SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Should You Take the ACT With or Without Writing?

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Sep 29, 2019 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Writing

Because ACT Writing is optional, many students are unsure whether they need to add the extra 40 minutes to the test. However, there's a simple answer to whether you should take the ACT with writing or without writing: it depends on whether the colleges you want to apply to require a writing score.

This guide will walk you through how the ACT writing got started, how to determine whether you should take the ACT with or without Writing, and some other considerations you may want to keep in mind.

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Complete List: Which Colleges Require ACT Writing? 100+ Schools

Posted by Mary Ann Barge | Sep 15, 2019 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? More importantly, do you know if your dream schools require or recommend this ACT section?

Check out our regularly updated list of schools to find out if the Writing ACT is worth your time and money. We'll then give you our top tips for acing the ACT Writing section.

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How Much Should You Pay for SAT/ACT Classes?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Aug 21, 2019 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info

Studying on your own for the SAT/ACT can feel like trying to prepare for a marathon when you’ve never even run one before: it can be overwhelming and you have no idea what to do or where to start.

This is why a prep class is often an excellent idea. Classes teach you all the components of the exam, give you tips for test day, and ensure you get the score you want. But as you might’ve guessed, classes can be pretty expensive, making you wonder: are ACT prep classes worth it? Are SAT prep classes worth it?

We’ll go over the biggest benefits of SAT/ACT prep classes, how to figure out your own prep class budget, and how to ensure you get your money’s worth.

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4 Essential Tips for Finding the Best SAT/ACT Class for You

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Aug 21, 2019 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info

Did you know that studying for the SAT or ACT can be a joint effort? This is one of the draws of ACT and SAT prep classes, which allow you to learn the most important components of the exam in a group setting, with guidance and advice from an expert teacher. Unfortunately, not all classes are high quality, so you’ll need to carefully vet any you're interested in before committing to one.

In this article, we go over the six key qualities that make for a great SAT/ACT prep class. We then introduce our four tips for finding the right prep class for you. Before we do all that, though, let's answer an important question: should everyone take an ACT/SAT prep class or not?

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Do Online SAT/ACT Classes Work? Is Online Test Prep Right for You?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Aug 20, 2019 5:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info

If you’re thinking of hiring a private tutor or enrolling in a local class for your SAT or ACT studying, take a moment to consider whether an online prep class might be right for you.

To help you make an informed decision about your prep, we’re providing you with a list of the six biggest pros and cons of online SAT and ACT classes. But first, what exactly is an online prep class and how does it work?

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ACT Test Dates: Full Guide to Choosing (2019, 2020)

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Aug 18, 2019 2:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Looking for info on the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 ACT test dates? Knowing the most accurate ACT test dates is crucial for a solid test-taking plan. Though you might 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 tips on how to choose an ACT test date and go over which test dates work best for juniors, seniors, and more.

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Colleges With Guaranteed Admission for SAT/ACT Scores

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Aug 18, 2019 12:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, SAT General Info, College Admissions

Some colleges will guarantee admission to applicants who meet certain requirements for test scores and GPA. These schools are good choices for students who are looking for sure bets in the college application process.

In this guide, I've compiled every single school that offers guaranteed admission based on SAT/ACT scores, along with other requirements like residency and GPA. If you're lucky, you'll fit the criteria at one or more of these colleges and be 100% certain of your acceptance if you choose to apply.

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Colleges That Superscore ACT: Complete List

Posted by Rebecca Safier | Aug 4, 2019 11:00:00 AM

ACT General Info, College Admissions

Are you taking the ACT? Before registering, you should know how admissions officers look at your scores. Do they consider Math, Science, Reading, and English individually, or do they care more about the composite score?

You might be relieved to hear that many colleges "superscore" your ACT scores by taking the best subscores across all your test dates and creating the strongest possible composite score. Read on for the full list of colleges that superscore the ACT, followed by some tips on how you can use this policy to your advantage.

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The 5 Best ACT Prep Courses: Which One Is Right for You?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Aug 1, 2019 4:00:00 PM

ACT General Info, ACT Strategies

Studying for the ACT on your own can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never taken a test like it before. Fortunately, there’s always the option of enrolling in an ACT prep class.

We go over the five best ACT prep courses and explain their biggest pros and cons. Then, we give you four tips for ensuring you get the most out of the ACT prep class you decide to take.

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Which States Require the ACT? Full List and Advice

Posted by Alex Heimbach | Jul 21, 2019 8:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

Over the past five years, the number of states that administer the ACT statewide has more than doubled: there are now 12 states that require every junior to take the test and eight more that either require the test in some districts or offer it as a free option for students who wish to take it.

This post explains why these programs exist, which states have them, and how you can take advantage of them if you live in one of these states.

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Important: Read This Before Sending ACT Scores to Colleges

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | Jul 21, 2019 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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Expert Review: The Official ACT Prep Guide

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jul 21, 2019 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, 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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Complete Official ACT Practice Tests, Free Links

Posted by Allen Cheng | Jul 21, 2019 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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When Is the April ACT? Should You Take It?

Posted by Hannah Muniz | Jul 14, 2019 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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Duke TIP ACT Score Requirements

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jul 14, 2019 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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