SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Allen Cheng

As co-founder and head of product design at PrepScholar, Allen has guided thousands of students to success in SAT/ACT prep and college admissions. He's committed to providing the highest quality resources to help you succeed. Allen graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude and earned two perfect scores on the SAT (1600 in 2004, and 2400 in 2014) and a perfect score on the ACT.
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Recent Posts

Best ACT Prep Books 2019

Posted by Allen Cheng | Nov 3, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

There are numerous “Best ACT Books” lists out there. But we think most of them aren’t very good or thorough, so I’ve tried to write a much better guide here. You’ll learn which books are absolutely critical for your ACT prep, which focus on improving individual sections, and which you'll need if you're aiming for a top score. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to use these top-notch ACT prep books for effective studying.

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Average SAT Scores by State (Most Recent)

Posted by Allen Cheng | Nov 1, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

More than a million students across the country take the SAT each year. So what do SAT scores by state look like? How do you stack up against other test takers in your state? Finally, what are some  interesting state facts—for example, which state has the highest SAT score? The lowest SAT score? The highest rate of participation? 

It's the battle of the states, SAT edition. Find out your state's average SAT scores and other fun facts in this article!

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What Is the Average SAT Score?

Posted by Allen Cheng | Nov 1, 2018 11:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

If you've taken the SAT, you're probably curious about how your score stacks up against average SAT scores. There are lots of different ways to look at averages on the SAT. What is the average SAT score overall? How many types of average SAT scores are there? And which averages are important for you?

We'll answer all of these questions and more to tell you which SAT average scores actually matter for your future.

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What Harvard's Asian Admissions Lawsuit Reveals About How You Should Approach College Applications

Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 19, 2018 4:44:00 PM

College Admissions

The hottest news in college admissions these days is the release of documents from the lawsuit filed against Harvard University for unfair admissions practices against Asian-Americans. For the first time in recent memory, an elite institution's opaque admissions practices have been laid bare. More than 90,000 pages of internal Harvard admissions documents have been made available for use in the lawsuit, with excerpts made publicly available in court filings.

In this article, I'll summarize what this lawsuit is about and what we learned about how top-tier schools like Harvard choose which students to accept. (Spoiler: most of it confirms what I wrote about in my How to Get Into Harvard guide. If you haven't read that, I suggest you open it in a tab right now, and read it after you finish this article).

Most importantly, we'll cover what this means for how YOU should be preparing for college admissions.

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The Ultimate SAT Study Guide for SAT Prep

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 23, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies

At PrepScholar, we've written the largest set of high-quality SAT guides available, covering pretty much everything you need to know to improve your score on the SAT. They're all free and online, right here on our blog, and we think they beat any book you can purchase.

This guide, our Ultimate SAT Prep Study Guide, combines our most important SAT guides on one page. If you master all of the concepts linked to on this page, use them in your own practice and studying, and stay motivated to work hard, you'll have an amazing shot at improving your SAT score. Essentially, you'll have a huge advantage over students who don't know this information and lack the motivation to employ it in their own studying.

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Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 9, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

No matter how you prep for the ACT—whether you have a tutor, take a class, or study by yourself—you must get access to official ACT tests. These tests are released by ACT, Inc. and contain real questions given to actual students on previous test dates. These questions have been removed from circulation (so you won't ever see them on a real test), but their quality is second to none when it comes to ACT realism.

In this post, I'll tell you how to find all currently available official ACT practice tests. Most are free and offer a good way to get your feet wet with ACT prep. We'll also discuss how to use these tests to improve your ACT score.

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SAT Cost, ACT Cost, and How to Save Money

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 9, 2018 12:00:00 AM

SAT versus ACT, SAT Logistics, ACT Logistics

If you're deciding between taking the SAT and the ACT and you have a tight budget, this guide will help. We'll cover the registration costs, reporting costs, and how you can save money no matter what test you choose.

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When Do SAT Scores Come Out? SAT Score Release Schedule

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 3, 2018 1:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics

The SAT score release dates are always tense for students. Did you get the score you were aiming for? Do you have to take the SAT again? Checking scores immediately when they come out gives you the most time to plan ahead.

