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

When Don't SAT/ACT Scores Matter for College Admissions?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 1, 2019 8:30:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, College Admissions

Have you started researching how to apply to college? You may know that most college-bound students take the SAT and ACT. But just how important are they, and when can you get away without taking them?

Let's look at when SAT and ACT scores are important for college admissions, and when they're not.

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Early Decision Deadlines for Every College With ED

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Jan 1, 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 Should I Take the SAT Math Level 2 Subject Test?

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

SAT Subject Tests, SAT Logistics

Are you planning to take the Math II SAT Subject Test for your college applications? As you know, the Math 2 subject test covers more advanced math concepts than the Math I. Because of this, you want to make sure you're taking it at the right time to achieve a high score.

This article will help you figure out exactly when is the best time for you take this test. First, let's quickly review what's on the Math 2 SAT Subject Test.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Sophomore?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 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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New 2018 PSAT Percentiles and Selection Index

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 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?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 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 (NMSC).

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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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 23, 2018 10:26:00 AM

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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Best SAT Math Prep Books (2019): Expert Reviews

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 9, 2018 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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What Is the SSAT? Expert Guide to the 3 Levels

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 4, 2018 11:12:00 AM

Other High School

Are you interested in going to private school? If so, you might need to take the SSAT to get in. But what is the SSAT? It's an admissions test that independent schools throughout the U.S. and the world use to assess their prospective students.

The test is available in three levels, so students in elementary, middle, and high school can take it. This comprehensive guide will go over each level of the SSAT so you can learn all about its purpose, structure, and questions. You’ll also find six useful tips for test prep. To start, let’s go over the purpose of the test.

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The New PSAT, Redesigned in 2015: Complete Guide

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 3, 2018 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 new and 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 SATs, 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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The 11 Best SAT Books Recommended for SAT Prep

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Nov 1, 2018 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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What Is a Good SAT Subject Test Score?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 20, 2018 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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Predicted National Merit Scholarship Cutoffs for 2018 and 2019 (Updated)

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 13, 2018 8:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

What score do you need on the PSAT to qualify for National Merit distinction? The answer to this question depends on where you live. To achieve National Merit recognition, you need to match or exceed the cutoff score in your home state.

We’ve compiled the National Merit Semifinalist state cutoffs based on the most recent data from the fall of 2017. Before checking out the qualifying scores, let’s discuss how the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) determines who is named Commended Student or Semifinalist.

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How to Become a National Merit Semifinalist

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 12, 2018 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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Average SAT Subject Test Scores: Complete List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Sep 11, 2018 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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