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

Free Older Official ACT Practice Tests

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 19, 2019 12:30:00 PM

ACT General Info

There’s one thing that every student studying for the ACT definitely needs: practice tests that are almost identical to what you will face on your test day. No matter how else you study, we've found that most students really benefit from practicing by taking the full ACT test several times in as close to test-taking conditions as possible. This is the best way to get comfortable with the format, timing and pace, your own endurance, and ways to manage your stress.

So how do you get your hands on enough ACT tests to put yourself in the hot seat for practice? In this article, I’ll link to all the official tests and question sets released by ACT, and give you suggestions on where to find others, so that you have more than enough practice materials to get ready for the ACT.

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

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 5, 2019 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 advanced college-level programs. The newest one of these is the Cambridge AICE, an international diploma program created via the University of Cambridge in England.

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

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8+ Free Old Official SAT Practice Tests

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Apr 28, 2019 12:30:00 PM

SAT Strategies, SAT Writing, SAT Reading, SAT Math, New SAT

In March 2016, the SAT underwent a complete redesign, concentrating more on testing reasoning skills than on obscure vocabulary knowledge

So how do you study for the SAT now that there just aren't that many practice tests available? After all, there’s nothing quite like taking actual official SAT tests to get you ready for the real thing. The good news is that many of the questions that appeared on the old SAT format are still completely relevant and a great resource for practicing your skills!

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Best Analysis: The American Dream in The Great Gatsby

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Mar 17, 2019 11:00:00 PM

Book Guides

 

The Great Gatsby is a tragic love story on the surface, but it’s most commonly understood as a pessimistic critique of the American Dream. In the novel, Jay Gatsby overcomes his poor past to gain an incredible amount of money and a limited amount of social cache in 1920s NYC, only to be rejected by the “old money” crowd. He then gets killed after being tangled up with them.

Through Gatsby’s life, as well as that of the Wilsons’, Fitzgerald critiques the idea that America is a meritocracy where anyone can rise to the top with enough hard work. We will explore how this theme plays out in the plot, briefly analyze some key quotes about it, as well as do some character analysis and broader analysis of topics surrounding the American Dream in The Great Gatsby.

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(Updated Guide) Weighted GPA Calculator

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Mar 17, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

Most likely, during high school you've taken a mix of classes: some honors, some standard, and some APs. The weighted GPA reflects that those classes have different difficulty levels. So what's the easiest way to figure out what your weighted GPA is? We have two great methods to calculate it!

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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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