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

Expert Review: The Official ACT Prep Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 15, 2017 11:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

Looking for official ACT practice? The Real ACT Prep Guide (or The Official ACT Prep Guide) is a great resource.

In this article, I'll provide a review of the current Official ACT Prep Guide, including positives and negatives of the new guide, how it differs from the Real ACT Prep Guide 3rd Edition, and whether or not you should buy it to help you through the study process. 

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The Expert's Guide to the AP Biology Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 5, 2017 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 format of the exam and fully understanding which concepts are covered can go a long way towards earning a high score (and potentially getting college credit).

This article will take you through the structure and scoring of the exam, plus give you some tips on the best ways to study for AP Biology!

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The Expert's Guide to the AP Psychology Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 4, 2017 3:00:00 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 Most Selective Colleges, Why, and How to Get In

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 3, 2017 5:00:00 PM

College Admissions


It's tempting to judge the quality of a school based on its admissions rate. While this is a reasonable way to assess schools in most cases, there are also some special circumstances that may 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 of their applicants, and provide some advice on how to apply successfully. 

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The Complete Guide to the AP World History Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 1, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Before you start studying for the AP World History exam, you should get the inside scoop on its format and content. The types of questions you'll see might differ from your expectations. It's especially smart to practice writing essay outlines based on past questions before you're faced with fresh prompts on the test. In this article, I'll go through the structure, content, and question types on the exam and provide some helpful tips for acing it!

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

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 28, 2017 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”. This test is a precursor to the PSAT 10, the PSAT/NMSQT and the SAT.

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

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20 Colleges With the Lowest Acceptance Rates

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 22, 2017 3:00:00 PM

College Admissions

Acceptance rates are an important factor to consider when deciding where you should apply to college. A school’s acceptance rate is often considered a measurement of its quality. While this is accurate in many cases, some schools have low acceptance rates for reasons unrelated to the academic excellence of admitted students.

In this article, I’ll tell you what the lowest college acceptance rate is, explain why some colleges have such low acceptance rates, and list the colleges with the lowest acceptance rates.

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Is AP Psychology Hard? 5 Key Factors Discussed

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | May 17, 2017 9:00:00 PM

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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Should You Guess on the ACT? 5 Guessing Strategies

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Mar 16, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies

The ACT has no penalty for guessing. This means that you should ALWAYS GUESS on the ACT if you don’t know the answer, since leaving a question blank and guessing are functionally the same.

This article will focus less on the technical aspects of whether it’s beneficial to guess and more on strategies for guessing that could lead you to the correct answer. After reading this guide, you should be able to score some additional lucky points on the ACT.

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Is AP Biology Hard? An Expert Discussion

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Mar 12, 2017 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, I’ll look at statistics, course material, and student perceptions to present you with a clear picture of the difficulty level of the class and exam. I'll also give you some tips to help you figure out how challenging AP Biology will be for you based on your academic strengths and weaknesses.  

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SAT Security Protocols: What to Expect on Test Day

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Feb 23, 2017 7:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics

The security of standardized testing materials is critical in preserving the relevance and fairness of the test as a whole. Since so many students around the world take the SAT, it can be difficult to prevent leaks, but the College Board does have many measures in place to keep confidential questions from being released to the public. In this article, I'll go over the specifics of the SAT security measures, explain the most recent breaches in test security, and review what all of this means for you. 

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New 2016 SAT: What's a Good Score?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Feb 1, 2017 9:00:00 PM

New SAT

The SAT underwent significant changes in 2016, so it's important to know how to set score goals based on the newest version of the test. The test is now out of 1600 points instead of 2400 (i.e., the maximum score on the old, pre-2016 SAT).

In this article, I’ll explain what a good score on the new SAT is and show you how to calculate an appropriate goal score for yourself based on where you're applying for college.

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ACT Test Security Protocols: What to Expect

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

Standardized test materials must be kept under lock and key to ensure fairness and scoring accuracy during each administration. The ACT is no exception to this rule, and ACT Inc. has many regulations in place to prevent the distribution of confidential test questions to the public. In this article, I'll go through all of the ACT test security rules, what security breaches have occurred in recent years, and what this means for students in general. 

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Is the ACT Hard? 9 Key Factors, Considered

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 22, 2016 9:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

The ACT is a nerve-wracking test considering the impact scores can have on college admissions prospects. But how hard is the ACT, really? It's intimidating, sure, but it's not as difficult as it seems. The material on the ACT becomes much less challenging if you're familiar with the structure of the test and the way questions are asked.

In this article, I'll go over a few aspects of the ACT that tend to make it more or less difficult and provide essential tips on how to get past some of these obstacles and end up with a great score! 

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17 SAT Hacks to Help You Ace the Exam

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Oct 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies

Standardized tests have a reputation for presenting questions in formats that are tricky and confusing. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to get past all that and take a shortcut to the correct answer? This article provides expert SAT hacks to help you solve SAT questions that might otherwise leave you stumped!

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