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

ACT Computer-Based Testing: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jul 13, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Have you been told you need to take a computer-based ACT or heard that some people take the ACT on a computer and want to know if it's an option for you? Who is allowed to take ACT computer-based testing, and who is stuck still making sure they have a #2 pencil on test day? We answer all your questions about computer-based ACTs in this guide, including if taking a computer-based ACT will give you a higher or lower score than a paper test, why computer-based ACT is being offered, and how you can prepare for this new version of the test. 

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4 Top Tips for Answering the Common App COVID Prompt

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 27, 2020 11:00:00 AM

College Essays

High school students have been dealt a lot of curveballs with the coronavirus pandemic and transition to e-learning. If the spring (and potentially fall) 2020 semester haven't gone quite the way you wanted, the Common Application is giving you the opportunity to address that in an optional essay. This guide will cover everything you need to know about the Common App COVID essay, including why it was added, what the actual prompt is, if it's a good idea for you to answer it, and what you should and shouldn't include in your response.

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The Complete Guide to the Coalition Application

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 26, 2020 4:00:00 PM

College Admissions

The Coalition Application can make applying to colleges much fast and easier, but only if you know how to use it. In this in-depth guide to the Coalition Application, we explain every part of the website you should know, what the best strategies are for using it, and how to decide if you should make use of the Coalition Application during your college application process.

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The 11 Best High School Science Competitions

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 16, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Extracurriculars

Love science and want to show off your skills? High school science competitions are a great way to do that! But which competitions will impress colleges the most? We've gathered information on 11 of the best science competitions for high school students. Look over the descriptions that seem most interesting to you, then keep reading to learn everything you need to do to make them stand out on your college applications.

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How Much Is a 2 Dollar Bill Really Worth?

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

General Education

Have some $2 bills lying around and wondering if they're your ticket to a life of wealth and luxury? Before you start planning how to spend your riches, read this article to learn how much is a 2 dollar bill worth. This FAQ guide will answer all the common misconceptions about $2 bills and explain the crazy history behind them.

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

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 3, 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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How to Stand Out at Regeneron ISEF: 5 Key Tips

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 3, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Extracurriculars

Have you heard about how impressive the Regeneron ISEF (previously called Intel ISEF or the Intel Science Fair) is and want to know if it's true? Can it really be a ticket to acceptance at top schools? Yes, the Regeneron ISEF is a highly-competitive science fair that attracts top high school students from around the world. Read this guide to learn how to get into ISEF, what a top project must have, and how you can put yourself in the best position to win this competition.

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Should You Use a Priority Application for College?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 28, 2020 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Did you receive a priority application from a college but aren't sure what exactly it is? Is it a scam? Does it mean you'll automatically be admitted? Should you apply to schools that offer you priority applications or do you have better options? This guide on priority applications will answer all your questions!

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Will the SAT and ACT Go Online as a Result of the Coronavirus?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 26, 2020 12:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics, ACT Logistics

Are you concerned that, as a result of the novel coronavirus, you won't be able to take an SAT or ACT this fall? Multiple spring and summer exam dates have already been cancelled as a result of COVID-19, and there's no guarantee that in-person exams will be safe to hold in the fall. What does that mean if you were planning to take one of those tests, especially if you're a high school senior who needs standardized test scores to apply to college?

In this article we go over everything we know about potential online SATs and ACTs, as well as our expert opinion on what online standardized tests will be like, how they'll be viewed by colleges, and if this means the exams will move online permanently.

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Should You Attend Yale Young Global Scholars?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 21, 2020 6:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars

Have you heard of the Yale Young Global Scholars program but aren't sure if it's worth attending? YYGS is a summer program for high school students run by Yale Unviersity. Some attendees love their experience, while others don't feel the program is worth its high price tag. So, should you apply?

This article will explain exactly what the benefits and drawbacks of YYGS are, as well as the questions you need to ask yourself before you make a decision to attend.

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Should You Defer College a Year During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 15, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Info

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended much of the world, and colleges are no exception. Around the world, colleges have sent students home and implemented virtual classes. No more dorm living, cheering for your team at sports games, or meeting new people in the cafeteria. Now, many students are learning via online classes in their parent's homes. And, unfortunately, no one yet knows if the coronavirus will be contained enough to allow campuses to open up in the fall. For incoming college freshmen, this is a huge blow. They already missed out on their final months of high school, along with all that entails such as prom and graduation. Now they might begin their college experience in much the same way. 

For some of these students, the thought of losing even more traditional experiences, such as moving into the dorms with a roommate, joining college clubs, and engaging in classroom debates, is enough to make them consider postponing college until students can return to classes. In fact, if schools don't resume in-person classes, more students than ever before may end up taking a gap year. Currently, 16% of high school seniors are planning to take a gap year rather than virtual classes.

But is deferring college during a pandemic the right decision for you? What factors do you need to consider and what questions do you need to ask yourself before you decide? We go over everything you need to know and think about to make the best decision for you.

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What Is a Priority Deadline for College? Is It Important?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 12, 2020 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Are you applying to a school that uses priority deadlines and are unsure what that means? What is a priority deadline, and how does it differ from a regular deadline? Do you need to apply by a priority deadline? What happens if you don't? Read this article to learn the answer to each of these questions and understand how to make priority deadlines work for you.

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The Best Summer Crafts for Kids: 25 Fun, Easy Ideas

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 6, 2020 2:00:00 PM

General Education

Whether it's a rainy day or your kids have had enough time in the backyard, summer crafts are a great way to keep them occupied by giving them a fun way to explore their creativity. In this guide, we've compiled 25 of the best summer crafts.

We've organized them into three categories, based on age: summer crafts for toddlers, summer crafts for preschoolers, and summer crafts for kids. However, these groups are just guidelines, as most of these crafts can be done by a variety of age groups. From ice cube sailboats to insect hotels to cactus rock plants, this list of easy summer crafts for kids will be sure to be a hit with everyone!

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BREAKING: SAT Test Date Changes for COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 3, 2020 6:08:00 PM

SAT Logistics, SAT General Info

COVID-19 (also known as the coronavirus) has upended events across the world, and that includes upcoming SAT test dates. Some SAT test dates have been cancelled while the future of other test dates is up in the air, and it makes for a stressful situation for students who need to take the SAT to apply to college. Use this guide to learn the latest information on COVID-19 SAT cancellations, what you should do if you were registered for a cancelled exam, what steps the College Board is taking as a result of the cancellations, and what you should do while you're waiting to take the SAT.

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The 24 Best Backyard Games for Kids to Ensure a Fun Summer

Posted by Christine Sarikas | May 2, 2020 9:00:00 AM

General Education

Your backyard provides endless opportunities for fun, learning and creativity, but coming up with actual backyard games and activities can be tough. We're here to help! In this guide, we've compiled 24 of the best backyard activities and backyard games for kids of all ages to enjoy. Want to take a swing at a water balloon pinata? Create a tiny picnic table for squirrels? Lounge on a giant water blob? We'll tell you how!

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