SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Ashley Robinson

Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

Recent Posts

Everything You Need to Know About The Cask of Amontillado

Posted by Ashley Robinson | May 2, 2019 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), General Education

As you prepare for the AP Literature exam, one of the things you’ll have to do is become an expert in a few literary works that you can use on the composition portion of the exam. We recommend that you choose four to five notable works with different genres and themes to make sure you can write an amazing student choice essay.

(Actually...practicing analyzing literature will help you on the whole exam, not just the written portion, so it’s a win-win situation!)

But just because these works have to be “notable” with “literary merit” doesn’t mean they need to be boring, too! That’s why we’re talking about Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” as a good choice for your AP exam. Not only is it widely recognized as an excellent piece of literature, it’s got a little of everything: horror! Suspense! A surprise twist! And as an added’s short.

To bring you up to speed, we’ll start with “The Cask of Amontillado” summary, then we’ll jump into character and thematic analyses. By the time you finish this article, you’ll be able to write fearlessly about “The Cask of Amontillado” on your AP exam.

Read More


What Does It Mean to Be Agnostic?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Apr 30, 2019 2:00:00 PM

General Education


In 2018, Scientific American published an article titled “The Number of Americans with No Religious Affiliation Is Rising,” which looked at the rising number of Americans who don’t identify with any religion. In 2018, a survey done by the Pew Research Center found 34 to 36 percent of millennials identify as atheist, agnostic, or just “nothing in particular.”

While most people have a general understanding of atheism, agnosticism can be a little more confusing since it falls in the grey area between total belief and total disbelief in the existence of a higher power and/or God.

In this article, we’ll explore what it means to be agnostic. First, we’ll define the term agnostic and talk about what agnosticism looks like in practice, then we’ll dive into the differences between being agnostic vs. atheist. Finally, we’ll share a list of famous people who are agnostics.

So let’s get started!

Read More


What Is Point of View? First, Second, and Third Person

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Apr 16, 2019 6:00:00 PM

General Education

One of the best ways to prepare for the AP Literature exam is to learn about different literary devices and how you can use them to analyze everything from poetry to novels. Not only will this help you on the multiple choice section of the test, it’s critical for earning perfect scores on your essays, too!

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at one specific device: point of view. First, we’ll give you the point of view definition, then we’ll explain how the work’s narrator affects its point of view. Then we’ll explain the four types of point of view and provide examples and analysis for each one.

By the end of this article, you’ll be a point of view expert! So let’s get started.

Read More


What Is Imagery? A Complete Guide

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Apr 6, 2019 1:00:00 PM

General Education

A literary device is a technique a writer uses to convey ideas and messages to their readers. That means that as readers, we need to understand and use literary devices to fully understand a work’s major themes!

Today, we’re going to take a closer look at how to use imagery to analyze a text. We’ll start by giving you the imagery definition before talking about why it’s an important tool for analyzing a text. Then we’ll walk you through some imagery examples in poetry and fiction and show you exactly how to analyze the imagery in each.

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to talk about imagery in literature like a pro, so let’s get started.


Read More


Understanding Assonance: 6 Examples, Analyzed

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Apr 4, 2019 5:00:00 PM

General Education

Analyzing literature can be pretty confusing, especially if you’re reading something that’s pretty complicated. That’s why it’s important to understand literary devices, which are tools designed to help you unlock the meaning of a text.

Think of literary devices like tools in a toolbox. Each device has a different use, so it’s important that you have a bunch of different options to choose from...especially when you’re crunched for time, like during an AP Literature exam.

That’s why we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about assonance, which is a literary device that helps a writer create both rhythm and tone. To do this, we’ll:  

  • Define assonance and talk about why it’s helpful in analyzing literature,
  • Walk you through assonance examples in poetry and prose, and
  • Give you four expert tips to help you find an analyze assonance in any text.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

Read More


What Is Iambic Pentameter in Poetry?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Apr 3, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

The term iambic pentameter sounds like it’s more at home in a science textbook than it is in your English class. But believe it or not, iambic pentameter is a type of poetic meter!

In other words, iambic pentameter is a term that refers to a very specific type of rhythm that you find in poetry.

Knowing what poetic meter is and how to find it is an important skill for the AP Literature exam, and it can be really impressive if you discuss it properly in the AP exam’s essay portion. We know poetic meter might sound scary—heck, anything that has to do with poetry can be scary!—but we’re here to help. In this article, you’ll learn what iambic pentameter is, discover how to find it in a poem, and analyze iambic pentameter examples in poetry.

Let’s dive right in!

Read More


The 5 Tools You Need to Prepare for Your College Interview

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 16, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions


So you’ve just landed a college interview for the school of your dreams. That’s amazing! Once you finish celebrating, it’s time to start preparing for the big event.

But the process of preparing can feel overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together our top five tools for preparing for your college interview. Keep reading to learn more about our expert recommendations for the tools you must have to knock your college interview out of the park!

Read More


The 7 Books Every Pre-Med Student Should Read

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 15, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

One of the best ways to learn about your future career is to read about it. That’s true for becoming a doctor, too! As a pre-med student, books about medicine can help you prepare for medical school, but they can also introduce you to what it really means to care for your patients.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the seven books every pre-med student must read before they go to medical school. This list includes everything from MCAT prep books to grisly--but educational!--books about the darker side of medical history. We’ve also included works that introduce you to some of the social and ethical complexities of medicine, too.

