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

Why Duke Essay: 4 Tips for a Great Essay

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 12, 2018 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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How to Get Into UC Berkeley: 4 Steps to a Stellar Application

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 10, 2018 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 2018, UC Berkeley received 85,615 applications, and it admitted 13,558 of those applicants, for an acceptance rate of 15.1%.

This makes UC Berkeley a “strongly competitive school”: it’s not quite as 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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7 Steps to a Successful MIT Application

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 30, 2018 12:30:00 PM

College Info, College Admissions

In 2018, MIT admitted only 6.7% of students who applied to the school. With such a low admissions rate, it may seem like getting accepted is close to impossible, but we’re here to help!

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know to complete the MIT application, including when every important MIT application deadline is, what exactly you need to submit with your application, what admissions officers are really looking for when they review your application, and how you can make each part of your MIT application stand out from the pack.

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What Is a High School Transcript? How Do You Use Yours?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 11:09:00 AM


You've probably heard of high school transcripts, but do you know what information they contain and why they're so important for applying to college?

This guide will explain what a high school transcript is, what exactly it includes, and why it is often the most important part of your college application.

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The 5 UC Application Tips You Need to Get Into University of California

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 11:00:00 AM

College Admissions, College Info

If you’re applying to one or more of the UC schools, you want to make sure you get the application right. This step-by-step guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the UC application, from the time you decide to apply to a UC school to when you submit the final piece of the application.

Keep reading to learn when the most important UC application deadline is, which documents you need to submit to complete your application, if you need a separate application for each UC school, and how you can make sure every part of your application sets you apart from the crowd.

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Should You Really Study Abroad in High School?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:54:00 AM


Are you interested in improving your language skills, traveling, or experiencing new cultures while in high school? Study abroad programs are growing in popularity among high school students, and they are a great way to gain new skills and meet new people, although they can also be expensive and challenging if you aren't properly prepared.

Read on to learn what a high school study abroad program is, what the benefits and drawbacks are, and whether or not you should participate in one.

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Is Online High School Right for You? 3 Steps to Deciding

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:52:00 AM


Have you heard of online high schools and are wondering if they’re a good option for you? Are you unsure whether they’re a flexible way to get a high school diploma or just an internet scam?

Read this guide to learn what an online high school is, what the pros and cons of attending one are, and how to decide if enrolling in a virtual high school is the right decision for you.

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How to Transfer High Schools: A Complete Guide

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:49:00 AM


Are you transferring high schools or will be transferring soon? Are you wondering how this will affect your high school transcripts, when you'll graduate, and how schools view your college applications? Then this guide is for you!

Read on to learn how to transfer high schools, what it means for your future, and the steps you can take in order to make this process as smooth and easy as possible.

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How to Take an Independent Study Class in High School

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:49:00 AM


Is there a particular subject you’d like to study, but your high school doesn’t offer it? You may be able to take an independent study!

 Independent studies can be a great way to take a class your school doesn’t offer but you’d still like to take, whether to strengthen your college applications, prepare for future jobs, or just out of personal interest.

Read on to learn about independent studies, what their benefits are, and how you can take one yourself.

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How to Graduate High School Early: 5 Key Steps

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:48:00 AM



Are you a high school student who’s thinking about graduating early? Maybe you have an exciting internship offer, want to start college early, or are just interested in finishing high school faster. 

The good news is that graduating high school early is often not as challenging as people think. This guide will give you all the tips and information you need to know about how to graduate from high school early in an easy and hassle-free way, and it will help you decide if graduating early is the right decision for you.

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What's the Standard High School Curriculum You Should Take?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:43:00 AM


Are you wondering what a typical high school curriculum looks like? Do you want to know what classes you’ll be taking as a high school student?

Read this guide to learn about the standard high school curriculum, high school graduation requirements, and what classes colleges expect you to have taken.

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The Best AP Environmental Science Study Guide

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:13:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Are you studying for your AP Environmental Science class and/or the end of the year AP exam? Reviewing for any AP exam is tricky, and many students who take AP Environmental Science aren’t sure how they should be studying. This AP Environmental Science study guide will walk you through how to develop a review plan for AP Enviro, give study tips, and provide links to notes and practice exams to make your review more effective.

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The Best AP Environmental Science Notes to Study With

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:13:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

It can be a challenge to study for any AP test, AP Environmental Science included. Because this class covers so many different areas, including science, law, and current events, it can be tough to keep your notes straight. Whether you’re missing some notes or you want them organized more clearly, this guide is for you.

I’ve put together a list of links to AP Environmental Science notes and vocabulary that you can easily browse through to supplement your studying. I’ll also go over how to use these notes and end with tips to help make your studying more effective.

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Can I Get an Accredited High School Diploma Online?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:04:00 AM


Are you looking into online high schools and wondering if they’re legitimate? Have you come across the word “accredited” and want to know what it means? Online high schools have been exploding in popularity in recent years, and, as more are created, it can be difficult to tell which are legitimate schools and which are little more than diploma mills.

Read this guide to learn more about online high schools, what it means for a school to be accredited, where to get an accredited high school diploma online, and how to ensure that you are choosing the best school for you.

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Which Foreign Language Should You Take in High School?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Nov 4, 2018 10:03:00 AM


Part of being a high school student is making a lot of decisions about which classes to take. While your foreign language courses may not be as critical to colleges as, say, which math classes you took, they are still something colleges look at and use to determine if you'd be a good fit for their school.

Also, if you play your cards right, the language you choose to study in high school could have a big impact on your future. I chose to study French and with my language skills I have been able to participate in an exchange with French high school students, get a job improving African schools, and spend a year in France teaching English.

I'll go over what colleges look for in foreign language study as well as the steps you need to follow in order to choose the best language for you.

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