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

Updated List: Colleges With the Highest SAT Scores

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Nov 3, 2018 12:00:00 PM

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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Can You Fail the SAT?

The SAT is a pretty high-stakes test - it’s an important part of your college applications, which could mean trouble if you get a low score. But can you fail the SAT altogether?

The good news is that officially, it’s impossible to fail the SAT - but that doesn’t mean that a low score doesn't mean bad news. Here, I’ll review everything you need to know about why you can’t really fail the SAT, but why poor marks may as well count as failing.

Worried about your score? At the end, I’ll go over the steps you should take to pull them up.  

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The 46 Colleges With the Highest ACT Scores, Ranked

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Oct 3, 2018 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 SATWith 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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How to Get a Merit Scholarship: 6-Step Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 26, 2018 6:53:00 PM

Financial Aid

If you’re looking for a way to fund your college education, you should definitely check out merit scholarships. They’re especially great options for high-achieving students who may not qualify for much need-based financial aid. The best part of getting a merit scholarship is, of course, that you’re essentially getting free money for school. But how to get a merit scholarship can still be confusing and overwhelming.

In this post, I’ll explain what defines a merit scholarship before going into both where you can find them and how you can get them. At the end, you’ll find a list of some of the top merit awards available - this way, you can get a head start on getting that cash.

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How to Get a Full Ride Scholarship: 5 Key Tips

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 9, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

College is a huge investment - you spend a lot of time, energy, and money to earn a degree. Graduating from school means making financial sacrifices, but it also means reaping significant educational and professional rewards.

But what if the whole money problem wasn’t an issue? What if you could go to school without worrying about tuition expenses or accruing interest? With a full ride scholarship, all your college costs are taken care of. Instead of thinking about paying your bills, you could focus on the important things: studying for that big exam or getting your term paper in on time. Here, I’ll lay out everything you need to know about how to get a full ride scholarship: what exactly it is, who can get one, and where you can find them.

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Easy Scholarships to Win: How to Find and Apply

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 6, 2018 8:30:00 AM

Financial Aid

Applying for scholarships can be stressful and time-consuming, especially if you’re looking at really competitive awards. Wouldn’t it be nice to apply for scholarships that you knew you had a really good shot at winning?

If you want to get your hands on some easy scholarship money, you’re in the right place. First, I’ll talk a little bit about what it means to be an easy-to-win scholarship. Then, I’ll get to the good stuff by directing you to the places you should look for these awards - you might be surprised at where you can find them - and how to put together a successful application.

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What's the Highest New SAT Score Possible?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Apr 1, 2018 4:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics, New SAT

Understanding how the SAT scoring system works is an important part of preparing for the test. After all, how else are you supposed to measure your progress and set goals?

The SAT underwent some big format changes in 2016, which means that the scoring system most people were familiar with was radically overhauled. Here, I’ll cover how the scoring system has changed on the SAT, how this has affected the highest possible SAT score, and what this means for test takers.

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The 5 Steps to Becoming a Lawyer: Complete Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Feb 1, 2018 11:00:00 PM

Other High School, College Info

Law is one of the toughest trades to break into - there’s a lot of competition out there, and there’s a lot at stake (law school isn’t exactly cheap). If you’re interested in entering the legal profession, you should be well-informed about everything it takes to become a lawyer.

Here, I’ll go through all the steps of how to become a lawyer. Before I jump into that, however, I’ll begin by touching briefly on what the job market looks like for lawyers both now and in the future.

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The Complete Guide to Google Scholarships

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 29, 2016 7:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

Google is one of the world’s software and technology powerhouses - it’s not surprising that they offer several scholarships for students interested in pursuing computer science and engineering.

Because Google has the resources to offer very generous awards, applicants come up against serious competition when gunning for one of their scholarships. If you’re interested in a Google scholarship, you should be as prepared as possible if you want to submit a successful application.

In this post I’ll explain every major Google award in detail before giving you tips and strategies for submitting an awesome application.

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The Complete Guide to Grants for College

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 23, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Financial Aid

 

If you know you’ll need to get financial aid to make college more affordable (most students do, by the way), then you should definitely learn everything you can about grants. They happen to be some of the best forms of financial aid you can get.

Here, I’ll tell you exactly why grants are so great and why you should seek them out. Then, I’ll get to the important stuff: where and how you can get your own grant awards.

Let’s get started!

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Is College Really Worth It? Expert Cost-Benefit Analysis

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Financial Aid

With tuition rising every year, more and more students are asking themselves, "Is college worth it?" Many people believe that getting a college education is an important part of becoming a successful adult. Others, however, find it difficult to justify the increasing investment necessary to earn a degree. There’s no one path that’s right for everyone, and it can be difficult to think critically about the decision to go to college when you’re feeling pressured one way or another.

There’s no simple answer to this question, but there is a rational way to think about whether college is the right path for you. Just as with any investment, you want to think about the relationship between what you put into it (like money, time, and effort) and what you get out of it (like education, networking, and career opportunities). The more you get out of it as compared to how much you put in, the better the investment.

In this post, I'll go through all the potential benefits and drawbacks of pursuing a four-year bachelor's degree so you have all the information to decide for yourself whether college is worth it. 

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What Is a 529 Plan? How Can It Help You?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jul 1, 2016 9:00:00 PM

Financial Aid

If you want to save in a smart way for college (either for yourself or your child), you’ll want to make the most of your money. One of the best savings plans meant specifically for growing a college fund is called a 529 plan, or a qualified tuition plan.

But what is a 529 plan? Like any sort of investment plan, there are several types of 529s, all with their own benefits and drawbacks. In this post, I’ll talk about the basics of 529 plans, why they’re helpful, whether they affect financial aid, and where you can get one.

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What's a Liberal Arts College? Should You Attend One?

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 25, 2016 8:30:00 AM

College Info

If you’ve started researching colleges, you’ve probably seen the term “liberal arts school” thrown around quite a bit without really understanding what it means. What is a liberal arts college, actually?  And how is it different from other sorts of colleges and universities?

It’s hard to get a straight answer when it comes to defining a liberal arts college. In this post, I’ll dive a little deeper into defining the liberal arts before explaining what it means to get a liberal arts education. Then, I’ll talk about how these colleges differ from non-liberal arts schools and how that may affect your educational experience.

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The 7 Steps to Becoming a Doctor: A Complete Guide

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 24, 2016 10:00:00 PM

Other High School, College Info

Medicine is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding fields a student can enter. Before deciding whether becoming a doctor is right for you, it’s important that you’re well-informed about 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 career path is right for you, this post will help you start preparing now for a successful career.

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Where to Find Free SSAT Practice Tests: Complete Collection

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 24, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

If you (or your child) are applying to a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school, you may have heard of the SSAT. Often used as an entrance exam, the SSAT is a series of standardized tests that can be administered to students in grades 3-11.

The SSAT, or Secondary School Admissions Test, is a standardized exam often given to students hoping to enter a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school. If you want to boost your chances of getting into one of these schools, working on SSAT practice tests is a great way to do it. Here, I’ll discuss where you can find these practice tests (both official and unofficial), and how you should use them. I’ll wrap up with important SSAT test-taking tips.

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