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

The 99 Demonstrated Interest Colleges: Complete List

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Mar 20, 2022 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions

If you’re working on your college applications, you may have heard about “demonstrated interest,” and that colleges use it to decide who they’ll admit to their school. But what does that really mean? And does it matter to every school you’re applying to? The truth is, demonstrated interest can be an important part of the application review process, but only at certain schools.

To make things easier for you, we’ll explain what demonstrated interest is, why it matters to schools, and how you can use it to your advantage. Plus, we’ve created a list of all the colleges that consider demonstrated interest to be important! So read on to see how your top-schools feel about demonstrated interest.

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4 Top Tips to Make AP Biology FRQs a Breeze

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Mar 19, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Biology is known for being one of the tougher AP exams, and, for most students, the free-response section is the hardest part of the test. In 2021, the average score for every free-response question was less than a 50%! However, knowing what to expect can make it easier to get a great score on AP Biology FRQ. And in this guide, we explain everything you need to know to ace this section. Read on to learn the format of AP Biology FRQ, what graders are looking for, what the questions will look like, and what you can do to be well-prepared on exam day.

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AP Physics 1 FRQ: Everything You Need to Know

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Mar 18, 2022 2:30:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Physics 1 is known for being a tough test. In fact, in 2021 it had the lowest passing rate of all the AP exams. Only 42% of students who took the AP Physics 1 exam passed it, and only 7% got a 5, the highest score. And the section students struggle the most with is the free-response section. 

But you've come to the right place! This guide will go over everything you need to know about the AP Physics 1 free-response section and how to ace it. We cover the format of the AP Physics 1 section, what example questions look like, what graders are looking for, and how you can come into exam day confident and well prepared.

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What Is AP Computer Science Principles? Should You Take the Exam?

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 17, 2022 4:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Are you thinking about taking AP Computer Science Principles but aren't sure if it's the right class for you? Or maybe you're already enrolled but want to put yourself in the best position to score well on the AP exam? There are aspects of the class and AP Computer Science Principles exam that are quite different compared to other APs, and the earlier you know what to expect, the better prepared you'll be. That's where we come in!

Read this article to learn what the AP Computer Science Principles course covers, what the two (very different) parts of the exam look like, and what the best practice resources and study tips are to help you feel confident well before exam day.

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AP Micro vs AP Macro: How Do the Economics Exams Compare?

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 16, 2022 4:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Trying to decide whether to take AP Microeconomics or AP Macroeconomics? Despite their similar names, these two AP classes actually cover quite different topics, and there may be one that appeals to you much more than the other. But how to know? That's where we come in! This guide covers everything you need to know in the AP Micro vs AP Macro debate. You'll learn what the differences between macro and microeconomics are, how the two courses and exams differ, which class is harder, and how you can decide which will be the best AP economics course for you.

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6 Steps to a Perfect AP European History DBQ

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 16, 2022 8:00:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Are you taking AP Euro and are wondering about the AP Euro DBQ essay? The DBQ is quite different from a typical school essay, and students often struggle with it during the AP exam. However, knowing what to expect from the AP Euro DBQ will go a long way towards helping you feel more confident, as well as getting a great score! Read this in-depth guide to learn all about what to expect from the AP Euro DBQ, what graders are looking for in your essay, a step-by-step guide to writing a DBQ, and three key tips to keep in mind when going over AP Euro DBQ example questions.

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The Complete Guide to AP Macroeconomics FRQs

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 10, 2022 4:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Most students who take AP Macroeconomics find the free-response section to be the hardest part of the exam. You need to be able to write thoughtfully about economic concepts, analyze data, and create clear and accurate graphs--all with a tough time crunch. The good news is that, once you know what to expect from AP Macroeconomics free-response questions, this section is actually fairly straightforward. Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about AP Macro FRQ, including what the questions cover, what sample AP Macro questions look like, and exactly what you need to study to be well prepared on exam day.

