SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Rebecca Safier

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.

Recent Posts

How Long Does It Take to Get SAT Scores Back?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 12, 2017 5:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Don't you wish you could find out how you scored on the SAT right after you finish? Or maybe you'd like to forget all about it and pretend it never happened (better luck next time)!

Either way, your wait time will be the same at somewhere between three and six weeks. This article fills you in on all the details of score reporting, along with some advice for what to do once you get your scores.

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The 10 Best SAT Books Recommended for SAT Prep

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 29, 2017 9:30:00 PM

SAT Strategies

With so many SAT prep books to choose from, how can you tell the good ones from the bad? Not to worry - we've evaluated the books for you. This fully updated guide gives you our recommendations for the top 10 new SAT preparation books to help you achieve the scores you seek.

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The Best Way to Read the Passage in SAT Reading

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 29, 2017 8:30:00 AM

SAT Strategies, SAT Reading

The SAT Reading section presents you with challenging tasks. Not only will you have to sustain your focus over a long 65-minute section, but you’ll also have to search actively for evidence in each passage to back up your answers.

The test may be time intensive and full of tricky “distractor” answers, but you can learn to avoid the common pitfalls with the right approach. This guide will discuss the best strategies for reading the passages effectively and achieving a high score on the new SAT Reading. To start, let’s go over what the redesigned passages are going to look like on your test.

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How to Become a National Merit Semifinalist

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 21, 2017 10:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, College Admissions

When October rolls around, over 1.5 million students across the country take the PSAT. Juniors who score in the top 1% achieve the distinction of being named National Merit Semifinalists. Most of these students move on to become National Merit Finalists and win scholarship money for college.

Being named a National Merit Semifinalist is a huge achievement along the path to college. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to become a National Merit Semifinalist.

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When Do SAT Subject Test Scores Come Out?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 1, 2017 11:00:00 AM

SAT Subject Tests

After you take the SAT Subject Tests, you probably want to find out your results right away. You'll have to be a little patient, though, as you may need to wait between five and seven weeks to get your scores back. 

We've compiled the exact score delivery dates below, plus some tips on how to track down your scores and what to do next. Read on to find out when you get your SAT Subject Test scores.

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How to Cheat On the SAT

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Feb 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

Disclaimer: we're not going to tell you how to cheat on the SAT. We do not advocate cheating by any means!

What we will tell you about are some high profile cheating scandals that have occurred in the recent past. While these cheating scandals involved flagrant violations of ETS rules and regulations, we'll also reveal some little known things that can raise red flags around your scores and jeopardize your chances of college admission. But first, the scandals...

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How Do I Submit Letters of Recommendation?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Feb 20, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Letters of Recommendation

Hopefully, you have the perfect teachers in mind to ask for your letter of recommendation. Once you’ve asked these teachers, how do you actually get their letters to your colleges?

This guide will go over everything you need to know about submitting your recommendation letters, whether you’re using the Common Application, a customized school application, and/or Naviance. To start, what are the options for submission?

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PSAT Test Dates 2017

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 2, 2016 6:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Attention, 2017 juniors! Do you know when you’ll be taking the PSAT? Do you know the best way to prepare for the test?

This guide is for anyone planning to take the PSAT in the fall of 2017. We have the predicted PSAT test dates, along with some key study tips. To start, let’s discuss what you need to know about how your school will administer the PSAT.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for 2016? Expert Analysis

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Oct 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you took the PSAT in October of 2016, then you don’t have long to wait to find out how you did. You’ll get scores back in mid-December, just before winter break.

Your PSAT score report will give you a few different score types, including your total scores, section scores, and Selection Index. With all this data, how can you sort through the numbers to figure out what is a good PSAT score?

This guide will go over the full scoring system of the PSAT so you know exactly what makes a good score. Let’s start with a quick glossary explaining the various types of PSAT scores you’ll see on your score report in December.

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What Is a Gap Year? Should You Take One?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Oct 28, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Other High School

Taking a gap year after high school is an option that more and more young adults are choosing each year. Whether you want to learn outside the classroom, uncover your passions, or just copy Malia Obama, you can pursue all three goals by deferring college enrollment for a year.

Gap years look different for everyone, but they all share an emphasis on experiential learning and personal development. This guide will explore what a gap year is, as well as discuss some of its pros and cons. If you’re thinking of taking a gap year or are simply interested in learning more about it, read on for a full investigation into this growing trend.

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Should I Add Supplemental Recommendation Letters?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Oct 22, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Letters of Recommendation

Maybe you spent the last year interning in a business and know your supervisor could write a stellar letter about your work ethic and passion for economics. Or you have a long term music teacher who can speak to your lifelong dedication to playing the piano. Or maybe you attend a school with thousands of students and feel like you’ve barely said ten words to your counselor or classroom teachers all year long.

If any of these scenarios hits home, then you might be considering sending a supplemental recommendation letter along with your college application. Before sending any extra materials, though, you should think hard about whether it’s the right course of action. This guide will discuss when it’s appropriate to send supplemental recommendations and when you’d be better off holding back.

To start, what are some reasons students think they should send an additional rec letter?

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What Are the Health Benefits of Fenugreek?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 3, 2016 6:00:00 PM

Fenugreek is truly a multi-purpose herb. People from Western Asia and the Mediterranean have used fenugreek for thousands of years to flavor food, improve health, and soothe skin maladies. In more recent years, fenugreek has gained global popularity as an herbal supplement with a variety of health benefits.

While fenugreek has many promising applications, not all of its uses have yet been backed up by rigorous scientific examination. This guide will tell you which of fenugreek’s health benefits are supported by evidence, and which ones remain more folklore than fact.

Read on to learn what fenugreek is, what it does in the body, and where you can buy fenugreek to try it for yourself.

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What Should I Give to a Teacher Writing My Recommendation Letter?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 27, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Letters of Recommendation

A substantial bribe. Just kidding. You should give your teacher recommenders something much more valuable for writing effective letters of recommendation: your input. 

Sharing your ideas will assist your teacher in writing you an insightful and specific letter. This guide will discuss what materials you should produce, and why your "recommender's packet" can go a long way toward making your final letter outstanding. 

To start, let’s review why recommendations are important to your application. If you understand what admissions officers look for, then you can make sure that your materials are useful and relevant. With this in mind, let's consider what purpose rec letters serve in the admission process.  

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PSAT Test Dates 2016: Full Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 26, 2016 6:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Are you planning to take the PSAT in the fall of 2016? This guide will fill you in on the exact test dates, along with some essential tips for achieving a great PSAT score.

If you’re a rising junior or taking the PSAT as a younger student, read on to learn how the PSAT will be administered to students nationwide.

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When Should I Ask for a College Recommendation Letter?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 6, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Letters of Recommendation

I remember worrying about the perfect time to ask for recommendation letters. Too early, I thought, could seem like over-planning; maybe my teachers would even forget by the time deadlines rolled around! Too late, though, would suggest a lack of preparation or could even offend my recommenders. It seemed like the stars had to align just right.

If you’ve had any of these same concerns, you don’t have to wonder anymore. This guide will discuss the best times to ask for recommendations, plus why it’s important to have good timing in the first place. To start, what should you consider as you figure out when to ask?

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