SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Dr. Anna Wulick

Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

Recent Posts

What is the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE)?

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:11:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP), Coursework/GPA

For students looking for a more challenging high school experience or for a chance to earn college credit, many high schools offer several advanced college-level program options. The newest one of these is the Cambridge AICE, an international diploma program created through Cambridge University in England.

Curious about whether this program is right for you? In this article, I will describe the AICE approach, the coursework necessary to get the diploma, and how it compares to AP and IB classes.

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What Are College Prep Courses and Classes?

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:08:00 AM

Coursework/GPA


 

College prep is a confusing term because it can refer to three different things!

Sometimes, calling something a college prep class is just a way to differentiate it from remedial classes on the one hand, and honors/AP classes on the other. Other times, college prep is a way of describing a bunch of government or private programs that are designed to increase access to college for those who would ordinarily be unlikely to go. And finally, college prep is a short name for high schools that place an overwhelming emphasis on getting their students into college.

But don’t worry. Whether you want to read about standard high school classes, learn about programs that will make college easier, or are curious about public and private high schools that really stress college admission, you've come to the right place.

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What Classes Should You Take in High School? Expert Advice

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:08:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

Figuring out which classes you should take in high school is complicated! Not only do you have to navigate your school’s requirements and college expectations, but you also have to take your own interests, abilities, and life into account. Because there are so many different questions you have to answer and decisions you have to make, it helps to start the planning process early.

We will help you get a big picture perspective of what you are high school classes will look like, and breakdown the details of the various requirements, the kinds of choices you will have to make, and the exciting possibilities you will get to explore! If you're wondering what classes to take in high school, this guide should be a great launching point to figuring out your own personal plan.

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The High School History Classes You Should Take

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:07:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

History. Maybe it's written by the victors. Maybe it repeats itself, first as tragedy and second as farce. Or maybe it doesn't repeat, but rhymes. In any case, it's a key part of your high school (and lifelong!) education.

But how should you study it? What classes should you take in high school to satisfy college requirements? What options are there for going above and beyond? And what can you do if you are a history fiend who simply cannot get enough learning about the past?

Read on to learn about high school and college expectations, honors and AP classes, and ways to expand your understanding of other social sciences!

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The High School English Classes You Should Take

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:07:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

It's no secret that colleges want you to take English class each year of high school. But what exactly are you supposed to be learning? What options do you have to exceed expectations and show off your stuff? And what if you're such a book-loving reader that in the dictionary under "bibliophile" there's a picture of you - how can you really max out your high school English experience?

Read on to learn about the common core, honors and AP classes, and going beyond what the standard curriculum offers!

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The Best Great Gatsby Timeline

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:06:00 AM

Book Guides

Sometimes, even when you've carefully read a book and tried to follow all the intricacies of which character did what and when, you just can't quite put the whole thing together. That goes double for a novel like The Great Gatsby, which uses literary devices like flashbacks and flashforwards to explain the behavior of its characters in its present. 

But don't fret! In this article, I've taken all of the novel's events and rearranged them in straightforward, chronological order. This complete Great Gatsby timeline allows you to see exactly when all of the book's events took place, and also get individual chronologies for each major character. 

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Everything You Need to Know About The Great Gatsby Setting

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:06:00 AM

Book Guides

One reason that The Great Gatsby has now become a byword for the East Coast of the Roaring 20s - the decadently extravagant post-WWI era - is that Fitzgerald was amazing at creating memorable settings. Whether it's the sprawling luxury of Gatsby's mansion, the drunken chaos of Myrtle's apartment, or the suffocating airlessness of a suite at the Plaza Hotel, The Great Gatsby features settings that perfectly encapsulate character, mood, atmosphere, and emotions.

In this article, I'll go through all of the Great Gatsby settings, explain what role settings play in a novel, show how these settings compare with one another, and explore what symbolic meaning they have.

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Every Great Gatsby Movie, Compared: 2013, 1974, 1949

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:05:00 AM

Book Guides

 

If you’ve looked up The Great Gatsby movie, you’ve probably realized that there is more than one. So which of The Great Gatsby movies you should watch? Wondering if you can skip reading the book?

We have a complete guide to each of the Great Gatsby movie adaptations, as well as some advice for writing about the movies!

