SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What Is the Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE)?

Posted by Dr. Anna Wulick | May 5, 2019 11:11:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP), Coursework/GPA

For students looking for a more challenging high school experience or for a chance to earn college credit, many high schools offer advanced college-level programs. The newest one of these is the Cambridge AICE, an international diploma program created via the University of Cambridge in England.

Curious about whether this program is right for you? In this article, I'll explain the AICE approach, the coursework necessary to get the diploma, and how it compares to AP and IB classes.

Read More

 

Everything You Need to Know About The Cask of Amontillado

Posted by Ashley Robinson | May 2, 2019 5:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), General Education

As you prepare for the AP Literature exam, one of the things you’ll have to do is become an expert in a few literary works that you can use on the composition portion of the exam. We recommend that you choose four to five notable works with different genres and themes to make sure you can write an amazing student choice essay.

(Actually...practicing analyzing literature will help you on the whole exam, not just the written portion, so it’s a win-win situation!)

But just because these works have to be “notable” with “literary merit” doesn’t mean they need to be boring, too! That’s why we’re talking about Edgar Allan Poe’s short story, “The Cask of Amontillado,” as a good choice for your AP exam. Not only is it widely recognized as an excellent piece of literature, it’s got a little of everything: horror! Suspense! A surprise twist! And as an added bonus...it’s short.

To bring you up to speed, we’ll start with “The Cask of Amontillado” summary, then we’ll jump into character and thematic analyses. By the time you finish this article, you’ll be able to write fearlessly about “The Cask of Amontillado” on your AP exam.

Read More

 

When Do AP Scores Come Out? 2019

Posted by Halle Edwards | Apr 28, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

 

If you've taken an AP exam recently or plan to take one soon, you’re probably wondering: when do AP scores come out? Unfortunately, you have to wait a bit longer for AP scores than you do for SAT/ACT scores.

Keep reading to find out exactly when AP exam scores come out. In addition, learn where to find your AP scores and get tips on what you can do as you wait for them.

Read More

 

Where to Find the Best DBQ Examples

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Mar 24, 2019 6:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

One of the best ways to prepare for the DBQ (the "document-based question" on the AP European History, AP US History, and AP World History exams) is to look over sample questions and example essays. Doing this will help you to get a sense of what makes a good (and what makes a bad) DBQ response.

That said, not all DBQ essay examples are created equal. I’ll briefly cover what makes a good DBQ example and then provide a list of example essays by course. Lastly, I’ll give you some helpful tips on how to best use sample essays in your own preparation process. 

Read More

 

What Is a Republic vs a Democracy?  Understanding the Difference

Posted by Ashley Robinson | Feb 2, 2019 2:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP), General Education

If you look closely at the United States Pledge of Allegiance, you’ll see that it calls the United States a republic. It reads: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” So what does that mean, exactly? Can the United States be both a democracy and a republic? And what is the difference between a democracy and republic, anyway?

As it turns out, there are subtle, but important, differences between a democracy and a republic, and that the definitions aren’t mutually exclusive. In other words, it’s complicated.  But don’t worry! Knowing the differences between a republic vs a democracy is important for tons of AP exams, including both history tests (U.S. and world) and both government and politics tests (U.S. and comparative). That’s why we’ve put this guide together for you.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the definitions of a democracy and a republic, how they operate, the differences between them, and where the United States fits into the discussion.

So let’s get started!

Read More

 

The Best AP Biology Books 2019: Full Expert Reviews

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 27, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

It’s extremely important to have reliable books for learning and studying the material covered in AP classes. This is particularly true for AP Biology considering the complexity and breadth of the course's content. The format of the AP Biology exam was modified significantly in 2013, and there are some books that have kept up with the changes better than others. In this article, I’ll tell you which books are your best bet for acing AP Biology and which ones you should use only at your own risk!

Read More

 

AP Exams vs SAT Subject Tests: What's More Important?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Jan 1, 2019 12:00:00 PM

SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement (AP)

Many high-achieving students end up taking both SAT Subject Tests and AP Tests during their time in high school. SAT Subject Tests are required for admission to most competitive colleges, and AP Tests and coursework are encouraged. Is one more important than the other? In this article, I’ll give details on how these two types of tests compare to each another and whether it's a good idea to take AP Tests and SAT Subject Tests in the same topic areas.  

