SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Ellen McCammon

Ellen has extensive education mentorship experience and is deeply committed to helping students succeed in all areas of life. She received a BA from Harvard in Folklore and Mythology and is currently pursuing graduate studies at Columbia University.

Recent Posts

The 20 Best Graphic Design Schools in the US

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Aug 1, 2022 8:00:00 AM

College Info

Graphic designers are involved in nearly everything we look at, watch, or read, from the designs on books, to the way websites navigate, to halftime commercials, to logos on business cards. Graphic designers are the visual wizards who make sure every concert poster and app user interface has an impact and communicates a desired message.

If this sounds appealing to you, you might wonder how you can become a graphic designer. Well, you go to school! In this article, I'll discuss what a graphic design program is, how I created this list, the best graphic design schools, and how to choose the right program for you.

Read More

 

When Are AP Tests? The Complete AP Exam Schedule

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jul 10, 2022 3:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

As the school year starts to wind down, you might be asking yourself: when are AP exams? In this article, I'll break down everything you need to know about the AP exam schedule, including when they usually take place, the specific schedule for this year, what to do if you find yourself in an AP schedule mishap, and how you can leverage the schedule to best plan your studying.

Read More

 

What Happens If I Miss My AP Exam?

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 25, 2022 10:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Sometimes life happens and you end up missing an AP exam. Naturally, since the tests are expensive and you want to take them while the material is still fresh in your mind, you may want to make up the exam.

In this article, I'll go over what to do if you know in advance you won't be able to make your AP exam, what to do in an emergency, how AP late testing works, and situations in which you might not be able to make up the test—and what to do about it.

Read More

 

Every AP English Language and Composition Practice Exam

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 15, 2022 8:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

With the AP English Language and Composition exam coming up, it's important to find the best practice resources, and that includes practice tests! The AP Language and Composition exam has two sections: a multiple-choice section with 45 questions, and a free-response section with three essay questions—one synthesis prompt, one analysis prompt, and one argument prompt.

But not all AP Lang practice tests are like the real exam, and they aren't all of equal quality. In this guide, I'll break down where you can find official College Board AP Language and Composition practice test resources, other free resources out there, and paid practice tests and questions. I'll also break down which resources are high-quality and how to best incorporate AP English practice tests into your exam preparation.

Read More

 

Every AP Literature Practice Test Available: Free and Official

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 15, 2022 8:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

When you're studying for your AP Literature Exam, you're going to want to use practice tests and questions to hone your skills. But where can you find AP literature practice tests? And are all practice exams equally useful for you? 

The real exam has 55 multiple-choice questions and three free-response questions, but there are practice tests with every conceivable number and combination of question types.

In this article, you'll learn where to find every official College Board AP English Literature and Composition practice exam, free unofficial tests, and paid practice test resources. You'll also find out which tests are high-quality and how you can best use different practice exams to fulfill your studying needs.

Read More

 

The Expert's Guide to the AP European History Exam

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 15, 2022 9:45:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

The AP European History course and exam cover the history of Europe from 1450 to the present. That means you'll be asked about everything from the Renaissance to the European Union—it's a lot! In addition, the course has had recent updates, making everything a bit more complicated.

If you need guidance for the AP European History exam, read on. In this article, we'll give you an overview of the exam, take a close look at each of its sections, offer some key preparation tips, and explain some important things to keep in mind on test day.

Read More

 

Expert Guide to the AP Language and Composition Exam

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 15, 2022 9:42:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

With the 2022 AP English Language and Composition exam happening on Tuesday, May 10, it's time to make sure that you're familiar with all aspects of the exam. In this article, I'll give a brief overview of the test, do a deeper dive on each of the sections, discuss how the exam is scored, offer some strategies for studying, and finally wrap up with some essential exam day tips.

Read More

 

Where to Find the Best DBQ Examples

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 20, 2022 6:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

One of the best ways to prepare for the DBQ (the "document-based question" on the AP European History, AP US History, and AP World History exams) is to look over sample questions and example essays. Doing this will help you to get a sense of what makes a good (and what makes a bad) DBQ response.

