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

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, and you should be prepared to adjust your score goals accordingly. The new SAT is out of 1600 points instead of 2400, so your scores will end up looking a lot different.

In this article, I’ll show you what a good score on the new SAT might mean and how you can calculate a useful goal for yourself within the new scoring system.

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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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Is the SAT Hard? Expert Analysis of 8 Key Factors

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 17, 2016 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 test isn't as difficult as it seems at first glance.

Overcoming the difficulties presented by 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 article will give you the tools you need to surmount its challenges and come out on top.

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Words in Context: Key SAT Reading and Writing Strategies

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 16, 2016 8:00:00 PM

SAT Writing, SAT Reading

There are no more sentence completion questions on the SAT, so your vocabulary knowledge will be tested with questions that fall under the umbrella of the Words in Context subscore. In this article, I'll give you the inside scoop on what these questions are, what forms they might take in both the Reading and Writing sections, and which strategies work best for solving them accurately. 

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18 Awesome ACT Hacks to Help You Ace the Test

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Sep 3, 2016 9:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies

Wouldn't it be great if there was a key that unlocked all the shortcuts to success on the ACT? Although that dream might be a little unrealistic, the advice in this article will give you the next best thing in the form of mini-strategies that will cut down on your stress levels and improve your scores.

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The Best AP World History Notes to Study With

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 12, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP World History is a fascinating survey of the evolution of human civilization from the beginning of recorded history to the present.  Because it spans thousands of years and covers the rise and fall of countless empires and nations across the globe, it might seem like an overwhelming amount of information to remember for one test. This article will help you organize your studying more easily by providing links to online AP World History notes and advice on how to use those notes to structure and execute a successful study plan.  

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The Best AP US Government Review: 5-Step Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 29, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP US Government can be a fascinating class for those interested in how the American political system works and what factors led to its formation. While the exam is less difficult than many other APs, it's still important to understand the types of questions you can expect and the most efficient ways to study based on the content. In this article, I'll go through sample questions from each part of the exam, list a step-by-step AP Government review process, and provide some tips for making the most of your studying.

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Command of Evidence: 3 Key SAT Writing Strategies

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 22, 2016 7:00:00 PM

SAT Writing

Questions that fall under the umbrella of the Command of Evidence SAT subscore appear on both the Reading and Writing sections of the SAT. This article will focus exclusively on Command of Evidence questions in the Writing section, including examples from practice tests, answer explanations, and test-taking tips that are specific to these types of questions. Head over to this article instead if you're looking for a detailed discussion of Command of Evidence questions in the Reading section. 

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The Complete Guide to AP US Government FRQs

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 8, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Free-response questions on the AP US Government exam are more straightforward than those on some other AP tests, but they can still be tough if you're not ready for them. In this guide, I'll lay out a step-by-step method for answering AP Government FRQs, go through a real example, and tell you where you can find additional practice resources.  

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Most Important Themes in The Crucible, Analyzed

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 17, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Book Guides

The Crucible remains a staple of high school English because it is rich in themes that are consistently relevant to human beings regardless of time period. But these themes aren't always easy to explain or dissect in the context of the play, and they can be even harder to develop into essays. Read on for an overview of what a theme is, a list of important themes in The Crucible with specific act-by-act details, and a summary of how to use this information in your essays and other assignments.  

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Best Crucible Plot Summary

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 3, 2016 11:00:00 PM

Other High School

If you need to refresh your memory on the plot of The Crucible or just want some clarification on exactly what's happening in each act of the play as you read, you've come to the right place. I've written a full plot summary, divided by act, so you can better understand and recall the events of the play. As a bonus, this article also includes short descriptions of the main characters and a list of major themes that crop up throughout the narrative.  

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McCarthyism and The Crucible: What to Know

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 3, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Book Guides

In studying The Crucible, you will inevitably be faced with questions about the play's connections to the "Red Scare" of the 1950s and the phenomenon known as McCarthyism. These connections are important because they demonstrate that The Crucible is not merely a (highly adapted) retelling of historical events but also an allegorical reference to the timelessness of certain central human flaws. In this article, I'll provide historical background on McCarthyism, tell you about Arthur Miller's personal involvement with the investigations of alleged communists in the 1950s, and explain how and why interpretations of The Crucible are so closely tied to the political attitudes and events of that decade.    

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Best Crucible Act 4 Summary

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jun 3, 2016 3:00:00 PM

Book Guides

Act 4 gives us the exciting conclusion to this saga of madness. How are the citizens of Salem and their governing officials dealing with the fallout from the trials? Will the "witches" falsely confess to avoid execution? Does John Proctor still, like, totally hate himself? Read on to find out all this and more, including key quotes and a thematic analysis for the final act of The Crucible.

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