Read More

 

The Best AP US History Books: Full Expert Reviews

Posted by Halle Edwards | Dec 23, 2018 8:00:00 PM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Need some help studying for AP US History? Look no further. In this post, we cover the best AP US History books, from textbooks to prep books, and even study tools such as flashcards and websites. Read on to get the best help you can get for studying for the AP US History exam.

Read More

 

Is AP Psychology Hard? 5 Key Factors Discussed

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 11, 2018 10:51:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

Before you sign up for any AP class, it's helpful to get an idea of whether you’ll be able to handle the workload (and the exam!). AP Psychology is a popular AP class that is offered at many schools, so you might have the chance to take it at some point in your high school career.

But is AP psychology hard? Or is it a walk in the AP park? I’ll tell you which factors go into judging the difficulty of an AP class and examine what they tell us about the AP Psychology class and exam specifically.

Read More

 

Is AP Biology Hard? An Expert Discussion

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 11, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Biology is a popular AP class, and many students are curious about the challenges it presents. Is AP Biology hard? Will you spend hours upon hours studying for the class? Are you likely to fail the exam? Or are AP tests much easier than they seem?

In this article, I’ll look at statistics, course material, and student perceptions to present you with a clear picture of the difficulty level of the class and exam. I'll also give you some tips to help you figure out how challenging AP Biology will be for you based on your academic strengths and weaknesses.

Read More

 

When Should You Start Studying for Your AP Exams?

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Nov 4, 2018 11:13:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

 

So you’re taking a couple AP classes, they’re going well, and you feel pretty good about most of the material. The exam in May seems a long way off. Do you need to start studying? The answer is, that depends! Every student and every exam is different.

However, my general advice is to start studying no later than the midpoint of the school year. (That would be after winter break for most of you.) Why the midpoint of the year? Keep reading to find out!  

I’ll also discuss how many hours you should plan to prep based on how the course is going and what score you are aiming for. Then I’ll present some strategies for determining how you should balance general conceptual review of the material and dedicated exam prep like taking practice exams. Finally, I’ll make suggestions as to when and how you should study based on overall course subject (math, science, foreign language, and so on.)

Read More

 

What Is AP Research? Should You Take It?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 4, 2018 11:10:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Research is a class introduced by the College Board as a part of its new AP Capstone program. But what does it really involve? How can you do well?

In this article, I'll provide an overview of AP Research and give you some more information about whether you should take it and how you can be successful in the class. 

Read More

 

What is a DBQ? The Document-Based Question Explained

Posted by Ellen McCammon | Nov 4, 2018 11:09:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

The dreaded DBQ, or “document-based question,” is an essay question type on the AP History exams (AP US History, AP European History, and AP World History).  For the DBQ essay, you will be asked to analyze some historical issue or trend with the aid of the provided sources, or "documents," as evidence. 

The DBQ is an unfamiliar type of in-class essay for many students, but it does not need to be a source of dread or panic. In this guide I'll go over the DBQ's purpose and format, what the documents are and how to use them, how this type of essay is scored, and how to prepare. I'll tell you everything you need to rock this unique type of essay! 

Read More

 

What Are AP Exams and Tests?

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 4, 2018 11:07:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

AP Tests may seem like intimidating obstacles, but if you’ve done well in the corresponding AP classes, you shouldn’t have too much trouble earning a high score. Good AP Test scores can help you in the college admissions process and may even earn you college credits.

In this article, I’ll give you an overview of what AP exams are, why they matter, and how scoring works across a variety of different tests and subject areas.

Read More

 

The Best AP Human Geography Review Books

Posted by Samantha Lindsay | Nov 4, 2018 10:55:00 AM

Advanced Placement (AP)

If AP Human Geography is one of your first AP classes, you might be looking for some guidance on what you should study and how you should plan out your time. Even if you're not new to APs, it can be difficult to pin down what's important in this cross-disciplinary course. That's where review books come in handy. This guide will provide a list of the best AP Human Geography books for exam review and advice on how to choose one that fits your needs. 

Read More

 

Ask a Question Below

Have any questions about this article or other topics? Ask below and we'll reply!