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

All 108 Need-Blind Colleges in the US: A Complete Guide

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

Financial Aid, College Info

When universities go through admissions applications, they take many factors into consideration, like your grades, your extracurriculars, and even your personality!

But many college applicants don't realize that some universities also consider you—and your family's—ability to pay tuition as well. The hard truth is that some universities use an applicant's ability to pay tuition without financial aid as a factor in the admissions process. This became the subject of a 2015 article from Time Magazine, which explains that many universities consider how students can contribute to their institution financially when they make admissions decisions.

This sounds like scary news. But don't worry! Many schools are addressing the issue by transitioning to need-blind admissions policies, which remove economic status as an admissions criteria.

In this guide, we'll give you a complete list of need-blind colleges in the United States and answer all of your burning questions, including:

  • What is need-blind admission?
  • How do need-blind policies affect tuition costs?
  • What should you look for in a need-blind school?

So let's get started!

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4 Tips for Writing Amazing Notre Dame Essays

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

College Essays

The University of Notre Dame is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. It attracts the best and brightest students from around the country—in fact, 38% of the student body ranked in the top 1% of their high school graduating classes! That means that most applicants will have exemplary academic records.

Because most applicant have amazing grades and transcripts, your Notre Dame application essays will be one of the most important ways for you to stand out from the crowd!

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The Best Controversial Topics for Debates and Essays

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 11, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

Controversial topics are a good choice for an essay or debate because they immediately draw in the reader or listener. The adage that “controversy sells” is so rooted in society that even the rapper Chamillionaire named his second album after it! Controversial issues are also a good topic because it’s easier to write a strong thesis and find sources to back up your argument. After all, when something is controversial, everybody wants to have their say over it. 

However, it’s also important that you address controversial issues with sensitivity and care. Because controversial topics tend to raise emotions, you must walk a thin line between opinion and fact in order to build trust between you and your reader/listener.

In this article, we’re going to give you the best controversial topics you can use for essays and debates—and we’ll explain the controversies for you, too! We’ll also discuss when to use controversial topics, the pros and cons of choosing a controversial issue, and tips for making sure you’re treating a controversial topic with sensitivity and respect. 

That’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started! 

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Complex Sentences: A Crash Course With Examples

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 10, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

What makes someone a “good” writer? While there are lots of answers to that question, one thing most great writers do is vary their sentence structure. They mix long, flowing sentences with short, powerful ones to communicate their points. 

But don’t worry: you can learn to do this, too! It starts with understanding different types of sentences and their structures. One type of sentence you’ve probably heard of that can add variety and depth to your writing is a complex sentence. But what are complex sentences, exactly? 

We’re here to help you understand exactly what complex sentences are and why they’re important by covering the following in this article: 

  • Answering the question, “What is a complex sentence?”
  • Discussing when to use complex sentences
  • Reviewing the different parts of complex sentences 
  • Explaining the difference between complex sentences, compound sentences, and compound-complex sentences 

Ready to become a complex sentence wizard? Then let's get started!

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4 Tips for Writing Perfect USC Essays

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 8, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

So you have your heart set on going to the University of Southern California. That's great—it's one of the best schools in the country! Unfortunately, that makes it tough to get into: only 11% of applicants are admitted each year.

To apply, USC requires you to submit both the Common Application and a school-specific writing supplement designed to "discover your individual story." But what does that mean? And how can you make your USC essays stand out from the crowd?

We've got you covered. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to write an outstanding USC Writing Supplement.

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What Is ROTC? Understanding the 3 ROTC Programs

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 27, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

JROTC and ROTC programs designed to train future U.S. Military officers at middle schools, high schools, and universities across the United States. Some students join JROTC or ROTC because they want a career in the military, while others are more curious about how the program can help them pay for college.  

It turns out that there’s a lot to learn about the benefits and requirements of ROTC programs! That’s why we’ve put together a complete guide to JROTC and ROTC. 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a great understanding of JROTC and ROTC programs and whether they’re a good option for you. We’ll also answer frequently asked questions, like:

  • What is ROTC? 
  • How are JROTC and ROTC different?
  • Who is a good fit for JROTC and ROTC?
  • Are there different types of JROTC and ROTC programs? 
  • What are the pros and cons of joining JROTC and ROTC?

Now let’s get started!

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How to Find the Best Online College Courses for You

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 26, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

In the digital age, people are always searching for new ways to use online resources to their advantage. One increasingly popular resource is online education. Now you can take college classes online, which can help you save time and money. 

But in the grand scheme of educational opportunities, online college classes are still relatively new, so you might not know what they are or how they work. In this article, we’re going to dig into the important info about online college courses to help you navigate the various opportunities for online education that are out there. We’ll talk about:

  • What online college courses are
  • What online courses are like for students, how they work, and how they compare to in-person college courses
  • The pros and cons of taking online courses, and
  • 4 free online college courses you can take right now

By the end of the article, you’ll know everything you need to know about taking college classes online, so let’s get started!

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Who Is Zeus? 6 Key Myths About the King of the Greek Gods

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 21, 2019 2:00:00 PM

General Education

Zeus: Greek god of thunder, king of all men, hurler of lightning bolts. You know this guy, right? Kind of? Or maybe not? 

