SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Francesca Fulciniti

Francesca graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and scored in the 99th percentile on the SATs. She's worked with many students on SAT prep and college counseling, and loves helping students capitalize on their strengths.

Recent Posts

The 7 Steps to Becoming a Doctor: A Complete Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Feb 9, 2020 10:00:00 PM

Other High School, College Info

Medicine is one of the most challenging yet rewarding fields a student can enter. But before you decide whether becoming a doctor is right for you, it's important that you know every step you'll have to take along the way.

Here, I'll walk you through exactly how to become a doctor, starting with high school. This career is definitely not for everyone—it requires huge investments of time, money, and effort—but if this path is right for you, this guide is what you should read to start preparing yourself early for a successful career as a doctor.

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Free ACT Practice Tests: Massive Collection of Online Sources

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Feb 9, 2020 10:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

When you're trying to prepare for the ACT, the last thing you want to worry about is finding ACT practice tests. To help make the process a little less stressful for you, we've compiled this huge list of sources for free ACT practice tests and questions.

Not all practice tests are created equal, though. For each test source, I'll talk about how you can use the practice material to best prepare for the ACT.

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How to Win a Walmart Scholarship: Strategy Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 26, 2020 2:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Walmart offers several scholarship opportunities for employees and their dependents. These scholarships are meant to cover college or vocational school expenses for those with financial need.

In this guide, I'll start by talking about eligibility requirements and the application process. If you're already familiar with this information, skip to the second half of this post—this is where I'll give tips and strategies for increasing your chances of winning a Walmart scholarship.

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The Best Scholarships for Juniors in High School

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 5, 2020 6:47:00 PM

Financial Aid

Many students think that they should begin looking at college scholarships once they actually start applying to college—so some time early in their senior year. Although it's true that many big-name scholarships require applicants to be high school seniors, there are some great awards out there for younger students as well.

So why not get a head start on applying for scholarship awards? You could win money for college, sure, but you'll also get experience in the scholarship application process before submitting even more applications during your senior year.

I've compiled a list of scholarships for high school juniors. This list will be a great place to start, but you might also want to search for more targeted awards (e.g., by geographic area). You can browse the scholarships below based on whether they're competitions or merit-based scholarships. Read to the end for tips and strategies on getting the most scholarship money possible!

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20 Top Scholarships for High School Seniors

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 5, 2020 8:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

Aside from grants and loans, private scholarships are some of the best ways to help fund your college education. There are thousands of scholarships out there for high school seniors, all with different eligibility requirements, deadlines, and award amounts, so it's definitely worth your time to do some research.

Senior year is prime crunch time when it comes to your college scholarship search. If you're just starting the search process and need a little help getting off on the right foot, you've come to the right place. I've compiled a list of some of the best college scholarships for high school seniors based on availability and award amounts. These scholarships are generally flexible (so you'll be able to use them at any accredited college you attend), and they also don't have any geographical restrictions (so you're eligible to apply no matter where you live in the US).

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Should You Really Get a Job as a Teen? Why and Why Not?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jan 4, 2020 5:00:00 PM

Other High School

Getting your first job is really exciting—you have real-world responsibilities, and real-word money that you earned yourself, probably for the first time. In your teen years especially, the independence that comes with a part-time job is especially appealing. You get out of the house, meet new people, forge professional connections, and make your own savings and spending decisions.

But you probably have a lot of other things on your plate as well: school, extracurricular activities, family, friends, even college applications. How do you know whether getting a job is a good idea? In this post, I'll talk about the things you should consider before submitting those job applications. Hopefully you come away from this post with a better idea of whether getting a job is right for you.

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The 17 Easiest Scholarships to Apply For

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Dec 29, 2019 6:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Scholarships are awesome resources if you're checking out different ways to pay for college. It's free money after all—what's not to love?

As it turns out, most scholarship programs have application processes that aren't exactly lovable. Students generally have to submit a lot of information about themselves: transcripts, GPAs, test scores, resumes, community service activities, and so on. There might even be a few essays and grade requirements thrown in as well. You don't want to complain—because, again, free money—but these applications sure are tedious when you're working on college apps, high school courses, and financial aid applications all at the same time.

The following easy scholarships have application processes that are a bit more manageable. Some ask you to write short essays, while others don't require any essays at all! The awards might not be as large as some other scholarships out there, but when the application process is so easy, you really don't have much to lose. I'll start off with some words of warning before getting into the good stuff: essay and no-essay scholarships that are so easy to apply for, you might end up applying to all of them!

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How to Win a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Award

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Dec 8, 2019 6:53:00 PM

Financial Aid

If you’re a high school senior of Hispanic or Latinx heritage, you'll definitely want to learn more about the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). With more than 150 types of scholarships available through this program, there’s a lot to learn—and a lot to win!

When you submit an HSF award scholarship, you’re actually submitting yourself for consideration for many different awards (much like when you submit a FAFSA). I’ll talk about all the details you’ll need to take into consideration before submitting your own application for Hispanic scholarships. Then, we'll take a look at application strategies for current high school seniors.

