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

Lines and Angles in ACT Math: Review and Practice

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 11, 2017 12:30:00 PM

ACT Math

There are several math topics that act as foundations for understanding ACT Math, even though there are not many questions specifically dedicated to the topic. This is most certainly the case for line and angle problems. Though it is rare to see a pure line and angle problem (without the addition of other geometric shapes), you’ll need to know just how lines and angles work and how to solve for all your missing measures before you can take on those more complex problems.

This will be your complete guide to lines and angles on the ACT—what they are, how you’ll see them on the test, and how to solve these types of questions to maximize your points on test day.

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Statistics on SAT Math: Strategies for Mean, Median, Mode

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 10, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Math

SAT statistics questions usually involve finding the mean, median, and/or mode(s) of a set of numbers. You have probably dealt with with these concepts in your high school math classes but, as always, the SAT likes to put their own special twist on simple concepts such as these.

Whether or not you are familiar with these terms and the techniques needed to find a mean, median, or mode, this guide is for you. SAT questions are always tricky and knowing how to handle their version of these types of questions will serve you well as you go through your test.

This will be your complete guide to SAT means, medians, and modes—what they mean, how you'll see them on the test, and how to solve even the most complicated of SAT statistics questions.

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How to Actually Use Your ACT Math Formulas

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Oct 3, 2017 1:30:00 PM

ACT Math

About 33% of the ACT math section requires you to know and use at least one math formula. This means that remembering your formulas and understanding how to utilize them is of paramount importance.

We’ve put together all the ACT formulas you’ll need to know (prioritized in the order from greatest to least that you’ll see them on the test) as well as how to best use them for test-day.

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Polygons on ACT Math: Geometry Formulas and Strategies

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Sep 4, 2017 6:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Questions about both circles and various types of polygons are some of the most prevalent types of geometry questions on the ACT. Polygons come in many shapes and sizes and you will have to know them inside and out in order to take on the many different types of polygon questions the ACT has to offer.

The good news is that, despite their variety, polygons are often less complex than they look; a few simple rules and strategies are all that you need when it comes to solving an ACT polygon question.

This will be your complete guide to ACT polygons—the rules and formulas for various polygons, the kinds of questions you’ll be asked about them, and the best approach for solving these types of questions.

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Complete Guide to Integers on ACT Math (Advanced)

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 29, 2017 3:30:00 PM

ACT Math

Integers, integers, integers (oh, my)! You've already read up on your basic ACT integers and now you're hankering to tackle the heavy hitters of the integer world. Want to know how to (quickly) find a list of prime numbers? Want to know how to manipulate and solve exponent problems? Root problems? Well look no further!

This will be your complete guide to advanced ACT integers, including prime numbers, exponents, absolute values, consecutive numbers, and roots—what they mean, as well as how to solve the more difficult integer questions that may show up on the ACT.

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Complete Guide to Probability on SAT Math + Practice Questions

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 28, 2017 8:31:00 AM

SAT Math

A probability question asks you to identify how likely a particular event is to occur. How likely is it that you’ll pick a red marble out of a bag? How likely is it that a particular person will be chosen out of a lottery? How likely is it that two or more events will both occur? These are just some of the many different types of probability questions you may encounter on the SAT.

This guide will take you through all aspects of probability you’ll need to know for the SAT—exactly what probability means, the typical probability questions you’ll see on the SAT math section, and the steps needed to solve them.

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Algebraic Operations on ACT Math: Strategies and Formulas

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 14, 2017 11:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Variables, exponents, and more variables, whoo! ACT operations questions will involve all of these (and so much more!). So if you ever wondered what to do with or how to solve some of those extra long and clunky algebra problems (“What is the equivalent to ${2/3}a^2b - (18b - 6c) +$ …” you get the picture), then this is the guide for you.

This will be your complete guide to ACT operations questions—what they’ll look like on the test, how to perform operations with multiple variables and exponents, and what kinds of methods and strategies you’ll need to get them done as fast and as accurately as possible. You'll see these types of questions at least three times on any given ACT, so let's take a look.

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EASY Explanation: All Factors of 45

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 4, 2016 9:56:00 PM


What are the factors of 45? 1, 3, 5, 9, 15, and 45.

Wondering how I came up with those numbers? Factoring! Because it provides a mathematical foundation for more complicated systems, learning how to factor is key. So whether you're studying for an algebra test, brushing up for the SAT or ACT, or just want to refresh and remember how to factor numbers for higher orders of math, this is the guide for you.

