Monday, Mar. 27, 2017
test prep

Whether you're studying for the SATs in order to get into a top school or cramming for a college final, there are countless tricks of the studying trade. After first checking out UniversitySpot's College Entrance Exams page, take a look at the following sites for more noteworthy test prep tips.

Entrance Exam Prep

CollegeBoard: The College Board is the official site for college entrance exams, so it should be frequently checked for test, calendar and score updates. But it's also a great preparation tool - it features calendars with study plans, questions of the day, sample practice questions and free practice tests. The site also lets you customize a study plan and helps you find the skills you need to better for the test. Go here for undergraduate and graduate exam help for the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT exams. You'll find study guides, test reviews and flashcards. This site isn't just for catching up on chapter synopses before a quiz - you can also get help for the SAT, ACT, GRE and AP Subject tests. Read up on the details of each section of the test and strategies for studying, and there are also diagnostic and practice tests and flashcards. This site offers practice tests, test details and preparation book suggestions for every type of entrance exam you can think of.

Princeton Review: Make sure to look at this site for online practice tests and past exam reports for both undergraduate, graduate, law, business and medical exams.

U.S. News & World Report -- College Calendar: This PDF master calendar lets you know when all the undergraduate entrance tests and deadlines are.

Cliff Notes: Yes, Cliff Notes also has a test prep section on its site for the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT and AP tests. There is plenty of free content, including questions of the day, detailed information on a ton of test subjects, downloads like charts and sample pages. There's even a super-helpful "cram plan" that technically goes with the test prep booklets for purchase, but you can view them for free and use them without the booklets. Note: If you are interested in buying a booklet, you can buy a PDF version and read it right away.

General College Study Skills The mishmash list of college and education-related articles may seem a bit overwhelming, but many of the studying tactic articles are helpful and cover issues like time management, freshmen essays, avoiding senioritis and creating a study routine for yourself. This easy-to-use site offers many common lines (ie. "Nobody could pass the test with my notes") and ways to deal and get over them. The site is divided into the following sections: Getting Ready (motivation, goals and organization), Taking In (time management, note taking and textbook reading), Processing (visual and memory studying), Output (test anxiety), and How to Study/Write for various subjects.

U.S. News & World Report -- Professors' Blog: In the Student Center on the site, there's a "Professors' Blog" that provides great tips on staying focused and acing exams. Make sure to also read this basic article with interesting tips on how to study in college and finding your study style.

How to Cram for a College Exam: While this article is meant to be a resource for those studying at the last minute, it's also useful for simple and easy-to-remember ways to study. It covers the gamut of types of exams, from essay to multiple choice, and has some creative ideas for testing yourself. Get ready for a ton of different studying, note taking, remembering and test taking techniques that will make college that much easier. The articles are more like general tricks of the trade, but there's also a section with study tips from students themselves. -- Homework Tips: This article explores the numerous learning styles one can have. It not only helps you discover which learning style you possess with characteristics of each, but it also gives learning suggestions and best/worst test types for each type of style.

Suite 101 -- Study Skills: Get all the basics down with articles ranging from how to read a scholarly journal to how to study for a final to essay proofreading tips.

Search for Public Libraries: If the school library doesn't have what you need, the National Center for Education Statistics has a tool to find public libraries near you.

GWU Academic Success Center: Start off by either clicking that you want to improve your stud habits or are looking for last-minute advice to save your grade. The site narrows down to exactly what you're looking to do, from learning ways to problem solve to creating a study guide to identifying your stress symptoms.

eNotes: Check out the literature study guides, lesson plans and literary criticisms. If you have a specific question, start a discussion or post a question for teachers and other students to reply to.

Study Groups

As this College Board article explains, study groups allow you to share ideas, set deadlines, discuss areas of weakness and, in most cases, learn faster and more fundamentally than if studying by yourself. While setting physical meetings with classmates is probably the most helpful, these two online study forums act as an additional community to ask questions on your own time. Create an online study group with classmates to send messages and share files. As a member, you can also set up your own to-do list and calendar to stay on track of your studying and upcoming tests. Unlike, where you invite people you know to join your study group, is an open online forum. You can either ask a homework question on the message board or join a study group from your actual school or based on a specific subject or course.

--A. Karps

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