How to Set a (Realistic) Target ACT or SAT Score

Posted by Vicki Wood on January 13, 2017 at 10:26 AM

When we teach courses, we hand out a student profile which asks students about their testing experience and expectations. One of the questions prompts them to list their target score. So many of the responses are the same: 25 on the ACT and 1200 on the SAT. When we ask why they want these scores, their answer is simple: “Because that’s a good score.”

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep

How to ask for more financial aid for college

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on January 6, 2017 at 3:08 PM


When it comes to college, the most stressful thing you're likely going to go through is figuring out how to pay for it. Filling out form after form, completing the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE, submitting tax returns, getting everything sent off and certified--it can be quite the experience.

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Topics: College Admissions

ACT and SAT Math Tips: Holiday Dilemmas

Posted by Jon Denning on December 23, 2016 at 10:11 AM

We have a special SAT Math and ACT Math post today from our senior curriculum developer (and VP!), Jon Denning. He'll help you get into the test prep spirit with a little winter break math.

Everyone at PowerScore wishes you a happy holiday! 

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Math

Top 5 tasks if you are waitlisted for college

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on December 16, 2016 at 12:22 PM


If you're like most college applicants, you would almost rather see a rejection letter than a waitlist letter. While the rejection letter may hurt more, you at least have closure. With a waitlist letter, you have...well, not closure. And a whole lot of waiting, to boot. So what should you do if you're waitlisted at one of your top college choices?

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Topics: College Admissions

ACT and SAT Math Tips: Turkey Day Drills

Posted by Vicki Wood on November 23, 2016 at 10:26 AM

Just because the holidays are rolling around does not mean you can skip your ACT and SAT prep! It's important to use your time off to focus on the test while you're not worrying about school work. And I'm here to help you out with a few Thanksgiving math questions to kickstart your day of family, football, and sweet, sweet gluttony.

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Math

ACT and SAT Reading Tips: Opposite Answer Traps

Posted by Vicki Wood on November 18, 2016 at 10:45 AM

If only one answer can be right on the ACT and SAT Reading sections, then three other answers are wrong. The test makers carefully write these wrong answer choices, intentionally using language and ideas that trick unsuspecting test takers. Learning how these incorrect answers are crafted can help you spot them, which is why eliminating wrong answers can sometimes be easier than determining the right answer.

One type of answer trap is the Opposite Answer. 

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Reading, ACT Reading

ACT and SAT Math Tips: The Surprise Inside Every Equilateral Triangle

Posted by Vicki Wood on November 11, 2016 at 11:09 AM

Remember when you were a kid and the box of Lucky Charms had a toy buried inside? Yeah, hold on to that memory, because thanks to advertising laws, most cereal manufacturers stopped offering such promotions in 2008. I sure wish law makers would at least allow cereal manufacturers to put toys in cereals with low sugar content, as I can't get my twins to even listen to the Snap! Crackle! and Pop! of Rice Krispies. But I guess that's for another blog on another day.

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Math, ACT Math

Should you retake the ACT or SAT?

Posted by PowerScore Test Preparation on November 4, 2016 at 12:36 PM

After all the tough questions on the ACT or SAT, you have another one to answer when your scores arrive: Should you take the test again?

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Topics: College Admissions, SAT Prep, ACT Prep

ACT English and SAT Writing Tips: Ambiguous Pronouns

Posted by Vicki Wood on October 20, 2016 at 10:51 AM

I must apologize for my absence: Hurricane Matthew chased me from home for over a week and then kept me busy for another week when I came back. I am happy to settle back into a routine today, so let's get right to it: Ambiguous pronouns.

Ambiguous  means unclear  or open to more than one interpretation.  The movie Inception  has an ambiguous ending, as does the book The Giver  by Lois Lowry. Audiences and readers are left with questions about these endings because the authors have left them open to interpretation.

While book and movie endings are intentionally made ambiguous, pronouns should never be unclear. Ambiguous pronoun errors occur on the ACT and SAT when the proper antecedent has more than one possibility, leaving the reader to wonder whom or what the pronoun is referencing.

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Topics: SAT Prep, ACT Prep, SAT Writing, ACT English

ACT and SAT Reading: Line References

Posted by Vicki Wood on September 30, 2016 at 2:07 PM

While a few ACT and SAT Reading questions will ask you about the passage as a whole, many of the questions will send you back to the passage with a specific line reference. Consider some examples:

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Topics: SAT Reading, ACT Reading