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

6 Critical AP Exam Tips to Ace Your Tests

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 12, 2018 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

The most important thing you can do to maximize your chances of getting a 5 on an AP exam is to learn the material. However, it is a standardized test, and there are strategies you can use to maximize your chances of success and make sure your hard work pays off. Keep reading for my top AP exam tips!

Read More

 

The 5 Best ACT Prep Games

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 5, 2018 9:00:00 AM

ACT Strategies

 
There’s a new craze in test prep: games. Vocab games, math games, reading games— you might think you could study for the entire ACT with just ACT prep games!
 
Unfortunately for you, this is not really true. The majority of ACT practice games are either downright bad or just far less helpful than completing actual ACT practice questions.  

In this article I’ll discuss the prep game trend, explain why most prep games aren’t so great, present some criteria on what makes a good ACT prep game, offer some game recommendations, and lend advice on how to incorporate them into your studying.

Read More

 

How Are SAT Subject Tests Scored?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jan 17, 2018 8:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

Picture this: you sit down to take an SAT Subject Test. You answer somewhere from 50 to 95 questions in an hour. A few weeks later, you log on to your College Board account and see a score for your test on a scale of 200-800. Somehow, the results from your multiple-choice test got turned into this final scaled score. But how did this happen? How are SAT Subject Tests scored?

In this article, I’ll discuss how your raw score for the exam is calculated, how this is converted into your final score, and what SAT Subject Test scoring means for you in terms of setting—and meeting—a target score.

Read More

 

Where to Find the Best DBQ Examples

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Dec 2, 2017 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. 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. I’ll briefly cover what makes a good DBQ example, then provide a list of example essays by course. Lastly, I’ve provided some tips on how to best use sample essays in your own preparation process. 

Read More

 

Does the SAT Essay Matter? Expert Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Nov 16, 2017 8:00:00 PM

SAT Essay

In days of yore, the SAT Essay was very different. For starters, it was a required portion of the exam, scored as part of the writing section. You had a measly 25 minutes to give and support your opinion on such deep philosophical issues as the importance of privacy or whether people perform better when they can use their own methods to complete tasks.

Things are very different now. Along with the SAT itself, the SAT Essay has been completely revamped and revised. Among other things, it is now an optional portion of the exam. In light of this SAT Essay renovation, many schools will no longer require that students take the SAT Essay when they take the exam.

But what do all these changes mean for you? Is the SAT Essay important? Read on for a breakdown of the new SAT changes, information on which schools continue to require the SAT Essay, why schools do and don’t require this portion of the exam, and how to figure out if the SAT Essay is necessary or important for you.

Read More

 

The Best (and Worst) Online AP Courses, Reviewed

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Oct 10, 2017 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

 

Every AP English Language and Composition Practice Exam

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Oct 5, 2017 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 52-55 multiple 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

 

The 20 Best Graphic Design Schools in the US

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Sep 8, 2017 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

 

The Ultimate SAT Literature Subject Test Study Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Aug 27, 2017 7:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

The SAT Subject Test in Literature, formerly known as the SAT II Literature Exam, is one of the most popular subject tests offered. This may be because you don’t necessarily need specialized knowledge like foreign language fluency to do well on it. However, it also has a reputation for being fairly difficult.

Luckily I, 800-scoring sorceress of the SAT Literature Subject Test, am here to take you through all the particulars of the exam: whether the exam is right for you, the format and content, question styles, study tips, practice resources, and tips for exam day. Let’s get the magic started!

Read More

 

How to Choose a Major: 5 Key Factors to Consider

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Aug 4, 2017 12:00:00 PM

College Info

When it comes to choosing a college major, pithy truisms and conflicting advice abound. But whose advice can you trust? In this no-nonsense guide, we’ll help you figure out how to choose a major in college based on what’s important to you.

After a brief introduction to the dilemma of choosing a major we’ll reveal the most important part of choosing a major in college. Then we’ll go over what work you should be doing to help you pick a major in a variety of situations—before college, during college, and if any special circumstances arise. Finally, we’ll give some parting thoughts on major selection.

Read More

 

Expert's Guide to the AP Literature Exam

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Aug 1, 2017 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 from the test. Whether the 2018 test date of Wednesday, May 9 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

 

Every AP Literature Practice Test Available: Free and Official

Posted by Ellen McCammon | May 30, 2017 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

 

SAT Subject Test Math 1 vs Math 2: Which Should I Take?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 8, 2017 8:30:00 AM

SAT Subject Tests

If you are considering taking SAT Subject Tests, and math is a strong subject for you, you’ll need to decide which SAT Subject Test in math to take.

The College Board offers two Math SAT Subject Tests, aptly named “Math 1” and “Math 2.” (Sometimes these are also written out as Math I and Math II).

Read More

 

What Sections Are on the ACT? All 4 Test Sections, Explained

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 6, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you’re not sure what sections are on the ACT, we can help! In this guide to ACT sections, we’ll give you a quick summary of all the sections of the test. Then, we’ll take a closer look at each section. Finally, we’ll discuss which ACT test sections—and scores—are most important for you.

Read More

 

AP Scores in College Admissions: Do They Really Matter?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 2, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), College Admissions

Since you put so much effort into studying and taking AP tests, you’re probably wondering: do colleges look at AP scores? How is all of your AP-related effort going to affect the admissions process?

In this guide, we’ll illuminate the relationship between AP scores and college admissions. We’ll discuss how important AP scores are for your application and how AP classes matter for college admission. We’ll also discuss what being an AP Scholar means for your admissions chances!

Read More

 

You should definitely follow us on social media. You'll get updates on our latest articles right on your feed. Follow us on all 3 of our social networks:

Twitter and Google+



Ask a Question Below

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