SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Expert Review: The Official ACT Prep Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 1, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

Looking for official ACT practice? 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 and whether or not you should buy it to help you through the study process.

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Printable ACT Practice Tests PDFs: 6 FREE Official Tests

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 26, 2020 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

No matter how you prep for the ACT—whether you have a tutor, take a class, or study by yourself—you must get access to official, printable ACT tests. These tests are released by ACT, Inc., and contain real questions given to actual students on previous test dates. Although all of these questions have been removed from circulation (meaning you won't ever see them on the real ACT), their quality is second to none when it comes to realistic ACT practice.

In this post, I'll tell you where you can find all official, printable ACT practice tests with answer keys. I'll also give you key strategies to help you make big improvements on each practice test.

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Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 26, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

No matter how you prep for the ACT—whether you have a tutor, take a class, or study by yourself—you must get access to official ACT tests. These tests are released by ACT, Inc. and contain real questions given to actual students on previous test dates. These questions have been removed from circulation (so you won't ever see them on a real test), but their quality is second to none when it comes to ACT realism.

In this post, I'll tell you how to find all currently available official ACT practice tests. Most are free and offer a good way to get your feet wet with ACT prep. We'll also discuss how to use these tests to improve your ACT score.

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ACT Computer-Based Testing: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jul 13, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Have you been told you need to take a computer-based ACT or heard that some people take the ACT on a computer and want to know if it's an option for you? Who is allowed to take ACT computer-based testing, and who is stuck still making sure they have a #2 pencil on test day? We answer all your questions about computer-based ACTs in this guide, including if taking a computer-based ACT will give you a higher or lower score than a paper test, why computer-based ACT is being offered, and how you can prepare for this new version of the test. 

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My ACT/SAT Test Cancelled Due to Coronavirus. Now What?

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Jul 12, 2020 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info

ACT and SAT dates in March, April, May, and June 2020 have been canceled due to COVID-19. Some (but not all!) testing sites have also been closed in July, which means some students may be unable to take their July ACT exam, either.

If you've been caught in these cancellations, you're probably feeling pretty stressed out. When will you get to retake your test? And is there a special process for registering for the SAT after cancellation?

If these unknowns have left you feeling confused about how to handle ACT/SAT score requirements for your college applications, let us help you out. In this article, we'll walk you through what to do after your SAT or ACT test has canceled. We'll explain:

  • How to transfer your registration for a canceled exam
  • How to cancel your registration if you don't want to move your exam date
  • If there are special accommodations for certain groups of students
  • How to choose the right option for you

We'll also go over the available next steps for students who haven't taken the ACT/SAT yet but want to enroll in college in Fall 2020.

We know there can be a lot of anxiety surrounding test scores, but rest assured — you have options!

 

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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jul 11, 2020 5:30:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Logistics


No college application is complete without test scores. But sending scores to colleges doesn't have to be a confusing and frustrating process! Read this article to understand all the options for sending out your ACT scores, to get help with the many decisions you will have to make, and to know what to do if you run into problems.

I'll describe the basic process of how to send ACT scores, how to take full advantage of the ACT's individual score reporting, when to send scores, and how to make sure your scores don't get lost. At the same time, I'll go through the pros and cons of every option and suggest a recommended course of action.

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Duke TIP ACT Score Requirements

Maybe you’ve read our article about Duke’s Talent Identification Program (TIP), maybe you’ve heard about it from other students, or maybe you did your own research. You've heard vague hints of "score requirements," but don't know exactly what that means—do you have to take the ACT in order to take part in TIP? How well do you have to do on the ACT in order to become a TIPster? (I refuse to believe that students who participate in TIP do not go by this name.)

There are ACT (or SAT) score requirements for the Duke TIP: specifically, there are score requirements for Summer Studies programs and eStudies courses. I'm going to cover this complicated topic in exhaustive detail, explaining what the programs are, what the ACT score requirements are, and giving you some tips on how to meet these requirements. These requirements all refer to the regular ACT, not the ACT Aspire or ACT EXPLORE.

Feature image credit: Ilyse Whitney/Flickr

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Free ACT Practice Tests: Massive Collection of Online Sources

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 4, 2020 10:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

When you're trying to prepare for the ACT, the last thing you want to worry about is finding ACT practice tests. To help make the process a little less stressful for you, we've compiled this huge list of sources for free ACT practice tests and questions.

Not all practice tests are created equal, though. For each test source, I'll talk about how you can use the practice material to best prepare for the ACT.

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Free Older Official ACT Practice Tests

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 4, 2020 12:30:00 PM

ACT General Info

There's one thing that every student studying for the ACT definitely needs: practice tests that are almost identical to what you will face on test day. No matter how you study, we've found that most students really benefit from taking a full ACT practice test several times in as close to official test-taking conditions as possible. This is the best way to get comfortable with the pace, timing, and format of the exam, and to work on both your endurance and stress-management techniques.

So how do you get your hands on enough ACT tests to put yourself in the hot seat for practice? In this article, we'll link to all the official tests and question sets released by ACT, Inc. and give you suggestions on where to find others so that you have more than enough practice materials to get ready for this important college admissions test.

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University of California Drops SAT/ACT Scores: What It Means for You

Yep, you read that correctly: in May 2020, the University of California Board of Regents voted unanimously to stop requiring the ACT and SAT as part of admissions applications. In other words, if you’re applying to a UC school, you won’t have to submit your ACT or SAT scores. 

Before you get super excited, there are some caveats you should know about. That’s why we’re breaking down the changes — and answer your FAQs! — below. 

 

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When Is the April ACT? Should You Take It?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | May 27, 2020 3:00:00 PM

ACT General Info


If you're planning to take the ACT in the spring, you might be wondering: should you take the April ACT? Or will you be better off taking the ACT on a different test date?

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the April ACT, including when the exam is, whether your scores will get to your schools in time, and the pros and cons of taking the ACT in April.

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PreACT Practice Tests: Where to Find Them and How to Prep

Posted by Hannah Muniz | May 24, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, Other High School

Getting ready to take the PreACT? Then you might be wondering whether you should prep for it—and what resources you can use. Is there a PreACT practice test you can take? What kinds of PreACT resources does ACT, Inc. offer?

Keep reading to learn why it's a good idea to lightly prep for the PreACT, and get a comprehensive list of the best PreACT practice tests and materials you can use in your studying.

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21 Delightful ACT Memes

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Apr 16, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

The ACT can be a slog. First you have to do all that studying, then spend a bunch of hours taking the test, then wait weeks for your scores to get back. Do you know what makes it better? Memes. This guide contains 21 of the most relatable ACT 2020 memes out there, from the frustration at not being able to use a mechanical pencil to finding out your scores have been delayed. And yes, there is a baby Yoda ACT meme too.

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Best ACT Prep Books 2020

Posted by Allen Cheng | Apr 11, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

There are numerous "Best ACT Books" lists out there. But we think most of them aren't very good or thorough, so I've tried to write a much better guide here.

In this article, you'll learn which books are absolutely critical for your ACT prep, which focus on improving individual sections, and which you'll need if you're aiming for a top score. Most importantly, you'll learn how to use these top-notch ACT prep books for effective studying.

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ACT Standard Deviation: What It Means for You

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Apr 8, 2020 4:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you've ever come across a table listing all the ACT score percentiles, you may have seen the ACT standard deviation listed at the bottom for composite and section scores. Sadly, there is no explanation for what the standard deviation being that value means; instead, the tables just throw the data out there and move on.

So how does knowing the mean and standard deviation of ACT help you? We'll discuss what standard deviation is and what it means for you and your ACT score in this article.

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