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

Early Decision Deadlines for Every College with ED

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 12, 2018 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 will go over your timeline for applying early decision, as well as provide a comprehensive list of deadlines for all the early decision schools. Read on to learn everything you need to know about applying early decision to your dream school.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 4, 2018 11:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're gearing up for a high PSAT score in junior year, then you may choose to take the PSAT as a freshman for practice. Taking the PSAT in 9th grade will help you identify your current scoring level and figure out how you can improve for the future.

As a freshman, you can choose between two tests: the PSAT/NMSQT that 11th graders take or the PSAT 8/9, a version of the test specifically geared toward 8th and 9th graders.

These two tests have comparable, but slightly different, score ranges. This article will go over the scoring and percentiles of both so you know what would make a good PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 score as a freshman.

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How Long Is the ACT With Breaks?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 4, 2018 6:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

While the test-taking part of the ACT is strictly timed at 2 hours and 55 minutes, the actual time you'll spend in the testing room is longer due to breaks, check in, and other factors. This guide will take a closer look at how long the ACT is with breaks and the amount of time you can plan to spend at your testing center.

First, let's consider how long the exam itself is versus how long your whole test-taking experience will be.

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International Students and the SAT/ACT: Complete Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 4, 2018 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. First, why are the SAT and ACT important to go to college in the U.S.?

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New 2017 PSAT Percentiles and Selection Index

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 2, 2018 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Your PSAT score report will show you a myriad of scores, including your total scores, section scores, subscores, percentiles, and Selection Index. This guide will focus on the last two pieces of data, your score percentiles and Selection Index.

Since it’s important to understand how the other scores in your report relate to your PSAT percentiles and Selection Index, we’ll start with a quick review of terms. If you’re one of many students or parents looking for directions out of the complex maze that is the PSAT score report, read on to have the path illuminated!

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SAT Subject Test Dates 2018: When Should You Take Them?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 2, 2018 2:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

When are you planning to take the SAT Subject Tests? If you answered, "I don't know," you're not alone! It's hard to know when the best time is to fit in the subject tests with the general SAT, your schoolwork, and everything else you've got going on.

Let's take a look at when the SAT Subject Tests are offered and when the best dates are for you to take them. As long as you have a plan, you'll be able to balance these tests with all the other things you're up to in your busy life. 

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Colleges With Late Application Deadlines: Complete List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 1, 2018 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions

If you’re wondering if there are any colleges with late application deadlines, you’re in luck! There are lots of colleges that have a deadline in February or later, and many more that keep rolling admissions open until all their spots have been filled.

The full list of colleges with late application deadlines is below. Before diving into the list, let’s consider an important question first: what exactly is considered a “normal” deadline?

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Sophomore?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 31, 2017 4:30:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, PSAT Info and Strategies

 

You wouldn't go for your driver's license test before ever getting behind the wheel, right? In reality, you'd practice your three-point turns and parallel parking first so you're ready and know what to expect when the real test comes.

Just as you suspected, this scenario's an analogy for the PSAT. Rather than sitting for it junior year without a practice run, you can improve your performance if you've already taken it in 10th grade. Taking the PSAT as a sophomore is a great, low-pressure way to familiarize yourself with the test, gauge your level, and figure out where you need to improve.

With this in mind, we'll look at what PSAT scores are good for sophomores and how to improve them even more for junior year. But first, let's consider how the PSAT is scored.

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Expert Guide: How Many Times Should You Take the SAT?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 27, 2017 8:30:00 AM

SAT General Info

How many times can you take the SAT? Is there a limit if you're retaking it to achieve your ideal score? Why would you want to keep sitting through this high stakes test, anyway?

There are several compelling reasons to take the SAT more than once, but you also shouldn't go totally overboard. Let's go over when you should retake the SAT, and when it might be time to move on.

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118 Great Questions to Ask on a College Tour

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 4, 2017 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Touring your prospective colleges is a great opportunity to learn from the people who study, work, and teach on campus. By keeping your eyes and ears open, you can gain a strong sense of a school and its culture, far beyond the facts and figures on its website.

To make the most of your visits, you should prepare thoughtful questions to ask on a college tour. This guide will provide you with a comprehensive college visit checklist of questions for your tour guide, current students, admissions officers, financial aid officers, and professors. Plus, we’ll offer some advice on what not to ask.

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Complete Study Guide: SAT US History Subject Test

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 27, 2017 4:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

Alexander Hamilton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, and Rosa Parks - these are a few of the important historical figures you might encounter on the SAT US History Subject Test.

This complete study guide will tell you everything you need to know for SAT US History, how you can prepare, and where to find the best practice questions to start prepping. 

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Celebrity ACT Scores (Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe)

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 22, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Are you taking the ACT? You're in good company! Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe, and Steve Jobs all took the ACT, too, along with several other celebrities. We've compiled their scores so you can see how these successful people performed back when they were in high school.

We've also converted the SAT scores of famous people to the ACT scale so you get a sense of how their scores compare. Now if you ever run into Barack Obama, you'll have at least one conversation starter to fall back on...

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Complete Study Guide: SAT Physics Subject Test

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 8, 2017 11:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests

Did you know that if you squeezed all the matter that makes up all the people in the world together, it could fit into the size of a sugar cube? That's because atoms are mostly made up of empty space between very tiny, very dense nuclei. 

If you're intrigued by the mind-blowing facts and figures of physics, you might be considering the SAT Physics Subject Test. This comprehensive guide will go over exactly what's on the test (don't worry, nothing about sugar cubes). It will also tell you where you can find the best SAT Physics practice tests, and the study tips and strategies you need to know to master the SAT II.

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

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 6, 2017 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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The 10 Best ACT Books Recommended for ACT Prep

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 4, 2017 7:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies

Has your reading list been taken over by ACT prep books? There are a lot out there to choose from, and you want to make sure you're using high-quality materials that will get you ready for the ACT.

This guide is meant to help you choose the best ACT prep books to achieve your goals. I've divided the books up into three categories: the critical book you need, the best books for general prep, and the best books by ACT section. Before jumping into my recommendations, a quick note about the perspective I'm coming from.

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