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5 Key Tips for How to Potty Train a Puppy Effectively

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 4, 2016 4:49:00 PM


Potty training a puppy is a sometimes messy, but ultimately rewarding process. And with a little know-how and a regular potty routine, you'll be able to get your pup on the right track and keep both your pup and your home happy, comfortable, and clean.

So let's look at the ins and outs of how to potty train a puppy: creating a proper potty training routine, setting a potty schedule, and reacting when the inevitable accident occurs.

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The 21 Best Dogs for Apartment Living

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Nov 4, 2016 4:47:00 PM


Living in an apartment doesn’t mean you can’t also have a happy, healthy dog as well (unless your apartment complex doesn’t allow dogs, of course!). Though apartment living comes with a few hurdles when it comes to dog ownership, finding the right dog breed can make all the difference.

With a little effort, the majority of dog breeds can live in apartments, but apartment living is certainly easier with some breeds than others. So let’s check out what qualities make for a good apartment dog and the top breeds that fit the bill.

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Is C the Most Common Answer on the SAT?

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Aug 13, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies

No doubt you’ve heard one piece of advice more than any other when it comes to test-taking: “If you need to guess on a multiple choice test, always pick C.”

But is the popularity of this strategy an indication of its efficacy? Do you have a better chance at gaining points if you guess C on your SAT questions in comparison to any other guessing strategy? And if not, what can you do to improve your odds when guessing?

Let’s look at the facts.

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The Secret to ACT Math: Mastering the Time Crunch

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Jul 30, 2016 9:00:00 AM

ACT Math

The ACT is a complex test that requires both an understanding of how the test works and a strategic approach to beat. The more you know about the secrets of each section, the better you'll be at maximizing your overall point-gain and getting the scores you want. And today we're here to walk you through how to do your very best on the ACT math section.

Each subject section requires its own unique approach, and the ACT math section can give even some of the highest math achievers a run for their money. But luckily we’re here to help! We'll take you through the most important strategy you’ll need to know and teach you how to conquer the ACT math section once and for all.

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How to Write an A+ Argumentative Essay

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Jul 29, 2016 4:06:00 PM


You'll no doubt have to write a number of argumentative essays in both high school and college, but what, exactly, is an argumentative essay and how do you write the best one possible? Let's take a look.

A great argumentative essay always combines the same basic elements: approaching an argument from a rational perspective, researching sources, supporting your claims using facts rather than opinion, and articulating your reasoning into the most cogent and reasoned points. Argumentative essays are great building blocks for all sorts of research and rhetoric, so your teachers will expect you to master the technique before long.

But if this sounds daunting, never fear! We’ll show how an argumentative essay differs from other kinds of papers, how to research and write them, how to pick an argumentative essay topic, and where to find example essays. So let's get started.

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Complete Guide to Fractions and Ratios on SAT Math

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Mar 15, 2016 5:00:00 PM

SAT Math

You likely had your first taste of working with fractions sometime in elementary school, though it's probably been a while since you've had to deal with how they shift, change, and interact with one another. To refresh, fractions and ratios are both used to represent pieces of a whole. Fractions tell you how many pieces you have compared to a potential whole amount (3 red marbles in a bag of 5, for example), while ratios compare pieces to each other (3 red marbles to 2 blue marbles) or, more rarely, pieces to the whole amount (again, 3 red marbles in 5 total).

If this sounds complicated to you right now, don’t worry! We will go through all the principles behind fractions and ratios in this guide. If this seems easy to you right now, definitely check out the practice problems at the end of the guide to make sure you have mastered all the different kinds of fraction and ratio problems you’ll see on the test. The SAT likes to present familiar concepts in unfamiliar ways, so don’t let your mastery of fractions lead you to make assumptions about how you’ll see fractions and ratios on the test.

No matter how comfortable you are (or are not) with fractions and ratios right now, this guide is for you. Here, we will go through the complete breakdown of fractions and ratios on the SAT—what they mean, how to manipulate them, and how to answer the most difficult fraction and ratio problems on the SAT.

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Single Variable Equations on SAT Math: Complete Strategies

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Feb 20, 2016 8:30:00 AM

SAT Math

In a way, single variable equations are some of the most common and least common types of questions on the SAT math section. Why? Because it’s rare to find more than one or two single variable equations per test, and yet knowing how to solve and manipulate single variable equations is a basic requirement for solving most all SAT math questions.

Even though you won’t often see single variable equations by themselves, it is crucial that you know how to set up, use, and manipulate them. You cannot solve the more complex expressions like quadratics, multiple variables, and so on, without first understanding single variable equations.

This guide will be your complete walk-through of single variable equations for the SAT--what they are, how you’ll see them on the test, and how to set up and solve them.

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