Collocations are natural-sounding combinations of words. Using collocations will help you communicate more effectively and sound more like a native speaker.

This exercise tests your knowledge of some collocations related to higher education and university life. Good luck!

Instructions: Decide which word is missing from each collocation.

1. I will graduate ____ college within the next two years.

2. Before beginning her research career, my aunt went to college and graduated ____ a degree in biology.

3. Kevin says he’s having a tough time deciding whether to major ____ finance or accounting.

4. I decided to minor ____ literature since it is a subject which has always fascinated me.

5. If you don’t study ____ this exam, there is absolutely no way you will pass.

6. If you enroll ____ a community college instead of a traditional four-year university, you will save a lot of money on tuition.

7. Eduardo is taking mostly general courses right now. Next year, he’ll have to enroll ____ more courses that are directly related to his major.

8. Students can’t register ____ classes until they have paid their tuition.

9. How many colleges did you apply ____ when you were a senior in high school?

10. Many students choose to apply ____ financial aid. Without loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study programs, many students would not be able to afford a college education. (Photo by SalFalko.)

11. I’m not doing any extracurricular activities this semester because I’d like to focus ____ my studies.

12. Students who cheat risk being expelled ____ the university.

13. I was indecisive in college. After ____ my major three times, I finally decided to ____ a degree in nursing.

14. If a subject is too difficult, or a student simply isn’t interested in the class, students can ____ a course before a certain date. (Image by PrepScholar.)

15. If I don’t ____ this exam, I won’t be able to practice law in this state. And if I ____ the exam, I’ll have to wait three months before I can take it again.

16. All of my professors ____ attendance at the start of class. (Photo by Kristine Anne Cervales.)

17. I need to ____ ____ some books from the library. I’m going to take them back to my dorm room and start my research for my paper.

18. Some colleges and universities no longer require their applicants to take a ____ test prior to admission. Twenty years ago in the US, all college-bound high school students had to take either the SAT or ACT. (Photo by Christopher Rogers.)

19. High school students with good grades and high test scores often receive ____ scholarships. Good athletes sometimes receive ____ scholarships and go on to represent their college or university on a sports team.

20. I haven’t started my final paper yet. I have plenty of time still; the due ____ isn’t for two more months.

21. I have to ____ class today. Could you take notes for me and tell Doctor Quinn I won’t be able to make it?

22. Most students can ____ two electives as part of their studies. This gives students a chance to pursue some of their interests outside their field of study.

23. Statistically, in the United States, over 50% of college students will ____ ____ ____ college and never finish their degrees.

24. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree are called ____ students. Students pursuing a master’s degree are called ____ students.

25. Doctor Simmons didn’t ____ ____ the syllabus today during class. He says she’ll have a copy for us tomorrow.

For more practice, see the Practice Exercise section of the site.