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

Yale, Brown, and Dartmouth End Test-Optional — Will Other Schools Follow?


In February 2024, Dartmouth and Yale — two Ivy League universities — announced that they were returning to their previous policies of requiring SAT or ACT test scores as part of their admissions processes.

Brown followed suit in March 2024, announcing their decision to return to requiring standardized tests as well.  

For the past few years these schools have been “test optional,” meaning students could choose to send test scores, but they weren’t required for admission. This signals a major shift in the college admissions landscape as other U.S. universities weigh if they should follow suit. 

So how does this change impact students applying to Brown, Yale, or Dartmouth? And does this signal a larger trend in the admissions landscape? 

Let’s find out. 

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What Is a Good SAT Score for 2024?

The 2023-2024 college application season is in full swing, which means you’re probably taking standardized tests. Will your scores get you accepted to your top colleges? And if your scores aren’t high enough, what can you do to give your SAT scores an added boost?

We’ll walk you through how to decide if your SAT scores are good enough for your college admissions goals. We’ll:

  • Answer the question, “What is a good SAT score for 2024?”
  • Explain everything you need to know about overall average SAT scores in 2024
  • Show you how to figure out if your SAT score is high enough

Ready? Let’s dive in!

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What's a Good ACT Score for 2024?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson


If you’re taking the ACT, you know waiting for scores can be stressful. Wondering how your scores compare to those of other students is common, but how do you know what’s considered a good ACT score? More importantly, how do you decide what ACT score to shoot for in order to get accepted to your top colleges? 

We’ll tell you how to determine whether your ACT scores would be considered “good.”(Spoiler alert: it’s tricker than you think!) From there, we’ll explain how to set a target ACT score that helps you achieve your college admissions dreams. As a bonus, we’ll help you put your ACT scores in context by looking at how what qualifies as a good ACT score has changed over time. 

Let’s get started. 

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How to Do Well in an AP Class: Your Complete Guide

If you’re reading this it’s because you’re considering taking Advanced Placement (AP) high school classes or you’re already enrolled in AP classes. That’s great! AP courses are a great way to prepare for college, raise your GPA, and even earn college credit.

But in order for you to get the full benefit out of your AP classes, you’ll need to make sure you know how to prepare for AP classes. That can be tricky: AP classes are designed to be harder, so you’ll need to be proactive about learning class material if you want to earn As.

We’re here to help. This article will help you develop the skills and tools you need to excel in every AP class you take. We’ll discuss:

  • What an AP class is, and why they’re beneficial
  • A quiz to help you identify your biggest pain points when it comes to succeeding in AP classes
  • Specialized study tips customized to show you how to do well in an AP class
  • A hypothetical weekly schedule designed to show you how to manage AP classes

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

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Digital ACT December 2023: Everything You Need to Know

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Posted by Ashley Robinson


This fall, the ACT surprised us all by rolling out a digital exam option for December 2023. With just a few months till exam time, how do you decide if the digital ACT option is right for you?

In this article, we’ll tell you everything we know about the December digital ACT right now, including: 

  • Why the ACT is offering a last-minute digital exam option
  • The timeline of dates and deadlines to the December ACT digital test
  • What to expect from the digital ACT and how this change will affect you
  • How the digital ACT compares to the digital SAT

Let’s get started!

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Digital SAT vs ACT: Which Should You Take?

Choosing whether to take the SAT or ACT for college admissions has always been tough. But now that the SAT is switching over to a digital format, there’s even more to consider! 

In this article, we’ll give you the info you need to choose the best college entrance exam option for you. We’ll: 

  • Explain how the transition to the digital SAT, or DSAT, impacts your decision-making
  • Provide a complete comparison between the DSAT and the ACT (nifty chart included!)
  • List the reasons you might prefer the ACT over the DSAT, or visa versa 
  • Give you a quick, five question quiz to help you decide whether the DSAT or ACT is right for you

Are you ready? Let’s dive in!

Note: ACT, Inc. is running a small pilot in December to test out a digital version of their test, so some of this is subject to change and will be updated as we know more. The ACT is currently set to be offered in both paper and online versions but otherwise stay the same.

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The Educator's Guide to the Digital SAT

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Posted by Ashley Robinson


The SAT suite of exams is officially switching from a paper-and-pencil format to a new, digital format in 2024. That means big changes are in store for educators and students. 

In this article, we’ll answer your questions about the digital SAT so you’ll know what to expect from the new format. We’ll cover:

  • A complete timeline for when the new digital SAT and PSAT will be implemented in schools
  • How the digital SAT and PSAT will be different in terms of content and format
  • How the digital exams will be scored, and how it’ll be different from the paper versions
  • Materials students will need to take the digital SAT and PSAT

Let’s get started!

