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

How Do You Calculate Your GPA? Step by Step Instructions

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Sep 14, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

 

How exactly do you take a document as complicated as your transcript and shrink it all down to one number? If you are wondering how to take all the final grades you've gotten in high school and figure out your GPA, then this article will show you exactly how to make that calculation. I'll take you through step by step.

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The Best Colleges With Low GPA Requirements

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Aug 3, 2017 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions, Coursework/GPA

Do you have a low GPA? Are you wondering what colleges you can get into despite your low GPA?

Out of all the schools in the country, we've compiled a complete list of colleges with low GPA requirements and ranked the best ones. Even if you have a low GPA, that doesn't mean a great education is out of reach for you. Keep reading to figure out what your options are for higher education.

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125 College Essay Examples for 13 Schools + Expert Analysis

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Aug 3, 2017 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions, College Essays

The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I’ll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 13 different schools. Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 125 full essays and essay excerpts, this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

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How to Write a Perfect UC Essay for Every Prompt

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jul 24, 2017 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

If you're applying to any University of California campus as an incoming freshman, then you have a special challenge ahead of you. Applicants need to answer four UC personal insight questions, chosen from a pool of eight unique prompts different from those on the Common App. But not to worry! This article is here to help.

In this article, I'll dissect the 8 UC essay prompts in detail. What are they asking you for? What do they want to know about you? What do UC admissions officers really care about? How do you avoid boring or repulsing them with your essay?

I'll break down all of these important questions for each prompt and discuss how to pick the four prompts that are perfect for you. I'll also give you examples of how to make sure your essay fully answers the question. Finally, I'll offer step-by-step instructions on how to come up with the best ideas for your UC personal statements.

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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 22, 2017 5:30:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Logistics


No college application is complete without test scores. But sending scores to colleges doesn't have to be a confusing and frustrating process! Read this article to understand all the options for sending out your ACT scores, to get help with the many decisions you will have to make, and to know what to do if you run into problems.

I'll describe the basic process of how to send ACT scores, how to take full advantage of the ACT's individual score reporting, when to send scores, and how to make sure your scores don't get lost. At the same time, I'll go through the pros and cons of every available option and suggest a recommended course of action. 

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Important: Read This Before You Send SAT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 20, 2017 9:00:00 AM

SAT Logistics, SAT General Info

 

No matter how stellar your transcript, no matter how mastered your extracurricular activities, no matter how lyrical your essay, no application is complete without your SAT scores.

So how do you make sure your SAT scores are sent properly, at the right time, and with only those scores you are most proud of? Read on for our best advice on the decisions you'll be faced with and what to do in case something goes wrong.

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How to Write Perfect ApplyTexas Essays

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 9, 2017 8:00:00 AM

College Essays

The ApplyTexas college application has many different essay prompts—and each of the most popular colleges in Texas has different requirements for which essays they expect students to answer.

So how do you get advice on writing your best ApplyTexas essays, no matter which school you are hoping to get into? Look no further than this article, which totally unpacks all five possible ApplyTexas essay prompts. I will explain what each essay prompt is looking for, what admissions officers are hoping to learn about you, give you great strategies for making sure your essay meets all of these expectations, and help you come up with your best essay topics. 

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The 18 Hardest ACT English Questions Ever

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Aug 13, 2016 8:00:00 AM

ACT English

If you’ve been hard at work studying for the ACT, you’ve mastered the basics of the test. But are you ready to tackle the hardest grammar, punctuation, syntax, and writing logic questions that ACT English will throw at you?

Read this article to try your hand at 18 of the toughest, most confusing challenges ACT English poses. Then check out the detailed explanations of what makes each question tick, how to solve it and others like it, and what to watch out for when faced with similar questions on the real test.

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Most Important Quotes in The Great Gatsby, Analyzed

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 29, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Book Guides

Need to solidify your Great Gatsby essay with some evidence from the text? Want a refresher on the novel's style and sound? Curious how to go from a piece of text to a close reading and an analysis? Then check out this article featuring key Great Gatsby quotes!

We've rounded up a collection of important quotes by and about the main characters, quotes on the novel's major themes and symbols, and quotes from each of The Great Gatsby's chapters. In turn, each of the Great Gatsby quotes is followed by some brief analysis and explanation of its significance. 

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Everything You Need to Know: The Great Gatsby Era

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 28, 2016 10:00:00 PM

Book Guides

The Great Gatsby takes place during a time that's now known as the Jazz Age or the Roaring 20s. Wondering what the world was like when Jay Gatsby struck it rich in bootlegging? Curious to see how much Daisy and Myrtle's struggle for more echoes the lives of real women? Interested in the other ways that The Great Gatsby era matters to the plot of the novel? 

This article will guide you through the historical, economic, and social movements of the 1920's as they relate to events, themes, and characters in The Great Gatsby.

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Everything You Need to Know About The Great Gatsby Setting

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 28, 2016 8:00:00 PM

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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Best Great Gatsby Character Analysis

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 28, 2016 7:00:00 PM

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 | May 25, 2016 9:00:00 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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How to Write a Compare/Contrast Essay for The Great Gatsby

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 24, 2016 10:00:00 PM

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

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 24, 2016 7:00:00 PM

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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