What Are Examples of Pre-Entrance Exams for College?

If you're considering attending college or enrolling in a specific college program, chances are you're simultaneously preparing for a pre-entrance college exam. Scores on pre-entrance exams are considered part of the application process to most colleges and universities in the United States. Read on for several examples of pre-entrance exams for college.

College Pre-Entrance Exams

Several types of college pre-entrance exams are used to measure your knowledge in academic areas like mathematics, writing and science. Some college programs have their own pre-entrance exam requirements. Examples of both basic and program-specific pre-entrance college exams are presented in the following list:

  • ACT
  • SAT Reasoning Test
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
  • Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
  • Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)


The ACT, originally known as American College Testing, is a pre-entrance college exam used to assess your academic skills and ability to handle college-level courses. The four sections of the ACT test are reading, mathematics, English and science. The test also includes an optional writing section.

SAT Reasoning Test

Previously known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test, the SAT Reasoning Test consists of three sections: mathematics, writing and critical reading. Like the ACT, the SAT Reasoning Test measures skills to determine how well a student is prepared for college work.


The GRE is taken by individuals seeking entrance to graduate school, and a general test and subject-specific tests are available. The general test focuses on the verbal and quantitative reasoning skills and analytical writing skills needed for any graduate program. Subject-specific GRE exams are given in seven subjects, including biology, English literature and mathematics. The general test is available in computer-based and paper formats, but the subject tests are only available on paper.


The TEAS exam is primarily a pre-entrance college exam for those entering nursing programs. The exam tests skills in mathematics, reading, science and English to assess preparation for success in a college nursing program. This 4-part test can be taken at a testing facility or online.


Given by the Law School Admission Council, the LSAT is a required pre-entrance exam for those applying to law schools. This multiple-choice test is administered four times per year. The test measures reading comprehension and logical and analytical reasoning.


Medical schools use the MCAT pre-entrance college exam as part of their admissions process. Given by the Association of American Medical Colleges, this standardized test measures skills in critical thinking, writing, problem solving and science.


The GMAT, sponsored by the Graduate Management Admission Council, is frequently taken by students pursuing admission to a graduate program in business. The test includes four sections, including analytical writing, reasoning, quantitative knowledge and problem solving skills.

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