SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Christine Sarikas

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

Recent Posts

What's a Good SAT Score for 2021?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 29, 2020 12:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Planning on taking the SAT soon? If so, you're probably wondering, "What's a good SAT score for 2021?" In this in-depth guide, we explain the three ways you can determine whether an SAT score is good or not. We also explain why it's so important to set a goal score and how the coronavirus pandemic and new school score policies have affected 2021 SAT scores.

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IB Test Changes for COVID-19 (Coronavirus): What You Need to Know

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 27, 2020 3:00:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

COVID-19 (the coronavirus) has caused serious changes to upcoming IB exams and the IB programme. To help you stay up to date, we've compiled all the information you need to know about IB alterations and cancellations as a result of COVID-19, how they'll impact you, and how they'll impact the potential college credit you earn from IB scores.

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MIT vs Stanford: Which University Is Better?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 18, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Info

Are you struggling to decide between attending Stanford or MIT? Both are among the highest-ranked universities in the world, and both are particularly known for excellence in STEM programs. So how can you choose between them? In this guide, we compare MIT vs Stanford on a variety of key factors, in both a quick reference chart and in longer explanations. We then walk through the five questions you need to ask yourself in order to make the most well-informed decision and choose the school that's best for you.

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4 Top Tips to Write a Stellar Syracuse Essay

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 15, 2020 3:00:00 PM

College Essays

Getting admitted to Syracuse has only gotten tougher in recent years, and its current acceptance rate is about 50%. You'll need a strong application to get admitted, and that includes your essays.

You'll need to write one supplemental essay as part of your Syracuse application, and we're here to guide you through every step of the process. Read this guide to learn what the essay prompts are, what the admissions team is really looking for in your responses, what you can write about (and what to avoid), and what strong examples of Syracuse essays look like.

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CUNY vs SUNY: What's the Difference?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 15, 2020 7:00:00 AM

College Info

Thinking about attending a SUNY or CUNY school but aren't sure where to start or even what the differences between the two are? We're here to help! Read this guide to get an overview of both CUNY and SUNY schools, see how they compare across different areas such as academics, cost, and student life, and learn the four steps to follow to decide which school is best for you.

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What Is ACT Academy? 7 Reasons It Will Never Be Enough

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 30, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

Have you heard about ACT Academy and are wondering if it's a good study resource? Although ACT Academy has some legitimate benefits, overall, there are many drawbacks to it, and we only recommend using it in addition to other study materials. Using ACT Academy as your main ACT prep resource can result in a lot of wasted time and a lower score than you wanted. In this in-depth guide, we explain everything you need to know about ACT Academy, including what it offers, why it was created, and how it differs from other resources. We then break down ACT Academy's pros and cons and explain how you should use ACT Academy as part of your test prep (and how you definitely shouldn't use it).

 

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163 ACT Vocab Words You Must Know

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

ACT Reading, ACT English

Many students are aware that you need a good vocabulary to do well on the ACT, but they're often not sure just how their vocabulary will be tested. Gone are the days where you needed to learn the definitions of dozens of obscure words, but a good vocabulary is still key to excelling on the ACT. To help you out, we've compiled a list of 163 key ACT vocabulary words to know. We also explain how vocab is tested on the ACT, the types of questions you'll see, and the best way to study ACT vocab words.

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How to Get Into College as an Athlete

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 29, 2020 2:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Are you hoping to be a college athlete, either as a recruit, walk on, or just as someone who is particularly talented at a sport and thinks that'll be what makes you stand out to colleges? If athletics has dominated your high school years, you may be wondering how you can translate that skill and dedication towards a strong college application. That's where we come in! In this in-depth guide on how to get into college as an athlete, we'll explain how you can create a strong athletic "spike" that'll showcase your athletic abilities, impress college admissions teams, and show that you're a top-notch applicant who they want at their school.

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How to Get Into UC Berkeley: 4 Steps to a Stellar Application

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 28, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Wondering how to get into UC Berkeley? Getting accepted to Berkeley can be tough. How hard is it to get into Berkeley? In 2019-2020, UC Berkeley received 87,394 applications, and it admitted 14,668 of those applicants, for an acceptance rate of 16.7%.

This makes UC Berkeley a "strongly competitive school": it's not quite as ultra-competitive as Ivy League schools, but you'll need to have a strong application across the board in order to get accepted. In the rest of this guide, we'll explain the UC Berkeley admissions requirements, when and how you should apply, exactly what Berkeley looks at when they review your application and how you can create the strongest application to maximize your chances of getting into Berkeley.

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Why Duke Essay: 4 Tips for a Great Essay

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 18, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

Are you hoping to become a Blue Devil? The Why Duke essay is a small but important part of your Duke application. This is the place where you explain exactly why you love Duke so much. However, there are thousands of students who want to attend Duke, and only a small percentage of them get in. What can you do to make sure your Why Duke essay sets you apart and helps you get accepted?

Keep reading to learn what the Why Duke essay prompts are, exactly what Duke is looking for when they read them, and what you should write about to and convince Duke you'd be an asset to their school. We also include a Why Duke essay example so you can see what an actual essay response looks like.

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The 7 UChicago Essay Prompts: How to Write Stellar Responses

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 18, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

The University of Chicago is famous for its unique essay topics. They're some of the most creative and off-the-wall essay prompts you'll see when applying to colleges, and it can sometimes be confusing to know how to tackle them.

What should you write about in your UChicago essays? How can you show that you're intelligent, creative, and worthy of a place at their school? Read on to learn all about the UChicago essays, what the admissions team expects to see in your responses, what topics you should write about, and which topics you should avoid. In this guide we also suggest sample essay ideas for each of the 2020/2021 UChicago supplement essay prompts and analyze past University of Chicago essay samples so you can see what a great UChicago essay looks like.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for 2020?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 16, 2020 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Are you taking the 2020 PSAT? If so, you'll want to have a solid understanding of what score to aim for and what your score report shows. In this guide, we'll explain everything you need to know about PSAT scores, including what score you should be aiming for, what score you'll need to meet National Merit cutoffs, and what PSAT score you'll need to impress colleges.

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The 11 Best Computer Science Competitions for Teens

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 11, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars

Are you a coder or computer science lover and want to show off your skills? Computer science competitions are a great way to do that! We've gathered information on 11 of the best computer science and coding competitions high school students can participate in. Look over the descriptions that seem most interesting to you, then keep reading to learn everything you need to do to make participating in these competitions stand out on your college applications.

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How to Get Into College as an Engineer: 5 Key Factors

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 4, 2020 10:00:00 AM

College Admissions

Hoping to major in engineering? Before you can do that, you need to get accepted into an engineering program. Many of the best programs are highly competitive, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In this guide though, we break down what every part of your college application must include for you to become a standout engineering applicant. Follow these tips, and you'll give yourself the best shot at getting into the engineering program of your dreams.

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How to Get Into College as an Artist: What You Need to Know

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 3, 2020 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Hoping to get into a college art program? Many of the best art programs are highly competitive, and, even if your portfolio is strong, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. In this guide, we break down what every part of your college application must include for you to become a standout art applicant. This article applies to all types of arts programs, including drawing, painting, photography, and fashion. Follow these tips to produce an exceptional application for art programs.

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