SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Dr. Fred Zhang

Fred is co-founder of PrepScholar. He scored a perfect score on the SAT and is passionate about sharing information with aspiring students. Fred graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Economics.

Recent Posts

What Is a Good ACT Score? A Bad ACT Score? An Excellent ACT Score?

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Oct 19, 2020 3:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target

If you've taken the ACT and gotten your ACT test scores back, you probably want to know how you did. Or you might be planning for the ACT and want to know what ACT composite score to aim for. So what is a good ACT score?

In this article, we'll discuss what makes a good ACT composite score. We also give you a step-by-step guide to figuring out what a good ACT score is for you personally, depending on the colleges you plan to apply to. We'll also provide ACT score ranges for 38 popular schools and discuss what you can do if you fall short of your goal score.

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ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2020, 2021)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Aug 28, 2020 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Looking for info on 2020-2021 ACT test dates? Knowing the most accurate ACT test dates is crucial for a solid test-taking plan. Though you might be tempted to go ahead and register for the next possible test date, what you should really be doing is finding a date that works well for you and your schedule.

In this guide, we offer an overview of upcoming ACT test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates. We also give you tips on how to choose an ACT test date and go over which test dates work best for juniors, seniors, and more.

NOTE: Because of COVID-19, many ACT test dates have been postponed or cancelled in 2020. If you're looking for more information on how COVID-19 is impacting ACT test dates, check out our complete guide.

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What's a Good SAT/ACT Score for the Ivy League? What's the Lowest Score I Can Get in With?

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Aug 11, 2020 12:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, College Admissions

Are you aiming to attend an Ivy League school? What ACT/SAT scores do Ivy League universities—Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Penn, and Yale—expect? Here, we look at what test scores these eight highly selective schools consider good, as well as what scores are considered borderline.

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SAT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2020, 2021)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jul 19, 2020 9:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics, SAT General Info

The SAT is offered seven times a year, but which SAT test dates will work best for you and your schedule? What essential factors should you consider before creating an SAT schedule? What are the best SAT dates for juniors? For seniors?

In this comprehensive guide, we offer you the most current info on SAT test dates (domestic and international) for 2020 and 2021. We also give you our top tips for choosing the best SAT test dates for you as well as tons of resources to help you navigate the complicated web of SAT/ACT test dates.

NOTE: Because of COVID-19, some 2020 SAT test dates have been canceled. If you're looking for more information on how COVID-19 is impacting SAT test dates, check out our complete guide.

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SAT International Test Dates Guide (2020 and 2021)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jul 19, 2020 5:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Here we look at international SAT test dates for the the 2020-2021 year. The test months haven't changed since last year, but the dates have! We've recorded what we've learned in this article.

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Future Years' SAT Test Dates, Schedules, and Deadlines

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jul 11, 2020 8:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Future SAT test dates are only confirmed less than a year in advance, but we at PrepScholar have done the hard work of looking at past test date patterns to predict future SAT test dates and registration deadlines.

For 2020-2021, the official timetable is set in stone. But even though they're more uncertain, we can predict future years like 2022, 2023, and 2024 with decent confidence. These predictions have been updated in March 2020 to reflect the latest possible data.

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When Do PSAT Scores Come Out? The PSAT Results Release Schedule

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jul 2, 2020 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The wait for PSAT results can be nerve-wracking. It's likely your first time taking an SAT-like test, and the PSAT can give you a sense of what range your final SAT score is likely to be. Plus, if you score high enough, there's a lot of potential scholarship money available.

So when is the wait over? When are PSAT scores released? In this guide, we explain when you'll get your PSAT results, walk you through the complete PSAT timeline, and offer some suggestions on what to do once you have your scores.

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Get Into Engineering Schools Like MIT, Caltech, CMU, or RPI With the SAT

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jun 2, 2020 4:30:00 PM

College Admissions

Engineering schools don't look for the same things on a college application that the average school does. I would know -- because I have an engineering background and spent substantial time studying the process of getting into Caltech and MIT, and then I did it. Here, I reveal how they're different.

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What Is a Good SAT Score? A Bad SAT Score? An Excellent SAT Score?

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 1, 2020 11:00:00 AM

SAT/ACT Score Target

What is a good SAT score? You took the SAT, got your scores back, and now want to know how you did. Or maybe you want to know what score to aim for next time.

In this guide, we discuss how to figure out how your SAT scores stack up against those of all the other test takers. We'll then help you determine what a good SAT score for you is based on the colleges you are interested in. Finally, we provide the SAT score ranges of 43 popular schools and discuss what to do if your score turns out to be lower than you expected.

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How to Get Into Stanford (by an Accepted Student)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 9, 2020 8:00:00 AM

College Admissions

Many students want to get into Stanford, one of the most prestigious undergraduate institutions in the United States. While getting into Stanford is very tough, there are definite rules to Stanford admissions. Using these rules to your advantage will greatly increase your chances of getting in.

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SAT Score Percentiles (High-Precision Version)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jan 3, 2020 9:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Are you looking for ultra high-precision SAT percentiles? Official SAT percentiles released by the College Board only go as far as the ones place—this means you'll see only whole numbers such as 2, 56, and 93, without any decimals. But this isn't accurate enough for some test takers.

For this article, I've calculated SAT percentiles to six digits of precision (and, yes, every digit can help, especially if you're scoring at the high end!).

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ACT Score Percentiles and Ranks (High-Precision 2019)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Dec 31, 2019 7:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Do you want to know your exact ACT score up to six digits of precision? Every digit can help when you want to know your exact performance. I've used real ACT data, newly-released in 2019, to calculate these ultra-high-precision percentiles.

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Secret Truths of SAT/ACT Prep Methods: Pros and Cons of Each

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Aug 1, 2019 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies, Tutoring

You know it's a great idea to prep for the SAT or ACT. After all, for the majority of students, it's the most time-efficient way to increase their college admission chances. But with so many ways you can prep for your test, it can be difficult to figure out which method will be the best for you. Obviously, some methods are generally thought to be more effective than others.

Still, every single SAT/ACT prep method out there has certain strengths. For some students tutoring is by far the best, whereas for others self-study is clearly optimal. Ultimately, which one you should choose will depend on your learning style, circumstances, and budgetwe can help you figure this out here.

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ACT Score to GPA Conversion Table

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 3, 2019 6:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Are you interested in converting your GPA to ACT scores or vice versa? This can be useful if you're trying to estimate your ACT score based on your current grades. In this guide, we've pored over the statistics to give you the information needed to convert between GPA and ACT scores! However, before we get started, let's briefly go over a few caveats.

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Are You Better at the ACT or SAT? Find Out For Sure!

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 3, 2019 12:00:00 PM

SAT versus ACT

Because colleges accept both the ACT and SAT, it can be had to figure out which test to take. The changes to the SAT in 2016 made the two tests more similar than ever, although there are still some significant differences in content and format between the two tests.

So how can you tell if you'll do better on the SAT or ACT? Drawing on my experience as a 99 percentile scorer on both the SAT and ACT, I'll give you a surefire way to figure out which test will result in the best outcome for you.

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