SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Rebecca Safier

Rebecca graduated with her Master's in Adolescent Counseling from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has years of teaching and college counseling experience and is passionate about helping students achieve their goals and improve their well-being. She graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University and scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT.

Recent Posts

What Is a Good SAT Subject Test Score?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 15, 2019 9:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

What's a good Subject Test score? This might sound like a straightforward question, but it's actually a little more complicated. What makes a good score varies by SAT Subject Test as the number of test takers differs from test to test. For instance, in 2017 more than 140,000 students took the Math Level II Test, more than 48,000 students took the Literature Test, and only 453 took the Modern Hebrew Test.

As you'll see below, most good scores for SAT Subject Tests are in the 700s, but there are other factors to consider as you set your target scores. Let's take a look at the average scores and percentiles so you can know what a good score is for each individual SAT Subject Test.

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Average SAT Subject Test Scores: Complete List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 15, 2019 9:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

A 750 on an SAT Subject Test sounds like an amazing score, right? Not necessarily! Interpreting scores on the Subject Tests is more complex than it is on the general SAT. For example, an excellent score on the Literature Subject Test might look very different from an excellent score on the Korean with Listening Test.

Let's take a look at the average scores for each SAT Subject Test, and go over what they mean as you choose which tests to take.

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Complete Guide: Colleges Not Requiring SAT Scores

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 15, 2019 6:00:00 PM

SAT General Info, College Admissions

Not all admissions processes are created equal. One major point of difference among colleges these days is how admissions officers consider your SAT scores. More and more schools are de-emphasizing SAT scores as part of your application with test-optional and test-flexible policies. One college has even eliminated SAT scores completely!

There are now more than 1,000 accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions that have changed their approaches to standardized test scores. Keep in mind that the majority of colleges, especially the more prestigious schools, do still require (and strongly consider) SAT scores.

Let’s take a look at the different score policies and the schools that no longer require applicants to submit their SAT scores for admission.

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How to Win a National Merit Scholarship

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 8, 2019 6:52:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, College Admissions

Being named a Scholar is the highest academic recognition you can achieve from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). It is a national distinction that puts you at the pinnacle of academic achievement.

To become a Scholar, you need to first become a Finalist. But not all Finalists win scholarships: only about 8,000 of 15,000 students win this award. In this article, we’ll talk about what scholarships are available through the NMSC and what you need to do to get one.

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What Colleges Should I Apply To? Making a College List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

College Admissions

With more than 5,000 colleges to choose from across the country, you might be asking yourself, "What colleges should I apply to?" How do you narrow thousands of schools down to just 10? The best way to streamline your college list is to divide it roughly equally between safety schools, match schools, and reach schools.

This guide will go over exactly what these terms mean and how to choose the best schools for you. Before taking you through the process step by step, though, let's review the research process as a whole.

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How to Get a College Application Fee Waiver: 3 Approaches

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 1, 2019 6:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Most college application fees fall in the $40 to $50 range, with some costing as much as $90 (ahem, Stanford). For many students and their families, these fees present a serious obstacle along the already pricey path to college. If application fees are burdensome to you, you might qualify for college application fee waivers.

Just like SAT and ACT fee waivers, these college fee waivers allow you to send off your applications for free. This guide will go over how you can qualify for and use college application fee waivers; it'll also review how much college apps usually cost and how much you can save with fee waivers.

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International Students and the SAT/ACT: Complete Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 1, 2019 3:00:00 PM

SAT versus ACT, College Admissions

Are you an international student aiming to attend college in the United States? Colleges are looking for students with language skills and global competencies more than ever, so you already have several strong assets to draw on in your college applications.

One requirement for your applications to most universities is the SAT or ACT. Let's go over the information you need to know about deciding between the SAT and ACT, registering for the tests, and preparing to achieve a high score.

But first, why are the SAT and ACT important for going to college in the US?

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PSAT Practice Tests — Updated for New 2015 PSAT

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're looking for PSAT practice materials, you've come to the right place. This guide contains all free PSAT materials, which you can download—including 10 PSAT practice test PDFs.

Unfortunately, since the PSAT's 2015 makeover, the College Board hasn't released a ton of practice tests. Luckily, though, you can still use old PSAT practice tests effectively to prepare. Before getting to the practice questions, we'll go over some of the changes made to the PSAT in 2015. If you care about your PSAT score, read carefully so you don't waste your time studying the wrong things!

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Complete List: BA/MD and BS/MD Programs in the US

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 25, 2019 9:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Do you dream of becoming a doctor? If you’re set on going to medical school, then a combined BS/MD or BA/MD program might be for you. The majority of these combined programs allow motivated high school students to go right from undergraduate to medical school without having to go through another application process.

While there aren’t a ton of spots available in combined programs, there are schools throughout the country that offer them. Before we look at those, however, let’s review what BA/MD and BS/MD programs entail, as well as the pros and cons for high school and young undergraduate applicants.

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Early Decision Deadlines for Every College With ED

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 25, 2019 6:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

If you're applying early decision, then you've already accomplished something pretty rare in the college application process—you know exactly where you want to go to college!

This guide goes over your timeline for applying early decision and provides a comprehensive list of deadlines for all early decision schools. Read on to learn everything you will need to know about applying early decision to your dream school.

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When To Apply For College: Complete Timeline

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 25, 2019 5:30:00 PM

College Admissions

Many students start college in the fall after they graduate high school, but their planning and applying starts years before. Application deadlines may be in the fall or winter of senior year, and completing each step on the path to college might start as early as freshman year. 

This article is concerned with when to apply for college: when do you complete each step of the process, and when are your college deadlines? After reading this, you'll know exactly when to apply to college and what steps are needed.

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Early Decision Schools: Complete List of ED Colleges

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 25, 2019 5:30:00 PM

College Admissions, College Info

Did you know that early decision isn't necessarily early? "Binding decision" might be a better name for it, since some schools now offer "early" decision deadlines in January as well as in November.

Either way, applying early decision is a big commitment. If you apply this way, you should be totally sure you want to attend that school. Let's review the pros and cons of early decision and look at all the schools that currently offer early decision admission.

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Complete List: Colleges That Require SAT Subject Tests

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 18, 2019 2:30:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests, College Admissions

Does applying to college make you feel like you're trying to walk through a door but don't yet have the keys? To gain access, first you need to understand exactly what the colleges you're interested in require. This can be tricky with the SAT Subject Tests, as different colleges have different policies.

We've compiled a comprehensive list of all the colleges that require SAT Subject Tests, along with others that recommend or consider them as part of your application. As policies are continually changing, always double-check with the school about their standardized testing requirements. Let us know in the comments if we need to make any updates!

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The Best ACT Prep Websites You Should Be Using

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 11, 2019 12:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies

Rather than relying solely on heavy ACT prep books to get you ready for your exam, you can lighten your load by moving your ACT prep online. You'll find lots of resources on everything from test content and key strategies to high-quality practice questions. And the best part is that most of these resources are free!

This guide will go over the best test prep websites you should be using if you're aiming to ace the ACT. But first, a word on the perspective I have when it comes to ACT websites.

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Early Action Deadlines for Every College With EA

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 4, 2019 6:30:00 PM

College Admissions

If you're in the midst of college application season, then you know it's time to take action. For some of you, that might be early action, which pushes your deadlines up a couple months.

This guide has the complete list of colleges that offer early action, along with advice on the best way to prepare for an early deadline. Before getting to the list, though, let's go over the ins and outs of the early action admission plan.

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