SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What Is CTY at Johns Hopkins? Complete Guide

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Apr 5, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

CTY, or Center for Talented Youth, at John Hopkins University (JHU) offers an assortment of resources to gifted students. These resources include summer programs and courses, written resources, community awards/recognition, and college counseling.

The first step to many of the CTY programs is registering for the Talent Search. Even the programs that are open to everyone give priority to students who participated in the Talent Search. For your convenience, we’ve compiled everything here into one magnificent blog entry guide. I recommend reading it all the way through, but if you only want to read one particular section, you can pick it out from the Table of Contents.

I'll start off by going in depth into the Talent Search and then mention other programs along with links if you want more information than I give in this article.

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7th Grade SAT Prep: How to Ace the Exam

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Mar 13, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

Why take the SAT in 7th grade, when there are plenty of other standardized tests like the PSAT and ACT Aspire that are aimed at middle schoolers? There are a couple of answers to that question. Certain summer programs for talented 7th graders require participants to take a college entry exam, which is why most students end up taking the SAT so early. The rare middle schooler may also choose to take the SAT as a 7th grader as part of her early college preparation.

In an effort to do well on a college entrance exam like the SAT as a 7th grader, it may be tempting to do everything that's recommended for regular SAT prep and then turn it all the way up to 11. But just as good 7th grade SAT scores may be different from good college application SAT scores, so, too, does your test prep need to be different. Learn about the best strategies and practices for 7th grade SAT prep so you can be preared to ace the exam on test day.

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7th Grade ACT Prep: How to Ace the Exam

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Feb 14, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

Even though there are plenty of other standardized tests for younger students like ACT Aspire or the PSAT, there are still many middle schoolers every year who take the ACT. 7th grade is definitely a bit earlier than most people take a college entrance exam, but it's possible you might have to take it as part of an academic talent search or want to take it to see what it's like.

Just as good 7th grade ACT scores are different from what good scores would be for juniors or seniors, though, 7th grade ACT prep is very different from high school ACT prep. Find out the best way to A-C-E the ACT in 7th grade in this article.

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Taking the ACT in 7th Grade: Should You Do It?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Jan 22, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

It’s just a short while before school ends for the day. You settle in to enjoy a discussion about sea monkeys in your 7th grade Science class when all of a sudden, one of your classmates starts complaining about having to take the ACT. What is she talking about? Who would want to take the ACT in middle school, and who even cares about 7th grade ACT scores?

If you’re a parent, you may have heard or read about programs designed for early-achieving students. But it can be hard to figure out if those programs are for students who do well on the ACT, or if the students get to take the ACT if they do well in school.

Fear not—I’ll clear up the confusion in this article as I go over the pros and cons of taking the ACT in 7th grade and the programs you can get into with high 7th grade ACT scores.

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Where to Find Free SSAT Practice Tests: Complete Collection

Posted by Francesca Fulciniti | Jun 24, 2016 8:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

If you (or your child) are applying to a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school, you may have heard of the SSAT. Often used as an entrance exam, the SSAT is a series of standardized tests that can be administered to students in grades 3-11.

The SSAT, or Secondary School Admissions Test, is a standardized exam often given to students hoping to enter a private or independent elementary, middle, or high school. If you want to boost your chances of getting into one of these schools, working on SSAT practice tests is a great way to do it. Here, I’ll discuss where you can find these practice tests (both official and unofficial), and how you should use them. I’ll wrap up with important SSAT test-taking tips.

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How to Study for the SSAT: 8 Top Prep Tips

Posted by Vero Lecocq | Jun 10, 2016 5:00:00 PM

Other High School, Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

If you're interested in attending an independent school, you may have heard the term SSAT being batted around and may now be wondering how to study for the test. In this article, we'll briefly cover the basics of what the SSAT is and does, list the best study materials to use, and offer key SSAT prep strategies and tips

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PARCC Practice Tests: Where to Find and How to Use Them

If you (or your child) are worried about preparing for an upcoming PARCC exam, official practice tests are the best way to study.

