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 Complete List of Colleges That Require Interviews

Many colleges ask you to interview with an alum or admissions officer as part of the application process. This article has the full list of schools that require, recommend, or offer interviews, and it will give you some pointers on how to figure out your college's interview policy.

To start off, let's review the point of the college interview. Is your interviewer evaluating you, or is the meeting simply a chance for you to learn more about the school?

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Early Action vs. Early Decision: What's the Difference?

 

Would you like to finalize your college plans as soon as possible? If getting an early acceptance letter sounds good to you, then you might want to apply early action (EA) or early decision (ED).

Before choosing one of these admissions plans, you should thoroughly understand what it entails and consider all the important factors. This guide will weigh the options of early action vs. early decision, along with offering advice for choosing the best plan for you. To begin, let's review what you need to know about applying early action.

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Best SAT Math Prep Books (2024): Expert Reviews

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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How to Get a College Application Fee Waiver: 3 Approaches

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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Who Should I Ask to Write My College Recommendation Letter?

Are you debating who to ask for recommendation letters for college? Letters of rec are a very important part of your application, and strong ones can go a long way toward making you stand out among the competition.

That's why you should choose your recommenders with the same thought and care that you put into your personal essay, SAT or ACT prep, and other parts of your application. Before we dive into the key questions to ask yourself when choosing a recommender, let's review what separates the good letters from the bad ones.

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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Freshman?

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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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Sophomore?

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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What's a Good PSAT Score for a Junior?

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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NCAA ACT Scores: What You Need to Qualify

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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Colleges With Late Application Deadlines: Complete List

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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Does Your PSAT Score Qualify for National Merit?

Are you gearing up to rock the PSAT this fall and wondering what score you need to qualify for National Merit? This guide will give you 51 different answers to that question.

Don't worry, it's not a complicated response. It's just that the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) compares test takers on a state-by-state basis. To become a National Merit Semifinalist, you have to score in the top 1% of students in your state.

This guide will fill you in on all qualifying cutoff scores from coast to coast (plus Alaska and Hawaii) for the PSAT. But first, let's review exactly who qualifies for National Merit.

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When To Apply For College: Complete Timeline

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 answers all your questions about 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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Complete List: BA/MD and BS/MD Programs in the US

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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What is Early Decision? Should You Do It?

If you've heard the term early decision in college admissions, you've probably heard it with the word "binding." What exactly does binding early decision mean, and why do schools offer it?

This guide will clear up all your questions around early decision, from what it means to how it works. To begin, what is early decision and what makes it different than other college application options?

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What is Early Action and Early Admission?

Shakespeare once wrote, "Better three hours too soon than a minute too late." If you're someone who likes to get things done ahead of schedule, then you might consider applying about two or three months sooner than regular deadlines under an early action program. Early action lets you apply early to one or more colleges, and you find out if you got accepted earlier too.

This guide will go over the ins and outs of early action and the schools that offer it. Read on to figure out whether applying early action is right for you.

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