Test Preparation Tips and Articles

The SAT vs. the ACT

Colleges will accept either the SAT or ACT. So which should you take? It's all about the numbers. Some students end up scoring substantially higher on the SAT; others do better on the ACT. The Princeton Review offers a free assessment to help you determine which test is best for you. Find an upcoming assessment in your area here.

To help you zero in on the right exam, here are seven key differences:

1. ACT questions tend to be more straightforward. ACT questions are often easier to understand on a first read. On the SAT, you may need to spend time figuring out what you're being asked before you can start solving the problem. For example, here are sample questions from the SAT essay and the ACT Writing Test (their name for the essay): SAT: What is your view of the claim that something unsuccessful can still have some value?
ACT: In your view, should high schools become more tolerant of cheating?

When To Take The SAT, ACT & PSAT?

Not sure when to take the SAT, PSAT or ACT or when to prepare? We've put together a timeline and some recommendations you can follow based on your class year.  Or give us a call at 800-2Review (800-273-8439) and we’ll help you figure out what testing schedule best suits your individual needs.


You've got plenty of time. Freshman year is about learning the ropes of high school. Focus on your studies, figure out what subjects interest you most, and get involved in sports and/or extracurricular activities. You don’t need to worry about test prep just yet, but you might want to think about your testing options. You may want to start thinking about taking the PSAT next fall.  9th Grade College Admissions Guide

Continue to focus on your academic curriculum. Start thinking about test preparation, and take a practice SAT or ACT. It's free, you can take it online, it won’t go on your record and your scores will not be sent to any schools.

If you're taking AP classes, sit for the corresponding SAT Subject Test immediately after your AP course so that the material is fresh in your mind. Students typically take the PSAT in October of their sophomore or junior year. 


About the SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests are an hour long and consist entirely of multiple-choice questions. Previously the Subject Tests were known as SAT II: Subject Tests or more simply SAT IIs. The "II" has been eliminated.

Why Take Them?
Most selective colleges require one to three SAT Subject Tests.

Question Types
Exclusively multiple-choice. Some language tests involve a listening component. Find more info below about what each test covers.

When Should You Take Them?
You can take an SAT Subject Test at any point in your high school career. Many take math Subject Tests in the fall of their senior year. Other tests, like sciences and languages, should be taken right after finishing related subjects in school.

How Are They Scored?
One score per test, scale of 200-800.


Top 10 College Majors

College offers you academic freedom. You can cultivate existing passions and explore new interests—all the while figuring out which major will eventually help you earn a living.

Whatever major you choose, don’t pick what’s easiest—or what your best friend is studying—because you’ll only be cheating yourself out of some great opportunities!

And college is, after all, about opportunities.

The Princeton Review’s Top 10 Majors follow. Be warned, however, that these are not necessarily the degrees that garner the most demand in the job market. More importantly, they don’t lock you into a set career path. Each major offers unique intellectual challenges and develops skill sets that will be applicable to various careers.

1. Business Administration and Management/Commerce
Think you’re a born leader? You’ll need stellar people skills—no room for wallflowers here—and talents in problem solving, number crunching, and decision making. And don’t forget great communication skills! While studying business, you’ll get a thorough grounding in the theories and principles of accounting, finance, marketing, economics, statistics, and human resources functions. You will be a whiz on how to budget, organize, plan, hire, direct, control, and manage various kinds of organizations —from entrepreneurial-type start-ups to multi-million-dollar corporations. This major will also get you thinking about issues such as diversity, ethics, politics, and other dynamics that play a role in every work environment. Make sure those competitive juices are flowing; the business world is all, well, business.


3 SAT Tips

We’re not big fans of the SAT.  It doesn’t measure intelligence.  It can’t possibly measure your future success in college.  The SAT measures one thing, and one thing only: how good you are at taking the SAT.

That’s good news! It means you don’t have to be a genius to improve your score. You simply have to understand how the exam works.  For titles on this subject, visit our bookstore

Here are three SAT tips to help you be a smart test-taker:

1. Know the order of difficulty.
SAT questions can be divided into three levels of difficulty: easy, medium and hard. The questions in the first third of each section are easy, those in the second third are medium and those in the last third are hard. (The only exception is the Reading Comprehension passages, which do not follow this order.)  Every question on the SAT is worth an equal amount. So spend your time making sure you get the easy and medium questions correct and tackle the hard questions if time remains.  Rushing through the test to get to the hardest questions will only drag your score down.


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