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

SAT Score Percentiles (High-Precision 2016 Version)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Apr 12, 2016 9:43:25 PM

SAT General Info

Are you looking for ultra high precision SAT percentiles?  I've calculated SAT percentiles to 6 digits of precision (and yes every digit can help especially if you're at the high end), with data updated for 2016.  

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SAT / ACT Prep Strategies If You Have a Low Test Score but High GPA

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 23, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies

Do you have a high GPA, perform well in school, but can’t seem to do well on the SAT / ACT? This is a common pattern, and there are certain strategies that work especially well for you. First, we'll figure out why this is happening to you, and, depending on the reason, suggest ways to improve your SAT / ACT score. Second, we’ll go over what a high GPA but low SAT / ACT score signals to colleges and how to counter that signal.

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How to Get Into Stanford (By an Accepted Student)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 12, 2016 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. Strategizing around these rules will greatly increase your chances of getting in.

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ACT Prep — Practice Tests, Study Guides, and Critical Info

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 7, 2016 6:07:32 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

PrepScholar helps you prepare for the ACT by giving you free ACT resources. Browse through our comprehensive list of real, official ACT practice tests. Find out ACT general info, section strategies, section content, and other resources. To read our free blog resources, you don't need to register or create an account — you can get started today!

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New to Old SAT Conversion - Official Formulas and Tools

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

As of March 5, 2016, the new SAT is out. This means that those who took the old 2400-point SAT may want to know what their new 1600-point SAT score would have been, and vice versa. This information is critical for when you research and apply to scholarships and colleges that use a different version of the SAT than the one you took. 

Here, we give the official conversions between old SAT and new SAT scores. These conversions come directly from the College Board, and we've made automatic conversion tools to make it easier for you!

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Average SAT & ACT Scores by State (Participation Adjusted)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Mar 6, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies

Participation rate has a huge impact on state average SAT / ACT scores. In any state, the top students on the SAT/ACT are those most eager to take it, so states with low participation rates have artificially higher SAT / ACT scores.  Here, we use advanced statistical methods to adjust for participation rate to get at the real ranking of states by their real SAT and ACT scores. 

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The Secret to Getting a Perfect SAT / ACT Score: All Questions Are Analytical

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 21, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies

It seems obvious that each ACT / SAT question must have exactly one answer, and this answer must be clearly and objectively correct. However, as we’ll explain below, that simple fact alone disqualifies vast swaths of reasonable questions that you otherwise see in everyday tests at school.  This obvious fact also leads to a little-known secret that, when applied correctly, guarantees the cracking of each question. You don’t have to trust me -- read through this guide and ask any perfect or near-perfect scorer. They’ll agree on the secret.

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Extracurricular Strong Students: College Admissions and SAT / ACT Strategies

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 20, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies

Do you have great extracurriculars?  Maybe you’re captain of the football team or president of a top debate team.  Your approach to college admissions will be quite different than a typical student’s, and your SAT / ACT prep process should be uniquely tailored to you.  In this article, we talk about what unique opportunities you have in test prep and what traps you should avoid.

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SAT Test Dates 2016 - 2017

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 12, 2016 2:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

If you're looking for SAT test dates for 2016-17, look no further! The 2016-17 SAT testing year marks the first full year of the redesigned SAT, which shifted the scoring scale from 2400 to 1600 and introduced a combined Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score.

Continue reading to get info on all official 2016-17 SAT test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates. We also offer tons of tips on how to find the best SAT test date for you!

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

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 6, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies, Tutoring

You know it's a great idea to prep for the SAT and ACT.  After all, for most students it's the most time-efficient way to increase their college admission chances.  However, there are so many ways to prep for the test out there -- what's the best way for you?  Obviously, some methods will be better than others, but it's also the case that some methods are overall not very good.

Quite frankly, every single SAT / ACT prep method has certain strengths.  For some students, tutoring is by far the best while, for others, self-study is clearly optimal.  Which one to choose depends on your circumstances and budget, but it’s quite simple to figure out.

Pay careful attention because finding the right prep method for you is by far the highest leverage choice you can make to improve your SAT / ACT score.  If you choose correctly, you may never again have to worry about test scores.  The follow through will be easy, and the point improvements will be quick.  Some say half the work is just getting started.  I disagree -- half the work is getting started correctly.

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Is There Asian-American Discrimination in College Admissions and SAT / ACT Prep?

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 6, 2016 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions

Recently, there has been substantial coverage about whether colleges discriminate against Asian-Americans in admissions and even test prep.  What does that mean for these students?  How should such students navigate SAT / ACT prep and college admissions?  This article surveys the current state of admissions and gives some tips.

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Guide for Top SAT / ACT Scorers: How to Perfect Your Score

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Feb 4, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies


Are you already scoring well on the SAT and getting a 1400 or above (2100 in the 2400 scale)?  This puts you in a special class, and your strategy for improving your SAT score will be very different from the average students'.  Having made the improvement myself, I’ll show you how you can aim for a perfect SAT score too.

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New SAT Prep Guidelines Now That the Old SAT Is Over

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jan 30, 2016 10:14:29 PM

Did you hear?  The old SAT was given for the final time on January 23rd, 2016.  What does that mean for students still studying for the SAT?  We'll discuss the implications of the old SAT sunset and what you need to do for new SAT prep!

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How SAT Practice Got Me a Perfect Score

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Dec 7, 2015 5:45:22 PM

SAT Strategies

Can doing SAT Practice Tests improve your score dramatically?  It can if you do it right. Most student practice the SAT incorrectly, and then are surprised when their score doesn’t increase.  I myself essentially practiced my way to a perfect SAT score, and I’m convinced you can do it too! I've developed an SAT practice method that has worked for thousands of students, a method that I’ll describe right here!

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Class of 2017: New SAT or Old SAT? (Updated)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Nov 5, 2015 7:26:21 PM

SAT Logistics, New SAT

The Class of 2017 is in a tough spot on the SAT.  Should you take the new SAT or old SAT?  If you take the new SAT, you would be the guinea pigs for a totally new system; if you take the old one, you have a tighter schedule.  How does it break down?

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