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

Independent and Dependent Variables: Which Is Which?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 12, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Other High School

Struggling with independent and dependent variables? This is the guide for you! We go over the definitions of independent and dependent variables so you can clearly understand the differences between the two, give examples of the variables in actual experiments, explain how to properly graph them, and end with one other important variable you need to know.

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Should I Take a Gap Year? 6 Reasons the Answer Is Yes

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 8, 2018 12:00:00 PM



Not excited about the idea of starting another year of school in the fall? What if you could instead take a break from school and spend a year backpacking around Europe, volunteering for a cause you care about, or getting paid to work on a cruise ship? With a gap year all those things possible!

Have you heard of gap years but aren’t sure what they are? Do you know other people taking gap years but aren’t sure if they’re a good idea for you? What are the benefits of taking a gap year anyway? In this guide, I use my own gap year experience to explain the major benefits of gap year programs and why they’re such a great choice for many students. I end with some tips to ensure you get the most out of your own gap year.

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Should I Take the SAT Essay? How to Decide

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 7, 2018 9:00:00 AM

New SAT, SAT Essay

The SAT underwent some major revisions in 2016, and one of the biggest changes is that its previously required essay is now optional. This can be confusing for some students and parents. Should you take the essay? Will colleges require the essay or not? Will taking the essay make your application stronger?

Read on for answers to all these questions. This guide will explain what the SAT essay is, what the pros and cons of taking it are, and how you can make the best choice for you.

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How to Use Khan Academy for ACT Prep: Complete Guide

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

ACT Strategies

Khan Academy has recently partnered with the College Board, the makers of the SAT, to produce free and official SAT prep materials. Unfortunately, there's currently no official Khan Academy ACT prep; however, students can still use Khan Academy’s resources to help them prepare for the ACT.

This guide will go over what materials Khan Academy offers, why you should consider using them, and exactly which resources will be most helpful and which topics you will need to use additional review materials for so that you can be as well-prepared for the ACT as possible.

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The Ultimate Guide to the AP Statistics Exam

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 31, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Are you taking AP Statistics? If so, you’re likely wondering what to expect from the AP Statistics exam. Before you sit down to take the final test, it’s important to understand how the AP Stats test is formatted, what topics it will cover, and how it’ll be scored.

This guide will explain all of that information, show you official sample problems and give you tips on the best way to prepare for the AP Statistics test. 

In 2018, the AP Statistics exam will take place on Thursday, May 18th at 12:00pm.

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The National Youth Leadership Forum: Should You Go?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 24, 2018 1:00:00 PM


Have you heard of the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF)?  Perhaps you’ve heard that attending the NYLF is a great way to improve your chances of getting into top colleges, and you’re wondering if that’s true or not. Spoiler: If you're considering NYLF because you think it's prestigious, you'd be dead wrong. Keep reading to find out why.

This guide will explain what NYLF is, what its benefits and drawbacks are, and how you can decide whether or not you should participate in it.

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129 Great Examples of Community Service Projects

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 17, 2018 8:30:00 AM


Are you interested in performing community service? Do you want examples of service projects you can do? Community service is a great way to help others and improve your community, and it can also help you gain skills and experience to include on your resume and college applications.

Read on for dozens of community service ideas to help you get started volunteering. 

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The 11 Best Architecture Schools for Undergrads

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 11, 2018 12:00:00 PM

College Info

Do you love studying buildings and dream of spending your career designing them? If so, you’re probably wondering where to get the best architecture education. Figuring out which architecture schools are best can be difficult, but we’ve done the hard work and compiled a list of the 11 best undergraduate architecture schools in the United States.

Each of these best schools for architecture has a description that explains what makes it an excellent program, and we also include a list of questions to ask yourself to help you decide which is the best architecture school for you.

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Should You Participate in the National Student Leadership Conference?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 27, 2017 2:00:00 PM


Have you heard of the National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC)?  Maybe you’ve heard that participating in NSLC is a great way to impress colleges, and you’re wondering if that’s true. Spoiler: If you're considering NSLC because you think it's prestigious, you'd be dead wrong. Keep reading to learn why.

This guide will go over exactly what NSLC is, what its potential benefits and drawbacks are, and how you can decide if you should participate in one of its programs.

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What Is Pre-AP? How Are Pre-AP Classes Different?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 25, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), Other High School

What is a pre-AP class? Has your school started to offer pre-AP classes or are you wondering if they should? Have you heard about the College Board’s new official pre-AP classes and aren’t sure what they are?

This guide is here to answer all your pre-AP questions. We’ll explain what pre-AP is, how official pre-AP classes differ from unofficial pre-AP classes, important changes coming to pre-AP, and what subjects the official pre-AP classes will cover.

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The Best Way to Study SSAT Vocabulary

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Other High School

If you’re taking the SSAT, you’ll need to have a good vocabulary in order to do well on the test. It can be difficult to find good SSAT vocab resources, but we’re here to help! In this guide, we explain the three main ways vocab is tested on the SSAT (with sample questions), go over the top resources to help you find SSAT vocab words, and give you advice on the best way to study those vocab words.

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How to Register for the SSAT: 5 Simple Steps

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Other High School

The SSAT can be an important test for students hoping to attend a private school, but how do you register for it? In this guide, we walk you step-by-step through the SSAT registration process and include screenshots from the SSAT website to makes things as simple as possible.

At the end of the guide, we also include a chart with upcoming SSAT registration dates so you know exactly when you need to register for each exam date to avoid late fees.

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SSAT Test Dates: Complete Guide to Choosing (2017, 2018)

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Other High School

When are the upcoming SSAT test dates? How often is this test administered? Students hoping to attend private schools often need to take the SSAT, and since this test is only given a few times a year, it’s important to know SSAT test dates so you can register early enough to ensure you get a spot.

In this guide, we have a chart of the upcoming SSAT test dates which makes it easy to see when you can take the test and when you need to register. We also give tips on test fees, explain what to expect on test day, and give advice on when you should take the SSAT.

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ACT Scoring Error: Did You Get Someone Else's Scores by Mistake?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Oct 2, 2017 11:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

Did you take the ACT and get a lower score than you expected? Do you think there may have been a scoring error? Maybe you filled in a section incorrectly or your exam wasn’t graded properly? Scoring errors on the ACT are rare, but they are possible, and there are ways to identify and correct these errors.

This guide will go over the steps you need to take in order to verify your scores, as well as what you should do to improve your score on future ACTs if there was no grading error.

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PSAT Test Dates 2018

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Sep 23, 2017 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Will you or your child be taking the PSAT in 2018? Are you wondering what day the exam will be held? The PSAT is different from other standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, because you cannot choose which day you’d like to take the exam.

When will this test date be? What if you can’t make it? This guide will answer both those questions, as well as explain the importance of PSAT scores, when you can expect to receive your scores, and how you can prepare for the exam.

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