In this article, find out when you'll receive your SAT score report depending on your test date, and learn the fastest way to check your SAT score.

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Harvard Acceptance Letter: Real and Official

Posted by Allen Cheng | Aug 1, 2018 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions

Each year, Harvard receives nearly 40,000 applications from high school hopefuls. Only 5% of them get a Harvard acceptance letter.

For example, in 2015, Harvard College accepted 1,990 applicants from a record 37,307 applications for the Class of 2019. That’s a 5.3% admission rate.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of applicants get a rejection letter. “I am very sorry to inform you…”

When I was in high school, I was one of the lucky few to apply Early Action and receive an acceptance letter in the mail. This validated years of hard work and made me giddy like I'd never been before for what came after high school.

Here’s my complete, official Harvard acceptance letter.

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When Do ACT Scores Come Out? ACT Score Release Schedule

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 26, 2018 6:00:00 PM

ACT Logistics

You've taken the ACT, and now you're waiting for your scores. This can be a tense time, but knowing when exactly to expect your ACT results can help you plan ahead.

So when do ACT scores come out, exactly? In this article, find out when your test scores will become available, how to get your ACT results as fast as possible, and what to do once you have them.

 

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How to Get Into Harvard and the Ivy League, by a Harvard Alum

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 24, 2018 4:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Getting into elite schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and others is a goal of many high school students. How exactly to accomplish this is often a mystery to students and parents going through the admissions process. Lots of unhelpful and vague advice abound, especially from people who have never gained admission themselves to these schools.

In high school, I got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, MIT, and Stanford, and I attended Harvard for college. I also learned a lot about my classmates and the dynamics of college admissions in ways that were never clear to me in high school. Now, I'm sharing this expertise with you.

I’ve written the most comprehensive guide to getting into top schools. I’m going to explain in detail what admissions officers at Ivy League schools are really looking for in your application. More importantly, I’m going to share an actionable framework you can use to build the most compelling application that’s unique to you.

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Stanford Acceptance Letter: Real and Official

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 12, 2018 6:51:00 PM

College Admissions

Each year, Stanford University receives over 40,000 applications from high school hopefuls. Only 5% of them get a Stanford acceptance letter.

For example, in 2015, Stanford accepted 2,144 applicants from a record 42,487 applications for the Class of 2019. That’s a tiny 5.0% admission rate.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of applicants get a rejection letter. “I regret to inform you…”

When I was in high school, I was one of the lucky few to apply to Stanford and receive an acceptance letter in the mail. This validated years of hard work and made me proud that a school like Stanford wanted me as part of their community.

Here’s my complete, official Stanford acceptance letter.

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How to Improve ACT Science Scores: 7 Tips From a Perfect Scorer

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jun 4, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies, ACT Science

Are you struggling with ACT Science scores between 14-24? You're not alone - hundreds of thousands of other students are scoring in this range. But many don't know the best ways to break out of this score range and get 26+ on the ACT.

Here we'll discuss how to improve your ACT Science score effectively and why it's so important to do so. Put these principles to work and I'm confident you'll be able to improve your score.

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Printable SAT Practice Tests PDFs: 16 FREE Official Tests

Posted by Allen Cheng | May 4, 2018 2:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

In this article, I'll tell you where to find all official, printable SAT practice tests and answer keys. This comprehensive guide gives you access to more SAT practice tests than any other online guide. In addition, you'll learn key strategies that'll help you make big improvements on SAT practice tests you can print out.

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Complete Official SAT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | May 1, 2018 10:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Official SAT tests released by the College Board are the absolute gold standard for SAT practice questions. Each official practice test contains real questions given to actual students at previous administrations of the SAT. 

In this article, I'll show you where to find all official SAT practice tests online. This comprehensive guide gives you access to more practice tests than any other guide out there. Most of these tests are free and great practice to get started with your SAT prep. We'll also discuss how to use these practice tests to help you get the most improvement possible out of them.

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