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

Digital SAT Devices: What Can You Use? Do You Need Your Own?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Mar 8, 2023 11:00:00 AM

SAT General Info


With the digital SAT, students will take the exam in a totally new format. The days of the pencil-and-paper SAT booklet are gone…which means you probably have some questions! 

You know, like…how does the digital SAT work? 

Spoiler alert: one of the biggest changes about the digital SAT is that you’ll have to take in on some kind of digital device. But what are the digital SAT approved devices? And how can you access them if you don’t already have one? 

In this guide, we’ll explain how taking the digital SAT works to help you get ready for the new format. We’ll cover: 

  • How the digital SAT works
  • How you’ll take the digital SAT, including answering the question, “What devices can I use on the SAT?”
  • What to do if you don’t have an approved device
  • What happens if you have technical issues during the exam 

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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What Is Northwestern CTD? Should You Participate?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 18, 2023 9:00:00 AM


During the COVID-19 pandemic, Northwestern University gave its supplemental learning program for children and teens, known as NUMATs, a makeover. Now renamed the Northwestern CTD, this unique and challenging learning experience for gifted learners is back and waiting for you to apply! 

The Northwestern Center for Talent Development (CTD) provides advanced tests to students to find their academic strengths and weaknesses and offers courses to help students prepare for their academic futures. 

In this guide, we’ll answer all of your questions about the Northwestern CTD, including: 

  • What is Northwestern CTD? What do you do in the program?
  • Why should you or your child participate?
  • How do you apply?
  • How much does it cost?

We'll also give you tips for getting in. That way, you’ll have everything you need to get your eligibility materials ready in time for Northwestern CTD Summer 2023. So, let’s get started!

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SAT Changes 2023-2024: What You Need To Know

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 15, 2023 10:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

In case you haven’t heard, there are some big changes happening to the SAT in 2023 and 2024. As the SAT goes digital, you’ll need to adapt to the new format and structure. 

But in order to adapt to the new and improved SAT, you need to know more about how the exam is changing. In this guide, we’ll walk you through all of the major SAT changes (2023-2024), including: 

  • When the SAT is changing
  • Why the SAT is changing
  • The main changes to the SAT

Let’s begin!

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Is the Digital SAT Easier or Harder Than the Paper Version?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 10, 2023 10:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

Beginning in Spring 2024, every student who takes the SAT will take the College Board’s new, digital SAT. With the SAT format changing, you probably have lots of questions! Like, is the digital SAT harder? Or is the digital SAT easier? 

We’ll answer all of your questions about the new, digital SAT in this complete guide, including: 

  • How will the SAT change when it goes digital? How will it be different from the pencil-and-paper SAT?
  • Which changes to the exam are likely to be easier? Harder? 
  • How will the digital SAT affect your study plans? 

One of the best ways to prep for the digital SAT is to learn as much about it as possible. So, let’s get started!

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When Will the SAT Go Digital?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 1, 2023 10:00:00 AM

SAT Logistics, SAT General Info

You may have heard that the College Board is getting ready to make the SAT a fully digital exam. But when will the SAT go digital? How will it affect your SAT testing plans? 

In this article, we’ll answer the question, “When is the SAT going digital?” and walk you through all the changes to the exam. We’ll explain when the digital SAT will be available, who can take the digital SAT, and upcoming SAT exam dates to help you plan your testing schedule. 

If you aren’t sure whether to take the SAT before or after it goes digital, we’ve got you covered with three factors to consider before registering for the SAT.  

Are you ready? Let’s get started!

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The 6 Best Colleges for Undecided Majors

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 1, 2023 10:00:00 AM

College Info

While there’s nothing wrong with being undeclared, it does mean you have to ask yourself slightly different questions when you’re choosing a university. For instance, which schools are the best for an undecided student? What makes a good college for undecided majors? And should I go to a college with a lot of majors, or apply more broadly to different types of schools?

In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on the best colleges for undecided majors. We’ll cover: 

  • What it means to be undecided
  • What characterizes good schools for undecided majors
  • The six colleges that are excellent options for students who start college undecided

The only thing you don’t have to be undecided about is reading this article! (You know you love a Dad joke.) So let’s get started.


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What's a Good SAT Score for 2023?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 30, 2022 10:00:00 AM

SAT/ACT Score Target, SAT General Info



If you’re gearing up to take the SAT, you’re probably wondering about how your scores compare to other college applicants. Are your scores high enough to get into your dream school? And what should you do if your scores need an extra boost? 

