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

How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jan 17, 2020 12:00:00 PM



Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)! 

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find: 

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them 
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you

So let’s get started! 


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200+ Other Words For Said: Synonyms to Spice up Your Writing

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jan 7, 2020 8:00:00 AM

General Education

One of the words that comes up most commonly in various types of writing, from fiction to academic writing, is the word “said.” Any time a writer is referencing the words or thoughts expressed by another person, whether that be thoughts expressed verbally or in writing, an appropriate way to introduce--or attribute--that person’s thoughts is with the phrase “said.” 

But if you’re incorporating a lot of quotations in your writing, you might find yourself repeating  the word “said” a lot. Repeating the same phrase in a piece of writing can start to feel monotonous, which is why incorporating synonyms or an oft-used word or phrase can make your writing more interesting and accurate. But here’s some good news: there are tons of other words for “said” out there for you to use! 

To help you build a repertoire of words to replace “said,” we’re going to do the following in this article: 

  • Explain the importance of using word variety and avoiding repetition of the same word in your writing
  • Explain when to use “said” and when not to use “said” 
  • Provide a comprehensive list of alternative words for “said,” organized into categories based on emotion and intention

Ready to check out some synonyms for “said”? Then let’s get going!

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How Much Do ACT Prep Classes Cost? An Expert Comparison

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jan 6, 2020 11:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

It’s important for you to do well on the ACT, but doing well can involve additional ACT prep costs. But the truth is that additional ACT test prep—whether it’s in the form of study guidebooks, ACT prep courses, or one-on-one ACT tutoring—can raise your score quite a bit. If you’re trying to get into a competitive school, having a high ACT score is a critical part of your application. 

Answering the question “how much does ACT prep cost” can be pretty tricky...but we’re here to help. In this article, we’re going to answer that question and give you an ACT prep cost comparison. Then we’ll walk you through the different types of prep and how much ACT prep classes cost, explain the positives and negatives of each, then give you some tips for choosing the right type of ACT prep for you. 

So let’s jump in!

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ISEE Test Dates 2020: Your Guide to Choosing

The ISEE, or Independent School Entrance Examination, is a test that many students have to take to gain admission into private middle and high schools in the United States. That means that if you want to attend a private school—or if you want your child to attend a private school—there’s a good chance you’ll have to register for the ISEE as part of your admissions application. 

In this article, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about ISEE registration, including: 

  • Which test level to register for
  • How to choose ISEE test dates
  • A step-by-step guide to ISEE test registration 
  • A quick look at what to expect from the ISEE exam

Keep in mind that ISEE test registration—which includes choosing ISEE test dates, locations, and paying for the exam—must be done by a legal adult. 

Now, without further ado, let’s talk about the ISEE exam! 


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A Complete Guide to the PCAT: Scores, Practice, and More

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jan 3, 2020 10:00:00 AM

General Education

MCAT, GRE, GMAT...there seem to be a million different tests to get into graduate school, and the PCAT is one of them. Students who want to go to pharmacy school are often required to take the PCAT exam as part of their admissions packet. 

But what is the PCAT, exactly? What’s the format of the exam? And what kind of PCAT scores do you need to get into pharmacy school? 

Well, fear not! We’ve put together an expert introduction to the PCAT exam. In this article, we’ll cover:

  • The unique features of the PCAT
  • An overview of PCAT registration
  • What to expect when taking the test
  • The typical PCAT scores required for pharmacy programs

Having a good understanding of the PCAT can save you a lot of trouble later, so read on!


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How Much Do SAT Prep Courses Cost?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 31, 2019 2:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

If you’re going to do well on the SAT, you’ll probably need to invest in some additional study materials beyond what you’re given in school. (And some schools may not provide SAT study resources at all!) 