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The 32 Colleges With the Highest ACT Scores, Ranked

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Dec 8, 2019 4:00:00 PM

College Info

Did you know that the ACT is accepted by all four-year colleges? And that more students now end up taking the ACT than the SAT? With the test growing more popular each year, it's helpful to get a handle on what schools are toughest when it comes to applicants' ACT scores.

For this article, I've compiled a list of colleges with the highest average ACT scores for admitted students. With this data, you can compare your own ACT scores (or goal scores) with those earned by admitted applicants at top colleges.

We'll also talk about what these rankings actually mean: are these schools the best you can attend? Are they the most competitive? What if your ACT scores are below the listed averages?

Read on to find out the answers to these questions (and more)!

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Updated List: Colleges With the Highest SAT Scores

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Dec 1, 2019 11:00:00 AM

College Info

If you've already taken the SAT, you know it will likely be an important component of your college applications. Maybe you've set a goal score for yourself based on the types of colleges you're interested in. Even if you haven't taken the SAT yet or are still considering whether to take it, you probably want to know more about what the most competitive colleges and universities expect when it comes to applicants' standardized test scores.

I've compiled a list of colleges with the highest average SAT scores for admitted students. You'll be able to compare your own SAT scores (or goal scores) with those of top colleges and universities. I'll also talk about what these rankings actually mean so that you can interpret this information effectively. For example, are these schools the best schools you can attend? Are they the most competitive? What do you do if your SAT scores are below the listed averages?

Read on for a list of the top schools ranked by SAT score, and answers to the above questions!

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How to Create a Perfect Bright Futures Application

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Nov 3, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

The Florida Bright Futures scholarships are great funding options for Florida residents who want to stay in the state for college or vocational school. All three awards are easily renewable, which means you could significantly cut your college expenses for several years.

You might think there’s some complicated paperwork involved in submitting the Florida Bright Futures scholarship application. As it turns out, much of the process is streamlined and automated —you actually don’t have to jump through too many hoops to apply. The eligibility requirements are a bit of a different story, but once you meet those, the application process should be pretty easy.

In this post, I'll briefly explain about eligibility requirements before moving on to the application timeline. I'll end with tips and strategies you can use to submit the best possible Bright Futures application. 

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Complete Guide to the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Nov 3, 2019 12:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

The Florida Bright Futures scholarship programs are great resources for Florida students who plan on staying in-state for college. To date, the Bright Futures program has helped 725,000 Florida students go to college!

As with any scholarship program, though, there's a lot of information to process about the awards. Just sifting through all the eligibility requirements and award limitations can be overwhelming, never mind figuring out how to actually submit an application.

In this guide, I've compiled all the information you need about the Bright Futures scholarships. I'll talk about the different award programs, their eligibility requirements, the application process, and strategies to help you win your own.

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Florida Bright Futures Requirements: SAT, ACT, GPA, and More

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Nov 3, 2019 10:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship programs are awesome education funding options for Florida state residents—if you can get through the application process, that is. The scholarships offered are particularly nitpicky and tedious about their eligibility requirements: the official handbook outlining these criteria is its own 14-page book chapter. (Luckily, we've created an overview for you in a different, much shorter post.)

Not to worry! I’ve outlined all the eligibility criteria for Florida Bright Futures Scholarships (general and specific, for each scholarship, with every single exception or special circumstance) in a way that’s a bit easier to get through.

I’ve also included information about when to expect notification about your eligibility. Once you’re considered eligible, you’re one (big) step closer to winning a Bright Futures Scholarship. After you’ve processed all this information, I’ll get to the good stuff—how to increase your chances of winning your own Bright Futures award.

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The 30 Colleges With the Best Financial Aid

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 22, 2019 7:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

College in the US is expensive—too expensive, in fact, for the average student to be able to afford on their own. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 85% of first-year students at four-year colleges were receiving financial aid in 2016-17. Financial aid is good in all its forms, right? If it helps college students afford their educations, what could be the problem?

Unfortunately, not all financial aid is created equal—and not all schools can afford to give out "good" student aid. Here, I'll briefly talk about the types of financial aid available (the "good" kinds and the "bad" kinds) before introducing the colleges with the best financial aid programs in the country.

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How to Apply for Your Perkins Loan

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Sep 22, 2019 2:41:00 PM

Financial Aid

Are you considering applying for federal financial aid? If so, you might have heard of the Perkins loan program. Perkins loans are government-backed, low-interest loans that are meant to help students pay for school. They come with a lot of great perks, including the opportunity for loan cancellation (that's exactly what it sounds like it is⁠—imagine taking out a loan for school and not having to pay it back!).

If you want to get a Perkins loan for yourself, you've come to the right place. Read on for easy-to-follow instructions on exactly how to apply for a federal Perkins loan.

Note: As of 2017, the Perkins loan program is no longer being run. But don't worry⁠—we'll still give you a few options for what you can do for aid instead!

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