, Muskogee, OK

February 15, 2014

Library offers study help with placement tests

By Gerran Coppin
Books & More

— Well, it's that time of year again. No, I don't mean being snowed into your house or Valentine's Day, I mean it's time to start preparing for all of those standardized tests out there! Whether you are trying to earn college credit while still in high school, apply to a university, or receive your GED, standardized tests are soon to be a part of your life. There are many tests out there, and they all can be very confusing. So, I hope this guide will help you to understand some of them better, and provide you with a few tips for taking and studying for them as well.

First up is the Advance Placement test. The AP test ( is designed to give college credit to those students that have completed the AP class in a corresponding subject. There are six different areas for AP classes: Arts, English, History and Social Science, Math and Computer Science, Sciences, and World Cultures and Languages. Most high schools offer AP, or Honors, classes that will help give you the knowledge needed to pass the AP exams. Each school has different criteria for enrolling in an AP class, and these classes will be more challenging than a basic course. Entering college with pre-earned credit, though, will be worth all that extra work!

Next up, is the General Education Development test. The GED test ( is broken into four subjects: Reasoning through Language Arts, Mathematical Reasoning, Science, and Social Studies. The GED test is designed to show that your skill levels are equivalent to those required by high schools and requested by many jobs and universities. Most people find that it is best to begin studying for months before they take the exam. Our Literacy department has classes on Mondays and Wednesdays, and I highly recommend joining a study class to help you score the best that you can. So, give the Literacy department a call at (918) 682-6657, extension 246.

The last test I will go over today is the American College Testing exam. The ACT exam ( covers four different subjects: English, Math, Reading, and Science. There is an optional Writing test that is given as well. Many find that it is best to take the exam more than one time. For me, the first time I took the ACT was during my freshman year of high school, and the test was nerve wracking and emotionally draining. Over the next three years, I took the test once every year, and became much more comfortable and increased my score by six points. Many colleges require a certain score just to enroll, and only award scholarships to those with high scores. So, I cannot stress enough how important it is to take the test more than once.

For those wanting some help with self study, be sure to visit the Research section of our website at You can find some amazing online study tools such as Universal Classes which offers hundreds of free classes, Learning Express which provides practice exams and study courses for all of the exams I discussed, and our Overdrive ebook library even has ebook versions of several exam study guides. Be sure to also check out our YouTube channel at for a whole playlist of standardized test tips. If you need more help, or have any questions, feel free to contact me at

Gerran Coppin is a reference librarian at the Muskogee Public Library. Reach her copping@eok. or at the library at (918) 682-6657.