SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Expert Guide: How Many Times Should You Take the SAT?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Dec 27, 2017 8:30:00 AM

SAT General Info

How many times can you take the SAT? Is there a limit if you're retaking it to achieve your ideal score? Why would you want to keep sitting through this high stakes test, anyway?

There are several compelling reasons to take the SAT more than once, but you also shouldn't go totally overboard. Let's go over when you should retake the SAT, and when it might be time to move on.

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Do Colleges Use Weighted or Unweighted GPA?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Dec 26, 2017 9:00:00 AM


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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What Is Pre-AP? How Are Pre-AP Classes Different?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 25, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), Other High School

What is a pre-AP class? Has your school started to offer pre-AP classes or are you wondering if they should? Have you heard about the College Board’s new official pre-AP classes and aren’t sure what they are?

This guide is here to answer all your pre-AP questions. We’ll explain what pre-AP is, how official pre-AP classes differ from unofficial pre-AP classes, important changes coming to pre-AP, and what subjects the official pre-AP classes will cover.

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Do You Need to Take Both the ACT and SAT?

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Dec 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

SAT versus ACT, ACT General Info, SAT General Info

As a high school student, I took both the SAT and the ACT. I’d been taking the SAT every couple of years since I was in middle school, so I planned to focus primarily on it. However, as a public school student in Colorado, I was required to take the ACT by my school. My scores on the two tests were relatively similar and I ended up submitting both.

Taking both tests, whether because of school requirements or personal preference, has become an increasingly common choice for students, especially those applying to top colleges. Though it isn’t necessary to take both the ACT and SAT, doing so might be the right plan for you. This guide will walk you through the pro and cons of taking both tests.

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How Is the ACT Scored?

Posted by Halle Edwards | Dec 22, 2017 12:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

If you’re beginning to study for the ACT, you’re probably wondering how the ACT is scored. Understanding the ACT scoring system can give you a huge leg up as you set goals and make a study plan.

Read on to learn how the ACT is scored, section by section, with official ACT scoring charts. We also include our five top strategies related to ACT scoring so you can use this information to your advantage.

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125 College Essay Examples for 13 Schools + Expert Analysis

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Dec 21, 2017 12:00:00 PM

College Admissions, College Essays

The personal statement might just be the hardest part of your college application. Mostly this is because it has the least guidance and is the most open-ended. One way to understand what colleges are looking for when they ask you to write an essay is to check out the essays of students who already got in—college essays that actually worked. After all, they must be among the most successful of this weird literary genre.

In this article, I’ll go through general guidelines for what makes great college essays great. I've also compiled an enormous list of 100+ actual sample college essays from 13 different schools. Finally, I’ll break down two of these published college essay examples and explain why and how they work. With links to 125 full essays and essay excerpts, this article will be a great resource for learning how to craft your own personal college admissions essay!

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Exactly How Long Should You Study for the ACT? A 6-Step Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Dec 18, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies

In planning your ACT prep, you probably want to know how long you need to study. Is it weeks or months? Is it dozens of hours or hundreds?

The answer to these questions depends on a variety of factors, including your target score and how comfortable you already are with the test material. There’s no reason to torture yourself with endless studying if your scores are already in the right range for your top choice schools. On the other hand, if you're still pretty far away from the scores you want, you may have to work harder than you think.

In this guide, I'll show you how to figure out how much you need to improve, how many hours you need to spend to get there, and how you should build a study schedule before your next real ACT.

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What to Do With a Low SAT/ACT Score

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Dec 14, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT Strategies, ACT Strategies

You got your SAT/ACT score back, and it isn't what you'd hoped it'd be. Even though the SAT and ACT are each just a few hours long, the score you get often counts for a third or more of college admissions and can therefore have a big impact on your future.

The fact that you're looking for solutions is a good first step. It's important, now more than ever, not to freak out and to instead calmly plan the best steps forward. In this article, we go over our top four tips for what to do with a low SAT or ACT score.

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High GPA but Low ACT Score: What Do You Do?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 13, 2017 6:30:00 PM

ACT Strategies

You do great in school, but you just can’t get that score you want on the ACT. If you're a great student but not as great a standardized test taker, don't worry: you aren't alone.

In this post, I'll let you know what ACT scores qualify as low, what message those scores send to admissions officers, and what you can do to improve your chances of getting into a good school.

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The Best Way to Study SSAT Vocabulary

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Other High School

If you’re taking the SSAT, you’ll need to have a good vocabulary in order to do well on the test. It can be difficult to find good SSAT vocab resources, but we’re here to help! In this guide, we explain the three main ways vocab is tested on the SSAT (with sample questions), go over the top resources to help you find SSAT vocab words, and give you advice on the best way to study those vocab words.

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How to Register for the SSAT: 5 Simple Steps

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Other High School

The SSAT can be an important test for students hoping to attend a private school, but how do you register for it? In this guide, we walk you step-by-step through the SSAT registration process and include screenshots from the SSAT website to makes things as simple as possible.

At the end of the guide, we also include a chart with upcoming SSAT registration dates so you know exactly when you need to register for each exam date to avoid late fees.

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SSAT Test Dates: Complete Guide to Choosing (2017, 2018)

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 11, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Other High School

When are the upcoming SSAT test dates? How often is this test administered? Students hoping to attend private schools often need to take the SSAT, and since this test is only given a few times a year, it’s important to know SSAT test dates so you can register early enough to ensure you get a spot.

In this guide, we have a chart of the upcoming SSAT test dates which makes it easy to see when you can take the test and when you need to register. We also give tips on test fees, explain what to expect on test day, and give advice on when you should take the SSAT.

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How Long Is the ACT? | ACT Expert Guide

Posted by Halle Edwards | Dec 8, 2017 11:30:00 AM

ACT General Info

Getting ready for the ACT exam goes beyond just reviewing trigonometry and grammar rules. Doing well on the ACT requires pacing and stamina so you can keep up your focus over hours of testing. So just how long is the ACT test? And how many questions do you have to answer per minute? Learn the ins and outs of ACT timing so you know how to maximize your time on the ACT. 

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The 13 Hardest SAT Math Questions Ever

Posted by Courtney Montgomery | Dec 7, 2017 3:00:00 PM

SAT Math


Want to test yourself against the most difficult SAT math questions? Want to know what makes these questions so difficult and how best to solve them? If you’re ready to really sink your teeth into the SAT math section and have your sights set on that perfect score, then this is the guide for you.

We’ve put together what we believe to be the 13 most difficult questions for the new 2016 SAT, with strategies and answer explanations for each. These are all hard SAT Math questions from College Board SAT practice tests, which means understanding them is one of the best ways to study for those of you aiming for perfection.

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What's a Good SAT Score for 2018?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Dec 7, 2017 12:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target

Another year, another chance to take the SAT! If you're taking the SAT this year, you might be wondering: just what is a good SAT score for 2018? Is there a particular score I should be aiming for to make sure I get into the colleges I want to go to?

To answer the question of what good SAT scores for 2018 are, this article looks at a few different definitions of what makes a good SAT score, and how this has changed over time. We also explain why SAT score goals should be specific to each student and give you step-by-step instructions for choosing your target SAT score.

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