College placement tests are used to assess your academic capabilities in math, reading, writing and English structure. These tests are administered prior to enrolling for college classes, as they help to determine what level of classes you are able to take. It is important to prepare well for college placement tests in order to pass and be matched with the correct level of courses you need. Inadequate preparation could result in placement in classes that are below your academic level, causing you to lose valuable college time trying to meet the requirements.

Step 1

Evaluate your academic weaknesses. According to The College Board, identify the areas of weakness you have in English, reading and math and concentrate on making improvements. Scheduling time to study and understand those areas beforehand will help you pass the college placement tests. Contact the college you are going to attend to find out if they have a tutoring help center where you can get help to brush up on some skills you may have forgotten or not mastered well.

Step 2

Take practice tests. In an actual college placement test, you’ll be tested on skills like reading comprehension, sentence structure, common grammar errors and mathematics, according to The College Board. To increase your chances of getting higher scores in the placement tests, it is wise to take as many practice tests as you can to get familiar with the testing process and the type of questions asked. There are a variety of sample tests available on the Internet for students to practice the college placement tests.

Step 3

Read through the questions. Take your time when answering the questions to avoid making mistakes. Don't make assumptions as to the intent of the question by reading only a few words of it. Understand what the question is really asking before you attempt to answer it. The Ohlone College website points out that the English and math tests are computerized and have no set completion time. Therefore, you should work carefully on these without rushing to ensure you get the highest possible course placement.


You should get enough rest the night before the test. This will enable you to wake up feeling energetic and clearheaded. If you are well rested, your nerves will also be less likely to interfere with your concentration when taking the placement tests.


The College Board advises that you eat something beforehand and arrive some minutes prior to your testing time. This will give you time to find the testing area, bathrooms, and gather your thoughts before the test begins.

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