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 Best (and Worst) Online AP Courses, Reviewed

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 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.

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Should You Take Online AP Courses? 12 Pros and Cons

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

 

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to take online AP courses. Maybe your school doesn't offer all the courses you want to take. Maybe you're homeschooled. Or maybe you want to do a little extra academic work to show colleges what you're passionate about.

But there's a lot to consider before you take the plunge and possibly drop a few hundred dollars on a class. I'll take you through the basic information about online AP courses, some pros and cons, who should consider them, and how to choose classes if you do decide to take an AP course online. Finally, I'll offer some brief blurbs on some of the most popular courses out there.

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AP Scores in College Admissions: Do They Really Matter?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), College Admissions

Since you put so much effort into studying for and taking AP tests, you've likely wondered whether colleges look at AP scores. How is all of your AP prep and effort going to affect your chances of admission to college?

In this guide, we'll illuminate the relationship between AP scores and college admission. We'll also discuss how important AP scores are for your application, how colleges consider these scores, and what being an AP Scholar can mean for your admission chances.

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6 Critical AP Exam Tips to Ace Your Tests

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 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!

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When Should You Start Studying for Your AP Exams?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 11:13:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

 

So you’re taking a couple AP classes, they’re going well, and you feel pretty good about most of the material. The exam in May seems a long way off. Do you need to start studying? The answer is, that depends! Every student and every exam is different.

However, my general advice is to start studying no later than the midpoint of the school year. (That would be after winter break for most of you.) Why the midpoint of the year? Keep reading to find out!  

I’ll also discuss how many hours you should plan to prep based on how the course is going and what score you are aiming for. Then I’ll present some strategies for determining how you should balance general conceptual review of the material and dedicated exam prep like taking practice exams. Finally, I’ll make suggestions as to when and how you should study based on overall course subject (math, science, foreign language, and so on.)

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A Complete History of AP Classes and Controversies

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 10:44:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

You probably imagine the AP exam program as one of the mysterious primordial forces of the galaxy, along with gravity and taxes. But, in actuality, the AP program is only about 60 years old. From its unabashedly elitist beginnings to its present attempts to democratize advanced high school coursework, read on to discover a brief history of AP classes and exams, some current AP controversies, and some thoughts on the program's future.

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How to Find the Best AP Practice Tests

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 10:34:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

As you begin to prepare for your AP exams, you’ll need to consider which kinds of study tools will help you make the most of your prep time and help you meet your target score.

One of the most important study tools in your arsenal is the AP practice test. This is true no matter which AP exam you’re taking. In this article, I’ll go over why you should use AP practice tests, what roles they can serve in your studying process, and how to find the best AP practice exams for any AP.

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AP English Literature Multiple Choice: Complete Expert Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 9:46:00 AM

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 fully-updated guide will serve as your complete roadmap to success on the AP English Literature and Composition multiple-choice section.

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How to Study for AP Exams: 5-Step Plan

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Preparing for AP exams can feel like a Sisyphean task. On top of keeping up with the demanding coursework and all your other obligations, you have to prepare for a three-hour, multi-part exam?

Yes, you do—but more importantly, you can! If you don't know how to study for AP exams, this is the guide for you. I'll cover all the major steps to AP success, including content review, exam skill-building, and prepping for triumph on test day.

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What Is an AP Scholar? Advantages and Requirements

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 21, 2020 8:30:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

You might think the term "AP Scholar" just refers to anyone who takes studying for AP exams really seriously. But it's actually an awards program offered by the College Board. In this article, I'll go over what an AP Scholar is, what you need to achieve to become one, what it means to be one, and some tips on getting the award if it's something you're interested in.

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

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 20, 2020 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.

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What Is the Minimum ACT Score for College?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jan 18, 2020 6:44:00 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.

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Is ACT Writing Important? Expert Guide

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jan 18, 2020 8:00:00 AM

ACT Writing

The Writing portion of the ACT has always been an optional portion of the exam. However, it was significantly revised in fall 2015 with the aim of better testing the kinds of analytical writing skills that are necessary for college work. Some colleges require or recommend that students take it for their application, and others don't.

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What's the Minimum SAT Score for College?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Jan 17, 2020 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.

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

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Oct 6, 2019 8:30:00 AM

SAT Subject Tests

If you're 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. There are two Math SAT Subject Tests: Math 1 and Math 2 (also written as Math Level 1 and Math Level 2, or Math I and Math II).

Math 2 is meant for students with more high school math coursework and covers a broader range of topics than Math 1 does. Other than that, the two tests are pretty similar: both have 50 multiple-choice questions and a 60-minute time limit.

In this article, I'll go over what's covered in Math 1, what's covered in Math 2, their similarities and differences, whether Math 1 is easier than Math 2, and how to choose which Subject Test to take.

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