SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

7 Top Tips for Saving Money on SAT and ACT Prep

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jun 26, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info

Getting into college is a great feeling — but having to spend money on SAT/ACT test prep? Not so great. Let’s be honest: most people would rather put their ACT or SAT money toward something a little more exciting.

But the good news is, you don’t need to spend all of your cash on test prep, as long as you know which resources to use and how to spend your money wisely. In this guide, we give you 12 tips and resources that are guaranteed to help you save money on test prep.

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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jun 22, 2017 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 available option and suggest a recommended course of action. 

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Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jun 16, 2017 11:00:00 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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Historical ACT Percentiles for 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 29, 2017 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

For those currently taking the ACT or those who took the ACT in 2013-2016, you may wonder: how does your percentile compare to students with the same score in other years? In this guide, I'll explain what percentiles are, how they work for the ACT, and why they matter. I'll also give you ACT percentile charts for 2013-2016, so you can see how your scores stack up against historical ones.

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What Are the Score Choice Policies at Ivy Leagues?

Posted by Halle Edwards | May 24, 2017 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info, College Admissions

 

Many students assume colleges will see every score they’ve earned on the SAT and ACT when they apply.

However, while some top-tier schools do require your full testing histories, many don’t. Some even allow score choice for the SAT, which allows you to send only the scores you want them to see, or they allow you to pick your best ACT test date.

If you’re aiming for a top-tier school like an Ivy League, Stanford, or MIT, read this guide to learn how they evaluate standardized tests to help you best prepare.

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Duke TIP ACT Score Requirements

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | May 10, 2017 10:30:00 AM

ACT General Info, Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

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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Is the ACT Curved? Expert Guide to the ACT Curve

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Apr 17, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Whether you've already taken the ACT or are busy preparing for it now, you've likely wondered at some point: is the ACT curved? Does a 32 on one ACT equal a 32 on another?

In this article, we’ll investigate the rumor of the ACT curve and explain what it really means. Then we'll examine the function of this curve as well as how it's changed over time, before finally explaining what the ACT curve means for test takers and how you can use it to your advantage.

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ACT Test Dates Full Guide to Choosing (2016, 2017, 2018)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Apr 12, 2017 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Looking for info on the 2016-17 and 2017-18 ACT test dates? Knowing the most accurate ACT test dates is crucial for a solid test-taking plan. But though you may be tempted to go ahead and register for the next possible test date, what you should really be doing is finding a date that works well for you and your schedule.

In this guide, we offer an overview of upcoming ACT test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates. We also give you tons of tips on how to choose an ACT test date and explain which test dates work best for juniors, seniors, and more.

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What Sections Are on the ACT? All 4 Test Sections, Explained

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Apr 6, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you’re not sure what sections are on the ACT, we can help! In this guide to ACT sections, we’ll give you a quick summary of all the sections of the test. Then, we’ll take a closer look at each section. Finally, we’ll discuss which ACT test sections—and scores—are most important for you.

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When Is the April ACT? Should You Take It?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Mar 27, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

If you're planning to take the ACT in the spring, you may be wondering: should you take the April ACT? Or will you be better off taking the ACT on a different 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 on time, and the pros and cons of opting for the ACT in April.

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Do You Need to Take Both the ACT and SAT?

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Feb 28, 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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Complete List: Which Colleges Require ACT Writing? 300+ Schools

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Feb 1, 2017 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Writing

You’ve just signed up for the ACT. But did you know that there is an optional writing test for the ACT? Do you know if your dream schools want to see it?

Check out our regularly updated list of schools to find out if the Writing ACT is worth your time and money. Then learn how you're going to ace the ACT Writing section.

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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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ACT Syllabus: What’s on the Exam and How to Prep

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Dec 17, 2016 8:00:00 AM

ACT General Info

Are you preparing for the ACT but aren’t sure which topics the exam covers? We’re here to help! This guide will give you an in-depth look at the ACT syllabus and explain exactly what you can expect to see on the test. 

For each of the five ACT sections, I’ll explain the format of the section, the types of questions you’ll see, and the skills that section tests. Afterward, I’ll also go over the top three tips you need to know when studying for the ACT to help you achieve your highest score.

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ACT Practice Tests: What They Can and Can't Do

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Nov 18, 2016 7:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

ACT practice tests are invaluable for any level of ACT preparation, from those just beginning their study to those who have studied for months already. There are limits, however, to what ACT practice tests can do.

Read on to find out what things ACT practice tests are good for and what they just can’t accomplish.

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