Zeus is the king of the Greek gods, which makes him one of the most important members of the Greek Pantheon. Not only is he the god of thunder and the sky, he’s also the subject of many famous Greek myths. So if you want to understand Greek mythology, you should start by getting to know Zeus. 

So let’s dive in and learn all that there is to know about Zeus, Greek god of all Greek gods.

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The 8 Types of Sonnets and How to Tell Them Apart

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 14, 2019 6:00:00 PM

General Education

You’ve probably heard of the Shakespearean sonnet, or maybe even the Petrarchan sonnet. But those are just two types of sonnets. There are actually many other forms! 

As new poets have tinkered with more traditional approaches to the sonnet over time, they’ve come up with their own approaches to writing sonnets, too. In this article, we’re going to help you learn about all of the major types of sonnets by: 

  • Briefly introducing you to the sonnet
  • Breaking down different types of sonnets, including an example and analysis of each type
  • Explaining nine poetic terms you need to know in order to successfully analyze the different types of sonnets

Are you ready? Let’s check out some sonnets!

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What Is Mitosis? A Complete Guide to Mitotic Cell Division

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 13, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

If you’re studying biology, the concept of mitosis is pretty unavoidable. Mitosis is part of the cell cycle, and studying how cells work makes up a huge portion of any biology class. It’s safe to say you’re going to need some working knowledge of mitosis if you’re looking to breeze through any biology-related course or exam. 

Here’s what we’re going to cover in this article so you’re up to speed on the purpose of mitosis, how the process of mitosis works, and why mitosis is important to know about. We will: 

  • Answer the question, “What is the purpose of mitosis?” (definition and explanation of the importance of mitosis included)
  • Description of the 4 phases of mitosis
  • Review the similarities and differences between mitosis and meiosis
  • Our top three tips for studying and memorizing the stages of mitosis, and
  • Three resources for further learning about mitosis!

And, now, let our journey through the world of mitosis begin!


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The 4 Mitosis Phases: Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 13, 2019 12:00:00 PM

General Education

In order to heal an injury, your body needs to replace damaged cells with healthy new ones...and mitosis plays a crucial role in this process! Mitosis is a process of cell division that helps you stay alive and healthy. In other words, in the world of cell biology, mitosis is kind of a big deal! 

But like with anything science-related, mitosis can be sort of confusing when you first try to understand it. The key idea is that the process of mitosis involves four phases, or steps, that you need to understand if you want to understand how mitosis works.

In this article, we’re going to do the following things to break down the four steps of mitosis for you and help you get acquainted with the mitosis phases: 

  • Briefly define mitosis and eukaryotic cells
  • Break down the four phases of mitosis, in order
  • Provide mitosis diagrams for the stages of mitosis
  • Give you five resources for learning more about the phases of mitosis

Now, let’s dive in!

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The 10 Best Spelling Games to Improve Your Word Skills

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 12, 2019 5:00:00 PM

General Education

In case you haven’t heard, according to Taylor Swift, spelling is fun! But if Taylor’s word isn’t enough to convince you, we’ve come up with a list of ways that playing spelling games can actually improve your spelling, including examples of 10 spelling games that are excellent options for kids, adults, or anyone who wants to improve their spelling skills! (Don’t worry: the possibilities for spelling games go way beyond Scrabble.)

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6 Helpful Physical and Chemical Change Examples

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 5, 2019 6:00:00 PM

General Education

In your science class, you may have heard of chemical and physical changes. But do you know how to tell the difference between the two? The answer lies in whether or not a change to a substance results in its molecules being rearranged.

In this article, we will define chemical and physical and changes. Then we’ll take a look at specific chemical change examples and physical change examples to better understand their differences and similarities.

So let’s get started!

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10 Famous Sonnet Examples, Explained

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jul 11, 2019 6:00:00 PM

General Education

You've probably heard about sonnets in your English class, so you already know that sonnets are an important poetic form. But it can be tough to understand what they're saying! 

The good news is that everyone can learn to understand poetry. It just takes practice! That's why we've picked the top 10 famous sonnets of all time and explained them. Reading the sonnet alongside an expert explanation will help you not only understand what the sonnet's about, but it will help you test your own analytical skills, too. 

To help you master the sonnet, our guide is going to do the following:

  • Define the term “sonnet”
  • List and analyze the top ten sonnets of all time
  • List our top five resources for learning more about sonnets

Now, without further delay, let’s check out some sonnets and sonnet examples!


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Your Complete Crash Course to Romantic Poetry

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jul 9, 2019 2:00:00 PM

General Education

The Romantic Era is famous for its poetry--in fact, Romanticism is one of the most influential periods in the history of English poetry.

It’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll have to tackle Romantic poetry at some point, whether it’s in your English classes or on the AP Literature and Language exam. That’s why we’ve whipped up a crash course on the Romantic Era for you! We’ll explain the following in our crash course:

  • Answer the question, “What is Romanticism?” by providing a Romanticism definition and describing the historical context of the era
  • Explain Romanticism characteristics that are unique to the period’s philosophy and literature
  • Give an overview of the key traits of Romanticism literature and poetry, including Romanticism examples
  • List the six most important Romantic poets you need to know
  • List five books for further reading if you want to learn more about the Romantic Era!

There’s a lot to cover about Romanticism, so let’s get started!

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