SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Courtney Montgomery

Courtney scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT in high school and went on to graduate from Stanford University with a degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology. She is passionate about bringing education and the tools to succeed to students from all backgrounds and walks of life, as she believes open education is one of the great societal equalizers. She has years of tutoring experience and writes creative works in her free time.

Recent Posts

The Ultimate SAT Math Prep Guide: Tips, Formulas, and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Jun 11, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

It's entirely possible to train for the SAT Math section. The more you understand how it works, the better you'll perform on test day. Here, we'll give you absolutely everything you'll need to know to master SAT Math.

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The Complete Guide to SAT Math Word Problems

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Jun 1, 2018 8:00:00 AM

SAT Math

About 25% of your total SAT Math section will be word problems, meaning you will have to create your own visuals and equations to solve for your answers. Though the actual math topics can vary, SAT word problems share a few commonalities, and we’re here to walk you through how to best solve them.

This post will be your complete guide to SAT Math word problems. We'll cover how to translate word problems into equations and diagrams, the different types of math word problems you’ll see on the test, and how to go about solving your word problems on test day.

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Most Common Answer on the ACT: Guess C?

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Apr 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies

Everyone knows that, when guessing on a multiple-choice test, the best answer to choose is C...right? A friend of a friend swears by it, it’s served you well in the past (maybe?), and it’s become such a commonly known “fact,” such an undisputed strategy, that you may feel as if you were born knowing it—”when in doubt, pick C and move on.”

But does this time-honored tradition of picking C when in doubt actually work on the ACT? And if not, what can you do to improve your odds when guessing? Let’s look at the facts.

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How to Stop Running Out of Time on SAT Math

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Mar 29, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

The SAT is designed to be taken by every high school student in the country, which means it can only test math concepts that every student has had experience with. The way the creators of the test make it hard is by presenting questions in unusual ways—ways that you never see in your math classes—and by putting you on a strict time crunch.

If you've ever started freaking out at the end of an SAT Math section, unsure how you're ever going to get through the entire section, you know exactly what we mean.

But don't despair! In this guide, we'll walk you through the timing of the test and teach you how to beat the clock and maximize your time on the SAT.

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Circles on SAT Math: Formulas, Review, and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Mar 7, 2018 1:00:00 PM

SAT Math

Though triangles are far and away the most common geometric shape on the SAT, make sure not to underestimate the importance of circles. You will generally come across 2-3 questions on circles on any given SAT, so it’s definitely in your best interest to understand the ins and out of how they work. And this guide is here to show you the way.

This will be your complete guide to SAT circles, including areas, circumferences, degrees, arcs, and points on a circle. We’ll take you through what these terms mean, how to manipulate and solve for various aspects of a circle, and how to tackle the most difficult SAT circle questions you may see on test day.

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Complete List of FREE ACT Math Practice Questions

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Jan 4, 2018 12:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Whether you're on a budget or just want to see what kinds of ACT Math study materials you can access for free, you've come to the right place. Though the internet is chock-full of ACT resources of dubious quality, we've collected and put together only the highest quality free ACT Math study material available.

So let's jump right in!

Note: For guides and reviews of the best for-pay ACT study, check out our list of ACT study links, which includes all official practice tests, and our top picks for ACT prep books.

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Complete List of FREE SAT Math Practice Problems

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Dec 31, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

Need to study for the SAT Math section but don’t know where to start? On a budget, too? Not to worry! In this article, we've put together a comprehensive list of all the best (and free!) SAT Math study materials and guides currently available online.

Note: For info on the best SAT study materials you have to pay for, check out our picks for top SAT prep books.

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The 13 Hardest SAT Math Questions Ever

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Dec 7, 2017 3:00:00 PM

SAT Math

 

Want to test yourself against the most difficult SAT math questions? Want to know what makes these questions so difficult and how best to solve them? If you’re ready to really sink your teeth into the SAT math section and have your sights set on that perfect score, then this is the guide for you.

We’ve put together what we believe to be the 13 most difficult questions for the new 2016 SAT, with strategies and answer explanations for each. These are all hard SAT Math questions from College Board SAT practice tests, which means understanding them is one of the best ways to study for those of you aiming for perfection.