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What Is AP Art History? Should You Take It?

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 9, 2022 4:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Thinking about taking AP Art History but aren't sure what it covers? AP Art History differs from other AP arts courses in that you're not creating your own art--instead, you're learning about the huge variety of art that has been created across time and around the world. The course covers a lot of ground, and knowing what to expect from the start can help you have a productive and manageable year. In this guide, we'll look at what students learn in AP Art History, what the AP Art History exam is like, if the course is considered hard, and resources and tips you can use to help you ace the class and the AP exam.

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How to Ace AP Psychology FRQs

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 8, 2022 7:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

The AP Psychology exam has one of the lower average scores of all AP exams. However, if you know how to prepare, it can actually be one of the easier AP exams to take. Reading this guide will make you an expert on the AP Psych free-response section. By the end of this article, you'll know exactly what the format of the free-response section is, what types of questions you'll be asked, what graders will be looking for in your answers, and the best tips for studying for AP Psych FRQ. 

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The Best ACT Online Practice Tests and Questions

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 7, 2022 6:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Studying for the ACT doesn’t have to include sitting in a library and flipping through piles of prep books. You can find lots of ACT study resources online! From official practice tests to short, targeted quizzes that make it easy to hone specific skills, you can study for the ACT whenever you have an internet connection.

However, if you find an ACT practice test online, it isn't guaranteed that it's a great resource. Some online ACT practice tests very different than the actual ACT, and using them won’t help you raise your score. Fortunately, in this guide, we’ve found all the best official and unofficial online ACT practice resources for you to use. We also end with tips to help you get the most out of these resources.

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What Will the IB Exams Be Like in 2022?

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 7, 2022 5:30:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive changes to schools around the world, and IB has worked to adapt to those changes. In this guide to IB changes for 2022, we answer the following questions:

  • What will the 2022 IB exams be like? 
  • Will students even be taking IB exams?
  • Will students still receive IB diplomas? Will colleges still accept IB credit?
  • How can students prepare for IB exams during the pandemic?
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AP Bio Formula Sheet: What's on It and How to Use It

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 1, 2022 3:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you're going to be taking the AP Biology exam, we have some good news! During the AP test, you'll have access to a formula sheet full of useful equations and definitions. However, you'll need to have a good sense of what's on the AP Bio formula sheet and how to use it in order for it to be useful to you during the test.

That's where we come in! In this guide, we go over everything you need to know about the AP Bio reference sheet. We'll explain every equation and definition it includes, show you what the formula sheet looks like, go over important information it doesn't contain but that you should know, and give you tips on how to get the most out of it.

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What Is (and Isn't) on the AP Statistics Formula Sheet?

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Feb 1, 2022 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you're going to be taking the AP Statistics exam, you're in luck! During the test, you'll have access to a formula sheet that has many useful equations. However, you need to know exactly what's on the AP Statistics formula sheet and how to use it before test day in order for it to be helpful.

In this guide, we go over everything you need to know about the newly-updated AP Stats formula sheet. We'll explain the exact equations that it includes, show you what the formula sheet looks like, go over a few important equations it doesn't contain, and give you tips on how to get the most out of it.

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What You Need to Know About the New Digital SAT

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 27, 2022 9:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

On January 25, 2022, the College Board announced that the SAT would be undergoing significant changes, including becoming a computer-based test instead of one you take with pencil and paper. What other changes is the SAT making, why are they making these changes, and when will these changes come into effect? This guide answers all those questions and more. 

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What Does Test Optional Really Mean?

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Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jan 27, 2022 1:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

Are one or more of the colleges you're interested in calling themselves test optional? What does test optional mean, and what does it mean for you? Read this guide to learn everything you need to know about test optional schools. We'll cover: the test optional college meaning and how it compares to other test policies, why more schools are becoming test optional, if test optional schools can really be fair when reviewing applications, and how to decide if you should submit your SAT or ACT scores to test optional colleges.

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