the exam, make sure to bring water and a nutritious snack in case the exam includes breaks. 

Check if the test is online or on-site

Because of the pandemic, some colleges organise online exams to ensure all their candidates are safe. Check the official website to know if you need to set up a workstation at home or come to the campus. Supposing the college entrance test is conducted online, log in to the video link 45 minutes before the exam starts to ensure it works. It also allows you to calm down because you know that all is set for the exam and there are no issues. 

Dress comfortably

If you’re sensitive to temperatures, dress in layers to allow you to take something off if it’s too hot in the room. Pick clothing items made from comfortable fibres that allow the skin to breathe because you may sweat because of the stress. Stay away from tight-fitting clothes because they may be distracting during the exam. Dress for the part with an outfit that boosts your confidence and allows you to feel comfortable. 

Wear a watch

You won’t be allowed to use your smartphone during the exam, so you should bring the old-fashioned watch to keep track of the time if there isn’t a watch in the classroom. It helps you check when you take the exam because it allows you to manage the time better and ensure you complete all subjects. 

Apply these recommendations when you prepare for your college entrance test. 


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