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 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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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!

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

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Feb 27, 2017 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 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.

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65 Great Colleges That Don't Require Essays to Apply

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

College Info, College Essays

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

The answer is: yes, there are! Read this guide for 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 65 colleges with no essay requirement that you could apply to!

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3 Great Options for Online Homeschooling Support

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Feb 3, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

The magic of the internet has dramatically increased the resources available to the average homeschooler. Through online homeschooling resources, homeschools can supplement their existing coursework, parents can get curriculum support, and students with irregular schedules can stay enrolled in high school!

In this complete guide to online homeschool, we’ll introduce online homeschooling, discuss the pros and cons to online homeschool, and go over the types of online homeschool and the benefits and drawbacks to each type. We’ll also provide examples of each type of program!

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How to Prepare for the SAT: 10-Step Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jan 7, 2017 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies

You know you need to take the SAT. Maybe you’ve even registered. But what now? How do you prepare?

If you’re not sure where to begin or how to prepare for the SAT, this is the guide for you. First we’ll go over what you’ll need to do to prepare for the test. Then, we’ll discuss some methods you might use for preparing for the SAT. We’ll wrap up with some resources that you might find helpful. 

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How to Prepare for the ACT: Ultimate 10-Step Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Dec 3, 2016 9:00:00 AM

ACT Strategies

So you need to take the ACT, but you don’t anything about it. What now? How do you go about preparing for the test?

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How to Format A College Essay: 15 Expert Tips

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Dec 2, 2016 7:00:00 PM

College Essays

When you’re applying to college, even small decisions can feel high-stakes. This is especially true for the college essay, which often feels like the most personal part of the application. You may agonize over your college application essay format: the font, the margins, even the file format. Or maybe you’re agonizing over how to organize your thoughts overall. Should you use a narrative structure? Five paragraphs?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over the ins and outs of how to format a college essay on both the micro and macro levels. We’ll discuss minor formatting issues like headings and fonts, then discuss broad formatting concerns like whether or not to use a five-paragraph essay, and if you should use a college essay template.

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The 13 Best College Essay Tips to Craft a Stellar Application

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Nov 19, 2016 8:00:00 AM

College Essays

In many ways, the most labor-intensive part of your college application process is the essay. It’s not just about forwarding transcripts or entering a list of extracurricular activities—you have to craft something personal and compelling to show the admissions committee who you are beyond your resume.

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AP English Literature Multiple Choice: Complete Expert Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Sep 2, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Does the thought of spending an hour answering multiple-choice questions on complex prose and poetry passages strike fear into your heart? The challenge of the AP Literature multiple-choice is enough to give even the most adept reader hives, but don't stress! This guide will serve as your complete roadmap to success on the AP English Literature and Composition multiple-choice section.

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