SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Samantha Lindsay

Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.

Recent Posts

What's an Unweighted GPA? How to Calculate It

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 11, 2018 2:30:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Many high schools record your academic performance using unweighted GPA. But what does your unweighted GPA mean in the eyes of colleges? And how can you calculate it yourself? In this article, I’ll tell you what an unweighted GPA is, how to interpret it, and how to calculate it based on your letter grades.

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What's a Weighted GPA? How to Calculate It

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 9, 2018 10:45:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

Your weighted GPA in high school tells colleges a lot about your ability to take on academic challenges. In this article, I’ll go through a basic description of what a weighted GPA is, why it matters for you, and how you can calculate your own weighted GPA if your school uses this type of scale.

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What Is PSAT 8/9? Should You Take It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 9, 2018 8:30:00 AM

PSAT Info and Strategies

The College Board now offers the PSAT 8/9 to eighth graders and high school freshmen as the first hurdle in the group of tests they call the “SAT Suite of Assessments”. The PSAT 8/9 is a precursor to the PSAT 10, the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT.

But when is the PSAT 8/9 offered? And should you even bother taking it? In this article I’ll give you all the details!

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The Expert's Guide to the AP Biology Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 7, 2018 7:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If you're taking AP Biology, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the exam before you get too far into the course. Preparing ahead of time for the AP exam format and fully understanding which concepts are covered on the AP Biology test can go a long way toward earning a high score (and potentially getting college credit!).

This article will take you through the structure and scoring of the AP Bio exam and give you some key tips on the best ways to study for AP Biology.

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What Is a High School Equivalency Diploma? How to Get Yours

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 2, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

If you dropped out of high school or are considering dropping out, there are other ways to earn credentials that are considered equal to a high school diploma. A High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) is one option that you might consider as an alternative to a GED or traditional high school diploma.

I'll give you the details on what a High School Equivalency Diploma is, how you can get one, and how to decide if it's the right choice for your situation. 

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When Is the PSAT? 2018 PSAT Test Dates

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 2, 2018 1:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

If you’re coming up on your sophomore or junior year, you’re probably wondering when you’ll be taking the PSAT and how you should prepare. In this article, I’ll tell you when the PSAT is offered this year, how to get ready, and how this relates to your future plans for the SAT.

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What Is a GPA Scale? The 4.0 Scale

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 1, 2018 3:30:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

GPA is a measurement of your academic success in high school that colleges will consider very strongly in the admissions process. But what is a GPA scale?

Different high schools may use different GPA scales, and it’s important to know how these scales work so that you get a better idea of where you stand. In this article, I’ll tell you what a GPA scale is and the types of scales you might see used at your high school.

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What Is ACT Standby? How Do You Get It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 23, 2018 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Need to take the ACT on the next test date but missed the late registration deadline? Luckily, even if it's already past the late registration deadline for an ACT test date, you might still be able to take the test by signing up for standby testing. But what exactly is standby testing? How do you sign up for it? Read on to learn how to request standby testing for the ACT and why you might do it.

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Do Colleges Use Weighted or Unweighted GPA?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 17, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Coursework/GPA

High schools may record students' GPAs as weighted or unweighted. But which type of GPA is taken more seriously in the college admissions process?

In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the differences between weighted and unweighted GPAs and tell you which type is more important.

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Is AP Chemistry Hard? 5 Key Factors Considered

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 11, 2018 7:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Chemistry is an intimidating subject if you're not familiar with the material. There are all these weird formulas with superscripts and subscripts to remember, and it involves what some students view as an unpleasant amount of math. But is AP Chemistry as hard as it sounds?

In this article, I'll examine five different factors to reach a conclusion regarding the true difficulty level of AP Chemistry in comparison with other high-level classes.

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Complete List: Colleges With No Application Fee (Updated)

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 10, 2018 8:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Trying to save money on college applications? Good news! There are actually quite a few colleges that allow you to apply for free. In this article, I'll provide some general information about application fees along with a comprehensive list of all the schools that offer free applications.

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How Many AP Classes Do You Need for Ivy League Schools?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 10, 2018 6:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

At many high schools, AP courses are the toughest classes you can take. Extremely competitive colleges are looking for students who are willing to challenge themselves, so they're more likely to admit students who have taken at least a few APs.

In this article, I'll go over how many AP classes Ivy League schools expect you to take and how these expectations can change based on the conditions at your high school. 

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The Ultimate SAT Biology Subject Test Study Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 8, 2018 8:00:00 AM

SAT Subject Tests

If you’re applying to selective schools, you might have to submit SAT Subject Test scores along with your regular SAT (or ACT) scores. The Biology Subject Test (also called Biology SAT II) is a popular one because a vast majority of students take biology in high school, and most students find it less intimidating than chemistry or physics. This test can be a great way to fulfill your Subject Test requirements, especially if you plan on studying biology in college and want to show off your skills.

In this study guide, I’ll give you all the background information you need to start studying for the Biology Subject Test as well as example questions, practice materials, and study tips to use along the way. 

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What Is AP Seminar? Should You Take It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 7, 2018 4:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If your school offers AP Seminar, you might be wondering what it's all about. This AP class is great for students who want to challenge themselves and learn more about the independent research process before starting college.

In this guide, I'll give you an overview of what AP Seminar entails, a sample course outline, advice on whether you should take the course, and some tips on how to do well in it.

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Is the SAT Hard? Expert Analysis of 8 Key Factors

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 7, 2018 9:00:00 AM

SAT General Info

A test that has so much influence over where you go to college is bound to be a bit scary—but how hard is the SAT, really? Despite its fearsome reputation, the SAT isn't as difficult as it seems.

Overcoming the difficulties of the SAT is a matter of spending enough time studying areas that are tough for you and practicing questions that you might find confusing at first glance. Whether or not you find the SAT hard initially, this guide will give you the tools you need to surmount the test's challenges and come out on top.

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