College Boards

As a high school student, you are required to take several standardized tests offered through the College Board. The College Board is a non-profit organization that helps students find success in college. Each of these tests are unique and mean something different for your college education. Whether you are pursing an education at a traditional university, or through an online school, here are some tips to master all-important standardized tests.


The SAT is an exam that tests your reading, writing, and math knowledge. The SAT is one of the most important deciding factors in whether or not a college will accept you into their program, so it’s important that high school students adequately prepare for the tests. Most high school students take the SAT during their junior and senior year. You can take it more than once (to improve your score), so the sooner you take it the better.

To prepare for the SAT, students can take a test known as the PSAT. Many students take the PSAT during their sophomore year in order to prepare for the actual SAT during their upperclassman years. The good news is that most of the material taught during your high school career is pertinent to the SAT, so pay close attention to your studies. Similarly, if any area of your high school courses confuses you, ask for extra help from your teachers. You want to be sure you understand all of your coursework so that you may succeed in taking the SAT. Invest in SAT prep courses and reading material to further prepare you for this test.

Advanced Placement Exams

Advanced Placement, or AP exams, are offered after you’ve completed coursework in an advanced placement class. AP classes are offered at high schools, or often times at a neighboring college. By taking an AP course and passing the Advanced Placement exam you can earn college credit that can be put towards your degree. Seek out AP courses at your school to earn dual credit while in your junior and senior years. Obtaining credits prior to college can save you money down the road.

CLEP Exams

CLEP, or College-Level Examination Program, allows students in high school to test in a certain subject before college. If a student passes the CLEP exam, they do not need to repeat the course for their general education requirements in college. This is most help for students who are already bilingual, or who have advanced knowledge in a certain subject. Remember to research whether or not your college of choice accepts CLEP exams before registering.

Here are some additional tips for taking standardized tests approved by the College Board:

  • Read, read, read!
  • Study harder for your more challenging courses
  • Always look up words you don’t know when reading
  • Take practice exams and free practice questions through the College Board
  • Pay attention to the types of questions you get wrong in your practice exams (especially during the MAT portion of the exam).
  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before your exam and eat breakfast the day of the exam

More College How To's...

Customize Your Education