How to Prepare for an Entrance Exam

Have you been invited to an entrance exam? Or are you wondering what the interviews are like at Finnish universities? This blog post provides you with tips on how to be well prepared for the entrance exam as well as the interview. The information applies to both international business and engineering exams. The most important tip is: make sure you are present on time! Double-check the entrance exam and interview date and time, since some universities might not give you a second chance. Also, make sure the internet connection is stable and that the web camera and microphone are working properly.

The exam generally consists of questions that test your logical skills and English proficiency. The exam for engineering programs includes also questions that measure your math, physics and chemistry knowledge. The questions should be mastered with the skills you have learnt during your secondary school. University might also test your spoken English and your motivation with an interview.

A word of warning: make sure you don’t plagiarize. You will be monitored during the exam by the university through the video connection. If you talk during the exam, they will get failed. If you copy-paste answers online, you will get caught, because universities use programs that easily spot copy-pasted materials.

Mathematical/logical thinking section

Example questions for international business

  • Four years ago, Marina was three times older than her daughter. Six years from now, Marina will be twice as old as her daughter. What are their current ages?
  • How many grams is 1,7 kilograms?
  • Nine students took an exam. Their grades were 5, 5, 3, 2, 4, 2.5, 3, 4.5, and 3. What was the average grade?
  • The price of a loaf of bread is 3 euros without taxes. The value-added tax rate is 18%. What is the price of the loaf of bread with taxes?
  • What will be the next number in the series: 2, 5, 11, 21, 36, 57, 85, … ?

Example questions for Engineering

  • The isosceles triangle has a side of 4 cm and a base of 5 cm. Calculate the area of the triangle.
  • You were driving 10 minutes with the velocity of 3 m/s to the North. Then you turned to the West and drove for 6 minutes with the velocity of 22 km/h. How long a distance came to your trip calculator?
  • Simplify the following expression: -4(2+5a) – (3+6a)(5-a) + 8
  • In saltwater for salting food, there is about 20 weight-% NaCl. What is the molarity of the salt in this water? Use the density of 1.5 g/cmfor the water and the atomic masses of 24 u and 36 u for sodium and chlorine, respectively.

man writing on an exam paper with pen

English language proficiency section


Usually the essay question is based on the pre-reading material that the university has sent you with the exam invitation. Make sure you understand the main points of the material, but you don’t need to memorize everything. If there are many numbers in the pre-reading material, imagine you a preparing for a presentation about the company’s situation. Pick the key numbers you would present. Then, keep in mind those important numbers when answering the essay question.

In the essay, you should be able to demonstrate strong understanding of the theory in the material and to write in good English.

Example question for the essay: Based on your previous knowledge, write about the studies in Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business program. Describe the main content of the studies and discuss how the studies are carried out in the university of applied sciences. Discuss also the duration and the extent of the studies and reflect your own personal qualities, skills and motivation in relation to the content of the studies.

Guidelines for writing a good essay:

  • Be concise
  • Be clear
  • If you are unsure about the complicated sentence structure that you plan to use, it is safer to use the correct but simpler structure instead
  • Stay calm and keep a cool mind
  • Do not use too fancy or complicated words, if you are not sure how to use them

Reading Comprehension

  • Use skimming techniques for keywords
  • Try to read quickly one paragraph to understand the general idea of it
  • Try not to read word by word
  • Keep calm and focus

Multiple-choice questions

The multiple-choice questions are usually based on the pre-reading material. The questions might be, for example, about the case company’s revenue, values, offerings and products/services.


Speaking can be daunting, especially if English is not your first language. To prepare for the interview, you can either stand in front of a mirror and speak to yourself or you can ask your friend to act as an interviewer. Your friend can ask basic questions about you, the reasons for choosing the study program, why you want to study in Finland, or about your plans for the future.

On the interview day, you should put on clean and tidy clothes, as if you were attending a real interview. For the interview you should go to a place with a good internet connection – then you won’t need to stress about the network connection during the interview. Before the interview starts, remember to test your computer’s camera and microphone to make sure they are working. 

Be prepared to speak about any topic and apply these general rules:

  • Be confident and breathe easy
  • Be precise and talk to the point
  • Try not to use too complicated words
  • Pronounce words clearly and talk at a moderate speed
  • Avoid unnecessary words, such as “ahh”, “uhmm”
  • Use appropriate body movements when addressing ideas to look professional and confident

If you found this article useful, you might also want to read our tips for writing a good motivation letter.

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