As a potential student, you might ask yourself, “Should I take a practice placement test?” The practice test is not required but can be helpful. 

Test preparation helps sweep away the cobwebs and bring old knowledge to the forefront, preparing the test-taker for the next step — the unknown. 

What are ways to prepare for a placement test? There are paper and online study guides, flash cards, face-to-face workshops and online videos available.Twenty years ago, a prospective college student would enroll in a prep course to prepare for the placement test. Technology now allows students to prepare not only with the comfort of using a personal home computer but also from the use of handheld devices, such as smart phones and tablets. The use of online interactive applications and software is also possible. 

Most online practice tests are flexible and self-paced, allowing the opportunity to stop, save and review later. Many practice tests are free! FTCC recommends the online North Carolina Diagnostic Assessment and Placement Test practice test with Longsdale Publishing. 

Workshops are available through FTCC’s College & Career Readiness program, and College Board has a web-based study app available at no cost to students. Information about these valuable resources is available via FTCC communication, flyers and face-to-face contact at FTCC.

How long should a person prepare? The length of time to prepare for taking the test varies from one individual to another. Some students benefit from a refresher course on information learned at one time but not often used; others may benefit from enrolling in a structured workshop. A practice test allows students to experience sample questions (with no penalty for incorrect answers) similar to questions asked on the actual placement test. 

A practice test has the added benefit of identifying strengths and weaknesses. Even when confident in academic abilities, an individual can always benefit from taking steps to improve. Participating in practice tests promotes confidence and reduces anxiety. 

Once preparation is complete and the student feels confidently prepared, he or she can transition to the actual placement test. FTCC uses NC DAP. The design of the NC DAP determines if a student can enroll in college credit courses. 

Students who place into pre-curriculum courses are encouraged to complete a workshop or practice test and then test again with the hope of obtaining higher scores and beginning college-level courses with the plan to graduate in two years. Some students benefit by enrolling in pre-curriculum courses and then progressing to college credit courses. Once enrolled at FTCC, a student has many resources available, including tutoring for all academic areas through the Student Learning Center.

Registration for fall classes is currently underway. Visit FTCC campuses in Fayetteville, Spring Lake or at Fort Bragg to speak with an admissions counselor or a representative in the testing department to assist you in beginning your journey to a brighter, better future through education. 

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