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

The 10 Best ACT Books Recommended for ACT Prep

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 15, 2022 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. We'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 our recommendations, a quick note about the perspective we're coming from.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Apr 11, 2022 10:26:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you're gearing up for a high PSAT score your junior year, then you might 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 can know what would make a good PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 8/9 score as a freshman.

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How Long Does It Take to Get SAT Scores Back?

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Mar 20, 2022 5:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

Don't you wish you could find out how you scored on the SAT right after you finish taking the test? Or maybe you'd like to forget all about it and pretend it never happened (better luck next time)!

Either way, your wait time for your SAT scores will be the same: somewhere between two and six weeks. This article fills you in on all the details of SAT score reporting and offers some advice for what to do once you get your scores.

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Colleges With Late Application Deadlines: Complete List

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Feb 6, 2022 8:30:00 AM

College Admissions

If you're wondering whether there are any colleges with late application deadlines, you're in luck! Lots of colleges have application deadlines in February or later, and many more keep rolling admissions open until all their spots have been filled.

Here, we give you a full list of colleges with late application deadlines. But before diving into this list, let's consider an important question: what exactly is considered a normal deadline?

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How Long Does It Take to Get ACT Scores Back?

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 7, 2022 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

After you take the ACT, the anticipation isn't over! You have to wait to get your scores. While the scores aren't available immediately, you don't actually have to wait too long to see your scores or have them sent to colleges.

This guide will go over when you can expect to see your ACT scores for each test date, as well as the differences in score release dates for students who took the ACT with Writing.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Sophomore?

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 19, 2021 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 is 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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New 2021 PSAT Percentiles and Selection Index

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 19, 2021 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

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

Because 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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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Junior?

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 19, 2021 4:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The PSAT is an important test on the road to college. Your scores predict how you'll do on the SAT. Plus, top scorers can earn distinctions and scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

So how do you know whether your PSAT scores are good? While what counts as a good score varies depending on your personal goals, we can give a more objective answer to this question by considering PSAT score percentiles. But first, let's review how the PSAT is scored.

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The New PSAT, Redesigned in 2015: Complete Guide

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 30, 2021 10:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, New SAT

If you're a high school student planning on taking the PSAT, you'll be taking the redesigned PSAT. This new version of the test started in October 2015 was administered to all students across the country.

We'll let you know all about the PSAT format, scoring, and content and what you need to know to be prepared. Not only is the 2015 PSAT an important step in prepping for the SAT, but it also qualifies you for National Merit distinctions and scholarships.

Let's dive into the changes in format, scoring, and content being made to the redesigned PSAT and what these changes mean for your test prep.

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Best SAT Math Prep Books (2021): Expert Reviews

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 18, 2021 12:00:00 PM

SAT General Info

While there are many different SAT prep books, they all have one thing in common: they all claim to be the best. How can you figure out which one will actually help you succeed on the SAT?

This guide will give you my recommendations for the best prep books for the Math section of the SAT. Some of these books are best for strategies and thinking through the problems, while others are best for practice problems. A few are geared toward top scorers, while some will help you improve a low score fast.

Before delving into the list, I have to make one disclaimer:

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The 11 Best SAT Books Recommended for SAT Prep

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Oct 30, 2021 12:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies

With so many SAT prep books to choose from, how can you tell the good ones from the bad ones? Well, not to worry because we've evaluated SAT books for you! This fully updated guide gives you our recommendations for the top 11 SAT preparation books to help you achieve the scores you want.

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The Best ACT Prep Websites You Should Be Using

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Oct 20, 2021 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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NCAA ACT Scores: What You Need to Qualify

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Oct 13, 2021 9:30:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target

If you're a student athlete who wants to play in NCAA Division I or Division II sports in college, then this article is for you! We'll review NCAA's eligibility criteria for your GPA and ACT score, which NCAA compares using a sliding scale. More importantly, we'll give you the tips and strategies you need to achieve the NCAA ACT scores required for passing the clearinghouse.

First, let's quickly review how your grade point average, or GPA, is determined.

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How to Get a College Application Fee Waiver: 3 Approaches

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 29, 2021 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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How to Become a National Merit Semifinalist

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Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 20, 2021 10:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies, College Admissions

Every October, about 1.6 million juniors across the country take the PSAT. Those who score in the top 1% achieve the distinction of National Merit Semifinalist. Most of these students move on to become National Merit Finalists, with some winning scholarship money for college.

Being named a National Merit Semifinalist is a huge achievement along the path to college. Let’s take a look at what you need to do to become a National Merit Semifinalist.

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