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Guide to ACT Calculators: Expert Tips

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Dec 5, 2017 11:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Knowing when where and how to best use a calculator on the ACT can be tricky. You are allowed to bring a calculator on test day (none will be provided for you), and it can mean the difference of several points on the ACT to have a calculator versus having none.

But what kind of calculator should you bring and how should you make best use of it during the test? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about calculators on the ACT, from when you're allowed to use them, to what kinds are allowed, to how to avoid the most common ACT calculator mistakes.

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The 28 Critical SAT Math Formulas You MUST Know

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Dec 4, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

The SAT math test is unlike any math test you’ve taken before. It’s designed to take concepts you’re used to and make you apply them in new (and often strange) ways. It’s tricky, but with attention to detail and knowledge of the basic formulas and concepts covered by the test, you can improve your score.

So what formulas do you need to have memorized for the SAT math section before the day of the test? In this complete guide, I'll cover every critical formula you MUST know before you sit down for the test. I'll also explain them in case you need to jog your memory about how a formula works. If you understand every formula in this list, you'll save yourself valuable time on the test and probably get a few extra questions correct.

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The Ultimate ACT Math Prep Guide: Strategies, Topics, and Tips

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM

ACT Math

We at PrepScholar believe in providing you with the highest quality ACT study material. We've put together a detailed, entirely free guide for your ACT math prep right here. This is the best, most comprehensive guide to the ACT Math section available anywhere. To make this article, we brought all of our top ACT Math guides together in one place.

The path to mastering the ACT is challenging, but if you're dedicated to doing your best on the test and are ready to commit your time and energy to improving your score, using our guides can help you reach your greatest potential!

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The 21 Hardest ACT Math Questions Ever

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 14, 2017 9:00:00 AM

ACT Math

You’ve studied and now you’re geared up for the ACT math section (whoo!). But are you ready to take on the most challenging math questions the ACT has to offer? Do you want to know exactly why these questions are so hard and how best to go about solving them? If you’ve got your heart set on that perfect score (or you’re just really curious to see what the most difficult questions will be), then this is the guide for you.

We’ve put together what we believe to be the most 21 most difficult questions the ACT has given to students in the past 10 years, with strategies and answer explanations for each. These are all real ACT math questions, so understanding and studying them is one of the best ways to improve your current ACT score and knock it out of the park on test day.

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Coordinate Geometry on ACT Math: Strategies and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 13, 2017 4:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Coordinate geometry is a big focus on the ACT math section, and you’ll need to know its many facets in order to tackle the variety of coordinate geometry questions you’ll see on the test. Luckily, coordinate geometry is not difficult to visualize or wrap your head around once you know the basics. And we are here to walk you through them.

There will usually be three questions on any given ACT that involve points alone, and another two to three questions that will involve lines and slopes and/or rotations, reflections, or translations. These topics are tested by about 10% of your ACT math questions, so it is a good idea to understand the ins and outs of coordinate geometry before you tackle the test.

This article will be your complete guide to points and the building blocks for coordinate geometry: I will explain how to find and manipulate points, distances, and midpoints, and give you strategies for solving these types of questions on the ACT.

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Functions on SAT Math: Linear, Quadratic, and Algebraic

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 8, 2017 11:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT functions have the dubious honor of being one of the trickiest topics on the SAT math section. Luckily, this is not because function problems are inherently more difficult to solve than any other math problem, but because most students have simply not dealt with functions as much as they have other SAT math topics.

This means that the difference between missing points on this seemingly tricky topic and acing them is simply a matter of practice and familiarization. And considering that function problems generally show up on average of three to four times per test, you will be able to pick up several more SAT math points once you know the rules and workings of functions.

This will be your complete guide to SAT functions. We’ll walk you through exactly what functions mean, how to use, manipulate, and identify them, and exactly what kind of function problems you’ll see on the SAT.

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Inequalities on ACT Math: Strategies and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 7, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Inequality questions come in a variety of shapes and forms on the ACT, but, no matter their form, you will see approximately three inequality questions on any given test. This means that inequality questions make up 5% of your overall ACT math test. Now 5% of your test might not sound like a lot, but with only a quick brush-up on inequalities, that’s an additional 5% of your questions that you’re bound to rock!

This will be your complete guide to inequalities on the ACT: what they are, the different types of ACT math problems on inequalities, and how to solve them.

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