Preparing for Test Day
Having a clear and accurate picture of your current skill levels is important to us and is vital to your academic future. Therefore, it is important that you are well prepared for test day. The following strategies will help you get ready for placement testing.
1. Complete the required Math Information Form.
Without this information, your placement will not be complete.
2. Review test samples.
The sample information will give you a good idea of what to expect on the tests and allow you to gauge how your current knowledge matches with concepts represented in the test questions.
- Math – The math sample test is available on our online course system, P.L.A.T.O. You will receive your results automatically upon completion of the test. Go to the math sample test registration page; there, you will submit your first and last name, and then a username and password will be provided.
- Reading – The sample test is given in two parts: reading comprehension and vocabulary. Answers to both are supplied at the bottom of that page.
- English – A sample essay with reviewer response is provided to help you understand how your essay will be evaluated.
3. Brush up on rusty skills.
Once you have taken the sample tests, use old text books and materials to refresh your memory. As you review, focus on the concepts with which you are already familiar. The placement tests measure the knowledge and skills you have acquired over time; therefore, attempting to master new concepts would be impractical. For example, trying to learn calculus if you’ve never had the class would not be a good use of your time.
4. If testing on-campus, plan your trip.
Running late is stressful. You will be more relaxed going into the test if you know where you are going and arrive on time.
- Tip: See Visit Penn College for directions to the College and a campus map. Additionally, make sure you know how long it will take to get to campus and allow plenty of travel time.
5. Get a good night’s sleep.
Whether testing on or off campus, it is important to be well rested. A tired brain is inefficient. You will be testing for up to three hours.
- Tip: If you are testing on campus and live a distance from the College, consider staying in a hotel close to campus the night before testing to save early morning travel.
6. Make sure you have eaten a well balanced meal before testing.
Hunger or inadequate nutrition may cause fatigue and distraction.
- Tip: Have a light snack on hand to eat during a break to avoid feeling hungry in the later parts of the test.