SAT test prep costs can include buying study materials and practice tests, one-on-one tutoring, and taking SAT study courses. It’s a good idea to start asking “how much does SAT prep cost” now so that you can budget for the SAT test prep service that’s right for you. After all, taking the SAT is a long and fairly involved process that you don’t want to take lightly!

But how much do SAT prep courses cost, exactly? In this article, we’re going to break down SAT prep cost and SAT coaching fees for self guided study, online programs, and one-on-one tutoring. That way you and your family can make sure your testing strategy fits within your budget. 

So let’s get started. 


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3 Top Tips for Writing Your WashU Supplement Essay

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 23, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

As of Fall 2019, all applicants to Washington University in St. Louis will have to submit a supplemental essay as part of their application packet. That means that in addition to the essays you write as part of your Common Application or the Coalition Application (WashU accepts either one), you’ll have to submit a third essay that you write specifically for Washington University in St. Louis. 

Because WashU’s acceptance rate is highly competitive—only 16% of students are accepted every year!—you’ll need to write a stellar WashU supplement to give yourself the best shot at getting in. But what does a good WashU supplemental essay look like? 

This article is going to explain everything you need to know about the Washington University supplemental essay, including: 

  • Explaining what the WashU supplemental essay is and how to choose the correct essay prompt
  • Separate walkthroughs of both the general supplemental essay prompt and the Beyond Boundaries supplemental essay prompt
  • Tips and tricks for writing an excellent Washington University supplemental essay

So without further ado, let’s dive in!


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The Best Living Environment Regents Review Guide 2020

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 17, 2019 4:00:00 PM

General Education

Some states in the U.S. require students to take and pass a standardized test in order to graduate from high school with a diploma. If you live in the state of New York, you’ll have to take and pass a standardized test called the Regents Exam in order to earn your high school diploma. 

There are several individual Regents Exams, each covering a different subject area. If you want to get a high school diploma in the state of New York (called a Regents Diploma), you’ll have to take and pass at least one science Regents exam. 

The Living Environment Regents Exam is one of four science exams offered, and we’re here to help you learn everything you need to know to help you decide if taking the Living Environment Regents exam is the best choice for you. 

In our full guide to this exam, we’ll cover the following: 

  • What the Living Environment Regents Exam is
  • Who should take the Living Environment Regents Exam
  • Important information about the exam for quick reference
  • The format of the exam
  • Sample questions from the exam
  • The topics and subtopics covered by the exam sections

There’s a lot to cover here, so let’s get going!


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What Is the CPA Exam? A Complete Guide to the Test

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 11, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

Are you interested in becoming a certified public accountant? If so, you probably already know that there are several qualifications you need to have met before you can become licensed. Some of those—such as work experience—come with time and patience, but the biggest step towards licensure is to pass the CPA Exam. 

But what is the CPA Exam, exactly? And how do you pass it? Well, no worries because this is your complete guide to everything you need to know about taking (and passing) the CPA Exam. In this article, we’ll cover: 

  • What the CPA Exam is
  • Who should take the CPA Exam
  • The CPA Exam score release dates 
  • How to register for the CPA exam
  • Data on the CPA exam pass rate
  • An overview of the exam itself, including its format and question types

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


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The Story of an Hour: Summary and Analysis

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM

General Education

Imagine a world where women are fighting for unprecedented rights, the economic climate is unpredictable, and new developments in technology are made every year. While this world might sound like the present day, it also describes America in the 1890s

It was in this world that author Kate Chopin wrote and lived, and many of the issues of the period are reflected in her short story, “The Story of an Hour.” Now, over a century later, the story remains one of Kate Chopin’s most well-known works and continues to shed light on the internal struggle of women who have been denied autonomy.

In this guide to Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour,” we’ll discuss:

  • A brief history of Kate Chopin and America the 1890s
  • “The Story of an Hour” summary
  • Analysis of the key story elements in “The Story of an Hour,” including themes, characters, and symbols

By the end of this article, you’ll have an expert grasp on Kate Chopin’s “The Story of an Hour.” So let’s get started!

