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How To Prepare For College Entrance Examination

How To Prepare For College Entrance Examination – Are you through with high school and want to apply for college?

Have you applied for college and doubting your ability to perform well in the exam?

Are you having problems preparing for your college entrance exam?

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Well, a college entrance exam is no big deal and you shouldn’t let anxiety overwhelm you. Many students are put under pressure to perform well in their entrance exams and even the most intelligent student can perform poorly if you don’t put your acts together.

As a high school student, the college entrance exam might not be like your normal school exam but you should know that it is just an examination. Everything comes down to your level of preparation.

You have to be prepared mentally, physically and academically. Many students just get to prepare themselves academically and fill their mental state with fear, tension and anxiety. Having a calm and relaxed mind before your entrance exam will help you do well.

READ ALSO: Things You Should Do IF You Want To Excel As A Student

The college entrance exam is to assess the knowledge you have gained generally in your entire schooling; so you have to prepare yourself. It is not only about studying hard; you also have to study smart.

This article is going to guide you on how you can prepare for a college entrance exam and also do well in the exam. It is very easy to do well in the exam if you are well prepared for it.

Like we said, it is not just about reading; you still have to do other things and we will be looking at these things you have to do in order to pass a college entrance exam and gain admission into the college of your choice.

We have carefully structured this article into five parts.

  • What is a college entrance exam?
  • How to prepare yourself to study for your college entrance exam
  • How to study for your college entrance exam
  • Extra tip (how to prepare yourself the night before your entrance exam)
  • Questions and answers

Let’s get started…



A college entrance exam is a standardized aptitude test that is used to assess how ready or prepared students are for college. It is a test to assess the knowledge students have gained in their entire schooling up to their application for college.

These exams are common at higher education level and controlled by colleges and other educational institutions.

Read also: Why Students Should Study Smart And Not Hard

A college entrance exam is designed to cover different subjects and how to evaluate how ready students are for the level of work in college. For a high school student, college is quite different from high school.

Scoring well in a college entrance exam will guarantee you a spot at the college of your choice and even earn you a merit based college scholarship.

College entrance exams covers reading, writing, critical thinking, mathematics and optional essay portion.

The most common entrance exams for colleges are ACT (The American College Test) and SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test).


Your college entrance exam is around the corner and you feel so anxious and nervous. There is no need to panic; it is just an exam. You can do well in this exam if you really prepare yourself for it.

Many students have claimed that they actually did study for the exam but end up not doing well. There are a number of reasons you might end up not doing well in your entrance exam. Some of them are:

  • Fear of failure
  • Inadequate preparation
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Negative thoughts
  • Lack of confidence
  • Depression
  • Distractions and lack of concentration

There are many others reasons but we just listed a few of them.

This part of this article is going to guide you on how you can actually prepare your mind to study for the entrance exam and do well.

Let’s jump right in…

  • Think positively

You must have heard a lot about college and also about the entrance exam. All these could create a sort of tension in you and make you to start being negative.

Having a positive thought or mindset about the exam will help motivate and propel you to do your best. Always talk to yourself and encourage yourself.

Sometimes, negative thoughts might come into your mind, train yourself to block off and push away these thoughts and fill your mind with positive thoughts. Thinking positively will help you concentrate when you are studying for the exam.

  • Have self-confidence and self-determination

Self-confidence is having so much belief in yourself and also your ability. Having self-confidence will definitely motivate you to study and do well in the exam. As you prepare for your entrance exam, you might be faced with some negative thoughts like

  • What if I don’t pass the exam?
  • What if I don’t go to college?
  • What if I amount to nothing in life?

All these kind of thoughts will kill your zeal and make you lose confidence in yourself. You have to believe in yourself and be determined to do well in the entrance exam and get into college.

The exam might actually seem to be difficult but in preparing for it, never tell yourself that it is difficult. When you tell yourself that you are not good enough to pass the exam, you might actually not pass the exam. Failure starts from the mind. So while preparing for your entrance exam, build your confidence and determination. Be enthusiastic.

  • Stay calm

Don’t panic or fret because the exam date is getting closer. You have to stay calm as this will help you study effectively. When you become restless because of the exam, you tend to become stressed, paled and even break down.

Stay calm and even while reading; be relaxed so that what you study might sink in.

  • Reassure yourself of the reason you need to pass the exam

Why do you want to go to college?

Why do you actually want to pass the exam?

There should be tangible reasons you want to pass exam. There should be clear reasons you want to go to college. This goal and reason will drive you to put in your best in the exam and also help you when you get into college.

You have always envisaged yourself in a certain career or field of study; getting into college is a way to working towards achieving that goal and fulfilling your dream and therefore, you have to pass the aptitude test.

You want your parents to be proud of your, passing your exam and getting into college will make your parents to be proud of you.

  • Turn nervousness into excitement

It is normal to get nervous as the exam is fast approaching but you have to be positive and turn your nervousness into excitement. No one is really excited about exam not to talk of entrance examination but you just have to see the positive side of doing well in the examination.

