One of the major differences between high school and college is the testing approach that is used. Most incoming freshmen believe that the tests in college will be similar to those in high school. That’s far from the truth.
In many courses the average on a test will be in the 65% – 75% range. You will probably be shocked and depressed after you receive your first round of test grades.
Here are characteristics of college tests you should be aware of:
■ Many tests are on a computer or are computer graded. That means that there is no partial credit.
■ There will be 3 – 4 tests given during a semester with each test worth 10% – 20% of your grade in a class.
■ There will be a final which is often worth 2-3 times the value of a regular test
■ There is generally no curve on a test nor is there an opportunity to take a retest. College faculty expect students to step up their preparation rather than cut them slack by adjusting grades.
■ Test questions are carefully constructed to separate the lucky guessers from those who truly know the material. Often multiple choice questions will have several choices which could be plausible answers.
The best way to prepare for college tests are:
■ Study several days ahead
■ Study 2-3 hours a day
■ Find old tests to use in your preparation
■ Review the course material continuously
You will find more advice on doing well on college tests in the section entitled “Ensuring You Get the Grade You Want.”.