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The 8 Different Types of Sharks, Explained

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 3, 2019 1:00:00 PM

General Education

Sharks have been around for more than 450 million years, which means there’s a lot to know about the ocean’s most feared predators. While they’ve been the victims of bad press in recent years, it turns out that sharks are fascinating creatures with unique traits, qualities, and behaviors. 

How many types of sharks are there? There are hundreds of species of sharks, and they all fit into eight distinct orders: Carcharhiniformes, Heterodontiformes, Hexanchiformes, Lamniformes, Orectolobiformes, Pristiophoriformes, Squaliformes, and Squatiniformes. 

In this article, we’ll discuss each of the eight orders of sharks, give you the distinguishing characteristics of each, and then teach you what makes all types of sharks different from other species of fish. Finally, we’ll give you a quick list of FAQs about sharks! 

So...let’s dive in. 

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The Best MTEL Practice Tests You Can Take

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 2, 2019 10:00:00 AM

General Education

If you live in Massachusetts and have decided to pursue a career in public education, your first step will be to take the Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure (MTEL). 

But why do you have to take the MTEL exam? Well, the MTEL is necessary to achieve teaching licensure in Massachusetts. It is a fairly difficult and expensive exam, so you will definitely want to study for it! 

Luckily, there are a number of practice tests online, of varying quality--so many, in fact, that it can be overwhelming just deciding where to begin. 

Never fear: here is everything you need to know about MTEL practice tests! We’re going to talk about: 

  • What the MTEL test is
  • Who should take the MTEL test 
  • An overview of the MTEL test 
  • A discussion of the available MTEL practice tests you can take 

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started.

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What Are Lightning Bugs? Are They Different From Fireflies?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 1, 2019 3:00:00 PM

General Education

If you’re lucky, you’ve had the experience of sitting outside on a warm, summer night and watching lightning bugs blink all around you. It’s a pretty magical feeling, and it’s all thanks to little glowing bugs! 

But what are lightning bugs, exactly? What makes them glow? And why do they only come out during the summer? This article will teach you everything you need to know about lightning bugs, and we’ll answer the questions like: 

  • What is a lightning bug? 
  • What do lightning bugs eat? 
  • Where do lightning bugs live? 
  • Why do lightning bugs light up? 
  • Which term is correct (firefly vs lightning bug)? 

So let’s go ahead and meet our glowy friends! 


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Does Georgetown Superscore ACT Scores?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 1, 2019 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, College Admissions

Does Georgetown superscore the ACT? Let’s cut to the chase: Georgetown University does not superscore the ACT, despite what you might read from online chat forums. But don’t despair! Even if you had your hopes set on a Georgetown superscore, you can still get into the school of your dreams. 

As it turns out, there’s a lot to know about Georgetown’s admissions process. Once you understand what it takes to get into Georgetown, you can maximize your chances of receiving an acceptance letter! 

In this crash course of all things Georgetown ACT, we’ll talk about:

  • What is superscoring?
  • Georgetown superscore policy & overall admissions requirements
  • General ACT standards
  • Plus, some tips on improving your overall ACT score!

Let’s jump in! 


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Does NYU Require the SAT Essay?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, SAT Essay

New York University, or NYU, is a big school with more than 50,000 students and 18 schools and colleges. It’s also pretty tough to get intoonly 16% of students who applied to NYU in 2018 were accepted. 

If NYU is your dream school, don’t lose hope: you can get in as long as you start working toward your goal as soon as possible. Along with focusing on your extracurriculars and grade point average, you’ll want to make sure you’re acing your standardized tests, too! Does NYU require the SAT essay?

But NYU’s testing policy can be a little confusing. In this article, we’ll give you an overview of NYU’s standardized test requirements. Specifically, we’ll take a closer look at whether NYU requires you to submit the SAT essay. 

Let’s get started! 


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