Passing this exam means that a lot of people would be proud of you and so you have to do your best.

  • Work on procrastination

Procrastinating your study session will do you no good and also putting off other activities will certainly affect your study time and lead to stress too.

If you are a procrastinator, you have to admit that you are a procrastinator and identify why you procrastinate. In preparing for your entrance exam, you have to avoid procrastinating any activity so as to have enough time to study. When it is time for studying, make sure you study and when it is time for other activities, make sure you carry them out.

Do not put off any engagement so that it doesn’t affect you.

  • Organize your time properly

One way you are going to overcome procrastination and lack of time is actually managing your time properly. You have to organize your activities and allocate time to each activity.

Time management is very important in preparing you to study for your entrance exam. With effective time management skill comes self-discipline. For you to be able to manage time properly, you have to be self-disciplined.

Time is limited and if not managed properly, you will see yourself falling behind time. So you have to be coordinated and manage your time properly.

  • Look for the best place to study

Studying in a calm, quiet and cool environment will help you concentrate better on what you are studying. When you study in a place with little or no distractions, you focus better and study with rapt attention.

You shouldn’t study while the television set is on; you will not concentrate. You have to study in a conducive environment as it will help you assimilate and understand what you are studying better.

Set aside a room in the house to study and make sure you have a table and a chair to study. Don’t lay on the bed to study.

  • Work on how you want to review your study material

College entrance exam is a way that colleges tend to assess the knowledge you have gained throughout your schooling up to that moment of application. Some entrance exams can be for a particular course like TOEFL (The Test of English as a Foreign Language) but generally college entrance exams are to assess your general knowledge and this will make it hard for you to know what and how to study.

You can focus on the subjects or topics that are difficult to you and allocate more time to studying them so as to improve for the exam.

You will have to prepare a study schedule that will help you study each subject that you are going to write in the entrance exam.

  • Get enough sleep

As a student, the ideal sleeping hours should be around 8-10hours. Having a sound sleep will help you refresh your brain and recharge yourself. Sleeping will not stop you from achieving what you have set to achieve.

Try to make out time to rest and rest well. This will help you not to break down before the exam. Resting has a way of energizing you. Don’t let anxiety and nervousness of the exam deprive you of sleep.

Sleeping helps you stay calm and reduce stress.

  • Eat healthy meals

You should prepare and eat healthy meals. Eating healthy meals will help y

To energize your mind and brain and give you strength to study for long hours. Don’t skip meals so as not to break down.


We have just looked at how to prepare yourself to study for your college entrance exam. When you are prepared to study, studying becomes easy and interesting. The preparation will help you know how to study effectively and produce good results. You have to prepare your mind, body and also the environment you want to study in as all these will make you study well and concentrate better.

Now it doesn’t just stop at preparing yourself, there are still things you need to do when studying to help you study smart and study effectively. You know that it’s a college entrance exam and so it is to assess your general knowledge in different subjects so you will have to cover different subjects within limited time.

How would you do this?

How can you study well and pass your college entrance exam?

Let’s dive right in…

  • Prepare a study schedule

Your study schedule is a timetable showing how you intend to study and what you want to study. Your study schedule is a guide to help you study well and so when studying for your college entrance exam, you have to prepared a study schedule where you allocate time to different subjects.

This schedule will help you cover a lot within the limited time you might have to prepare for the exam.

The study schedule will help you turn studying into a normal routine as some students prepare a schedule that will help them study everyday. You can decide to study for 5-6 hours everyday and in preparing your schedule you can read two or three subjects everyday allocating at most two hours to a particular subject.

Prepare your schedule in a way that you would have study breaks when you can refresh and recharge your mind and brain. This breaks could be listening to music, eating snacks or meditating. But it is a time where you try to assimilate what you have studied and let it sink in.

Passing the entrance exam and getting into college is definitely your goal and so you can write this down on your study schedule to always remind you of what you want to achieve.

Your time of study should be at the same time every day.

  • Know the best way and best time to study

Everybody has different ways they study so as to assimilate faster and better. You have to know the type of learner that you are and also the best way to study that suits you. Do you study with music or in a very quiet environment?

Knowing the best way you can study will help you stay motivated and study well.

You should also know the best time to study when you can assimilate better and faster. You cannot just study anytime; there is a time the brain  and mind is ready to collect information and understand the information better.

You have to understand yourself and know the time that you can study better and assimilate faster. This will help you prepare your study schedule. You can decide to study at night when the brain is relaxed or in the morning when the brain is refreshed and recharged.

  • Break down what you want to study into smaller parts

You cannot study a lengthy subject all at once and expect to understand and remember what you have read. Studying for long can be discouraging and exhausting. You can decide to break down what you want to study into smaller parts so that you can study in bits.

It might seem slow and time taking but it is productive and efficient. It will also make the study session interesting and less exhausting. You have subjects and topics to cover so take these subjects or topics bits by bits. It will help you assimilate faster and easily.

