According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61.8% of students get into college after graduating high school. With such high transition rates, securing a spot in a desired college program can be difficult for students who don’t attain the minimum score in a college entrance exam. Colleges have different entry exams and thresholds, and the exam prospective students take depends on their program of choice. In this post, our exam-taking experts explore the various types of college entrance exams required by all types of colleges. It includes highly selective schools and smaller institutions. Students who need assistance with a home-take or proctored college entrance test can reach out to our college entrance exam experts for professional help.
Types of Entrance Exams
Students take entrance exams to show they’re qualified for a specific program, especially four-year college courses. Most tests examine students’ academic aptitude in four key areas, including math, analytical, verbal, and writing skills. Students who excel in the college entrance exam get straight admission and could qualify for merit-based scholarships. Plus, doing well in the math and English sections of the different exams could determine the type of classes students take in their freshman year.
The following are some of the standardized entry tests, what they cover (structure), and their scoring methods:
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)
The SAT is a popular standardized college entrance exam over 2 million prospective university students take annually. It consists of three main sections that test students’ ability to read, write, and solve math concepts. The reading section has five passages with 52 multiple-choice questions on the main topics covered in the passages. On the other hand, the writing and language section contains 44 multiple-choice questions that test students’ ability to construct grammatically and factually correct sentences. The final part of the exam is the math section, which has two sections – one where students use a calculator with 38 questions, and the other has no calculator with 20 questions.
Depending on a college entrance exam and admission rules, students can also take an optional essay test. The three SAT sections take three hours, with breaks in between, and an additional 50 minutes for the essay. Each exam section score ranges from 200 to 800, bringing the total exam score to 1600.
American College Testing (ACT)
The ACT examines students’ prowess in English, science, math, and reading knowledge. Some schools also ask students to complete a writing sample as part of the ACT to boost their overall English score. The English section of the exam covers 77 multiple-choice questions on sentence structure, punctuation, and rhetoric skills, while reading has 40 multiple-choice questions. The math section has 60 multiple-choice questions on algebra, geometry, and trigonometry that students solve using a calculator. Finally, the science section contains 40 multiple-choice questions on graphs, tables, charts, and research.
If applicable, the entire exam takes two hours and 55 minutes, plus an additional 40 minutes for the writing test. Further, each section is scored on a scale of 1 to 36 and averaged to form the final score, except for the writing sample, which is scored separately from a scale of 1 to 12.
Test of English As A Foreign Language (TOEFL)
TOEFL is an entrance exam for non-native high school students looking to enroll in a U.S.-based college. This exam tests students’ ability to listen, speak, read, and write in English fluently and takes around three hours. Each section of the TOEFL is scored between 0 and 30, and the scores are averaged to get a final score between 0 and 120. The TOEFL certificate is valid for two years after students take the test.
College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
CLEP is a series of entrance exams for military and adult learners pursuing a college program while juggling work and family duties. Students can choose one of 34 CLEP exams, but all exams cover business, history, composition and literature, social science, and mathematics.
Each CLEP exam consists of multiple-choice questions and an essay and takes around 90 to 120 minutes. Also, the multiple-choice section is scored separately from the essay. However, both sections are averaged to determine a final score between 20 and 80. The average CLEP exam score required to earn college entry is 50.
General Education Development (GED)
The GED is an exam for students unable to complete high school. It’s an alternative to a high school diploma and tests students’ mathematical reasoning, science, social studies, and reasoning.
Students can take each GED subject as a standalone exam or together, and each subject ranks between 100 and 200. An average of 165 is enough to gain college credit, and applications for the exam happen online. Registration closes a week before the student takes the exam.
Passing Your College Entrance Exam
These are the main college entrance exams students must take to gain admission into college and their requirements. Students must achieve the minimum scores on each test to pursue their program in their institution of choice. Our expert exam helpers can assist with an upcoming home-take or proctored college entrance test.