How much do your standardized test results fit into the college entrance equation? Your grades and the level of the courses you take will carry the most weight in the college selection process. Standardized test scores are a reflection of your cumulative knowledge and academic performance in school.
The test prep efforts you make will significantly impact your scores on standardized tests. Many test prep aids are available including study guides, practice tests, and tutoring programs. Tools are available at school, at your public library and online.
Listed below are some of the standardized tests you may need to submit with your college application or be required to take for admission.
SAT - Colleges use the SAT to measure verbal and mathematical reasoning abilities and to assess an applicant's readiness for college. It is a three-hour exam that is divided into seven sections: three verbal, three math, and one experimental, which could be either math or verbal. The test is administered on paper.
SAT Tips & Resources
ACT - The ACT Assessment is a standardized college entrance examination that measures knowledge and skills in English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning and the application of these skills to future academic tasks. The ACT consists of four multiple-choice tests, covering English, math, reading, and science reasoning. High school students take this exam as part of their college entrance requirements.
ACT Tips & Resources
CLEP - The College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) offers you the opportunity to show a college admissions officer what you know in a variety of subject areas. Many college admissions officers use CLEP scores to determine where to place college applicants in their programs.
CLEP Tips & Resources
TOEFL - The TOEFL test is designed for nonnative speakers of English who plan to study in either undergraduate or graduate programs at universities or colleges in North America. The computer-based test takes approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours and consists of four sections: Listening Comprehension, Structure, Reading, and Writing. Two of the sections, Listening Comprehension and Structure, are computer adaptive, which means that the questions you are given are based on your skill level. The paper-based test takes approximately 3 hours and consists of four sections: Listening, Structure and Written Expression, Reading Comprehension, and the Test of Written English (TWE).
TOEFL Tips & Resources
GRE® CAT - (Graduate Level) - The Graduate Record Examination General Test measures the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing ability of graduate school applicants. The GRE test is mainly given on the computer, but it is still given on paper in some regions. This test is used as one determining factor for admission to general graduate-level degree programs. The test assesses the verbal, math, and analytical skills of applicants for graduate school.
GRE Tips & Resources
GMAT® CAT - (Graduate Level) - The Graduate Management Admission Test® measures the verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing ability of applicants for advanced study in business and management.This computer adaptive test is used by graduate business schools in determining applicant eligibility for admission into graduate-level business programs. The test measures abilities in three broad categories: verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing. It does not measure knowledge in any particular business area.
GMAT Tips & Resources
ASVAB (Military) - The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is used by all 5 branches of the military to screen recruits for acceptance and to measure enlistees' aptitude for various occupations and careers. The ASVAB, sponsored by the Department of Defense, is a three-hour, multi-aptitude, multiple-choice exam battery. Your ASVAB results provide scores for each of the individual ten subjects tested, as well as three academic composite scores; Verbal, Math, and Academic Ability; and two career exploration composite scores. While the ASVAB is best known for its use in the military recruitment process, it is a useful tool for all students as it measures the test takers aptitude for various careers.
ASVAB Tips & Resources
Know the test you're taking - Make sure you know the format and scoring standards of your test ahead of time.
Read the directions - Follow the directions carefully. This can be especially important for multiple-choice questions.
Don't spend too much time on one question - If you don't know the answer, don't get hung up on it. Try eliminating the incorrect answers first. If you still don't know, make an educated guess. You can always come back if there is time.
Be prepared - Arrive on time, well-rested, fed, dressed comfortably, and prepared with extra pencils and an eraser.