  • Block off distractions and concentrate

Earlier in this article, we talked about finding the best place to study with little or no distractions. You also have to try to block off distractions and stay focused on what you are studying.

If your phone is going to distract you, switch it off and put it away. Don’t study with the television set on; you will be distracted.

Even distractions that come from within you, that is, your thoughts, try to block off these distractions and be positive about the exam. When studying, give what you are studying you’re your undivided attention so that you can understand what you are studying and do well in your entrance exam.

  • Do not multitask

You cannot be studying and be doing something else like texting or watching tv. You will not concentrate and will easily get distracted. So it is important that you do not multitask. Take your studying serious as you know you have a goal to achieve. Multitasking reduces the efficiency of your work.

  • Study to learn and understand

When studying for your entrance exam, you have to study to understand what you are studying and not just to remember; you should not cram. Crammers are bad learners. You might remember what you have read but it will be just for that time.

Why cram when you can actually study to learn and understand what you are studying. Even after you pass the exam, you can still use the knowledge when you get admitted into college. Study to understand the subjects or topics very well and you will surely do well in the exam.

In studying to learn and understand, try to create a connection or relationship between what you already know and what you are studying; it will help you remember what you have learnt.

  • Never cram a night before the exam

We have said that cramming is a bad study habit. You shouldn’t try to cram a night before the exam. You might forget or mix up what you already know. This is why you have a study schedule; it will help you study everyday. The night before the exam is for you to revise and prepare yourself for the exam day.

  • Get past questions and study with them

You should also get the past questions on the college entrance exam and study with them. You could see this on the internet or at the college. This past questions will help you see how the questions are and where the questions are likely to come from.

The past questions help you to be acquainted with the type of questions to expect and you will also know how to tackle these questions too.

  • Talk to friends that have written the exam

You cannot always do it all by yourself, you can also seek advice and help from friends that have taken the exam before. Ask of their experience and what they feel about the examination. You will surely get positive and negative responses, but you don’t have to get discouraged by any response. It is just to get well equipped for the exam.



You might have studied and done all the necessary things in preparation for your exam. You can get distablized on the day of the exam if you don’t prepare yourself for that day. The night before the entrance exam is very crucial as you cannot prepare yourself in the morning because of time constraint.

You have to prepare yourself for the exam day.

What do you do the night before your exam?

  • Relax and reassure yourself that you are prepared

In order to calm yourself and avoid nervousness, you have to relax and tell yourself that you are prepared for whatever comes. Be positive and optimistic towards doing well in the exam.

  • Cross check to know where and when your exam will start

You cannot afford to arrive late at the exam venue because of lack of information. Double check to be sure it is the right date and place for the exam. You will have to leave early so as to arrive at the exam venue in time. This will help you relax and await the commencement of the exam.

  • Set your alarm clock

Do well to set an alarm to help you get up from bed early in preparation for the exam. Set the time in a way that you have enough time to get up and stretch your body and prepare your breakfast.

  • Gather all your writing materials and other materials

You cannot afford to get to the exam centre without your writing materials; it will show that you are unprepared and it can destabilize you. You have to gather your writing materials and other supplies you will need for the exam the night before they exam and keep them well.

  • Eat a healthy dinner and plan a healthy breakfast

Like we said earlier in this article that eating healthy meals will help you energize your brain. You also have to eat a healthy meal for dinner the night before your exam. Don’t eat a very heavy food but eat `something healthy.

You also have to plan a healthy breakfast. We advise that you do not go to the exam without eating breakfast; it is the most important meal of the day. Eat something light but healthy so you don’t have stomach upset.

  • Get enough sleep

It is normal that you might feel nervous and anxious a night before the exam but you have to try to be relaxed and sleep well. You should sleep early so you can wake up early to prepare for the exam.

Try sleeping for 8-9 hours. You will definitely wake up refreshed and recharged because you have rested well.


Let’s look at some questions students ask about college entrance exams.

  • Are college entrance exams difficult?

College entrance exams are kind of tricky and involves lots of reasoning but they are not difficult. You don’t have to see it as difficult if you actually want to do well in the exam. Prepare yourself for the exam.

  • What should I do if I fail my entrance exam?

Firstly, you shouldn’t think about failure yet. Be positive and be confident.

Secondly, we advise that you don’t pick only one college or university. Have options so that if one doesn’t work, others might work out.

  • How can I control my nerves during the exam?

It is normal to feel tensed and nervous but you have to try to control your nerves. You can do this by staying calm, breathe slowly but deep, try talking or starting up a conversation with someone. You can also try self-motivation.

Final note

Entrance exams are used to assess students like we have said and know whether students are qualified for admission into college. Students might be put on a lot of pressure to pass the exam. Passing the exam becomes easy when you prepare yourself well for the exam. We have given you some tips to help you prepare for your college entrance exam and we hope you do well in your entrance exam.

READ ALSO: How To Manage Your Finance As A Student

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