College placement exams can include a number of tests or exams required by college and universities. College board tests range from individual school exams needed for entrance to the popular ACT and SAT exams. High school students usually take the tests in their senior year, yet the exams can be taken in other grade levels as well. Good study habits can help.

Set a Schedule

Set a certain time frame from 30 to 45 minutes a day to do quick reviews. Do not make the study periods too long to avoid burnout. Reward yourself at the end of each week wherein no study sessions were missed by giving yourself a treat such as watching a favorite movie.

Practice Tests

Take practice tests using online tools or guides checked out at a local library. Focus on weak areas. College placement tests focus on a wide range of subjects including math, reading and writing skills. Use practice tests to determine your strengths and weaknesses and spend extra time on those areas.


Visit a testing center and take pretests. Pretests are different from practice tests that are taken at home. A pretest will allow you to experience the same environment in which the actual test will be given. The same computer program and other tools are available. You can get used to the surroundings and see how you react to the test. The test is exactly like the real test, but will not be scored.

Understand the Test

Learn how the test is scored and what time allotments are available for each section. Most schools or test centers have guides or pamphlets available for free. Ask your guidance counselor for information. For colleges call the main information line for assistance and ask for their testing center.

Manage Time

Many tests are timed. Discover a method that works best to keep within the testing time limit. If time runs out, any unanswered questions may be marked against you, resulting in a deduction of points. Learn how to set a steady pace taking the exam without rushing. Take practice tests and time how long each question should take to answer. Do not rush, but if a question is taking too much time, it is better to guess than leave it blank. Do not waste time reading instructions. Instructions for each section will be exactly the same on the pretest and practice tests. Bring a nonbeeping stopwatch to the exam center. Before beginning each section, write down when the test will end. Set the watch 10 minutes prior to that.

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