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

The 96 Best Test-Optional Schools in the US

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jan 28, 2022 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions

If you want to get accepted into your dream school, you need to earn great test scores. But many colleges have recently made submitting SAT and ACT scores an optional piece of their application process. Yep, you read that right—at some schools, SAT and ACT scores are not required. 

So what does this mean for you? Should you still take the SAT or ACT if your top choice schools have gone test optional? We’ll explain how to handle the SAT/ACT when you’re applying to the best test optional schools in the US, including: 

  • What test optional means (and why so many top schools have gone test optional)
  • A list of all of the top 100 nationally ranked schools that are currently test optional
  • Four key factors you need to consider before deciding how to handle the SAT/ACT for your college admissions

That’s a lot to cover…so let’s get to it!


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Walmart's Live Better U: Reviews and Requirements

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Nov 14, 2021 2:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

It’s no secret that college is expensive. That’s especially true for people who want a degree but have family, financial, or other obligations that make going to school difficult. 

That’s why Walmart has created the Walmart Live Better U program. Designed by the Walmart Corporation, Live Better U offers affordable GED, trade school, and college degree programs to all Walmart employees. 

If you work at Walmart, are considering working at Walmart, or are just curious about ways to attend college without breaking the bank, this article is for you! In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the Walmart Live Better U Walmart program, including:

  • What the Live Better U program is
  • How Live Better U differs from a traditional scholarship program
  • What the Live Better U requirements for eligibility are
  • How to sign up for Live Better U
  • An overview of Live Better U reviews, and
  • How to decide if you should use Live Better U

Are you ready to learn more? Then let’s jump in!

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The 6 Best Colleges for Undecided Majors

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Nov 3, 2021 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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The Best Living Environment Regents Review Guide 2022

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Oct 31, 2021 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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Should You Do the Columbia University Science Honors Program?

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 26, 2021 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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5 Tips for Writing the Michigan State Admissions Essay

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 17, 2021 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, 93% 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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How to Write a Penn State Essay in 3 Steps

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 16, 2021 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 16, 2021 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 15% 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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4 Tips for Writing Amazing Notre Dame Essays

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 11, 2021 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 2020/2021 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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4 Tips for Writing Perfect USC Essays

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Sep 9, 2021 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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An Expert Guide to the AP Macroeconomics Exam

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 30, 2021 3:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you’re taking AP Macroeconomics, it’s important to start preparing for the exam as early as you can. Familiarizing yourself with what the AP exam will be like is a crucial stepping stone to achieving the score you want...and (hopefully!) earning college credit

This article provides a complete guide to the structure and scoring of the AP Macroeconomics exam as well as essential tips on how to study for AP Macroeconomics. 

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


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All 104 Need-Blind Colleges in the US: A Complete Guide

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 26, 2021 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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The Best AP Macroeconomics Practice Tests You Can Get

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 20, 2021 10:00:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you’re starting the process of studying for your AP Macroeconomics exam and want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible, there’s nothing better than taking practice tests. Studying with AP Macroeconomics practice tests will familiarize you with the types of questions you’ll see on the exam, expose you to the exam format and length, and give you insight into what material you might be struggling with. 

But where can you find great AP Macro practice tests? We've compiled a list of the best AP Macroeconomics practice exams out there, and we’ll give you a few tips on how to use them to potentially boost your score. 

Ready? Let’s dive in! 


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The 10 Best Honors Colleges and Programs

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 9, 2021 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

For students who are really set on enrolling in a quality honors program, it's important to learn about some of the best honors colleges before making that big decision. That's especially true because your honors program will dictate how difficult your classes are...and the perks you get from doing well in them!

We're here to help you get all the information you need about the top honors programs in the country so you can pick the program that's right for you. In this article, we'll:

  • Explain what an honors college is
  • Provide our research-based ranking of the nine top honors colleges and programs at U.S. colleges and universities
  • Give you five tips for applying to top college honors programs

Ready? Let's dive in!

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The Complete AP Macroeconomics Study Guide

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Posted by Ashley Robinson | Aug 8, 2021 1:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

So you’ve been working hard in your AP Macroeconomics class, and it’s time to start studying for the exam. Even though this can seem like a daunting task, if you get an early start and follow a set plan, you’ll be on your way to getting the score you want!

Want to know how to study for AP Macroeconomics? In this complete AP Macroeconomics study guide, we’ll provide you with all the resources and strategies you need to create an awesome, effective study plan

Ready to hit the books? Then let’s get started. 


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