Not only will these books widen your perspective on the field of medicine, they’ll also help you become a better doctor.   

Read More


10 Ser Conjugation Charts For Every Tense in Spanish

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 4, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education


One of the hardest parts of learning a romance language—especially one like Spanish—is verb conjugation.

In Spanish, the way a verb is conjugated depends on a number of factors, including the subject, the verb tense, and the purpose of the sentence itself. That means that there are actually many versions of each verb, all of which mean something slightly different. And because so much of understanding Spanish revolves around verbs, it’s an important (though pretty confusing) part of learning Spanish as a second language.

If you’re taking the AP Spanish exam, ser is one of the most critical verbs that you need to know—and know how to conjugate. Unfortunately, the conjugations for ser can be pretty tricky. But we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll give you every possible verb conjugation for the Spanish verb ser, which means “to be.” We’ll even give you a quick rundown on what ser means and when to use it!

So… ¡si estan listos, vamos!


Read More


15 Must-Have Items for Great Gatsby Fans

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 1, 2019 5:00:00 PM

General Education

We all have a friend who’s a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Honestly, calling them a “huge fan” might be an understatement, since you know your friend would go back into a burning house to save their Gatsby book collection! (We might be “that friend,” honestly.)

So what could be better than surprising the Gatsby fan in your life with some special Great Gatsby swag? Nothing, of course! After all, as Fitzgerald writes in the book, “Let us learn to show our friendship for a man when he is alive and not after he is dead.” And listen: we totally advocate treating yourself to a little something while you’re at it, too.

So without further ado, here are the best gifts you can buy for any Gatsby superfan!

Read More


Full Expert Analysis: "Do not go gentle into that good night" by Dylan Thomas

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 1, 2019 2:00:00 PM

General Education

Learning to read and understand poetry is tricky business. Between the tough terminology—what is synecdoche, anyway?!—and complicated structure, it can sometimes feel impossible to understand what a poet is trying to say. Unfortunately, if you’re going to take the AP Literature exam, you’re going to have to figure out how to quickly read and understand poetry.

One of the best ways to get a handle on poetry is to read a poem along with a detailed explanation of both what the poem means and how the poet conveys that meaning.

To do this, we’re going to take a look at Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night,” one of the most famous poems of the 20th century. Not only will you have a handle on the poem’s overall message, but you’ll also understand the most important techniques Dylan Thomas uses to convey that meaning to the reader.

We promise: by the end of this article, poetry will seem a lot less scary. So let’s get started!


Read More


What Is Stockholm Syndrome? Is It Real?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 28, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education


If you’re studying for your AP Psychology exam, you’ve probably stumbled across the term “Stockholm Syndrome.” But what is Stockholm Syndrome, exactly? As it turns out, Stockholm Syndrome is a complicated diagnosis that is still surrounded in quite a bit of controversy.

In this guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about Stockholm Syndrome, and we’ll answer the following frequently asked questions:

  • What is Stockholm Syndrome?
  • Where does it come from?
  • What causes Stockholm Syndrome, and what are its symptoms?
  • Is Stockholm Syndrome a real diagnosis?

At the end of this article, we’ll wrap things up with an in-depth look at two real-life cases of Stockholm Syndrome. (You’ll want to stick around until the end...those cases are really interesting.)

Ready? Then let’s jump in!


Read More


4 Tips for How To Double Major in 4 Years

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 19, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Info

One of the hardest parts about going to college is deciding on a major. Most universities offer tons of majors in many different fields, so it can be tough to choose just one! Good news, though: many universities allow students to earn a double major. It’s a great option for students who want to gain in-depth knowledge in a second field of study.

But while many people have heard of double majoring, many aren’t quite sure how to double major. That’s why we’re going to introduce you to the general requirements for double majoring, then give you two real world, step-by-step guides for how to double major at two top universities. Finally, we’ll wrap things up with four top tips for finishing a double major in four years.

So let’s dive in!

Read More


What Is a Salutatorian? High School’s Second-Highest Honor

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 11, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Other High School

Academics and athletics have a lot in common: they require tons of practice, dedication, and diligence to succeed. Athletes often get trophies, medals, and letterman jackets to reward them for their accomplishments on the field and in the gym.

But earning great grades can be just as tough as winning a state football tournament! That’s why many schools choose to honor their top two graduates by awarding them the titles of valedictorian and salutatorian.

We’ve already covered what a valedictorian is in another post, so in this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about salutatorians, including:

  • What is a salutatorian?
  • Does being a salutatorian help you get into college?
  • What is a salutatorian speech?
  • How do you become a salutatorian?

Are you ready to learn more about what it means to be the salutatorian of your graduating class? Then let’s get started!

Read More


What Is a Republic vs a Democracy?  Understanding the Difference

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 2, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), General Education

If you look closely at the United States Pledge of Allegiance, you’ll see that it calls the United States a republic. It reads: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” So what does that mean, exactly? Can the United States be both a democracy and a republic? And what is the difference between a democracy and republic, anyway?

As it turns out, there are subtle, but important, differences between a democracy and a republic, and that the definitions aren’t mutually exclusive. In other words, it’s complicated.  But don’t worry! Knowing the differences between a republic vs a democracy is important for tons of AP exams, including both history tests (U.S. and world) and both government and politics tests (U.S. and comparative). That’s why we’ve put this guide together for you.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the definitions of a democracy and a republic, how they operate, the differences between them, and where the United States fits into the discussion.

So let’s get started!

Read More


Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!