SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Rebecca Deurlein

Rebecca has a doctorate in Educational Leadership and taught high school English for over 20 years. Her students consistently earned top scores on the SAT and ACT, AP Language and AP Literature exams. She worked one-on-one with students through her own tutoring and educational coaching business and believes that individualized attention and personal connection are the keys to success. Rebecca is the author of the parenting book Teenagers 101: What a Top Teacher Wishes You Knew About Helping Your Kids Succeed, which provides tips for parents on how to help their kids reach their full potential. As a content writer for Prep Scholar, she hopes to help guide students and parents through high school and make the transition into adulthood as stress-free – and informed – as possible.

Recent Posts

SAT Test Dates for 2023-2024

If you are in your junior year, you’ve probably been told a dozen times that this is the most important year of high school. One reason is because this is the year you will take the SAT – maybe once, or maybe a few times. And as you know, standardized test scores are an important component of your college application.

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ACT Test Dates for 2023-2024

Are you planning to take the ACT this year? If so, your first order of business is to check out the testing dates and choose the one that works best for you. Whether you plan to take the ACT once or a few times, remember that standardized test scores are an important component of your college application. You’ll want to make sure you choose the dates that will help you be the most successful.

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Is Early Decision Binding?

If you’ve been thinking about college applications, you might also be thinking about applying early. You’ve likely heard that early action applications are an option and that there are benefits to applying early. And if you’ve done some checking, you’ll notice that some schools offer early action, some offer early decision, and some offer both.

While early action means you apply early and hear the college’s decision early, some confusion exists around early decision. So let’s clear that up now.

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Is Early Action Binding?

Applying to college early can be a good idea for a lot of reasons. Acceptance data shows that students who apply through early action have a slightly higher chance of being accepted. And once accepted, you can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy the rest of your senior year.

But is early action the same as early decision? And if you're accepted through early action, is it binding? Let’s take a look at what early action is, how it works, which schools offer early action, and just how soon you have to get your applications in.

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Digital SAT Tools: What You'll Have and What You'll Need

When the new digital SAT debuts in spring of 2024, it will come with a set of tools that will be useful to you as a student. Some will help you prepare for the test and practice in the new format ahead of time. Some tools will help you with the required pre-registration for the exam. And some will be available on test day to help you work through the exam. These built-in, online tools have been added for this new digital format.

You can learn about all of these tools for the new digital SAT by reading through this article. These tools will help quell your anxiety, ensure you are prepared, and help you feel confident walking into the test.

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How To Find a College That Fits You Perfectly

With nearly 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, the choices can be overwhelming, to say the least. There’s so much to think about when deciding where you will spend the next four years of your life, and it’s sometimes difficult to narrow down the choices.

In choosing your best fit college, it’s best to consider as many variables as possible. If you’ve thought through various possibilities and reflected on what you’re looking for in a school, you'll know you’ve chosen the best fit when it’s time to sign your letter of acceptance.

The best fit school is one that suits your personality, matches the goals you have for yourself, will help you reach those goals, and will meet your other needs and wants when it comes to social atmosphere, extracurricular opportunities, and academic opportunities. Fortunately, you have tools and resources at your disposal that will help you figure all of this out. So let’s dive in and discover how to find the right school for you!

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What Is College Fit? How Do You Determine It?

Has your school counselor ever told you that it’s important to find a “good fit” when you’re selecting your college? And have you ever wondered what that term even means?

When educators talk about the best college fit, they are talking about finding a school that is compatible with your personality and lifestyle, a school that feels comfortable and feels like “you.”

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What Are the Best Pre-Med Majors?

If you’ve dreamed of becoming a doctor and adding MD to the end of your name, you’ve likely spent a lot of time thinking about how to get there. You’ve heard about the many years of schooling, clinicals and residencies and watched TV shows where doctors are exhausted from long shifts and tough cases.

Earning a medical degree is a long process with big rewards. There are many steps to getting there, and the first is determining what courses to take in college to prepare you for medical school.

We often use the term “pre-med” to define the college courses leading to medical school. But is pre-med a major? Is it something you can select when you declare your major on your college applications or early in your college career?

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Does Early Action or Decision Increase Your Chances of Admission?

You might have heard that getting into college is more competitive than ever. Students are applying to college in ever greater numbers, and many apply to multiple colleges, making the pool of applications even deeper.

As a result, you are likely looking for anything that will help you edge out the competition. Your counselors or friends might have suggested applying early action or early decision to increase your chances of being accepted. But does applying early raise the odds of being accepted to the college of your choice?

While not all schools offer these options, about 450 colleges across the U.S. offer one or both early admission option, according to College Board. Many popular and competitive colleges fall into this category, offering one or the other, or both. Read on for an explanation of how early decision and early action work, and whether or not they increase your chances for admission.

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How Many Questions Are on the SAT?


If you’re in high school, you know all about how important the SAT is for getting into the college of your choice. But do you know the important details that play a part in your success? If you’ve ever wondered how many questions are on the SAT, you’ve come to the right place!

First, let’s clarify that until spring of 2024, you will take the traditional pencil and paper SAT, but once the change to the digital SAT occurs, some aspects, like the number of questions on the SAT, will change. Let’s start with what to expect from the traditional SAT format.

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Do Colleges Look at Freshman Grades?

Getting into college is increasingly competitive, and more and more students like you are looking at ways they can increase their chances of being accepted. While it’s not uncommon for kids to wait until later in high school to start worrying about their GPA, we don’t recommend this! Your grades begin calculating with your very first assignment, quiz, and test, so it’s important to think about this early on.

But do colleges look at freshman grades? Do these grades matter as much as grades you earn as a sophomore, junior, and senior? Let’s take a look.

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What is the Summer Slide? How Can You Prevent It?

Have you ever heard of the summer slide? Sadly, it has nothing to do with a water park or any park, for that matter. Instead, it has to do with the learning loss students experience during the summer months.

If you’ve ever realized in July that you can’t remember any of the facts you memorized for a final exam, you’ve experienced summer slide. If you’ve started a new school year needing a review because you've forgotten the material you learned at the end of the last year, that’s summer learning loss.

So what is summer slide? It is summer learning loss of the knowledge and progress you made during the school year. And yes, it’s very real and affects most kids from elementary school all the way through high school.

Summer learning loss statistics tell us that each summer, kids lose 2-3 months of knowledge they had gained during the school year, which is a lot! Math loss seems to be the greatest, and high school students tend to lose the most knowledge. You might have noticed that since COVID, you feel more behind than ever, so summer slide can really hurt you academically.

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Digital SAT Scores: Everything You Need to Know

In spring 2024, the new digital SAT will replace the traditional paper and pencil SAT we’ve known for years. You might be wondering how the digital SAT will be scored and how this will affect you. Is the scoring more difficult, easier, or the same? And how is the digital SAT score calculated?

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How to Find the Best College Admissions Counselors

You may have heard of admissions consultants from your teachers, high school counselors, friends, or family. Or you may have done a web search on college admissions and noticed several results that included links to consultants, making you wonder…

What are college admissions consultants? These are professionals, usually from the education field, who work with you to help you achieve your college admissions goals. Whether you have Ivy League dreams, are interested in a major university, or want to stick close to home at a small college, college admissions consultants cater their assistance to your unique needs.

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How Many Ivy League Schools Are There?

One of the reasons we talk about Ivy League colleges is because they belong to an exclusive club — but how many schools are in the Ivy League, actually? In fact, there are only eight universities belonging to the Ivy League. How those eight got there is a history lesson. But are those schools worth knowing, applying to, and attending? We’ll answer all those questions, so read on!

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