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

Complete List: The Smallest Colleges in the United States

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 27, 2019 6:00:00 PM

College Admissions

You might be interested in going to a small college, but just how small is "small," exactly? In general, schools that are considered "small" have fewer than 5,000 students in total. However, quite a few schools are actually at least 10 times smaller than this!

In this article I'll describe the characteristics of small colleges and then provide a list of the smallest colleges in the nation by category. That way you can decide if going to a small school really is the right decision for you.

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What's the Average College GPA? By Major?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 27, 2019 5:00:00 PM

Coursework/GPA

If you’re still in high school, you might be curious about how college GPAs work and what you can expect for grades given your major of choice. Just like high schools, colleges vary in how they calculate GPA. Grade inflation also significantly affects college GPA at most schools, causing many students to end up with higher GPAs in college than they had in high school.

In this article, I’ll give you the facts about average GPAs at different types of colleges and within a variety of college majors.

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Complete List of the 17 Art Schools in California

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 27, 2019 11:00:00 AM

College Info

Ah, California: the land of opportunity. The sun is always shining (well, not in San Francisco, but almost everywhere else!), and the art scene is awesome. If you're thinking about art school, some of the best colleges for you are located in the Golden State. In this article, I'll give you a list of all the art schools in California so you can take stock of your options.

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5-Step SAT/ACT Test Dates & Study Plan for Summer Before Senior Year

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 27, 2019 7:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies

Your senior year is coming up, and you're ready to blow those standardized tests out of the water once and for all. It's time to figure out the best study plan for you that still leaves time for summer jobs, shameful levels of ice cream consumption, and acquiring incomprehensible tan lines.

Follow these five steps to make the most of your summer studying before your SAT or ACT test date!

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The Expert's Guide to the AP Biology Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 13, 2019 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 what 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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Is AP Biology Hard? An Expert Discussion

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Biology is a popular AP class, and many students are curious about the challenges it presents. Is AP Biology hard? Will you spend hours upon hours studying for the class? Are you likely to fail the exam? Or are AP tests much easier than they seem?

In this article, we'll look at statistics, course material, and student perceptions to present you with a clear picture of the difficulty level of the AP Bio class and exam. We'll also give you some tips for figuring out how challenging AP Biology will likely be for you based on your academic strengths and weaknesses.

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Is AP Psychology Hard? 5 Key Factors Discussed

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 29, 2019 10:51:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Before you sign up for any AP class, it's helpful to get an idea of whether you’ll be able to handle the workload (and the exam!). AP Psychology is a popular AP class that is offered at many schools, so you might have the chance to take it at some point in your high school career.

But is AP psychology hard? Or is it a walk in the AP park? I’ll tell you which factors go into judging the difficulty of an AP class and examine what they tell us about the AP Psychology class and exam specifically.

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Cheap Out-of-State Colleges: Top 25 Most Affordable

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 15, 2019 6:00:00 PM

Financial Aid, College Info

If you're hoping to be far from home for college but are worried about the cost of an out-of-state school, you might run into some issues in the application process. How do you find out-of-state schools that still offer relatively cheap tuition?

In this article, I've compiled a list of schools that offer the lowest tuition rates and highest rates of institutional aid to out-of-state students. Keep reading to learn what these schools are!

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The Most Selective Colleges, Why, and How to Get In

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 15, 2019 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions

It's tempting to judge the quality of a school based on its admissions rate. Although this is a reasonable way to assess schools in most cases, there are some special circumstances that might result in extremely low acceptance rates at less academically demanding colleges.

In this article, I'll list the most selective colleges in the United States, tell you why they accept so few applicants, and provide you with some advice on how to apply successfully.

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Which High School Classes Do Ivy League Schools Require?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, Coursework/GPA

College admissions can seem like a giant puzzle, especially if you’re hoping to attend an Ivy League or other extremely selective school. Planning your high school schedule carefully is definitely important, but these schools' expectations aren’t as inflexible as you might think they are.

In this article, I’ll provide a concise overview of what Ivy League admission requirements are for high school transcripts and give you some tips on how to map out your classes so you have an excellent shot at being accepted.

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What Is a GED? Should You Get One?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 1, 2019 11:00:00 AM

Other High School, Coursework/GPA

If you don't have a traditional high school diploma, you can still earn an equivalent credential by getting your GED. But what is a GED?  What does GED stand for? Basically, a GED is a credential that can substitute for a high school diploma.  Since most employers (and all colleges) will require you to have graduated from high school, it's usually a good idea to get a GED if you don't complete high school. Doing so helps to ensure that you'll have access to more opportunities later in life.

In this article, I'll go through the GED meaning, the advantages this credential can give you, and how to get your GED.

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The 8 Big Differences Between Colleges and Universities

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 29, 2019 12:00:00 PM

College Info

Some schools are labeled as colleges, and some are labeled as universities. What's the difference between college and university? Should you consider going to one over the other? In this article, I’ll tell you what it means for a school to be a college or a university and whether you might fit in better at one of the two types of schools. 

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Complete List: Colleges With No Application Fee (Updated)

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 25, 2019 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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The Expert's Guide to the AP Psychology Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 25, 2019 7:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Taking AP Exams can be stressful, but if you know what to expect on test day, you can eliminate a lot of that anxiety. The AP Psychology exam is one of the more popular AP tests, and it has a pretty straightforward format and scoring system. In this article, I'll tell you what's on the AP Psychology test, how it's graded, and which prep methods you should use to get a great score.

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The Complete AP Biology Review Guide for 2020

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 25, 2019 4:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Reviewing for the AP Biology exam can seem daunting. There's so much material to cover, and much of it is highly complex. However, if you plan your time well and use appropriate study materials and strategies, you can expect a great score on the exam.

In this article, I'll give you an overview of what the AP Biology exam is like, what you need to know to ace it, and how you can use your study time effectively before the exam on Monday, May 11, 2020, at 8 am ET!

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