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Understanding The Great Gatsby Ending and Last Line

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:05:00 AM

Book Guides

As crucial as a detailed setting or the right mix of characters is to the success of a story, nothing quite packs a memorable gut punch like the perfect ending. Think about it: the way a story ends tends to shape our understanding of what we have just read. If it ended in love and marriage, then it must have been a love story. If it ended in death, then it was a tragedy.

So what do we make of the The Great Gatsby ending? Why is there so much death? Why doesn’t anyone get their just comeuppance? In this article, I’ll talk about the significance of endings in general, and explore the meaning behind The Great Gatsby’s last line, last paragraphs, and the conclusion of the plot.

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Best Great Gatsby Character Analysis

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:04:00 AM

Book Guides

Familiar with the characters of The Great Gatsby, but need to analyze one or more of them for an essay or class assignment? This article has got your back! In it, we'll discuss what the point of analyzing a book character is. We'll also talk about the dos and donts of writing a character analysis, essay, explaining how to go from an argument to finding evidence. Finally, we'll give you an example of how to develop an essay of this type by constructing one around the old money characters (Tom, Daisy, and Jordan). 

You'll also find links to our in-depth articles on each of The Great Gatsby's main characters, explaining their role and significance in the novel, key quotes for each, and some ideas for essay topics, really helping you pull together your thoughts about these characters!

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Every Great Gatsby Character You Have to Know: Complete List

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:04:00 AM

Book Guides

This article provides a broad overview of all of The Great Gatsby characters, their relationships and connections, and any major issues and questions surrounding them. 

Throughout the guide, you will find links to each character’s page, as well as links to our character analysis, compare/contrast, and quotes pages. Use this page as your jumping-off point for discovering The Great Gatsby’s major and minor players!

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 9

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:03:00 AM

Book Guides

Just as The Great Gatsby began with Nick’s father reminding him about his upbringing, so it ends with Gatsby’s father reminding us about the childhood of James Gatz (Gatsby's real birth name). As one of the few mourners at Gatsby’s very sparsely attended funeral, Mr. Gatz worships his son’s achievements in the way that no one whom Gatsby wanted to impress ever did.

The Great Gatsby Chapter 9 ends with one of the most famous last lines in all Western literature. Read on to see how Fitzgerald connects Gatsby’s story with the universal human hope for a better future.

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How to Write a Compare/Contrast Essay for The Great Gatsby

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:03:00 AM

Book Guides

A very common essay prompt/discussion topic for The Great Gatsby is to have you compare and contrast a pair of characters in Gatsby. Why do teachers love these prompts so much?

These compare/contrast essays are an opportunity for you to tie the character similarities and differences to larger observations about society and class, the American Dream, or identity in the novel. They also allow you to practice standard English class skills: close reading, using lines from the text as evidence, and taking a stance and presenting a supporting argument in an essay.

We’ll go over some basic dos and don’ts for writing compare/contrast essays before diving into some analysis of the most asked-about character pairings. Keep reading if you have a Compare/Contrast assignment on the horizon!

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 6

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:01:00 AM

Book Guides

Chapter 6 of The Great Gasby is a major turning point in the novel: after the magical happiness of Gatsby and Daisy's reunion ins Chapter 5, we start too see the cracks that will unravel the whole story. Possibly because of this shift in tone from buildup to letdown, this chapter underwent substantial rewrites late in the editing process, meaning Fitzgerald worked really hard to get it just right because of how key this part of the book is.

So read on to see how it all starts to fall apart in our full The Great Gatsby Chapter 6 summary. Gatsby and Daisy each try to integrate into the other one’s life, and both attempts go terribly. Gatsby can’t hang with the upper crust because he doesn’t understand how to behave despite his years crewing a millionaire’s yacht, and Daisy is repulsed by the vulgar rabble at Gatsby’s latest party. Recipe for eventual disaster? Absolutely.

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Best Summary and Analysis: The Great Gatsby, Chapter 7

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Nov 4, 2018 11:01:00 AM

Book Guides

Chapter 7 marks the climax of The Great Gatsby. Twice as long as every other chapter, it first ratchets up the tension of the Gatsby-Daisy-Tom triangle to a breaking point in a claustrophobic scene at the Plaza Hotel, and then ends with the grizzly gut punch of Myrtle’s death.

Read our full summary of The Great Gatsby Chapter 7 to see how all dreams die, only to be replaced with a grim and cynical reality.

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