Here, we’ll direct you to these PARCC practice materials. We’ll also explain how to use these tests (and other resources at your disposal) if you want to do well on an upcoming PARCC exam.

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What Is the PARCC Test? Do You Have to Take It?

PARCC exams are relatively new and not particularly widespread, which means that finding reliable information on what they are and what they mean can be tough. In this guide, I’ll go over everything you need to know about these exams, including where they’re administered, what they test, and how to prepare.

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What Is NUMATS? Should You Participate?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 12, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

In this guide, I'll be discussing NUMATS or Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search Program. NUMATS provides advanced tests to younger students to find their academic strengths and weaknesses and to suggest academic supplements to help these gifted students thrive. Depending on your score on the test, you may be offered a chance to attend one of their subprograms.

While you can read all about this program on the NUMATS website, the information can be difficult to dissect. For this reason, I’ve gathered all the necessary information and put it into this easy-to-read guide. I recommend reading the entire guide, but I’ve created a Table of Contents that lists the specific sections to help you find whatever information you need.

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Taking The SAT In 7th Grade: Should You Do It?

Posted by Laura Staffaroni | Nov 8, 2015 5:00:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

Imagine: you’re in Social Studies. You hear a fellow 7th-grader sitting next to you say “Ugh, I have to take the SAT this weekend.” What is this person talking about? Why would you take the SAT in middle school? Is there even such a thing as a 7th grade SAT score?

If you're a parent, you may have heard of various advanced programs for gifted and talented children that require taking the SAT. But is it worth it to have your child take the SAT so early? Why start the stress around college applications earlier than high school?

In this article, I’ll go over the pros and cons of taking the SAT in 7th grade and the programs you can get into with high 7th grade SAT scores.

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ACT Aspire Practice Tests: Where to Find Free Tests

Has your school district started using ACT Aspire? Aspire rolled out quite recently, in 2014, so it's possible you have a lot of questions about what the test will be like. Want to get some practice before you take it for real?

We will give you links to free practice tests for each section of Aspire, and explain how to best prepare for the test.

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Should You Start Prepping for the SAT/ACT in 8th Grade?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 31, 2015 9:12:44 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

Are you an 8th grader curious about the SAT and ACT? You might be surprised that you already have a lot of the skills you'll need to do well on these tests, and you're capable of picking up many more.

Whether you're prepping to get a headstart for high school or taking the SAT/ACT to qualify for talent competitions, read on for some compelling reasons why you would benefit from prepping in 8th grade. First, why would you take these tests in the first place?

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What Is Summer Institute for the Gifted? Should You Join?

Posted by Halle Edwards | May 28, 2015 10:27:43 AM

Other High School, Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

Want to challenge yourself this summer? Interested in showing colleges some of your academic interests? If so, you might heave heard about Summer Institute for the Gifted.

In this post, we will explain what Summer Institute for the Gifted is all about, cover logistics like application materials, cost, and dates, and help you decide if it's a good fit for you.

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What Is Stanford EPGY and Summer College? Should I Join?

Posted by Halle Edwards | May 27, 2015 11:14:32 AM

Other High School, Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)

Have you heard about Stanford EPGY, a summer program for high school students? Curious about what it would be like to spend a summer on Stanford's campus?

Well, it turns out that the program formerly known as Stanford EPGY is now two different programs. We will break down what the different programs are and outline the benefits and costs of each.

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Should You Start Prepping for the SAT/ACT in 7th Grade?

Posted by Rebecca Safier | May 24, 2015 2:30:00 PM

Early Achievers (7th/8th Grade)


Are you a middle schooler starting to think about the SAT or ACT? While 7th grade is early to start prepping, a lot of students can benefit from prep by reinforcing their content knowledge and developing good study skills. Academically gifted students, furthermore, might take the SAT or ACT to qualify for talent competitions and special programs.

Let's consider how test prep could help you as a 7th grader, reasons you might take the test, and how it lines up with your middle school classes. First, why do students take the SAT/ACT?

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