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College Placement Test and Study Guides

written by: Mihir Shah•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 7/28/2010

College placement test study guides can be purchased at any bookstore and are manufactured by multiple companies: Princeton Review, Collegeboard, Kaplan, Barron's, etc. When completing practice tests, it is important to review answers and understand the explanations provided by the study guide.

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    College Placement Test Study Guides

    There comes a point in every high-school student's academic career when he has to sit down and realistically envision the possibility of a college education. While this may be a daunting task for many, there are a myriad of resources that can assist students on the college path. The college placement test study guide comes in many shapes and forms and can be found at bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, Borders, and your local library. These study guides are mainly constructed by prestigious and proven companies like Princeton Review, Barron's, and Gruber. Essentially, there is a right guide for any individual and any style of learning.

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    Types of Study Guides

    Although there are many college study guides on the open market,'s, "The Official SAT Study Guide" supplies the individual with exams from previous years, exactly as they are on the real test. Bother Barron's and Princeton Review rank high, although lists Princeton Review as the number one college placement test guide for students. Other test prep books available include Kaplan and Sparknotes--for those students that are short on time.

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    When to Purchase Study Guides

    The premier website for standardized testing is In fact, the website provides its users with a number of diagnostic guides to the SAT, ACT, and AP testing. As the name reveals, this website focuses on establishing a schedule for students as to when they should take diagnostic tests, purchase college study guides, and take the exam. According to, a college test study guide should be obtained during the summer following your sophomore year. The entire summer should be dedicated to thoroughly understanding the principles taught in the study guide. The end goal is to take the SAT or ACT during the fall of the following year--as a high-school junior.

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    Maximum Potential

    If the study guides are not used appropriately, students will not achieve the desired results. Therefore, it is important to remember that these guides should be used once an individual has developed an understanding of all aspects of the exam. Students have the option of purchasing individual guides for the English and Math elements of the SAT and ACT. The key is to gradually soak in the information. For English study guides, students should develop vocabulary by learning ten new words each day. Once the student has established strong vocabulary skills, he will be fit to proceed to learning strategies to tackle sentence completions, reading comprehension, and the wide variety of questions that will surely be asked on standardized tests. In addition, it is important to go back and read the explanation of the questions answered incorrectly in the study guide. By doing this, the individual will know how to approach such a question on test day.

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    When going through the college placement test study guide, always remember to cut the material into portions. As kids cannot eat an entire cake in one bite, the study guide material cannot be absorbed efficiently in one or two sittings. Hence, experts like recommend intensive preparation following the end of sophomore year.

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