SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

What Are the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies Programs? Should I Join One?

Have you heard about the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies programs (formerly called Stanford EPGY), a group of summer and after-school programs primarily for high school students? Curious about what it would be like to spend a summer on Stanford's campus or take online classes taught by Stanford professors? Will participating in one of these programs give you a leg up in college admissions (including applying to Stanford)?

In this guide, we break down what the different programs are, outline the benefits and costs, and go over the pros and cons of attending.

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What Is a GED? Should You Get One?

If you don't have a traditional high school diploma, you can still earn an equivalent credential by getting your GED. But what is a GED? What does GED stand for? Basically, a GED is a credential that can substitute for a high school diploma. Since most employers (and all colleges) will require you to have graduated from high school, it's usually a good idea to get a GED if you don't complete high school. Doing so helps to ensure that you'll have access to more opportunities later in life.

In this article, I'll go through the GED meaning, the advantages this credential can give you, and how to get your GED.

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How to Get Your GED Online: The 4 Best Courses

No high school diploma? Then you might be thinking about taking the GED test. Can you take the GED online? What about online GED courses?

In this guide, we'll discuss what the overall GED process entails and why you can't actually take the GED online (even though it would definitely be more convenient!). We'll also give you our top picks for the best online GED classes.

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How to Stay on Top of Your Education During the Summer

Public school districts across the U.S. made the difficult decision to end the Spring 2020 semester early due to the challenges of distance learning imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. For safety reasons, some schools are considering the option of pushing back the start date of the Fall 2020 semester and/or moving fall classes online. 

Both of these choices mean that many students will have a much longer summer break than usual, which has caused parents, students, and educators to ask: How will a longer break from formal education affect students’ learning? 

This article tackles this question by explaining how an extended break from education can negatively affect students’ learning over time. To help students and parents combat the negative effects of extra summer vacation, this article also provides: 

  • Five resources for bridging the gap in learning this summer
  • Four tips for students who want to continue their education independently, and
  • Three tips to help parents support summer learning till school’s back in session

There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s get started. 


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How to Study for a Test: 17 Expert Tips

Do you have a big exam coming up, but you're not sure how to prepare for it? Are you looking to improve your grades or keep them strong but don't know the best way to do this? We're here to help! In this guide, we've compiled the 17 best tips for how to study for a test. No matter what grade you're in or what subject you're studying, these tips will give you ways to study faster and more effectively. If you're tired of studying for hours only to forget everything when it comes time to take a test, follow these tips so you can be well prepared for any exam you take.

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6 Tips for Taking High School Classes Online During COVID-19

The escalation of the COVID-19 epidemic has required us all to make changes to our daily lives. For some of us, that means our schools have temporarily closed, and in some instances, are transitioning to online learning. 

While we’re all in this situation together, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help and support when you can’t see your teachers, classmates, and friends face-to-face.

In this article, we’ll do our best to help you navigate this transition to socially-distanced school days, including an explanation of what to expect from online learning, six tips for learning online, and answers to the following FAQs: 

  • How do I navigate my school’s online distance learning system
  • How do class time and lectures work?
  • How do I complete and turn in my assignments?
  • How do I take quizzes and tests?
  • How do I check my grades?

Let’s get started by talking through what to expect from distance learning next. 

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Complete List of Extracurricular Activities: 100s of Examples

How do you like to spend your time after school? Did you know that how you choose to spend this time could be one of the most important ways you shape your future?

Extracurricular activities are a critical component of your college application, and you need to impress colleges with your interests. But you might not know what good extracurricular activities look like or what you should be spending your time on.

We've got you covered here in our guide of hundreds of examples of extracurricular activities. Read on to get some inspiration for how to spend your valuable free time during high school!

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How to Get a Copy of Your High School Diploma: 2 Scenarios

Do you need a copy of your high school diploma and are wondering how to get it? Perhaps you need your diploma for a job or college, but you can't find your original copy. High school diplomas can be required for a variety of reasons, and it's important to have a copy of yours on hand.

This guide will go over each step you need to follow in order to get a copy of your high school diploma, whether you graduated recently or years ago.

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The 11 Natural Log Rules You Need to Know

If you're taking a high school or college math class, you'll likely cover natural logs. But what are natural logs? What is ln? Why does the letter e keep showing up?

Natural logs may seem difficult, but once you understand a few key natural log rules, you'll be able to easily solve even very complicated-looking problems. In this guide, we explain the four most important natural logarithm rules, discuss other natural log properties you should know, go over several examples of varying difficulty, and explain how natural logs differ from other logarithms.

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What Is the Density of Water? By Temperature and Unit

What is the density of water? Does it matter what the temperature is? How can you figure out the density of other objects and liquids?

In this guide we explain water density, provide a chart you can use to find the density of water at different temperatures, and explain three different ways to calculate density.

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5 Key Differences Between the ISEE and SSAT

Most private schools in the United States require applicants to take an entrance examination as part of the admissions process. If you're preparing to go to private school, you're likely wondering what exam you'll need to take.

There are two standardized exams used by admissions committees at private elementary, middle, and high schools: the ISEE and the SSAT. What is the difference between ISEE and SSAT exams? In this ISEE vs SSAT guide, we will explain the difference between the two and offer tips to help you decide whether to take the ISEE or SSAT.

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My Successful Harvard Application (Complete Common App + Supplement)

In 2005, I applied to college and got into every school I applied to, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. I decided to attend Harvard.

In this guide, I'll show you the entire college application that got me into Harvard—page by page, word for word.

In my complete analysis, I'll take you through my Common Application, Harvard supplemental application, personal statements and essays, extracurricular activities, teachers' letters of recommendation, counselor recommendation, complete high school transcript, and more. I'll also give you in-depth commentary on every part of my application.

To my knowledge, a college application analysis like this has never been done before. This is the application guide I wished I had when I was in high school.

If you're applying to top schools like the Ivy Leagues, you'll see firsthand what a successful application to Harvard and Princeton looks like. You'll learn the strategies I used to build a compelling application. You'll see what items were critical in getting me admitted, and what didn't end up helping much at all.

Reading this guide from beginning to end will be well worth your time—you might completely change your college application strategy as a result.

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What Is the ISEE? Complete Guide to the Exam

Thinking of attending a private elementary, middle, or high school in the United States? Then you'll need to take an entrance exam called the ISEE. But what exactly does this test entail? In this article, we'll go over what the ISEE test is, how it's structured and scored, what a good score on the ISEE exam looks like, and how to study effectively for it.

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The Best ISEE Practice Tests

Many students applying to private schools need to submit ISEE scores. The ISEE is known for being a tough exam, and preparing for it can help you reach the score you're aiming for. But where can you find the best ISEE practice tests? And how can you make the most of them? We've collected the absolutely best ISEE test prep resources, both free and paid, in this guide to help you with your ISEE studying.

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Should You Really Get a Job as a Teen? Why and Why Not?

Getting your first job is really exciting—you have real-world responsibilities, and real-word money that you earned yourself, probably for the first time. In your teen years especially, the independence that comes with a part-time job is especially appealing. You get out of the house, meet new people, forge professional connections, and make your own savings and spending decisions.

But you probably have a lot of other things on your plate as well: school, extracurricular activities, family, friends, even college applications. How do you know whether getting a job is a good idea? In this post, I'll talk about the things you should consider before submitting those job applications. Hopefully you come away from this post with a better idea of whether getting a job is right for you.

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