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. You can also find Allen on his personal website, Shortform, or the Shortform blog.

Recent Posts

Harvard Acceptance Letter: Real and Official

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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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Stanford Acceptance Letter: Real and Official

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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

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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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The Ultimate Study Guide for ACT Science: Tips, Practice, and Strategies

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Mar 12, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies, ACT Science

We've written the best ACT Science guide available anywhere. This is not an exaggerationwe've studied dozens of ACT prep books and online resources, both paid and free, and we believe this is the best resource available right now, by far.

In this guide, we cover every question type on the ACT Science section and give you strategies to attack them. In addition, we provide you with our best ACT Science tips and teach you how to get the most out of your ACT Science practice and ACT prep.

If you're serious about raising your ACT Science score, read through every link. By mastering all the key concepts, engaging with realistic practice questions, and reviewing your mistakes, you'll dramatically improve your ACT Science score.

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The Best Way to Study SAT Vocab Words

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Mar 1, 2018 4:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Reading

Studying SAT vocab is a confusing topic for most students. It's unclear how many words you should memorize, which words to learn, and how to actually memorize these words without wasting time. If you think you need to memorize a list of 2,000 SAT vocab words you found on the internet, stop right there. We're about to save you a lot of time while delivering the same results.

In this guide, we'll discuss which words you should memorize and go over a reliable way to commit these words to memory.

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How to Sign Up for the ACT: Tricks and Tips

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Jan 4, 2018 11:00:00 PM

ACT Logistics

Registering for the ACT seems like a pretty straightforward part of the testing process. But the signup process is much more convoluted than you think, and some things matter a lot more than others. You also want to make sure to avoid important mistakes that can be costly.

In this article, we’ll discuss step-by-step how to sign up for the ACT. In the half-hour long process, we’ll discuss which sections matter a lot, and which ones not at all. Finally, we’ll share helpful tips to choose the best location and save money.

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How to Calculate Your ACT Composite Score, Plus 5 Strategies

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Dec 31, 2017 6:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

Your ACT Composite Score is an important part of your college applications. In this guide, we show you how exactly to calculate your ACT Composite Score from each of your section scores. More importantly, we give you custom strategies on how to use your Composite Score to adapt your ACT prep. Read on...

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How to Improve Low ACT Math Scores: 9 Tips From a Perfect Scorer

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Nov 8, 2017 9:00:00 AM

ACT Math

Are you struggling with ACT Math 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 ACT Math 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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How to Get 800 on SAT Writing: 9 Strategies From a Perfect Scorer

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 19, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Writing

Are you scoring in the 600–750 range on SAT Writing? Do you want to raise that score as high as possible—to a perfect 800?

Getting to an 800 SAT Writing score isn't easy. It'll require near perfection and a mastery of both grammar rules and essay writing. But with hard work and my SAT writing strategies below, you'll be able to do it. I've consistently scored 800 on Writing on my real SATs, and I know what it takes. Follow my advice, and you'll get a perfect score—or get very close.

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How to Get 36 on ACT Math: 8 Strategies by a Perfect Scorer

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 16, 2017 5:20:00 PM

ACT Strategies, ACT Math

 

Are you scoring in the 26-34 range on ACT Math? Do you want to raise that score as high as possible—to a perfect 36?

Getting to a 36 ACT Math score isn't easy. It'll require perfection. But with hard work and my strategies below, you'll be able to do it. I've scored 36 on Math on all my ACTs, and I know what it takes. Follow my advice, and you'll get a perfect score—or get very close.

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How to Get 36 on ACT Science: 13 Strategies From a Perfect Scorer

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM

ACT Strategies, ACT Science

Are you scoring between 26-34 on ACT Science? Do you want to raise that score as high as possible - to a perfect 36?

Getting to a 36 ACT Science score isn't easy. It'll require perfection. But with hard work and my strategies below, you'll be able to do it. I've consistently scored 36 on Science on my real ACTs, and I know what it takes. Follow my advice, and you'll get a perfect score - or very close.

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How to Get 36 on ACT English: 10 Strategies From a Perfect Scorer

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 14, 2017 7:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies, ACT English

Are you scoring in the 26–34 range on ACT English? Do you want to raise that score as high as possible—to a perfect 36?

Getting to a 36 ACT English score isn't easy. It'll require near perfection and mastery of both grammar rules and rhetorical skills. But with hard work and my ACT English strategies below, you'll be able to do it. I've consistently scored 36 on English on my real ACTs, and I know what it takes. Follow my advice, and you'll get a perfect score—or get very close.

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Khan Academy SAT Will Never Be Enough - Here's Why

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 13, 2017 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, SAT General Info, New SAT

With the new 2016 SAT, Khan Academy has partnered with the College Board to create a free SAT prep program.

All things considered, Khan Academy's SAT prep program is high quality. It's a great introduction to the test and elevates the bar of free SAT materials. Students unable to afford books or prep programs have a useful resource to train for the test.

But it's not complete.

There's still a lot missing from the Khan Academy SAT program that can prevent you from getting the highest score possible.

In this review, you'll understand what exactly is wrong with the Khan SAT program—and why the partnership with the College Board means these problems will never be fixed. If you plan to use the Khan Academy SAT program, this will show you what you're missing.

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How to Improve Your SAT Reading Score: 8 Strategies

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 10, 2017 5:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Reading

Are you struggling with an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) score between 300 and 500? You're not alone—hundreds of thousands of students are scoring in this range. But many don't know the best ways to break out of this score range and get a 600 or higher.

Here, we'll discuss how to improve your SAT Reading score specifically and why it's so important to do so. Unlike other fluffy articles out there, we'll be focusing on actionable strategies. Put these eight strategies to work and I'm confident you'll be able to improve your SAT Reading score.

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How to Improve Your SAT Writing Score: 9 Key Strategies

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Posted by Allen Cheng | Oct 7, 2017 5:30:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Writing

Are you struggling with SAT Writing + Reading scores between 300 and 500? You're not alone—hundreds of thousands of students are scoring in this range, too. But many don't know the best ways to break out of this score range and score 600 or higher.

Here, we'll discuss how to improve your SAT Writing 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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