SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Mary Ann Barge

Mary Ann holds a BA in Classics and Russian from the University of Notre Dame, and an MA from University College London. She has years of tutoring experience and is also passionate about travel and learning languages.

Recent Posts

How to Write About Extracurriculars on College Applications

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Apr 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions

One of the trickiest parts of the Common App is understanding how to make the most of the extracurricular activity section. You might have a ton of activities - or not very many - and be wondering how you should write about your activities to impress college admissions readers.

If you’ve felt stumped by what you’re supposed to do in this section and how to make the most of your very limited space, read on.

In this guide I will tell you:

  • How many extracurricular activities you should list
  • How to choose which activities to list
  • How to write about your extracurriculars

But before we get into that, you may be wondering...

Read More

 

The 3 Best Extracurricular Activities for Your College App

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Mar 22, 2018 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions, Extracurriculars

Extracurricular activities are an important part of your college application. The things that you choose to do outside of the classroom help college admission officers understand your personality in a way that your grades and test scores can’t show.

With so many activities to choose from, how do you know which ones are going to make the biggest impact on your application? Do colleges prefer students with traditional activities like sports and student council, or are you better off if you have something unconventional on your activity list?

If you're unsure about how to strategize a list of activities that will make an impact on your application, read on to see the three best extracurricular activities that will really get you noticed.

Read More

 

No Extracurricular Activities? Here's What You Should Do

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Mar 16, 2018 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions, Extracurriculars

Extracurricular activities are one of the most important parts of your college application. After your test scores and grades, they are the best way for a college to get to know more about you and to understand what kind of student you might be on campus.

But what if you have no extracurricular activities? Is all hope lost?

Read on to find out why things might not be as bad as they seem and what you can do to make up for not having extracurriculars.

Read More

 

ACT English: Word Choice and Diction Errors

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 27, 2017 7:30:00 AM

ACT English

One of the trickier concepts that you will be tested on ACT English is your ability to choose the right word from among many that are not quite right, and to spot when words are being used incorrectly.

Are you confident in your ability to find the differences in a group of similar words? Can you distinguish what’s needed from the context of a question?

Read More

 

Run-on Sentences and Fragments in ACT English: Grammar Rule

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Jan 11, 2016 12:50:00 PM

ACT English

You may think that of all the grammatical concepts you will encounter on the ACT English, recognizing a correct sentence will be one of the easiest ones. But did you know that this is actually one of the most commonly-tested subjects because it can be very tricky?

Do you know what you need to have in order to have a complete sentence? Can you reliably tell the difference between a subordinate clause and an independent clause? Do you know how to use semicolons and conjunctive adverbs?

Read this guide to see how the ACT manages to trick so many students with this seemingly easy concept.

Read More

 

How to Create Successful Community Service Projects

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Dec 11, 2015 6:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars

Have you considered doing some community service work during high school but can't find anything that fits your interests?

Do you want to have more ownership over what kind of service work you do? If so, then making your own community service project may be the right idea for you.

Read on for a step-by-step guide that will tell you everything you need to know to complete a successful community service project.

Read More

 

423 Amazing Community Service Ideas

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Dec 3, 2015 5:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars


Volunteering is a great way to fulfill community service requirements for school, strengthen your resume, and give back to your community.

However, some students have difficulties finding a volunteer opportunity that they are excited about.

Need some inspiration to do good deeds? Read on for a list of over 400 community service ideas for teens.

Read More

 

How Many Extracurricular Activities Do You Need?

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Dec 3, 2015 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions, Extracurriculars

You’ve been working hard in high school to get good grades and test scores, but there’s another part of the college application that many students find more confusing: the extracurricular activity section.

How many extracurricular activities do you need for college applications? How many are too many? Will you get rejected from a school if you don’t have the right amount?

Many students who have participated in activities throughout high school are shocked to look at the Common App and realize there are ten spaces to fill out. Does that mean you have to be involved in ten different activities?

In this article I will tell you:

  • The important things colleges need to see in your extracurriculars
  • The ideal amount of extracurricular activities
  • The minimum amount of extracurriculars you can have
  • What to do if you have no extracurriculars
  • What to do if you have too many extracurriculars

Read More

 

The Best Volunteer Abroad Programs You Should Try

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Oct 11, 2015 12:30:00 PM

Extracurriculars

By now you probably know that one thing colleges want to learn about you is how you spend your free time. Did you spend high school sitting around playing video games? Or did you get out, actively involve yourself in an activity and your community, and make a difference?

One way of doing just that has become increasingly popular over the past several years: volunteering abroad.

Read on for more on why students volunteer abroad, tips for choosing a volunteer abroad program, and our pick of some of the best volunteer abroad programs out there.

Read More

 

The #1 Left-Handed Scholarship

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Sep 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

Financial Aid

You’ve struggled all your life with scissors. You felt distinctly discriminated against during handwriting classes in grade school. And shaking hands feels downright unnatural.

In short, you’ve suffered. And everyone knows that for every challenge out there, there’s a college scholarship to reward those who have struggled through it.

Read on to hear about scholarships for you long-suffering lefties.

Read More

 

Full Analysis of ACT Grammar Rules: Which Are Most Important?

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 22, 2015 7:00:00 PM

ACT English

When you are planning your study approach for ACT English, it’s important to know where your time is best spent.

Which grammar rules are really the most important to learn? What can help you make the greatest improvement to your score?

Read More

 

Full Analysis of SAT Grammar Rules: Which Are Most Important?

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 22, 2015 6:00:00 PM

SAT Writing

When you are planning your study approach for SAT Writing, it’s important to know where your time is best spent.

Which grammar rules are really the most important to learn? What can help you make the greatest improvement to your score?

Read on to find out exactly how much each grammar rule matters and how you can use this information on the test.

Read More

 

The Top Prep Books for ACT English

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 22, 2015 4:00:00 PM

ACT English

You’ve decided to use a book to study for ACT English, but do you know which books out there will actually help you reach your goals?

In this article, I will give you an overview of the best ACT English prep books on the market today, and which ones you should choose depending on what score you're aiming for.

These books can be found at bookstores, the library, or online. Focus on using these books with high quality practice and review, and you'll be sure to improve your English score.

Read More

 

SAT Writing: Word Choice and Diction Errors

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 6, 2015 8:30:00 AM

SAT Writing

 

Mark Twain famously once wrote in a letter that the “difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

The SAT agrees with good old Mark, and tests students on their ability to recognize when the almost-right word has been subbed in for the right one.

Are you confident in your ability to not be tricked by the SAT's unusual diction questions? Read on for some strategies and tips for this section. 

Read More

 

Formality on ACT English: Strategies and Tips

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Aug 1, 2015 3:00:00 PM

ACT English

You wouldn’t wear a tux on a first date or jeans to a wedding. The ACT also tests you on whether or not you understand what level of formality is appropriate in different circumstances.

Read on to learn more about one of the most unusual topics covered on the ACT!

Read More

 

Student and Parent Forum

Our new student and parent forum, at ExpertHub.PrepScholar.com, allow you to interact with your peers and the PrepScholar staff. See how other students and parents are navigating high school, college, and the college admissions process. Ask questions; get answers.

Join the Conversation

Ask a Question Below

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