That said, not all DBQ essay examples are created equal. We'll briefly cover what makes a good DBQ example and then provide a list of example essays by course. Lastly, we'll give you some helpful tips on how to best use sample essays in your own preparation process.

Read More

 

What Is an AP Test Perfect Score? Do You Need One?

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Dec 14, 2021 3:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you read your local newspaper, you might have seen an article about someone from your area getting a perfect score on an AP exam. But what is an AP test perfect score, and how is it different from a 5?

Keep reading to find out what an AP exam perfect score is, what it means, how many students get one, and if it's a goal you should be aiming for.

Read More

 

Expert's Guide to the AP Literature Exam

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Dec 1, 2021 8:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you're planning to take the AP English Literature and Composition exam, you'll need to get familiar with what to expect on the test. Whether the 2022 test date of Wednesday, May 4, is near or far, I'm here to help you get serious about preparing for the exam.

In this guide, I'll go over the test's format and question types, how it's graded, best practices for preparation, and test-day tips. You'll be on your way to AP English Lit success in no time!

Read More

 

What Is the Minimum ACT Score for College?

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Nov 6, 2021 6:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, ACT General Info

There are tons of numbers associated with college applications: GPA, class rank, standardized test scores, maybe some AP tests. It can be a lot to take in. If you’re taking the ACT, then you might be worried about how you’ll do on it. What’s the worst ACT score you could get? What’s the worst score you could get and still have a shot at getting into your dream program?

In this article, we'll break down the lowest possible ACT score and explain why you’re not likely to actually get it. We'll then discuss the minimum ACT score for college admissions, how to choose colleges based on your score (whatever it might be), how to set an ACT target score based on your colleges, and what you can do if you think your ACT score is too low for your desired schools.

Read More

 

What's the Minimum SAT Score for College?

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Oct 28, 2021 7:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, SAT General Info

Preparing for college applications can feel confusing, overwhelming, and demanding. If you're nervous about the SAT (or college admissions in general), you might be worried about how low of a test score you can afford to get to still have a shot at college. You might even be wondering how low of a score on the SAT is even possible.

In this article, we'll discuss the lowest possible SAT score and why it's unlikely to happen to you. We'll also offer advice on determining the lowest SAT score you can get to still have a reasonable chance at a given school, and what that means in terms of choosing which schools to apply for and what score to aim for. Finally, we'll go over some things you can do if your score seems too low for any of the colleges you want to attend.

Read More

 

The Best College Essay Length: How Long Should It Be?

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Sep 14, 2021 12:00:00 PM

College Essays

Figuring out your college essay can be one of the most difficult parts of applying to college. Even once you've read the prompt and picked a topic, you might wonder: if you write too much or too little, will you blow your chance of admission? How long should a college essay be?

Whether you're a terse writer or a loquacious one, we can advise you on college essay length. In this guide, we'll cover what the standard college essay length is, how much word limits matter, and what to do if you aren't sure how long a specific essay should be.

Read More

 

The Best (and Worst) Online AP Courses, Reviewed

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Sep 9, 2021 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online AP courses. So how are you supposed to find the best one for you?

To help you sort through your options, I'll quickly go over what makes a good online AP course. Then I'll discuss the best-reviewed online AP courses, some popular online AP class providers, and wrap up with some classes that you should avoid.

Read More

 

64 Great Colleges That Don't Require Essays to Apply

author image
Posted by Ellen McCammon | Sep 2, 2021 12:00:00 PM

College Info, College Essays

If the thought of writing a college essay fills you with terror, you might be wondering: are there any colleges that don't require essays?

The answer is yes, there are! This guide will give you an overview of colleges that don't require admissions essays, how to find these schools, and whether you should apply to one or not. We'll wrap up with a list of 64 colleges with no essay requirement that you can apply to.

Read More

 

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!