In this guide to SAT scores 2023, we’ll give you all the info you need to evaluate your SAT scores and determine if they’re good enough for you! We’ll answer the question, “What is a good SAT score 2023?” by breaking down this year’s overall average SAT scores. Then we’ll show you how to figure out the SAT score you need to meet your goals. 

Let’s get started!

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What Is a Good ACT Score for 2023?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 29, 2022 8:00:00 AM

SAT/ACT Score Target, ACT General Info



If you’re gearing up to take the ACT or have taken it recently, you might be wondering how your scores compare to other college applicants. What’s a good ACT score 2023? And how do you know what ACT score you should be aiming for to get into your dream schools? 

In this article, we’ll explain how to figure out if your ACT scores qualify as “good.” Most importantly, we’ll tell you how to set a target ACT score so you can earn an ACT score that’s good for you and your college admissions goals. We’ll also take a look at how the definition of a good ACT score has changed over the years. 

Ready? Let’s go. 

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Should You Do the Columbia University Science Honors Program?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Dec 2, 2022 3:00:00 PM

Other High School

If you're a high school student who lives near Columbia University and wants to participate in an extracurricular honors program, you can't do much better than the Columbia University Science Honors Program (Columbia SHP).

This honors program experience can give students a big leg-up on college and scholarship applications...but unfortunately, it's really hard to get accepted to the Columbia SHP.

But don't worry: we're here to help. In this article, we'll walk you through the Columbia SHP application process, including:

  • Introducing you to the Columbia University Science Honors Program
  • Explaining what the honors program is like
  • Describing the application process for the program
  • Providing information about the honors program's entrance examination
  • Giving you three tips for succeeding on the entrance exam

Now, let's get started!

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All 115 Need-Blind Colleges in the US: A Complete Guide

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Nov 13, 2022 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. 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 Perfect USC Essays

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Oct 1, 2022 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 12% of applicants are admitted each year.

But don't worry. This guide will teach you everything you need to know to write an outstanding USC Writing Supplement.

We'll answer all of your questions, including the following:

  • What is the USC supplement?
  • What are the questions, and how do I answer them?
  • Are there tips and tricks for knocking your USC essays out of the park?
  • What steps do I take to finish my USC application?

Let's get started!

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4 Tips for Writing Amazing Notre Dame Essays

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Oct 1, 2022 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, and its acceptance rate shows that. For the 2021-2022 school year, they admitted only 15% of applicants. Because most applicants 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!

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about writing Notre Dame's application essays. First, we'll give you an overview of the Notre Dame supplement. Then we'll walk you through each essay individually and answer the following questions:

  • What is the essay asking you to do?
  • What makes for a good answer?
  • What are some potential essay topics?
  • Are there pitfalls you should avoid?

And finally, we'll give you four top tips for taking your Notre Dame essays to the next level. So let's get started!


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How to Write a Penn State Essay in 3 Steps

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 18, 2022 2:00:00 PM

College Essays

If you want to go to Penn State, then the Penn State essay is one of your big chances to show how you’re different from other students in your application for admission. In order to really make this component of the application work to your advantage, you’ll need a solid strategy for writing a concise, unique, and persuasive Penn State essay!

Writing your Penn State admissions essay might seem intimidating at first, but we’re here to guide you through the process. This article will help you write a stellar Penn State essay by: 

  • Explaining purpose of the Penn State Essay
  • Outlining the three steps to writing a solid Penn State Essay
  • Providing a breakdown of Penn State essay examples
  • Giving you three practical tips for writing an exceptional essay

Let’s dive in!


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3 Top Tips for Writing Your WashU Supplement Essay

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 18, 2022 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

All applicants to Washington University in St. Louis 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 13% 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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5 Tips for Writing the Michigan State Admissions Essay

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 18, 2022 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

So you've decided to apply to Michigan State University. You've made a great choice—not only is it one of the top public universities in the nation, 94% of undergraduates land jobs or go onto graduate school after graduation! Additionally, more than 25 of its undergraduate programs are ranked in the top 20 nationally, including the best supply chain management and logistics program in the country. And like most top schools, the MSU application requires you to submit an application essay.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about writing and submitting the Michigan State admissions essay, including:

  • A discussion of the Michigan State admissions standards,
  • Where to find the Michigan State application, and
  • Five tips to write a Michigan State admissions essay that will get you in.

So let's get started!

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