Most college entrance exams take the form of a college aptitude test. It can go by many names, usually bearing the name of the school or university, but the content is the same: a written assessment of potential ability in key domains related to the course being applied for. Numerical aptitude, language aptitude, and aptitude in the sciences are staple. But specialized courses, such Architecture or Engineering, will have additional tests in the battery, such as spatial-visual aptitude and mechanical aptitude. And yes, the university personnel take College Aptitude Test scores as a strong indicator of positive future academic performance, which is why it always pays to ace the exam.
Are there ways of making sure you score high on your College Aptitude Test? The answer is yes. Consider the following hints and tips:
This may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised at the number of test-takers who by-pass leaflets and posters distributed by school administrators. But in most cases, school psychometricians are aware that not everyone is knowledgeable when it comes to what aptitude tests are, and what particular aptitude tests to expect. Thus, they would give their applicants tips on the coverage of their entrance exam, and where they plan to cut-off the passing score. These are important guidelines that every student must pay attention to before taking a College Entrance Exam.
Most aptitude tests are time-pressured; that is, you have a set amount of time for completion of all items in the battery. For a 40-item test, one hour is usually reserved, which means you have more or less a minute and half to answer a question. Budget your time appropriately; don’t spend too much time obsessing on an item you can’t answer when you’d gain more accomplishing items you find easy. You can always mark a question as one to return to in case you have more time.
By definition, an aptitude test requires no review of past lessons taken. After all, aptitude exams are about future potential, not previous learning. However, a College Aptitude Test is the exception to this rule. Because primary and secondary education are considered as the building blocks of tertiary courses, schools require some degree of mastery of high school subjects before accepting an applicant to their college.
So do review all of your Language, Science and Math high school courses. If you can get a tutor to help you out, or attend a review class, all the better.
Studies have shown that those who are familiar with the test-taking situation tend to perform better during aptitude tests than those who are confronting it for the first time. For this reason, do take a practice aptitude test to get a feel for what you’re about to go through. There are many available practice tests on the internet; your high school guidance counselor probably has a copy too. Or you can be creative! Solving numerical puzzles such as Sudoku, or word puzzles like crosswords, are indirect but effective way of reviewing for a College Aptitude Exam.
While aptitude tests usually take the form of “fill in the blanks” and “multiple choice” questions, there are some who sneak in an essay question or two. The SATs, for example, one of the most popular College entrance exams, require test-takers to answer an essay question. In a way, essay questions are assessments of reasoning and language abilities, the only difference is, it is scored subjectively, usually by a 2 person-rating team. If you want to ace your College Aptitude Test, it’s important that you can write an essay that is grammatically correct, has a clear message, follows a logical flow, and is written in an engaging style.
One of the best armaments to take to a College Aptitude Test date is a relaxed and well-rested mind. You can’t perform numerical operations or verbal reasoning tasks optimally if your mind is stressed. Make sure you get adequate sleep the night before, and mind your diet. Just focus --- and all will be well.
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