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The Best UC Schools, Ranked By Experts

Choosing a college in California can be tough, especially since there are so many great options available. One of the best school systems to choose from is the University of California.

In this article, we’ll provide a complete, ranked list of the best UC schools, give you information about each. We’ll list the campuses, give you important stats like how much each costs…and so much more!

That way, you can pick the UC school that’s best for you. Let’s get started!

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USC vs UCLA: Which Is Right For You?

If you have your sights set on Los Angeles for college, the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles are two great options to choose from. But when it comes to USC vs UCLA…what are the differences and which is better?

We’re going to break down both of these schools and what they have to offer, including campus sizes, the majors they offer, and how much tuition costs. Information is power, and once you have all the fact, you can make the best decision for you.

Ready? Let’s get started.

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What Is Affirmative Action in College Admissions?

Affirmative action is one of the most hotly debated topics in college admissions today. With the 2023 from the Supreme Court that colleges and universities can no longer use their full affirmative action policies in admissions decisions, things are about to change in higher education.

If you’re applying to college and wondering what the new Supreme Court affirmative action decision is all about, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll answer the question, “What is affirmative action in college admissions?” and go over real examples of affirmative action in education policies and how colleges have used them historically.  

We’ll also explain how the upcoming changes to affirmative action in public and private schools might affect incoming students, and how to put together stellar college applications no matter what.  

So let’s get started.

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How Many Questions Are on the ACT?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson


If you’re considering taking the ACT or if you’ve already started prepping for it, you’re likely wondering how many questions you’ll face come test day. 

We know, we know—you probably have questions like, “how many questions are on the ACT in general?” and, “how many Math questions are on the ACT?” as well as how many can you expect to see on the English and Reading sections. 

We’re going to break it all down for you!

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Is Harvard Test Optional? Testing Policies for Top Colleges

If you want to get accepted to any college in the U.S., you need to know its admissions requirements. That includes whether you’ll have to submit SAT or ACT scores! Many colleges have adopted test optional admissions policies over the past several years…but what about top schools? Is Harvard test optional? Are Ivy League schools test optional?

We know all the changes can be confusing, but we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll walk you through Harvard’s current testing policies and the testing policies at top 25 universities. We’ll also explain whether test scores still matter at test optional schools and how to make decisions about standardized testing. 

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in. 

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When Do Digital SAT Scores Come Out?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson


Big changes are coming to the SAT! In addition to some important changes being made to the test format and content, there’ll also be changes to when and how you get your SAT scores back. We know, we know…this is probably a little stressful for you if you’re getting ready to take the SAT or if you’ve already taken it and you’re waiting on your scores. Hang in there—we’re here to help!

One of the most important questions you’re probably wondering is: when do Digital SAT scores come out?

In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the switch to the Digital SAT and answer this and all the great questions you have about it, including:

  • When will the SAT go digital?
  • How are Digital SAT scores different from paper-and-pencil SAT scores?
  • When will Digital SAT scores be released?
  • What to do if you haven’t gotten your Digital SAT scores back
  • What to do after you receive your Digital SAT scores

Let’s dig in. 

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Can You Use ChatGPT for Your College Essay?

ChatGPT has become a popular topic of conversation since its official launch in November 2022. The artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot can be used for all sorts of things, like having conversations, answering questions, and even crafting complete pieces of writing.

If you’re applying for college, you might be wondering about ChatGPT college admissions’ potential.  Should you use a ChatGPT college essay in your application?

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know much more about ChatGPT, including how students can use it responsibly and if it’s a good idea to use ChatGPT on college essays. We’ll answer all your questions, like:

  • What is ChatGPT and why are schools talking about it?
  • What are the good and bad aspects of ChatGPT?
  • Should you use ChatGPT for college essays and applications?
  • Can colleges detect ChatGPT?
  • Are there other tools and strategies that students can use, instead?

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

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The Ultimate Digital SAT Study Guide: Tips, Plans, and Practice

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Posted by Ashley Robinson


Starting in Spring 2024, every student who takes the SAT will take a new, digital version of the exam. The digital SAT will be different from the paper version…which means your SAT prep routine will be a little different too!

With this big change coming up, how should you handle digital SAT prep? What’s the best way to study for the digital SAT? 

In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about how to prep for the digital SAT, including: 

  • When the SAT goes digital, and how you’ll take the digital SAT
  • How to make a study plan for the digital SAT
  • Sample digital SAT study plans
  • List of practice resources for the digital SAT

Let’s get started!

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