SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Do You Have to Take the SAT? What If It's Not Required?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many universities to adopt test optional policies for students. “Test optional” means that a university won’t require you to submit your SAT scores as part of your application. COVID-19 has made taking the SAT difficult for many applicants, so universities are trying to alleviate some of the stress by going test optional!

It might seem like this is a pandemic trend in higher education, but actually, many schools across the country went test optional long before COVID was a thing. And since test optional schools make the SAT...well, optional, you might be wondering, “Do I have to take the SAT at all?” 

The answer is a little more complicated than just a “yes” or “no.” We’ll help you answer the question, “Do you need to take the SAT?” in this article, along with: 

  • Explaining whether you have to take the SAT to graduate from high school
  • Going over how the SAT fits into the college application process (and if you should take it) 
  • Discussing how the SAT impacts your ability to get scholarship money 
  • Giving you four reasons you may not have to take the SAT
  • Outlining the reasons you might want to take the SAT no matter what

Let’s get started!


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SAT Essay Examples for the 6 Types of Essay Prompts

There's a persistent myth about the SAT Essay: the idea that you can't prepare content because you don't see the prompt until the day of the test. This is a myth because, in order to be standardized, the test has to require the same complexity of argument in every SAT essay question: yes or no, this or that, what causes what.

And since all these arguments are very simple, almost every SAT essay argument can be boiled down to one of the 6 we list here. In addition to that, though, we also explain how to argue each one, and give you sample support for both sides of every argument. Read on for the inside scoop on this important aspect of the SAT.

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Train the SAT Essay with Real Examples

One of the best ways to learn the SAT essay is to look at example submissions by other real students.  By judging these example essays yourself, you'll understand much better what SAT graders are looking for.  You'll also learn from these examples what to do and not to do.

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What's the Deal with Improving Sentences and the Essay? SAT Writing Guide and Advice

feature_booksandwriting.jpgHave you ever wondered what the SAT is looking for when they ask questions that are confusing? Look no further! In this post, we reveal the goals of the SAT Essay and Identifying Sentence Errors question types.

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Do Longer SAT Essays Really Score Higher?

Rumor has it, the longer your SAT essay, the higher your score. Could this be true? Does essay length affect your score?

Let's unpack this belief and talk about the best strategies for scoring high on the SAT essay.

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Choose Your SAT / ACT Test Dates: When's a Good Time for You?

"I have no idea what to expect" is not a sentence you want running through your mind on your way to take the SAT or ACT. If you take control of your test prep and schedule, then you shouldn't have any surprises on test day.

Besides studying, part of your preparation should be strategically planning out your SAT/ACT test dates. Instead of closing your eyes and pointing randomly at a calendar, you can ask yourself some key questions to figure out when the best SAT/ACT test dates are for you.

The first question that every student should ask herself, of course, is, When are my college deadlines?

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How to Get 800 on SAT Reading: 11 Strategies by a Perfect Scorer

Are you scoring in the 600-750 range on SAT Reading + Writing? Do you want to raise that score as high as possible—to a perfect 800?

UPDATE: This article discusses a previous version of the SAT. If you are looking to get a perfect score on the digital SAT check out my guide to getting an 800 on SAT Reading and Writing.

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SAT Self-Study: 7 Top Tips for Your Prep Plan

Every test requires some kind of preparationeven the SAT. Most students choose to prep entirely on their own for the SAT, which can have a lot of advantages (but also some potential drawbacks). So how does SAT self-study actually work? How can you ensure you get the most out of your SAT self study plan? Read on for our answers!

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How to Guess Strategically on SAT Math

The SAT doesn't give any penalties for incorrect answers, so you should always guess on a section, including the Math section. But guessing requires strategy, especially if you're hoping to get a high (or even perfect!) SAT Math score.

In this guide, we’ll go through how to guess strategically on SAT Math and show you examples of it in action.

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

What is the absolute best SAT prep course? The truth is that there’s no one correct answer to this. After all, what works for one student might not necessarily work for another student.

In this article, we introduce five of the best SAT prep courses (both in-person and online) and give you their pros and cons to help you determine which class will be the best fit for you. We also provide you with our top four tips for getting the most out of your SAT prep class.

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Secret Truths of SAT/ACT Prep Methods: Pros and Cons of Each

You know it's a great idea to prep for the SAT or ACT. After all, for the majority of students, it's the most time-efficient way to increase their college admission chances. But with so many ways you can prep for your test, it can be difficult to figure out which method will be the best for you. Obviously, some methods are generally thought to be more effective than others.

Still, every single SAT/ACT prep method out there has certain strengths. For some students tutoring is by far the best, whereas for others self-study is clearly optimal. Ultimately, which one you should choose will depend on your learning style, circumstances, and budgetwe can help you figure this out here.

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8+ Free Old Official SAT Practice Tests

In March 2016, the SAT underwent a complete redesign, concentrating more on testing reasoning skills than on obscure vocabulary knowledge.

So how do you study for the SAT now that there just aren't that many practice tests available? After all, there’s nothing quite like taking actual official SAT tests to get you ready for the real thing. The good news is that many of the questions that appeared on the old SAT format are still completely relevant and a great resource for practicing your skills!

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How Many Questions Can You Skip for a Good SAT Score?

Every year students fight to get the SAT score they want. For many students, completing all the questions before running out of time is a serious challenge. If you're one of those who struggles to finish the test in time, skipping can be a real asset. But how many questions can you skip for a good score on the SAT?

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Should You Guess on the SAT? 6 Guessing Strategies

It can be hard to know when to guess on the SAT, especially since the recent overhaul has changed for the test is scored. But the truth is more straightforward than you might expect! Read on to find out whether you should guess on the SAT and what you can do to maximize the number of correct answers you end up with from guessing.

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The Complete Guide to SAT Grammar Rules

Even though the English language is complex, the SAT tests a specific set of grammar rules. Furthermore, it tests these rules the same way, over and over again.

In this complete guide, we've compiled a comprehensive list of SAT grammar rules you need to know to ace the SAT Writing and Language section. If you master all these rules and practice them with realistic questions, you'll have a huge advantage on SAT Writing and Language.

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