I never realized how awkward it is to stand up and take this picture in a filled coffee shop. I did it anyway! I’m studying for my chemistry placement test, so I took out my past prep book and started from the beginning (because I forgot everything). My plan is just to make flashcards to review for the plane rides to and back from China! 


Hello, lovelies! This week, I talk about how I got a 2300+ on the SAT without any outside tutoring or prep classes. Yes, it’s possible, and I tell you how to do it in the video.

I also put together a masterpost of resources below. Even if you aren’t self-studying, a lot of these things might be helpful:


  • Official College Board SAT Study Guide (The Blue Book)
  • Direct Hits Vocabulary (Volume 1) // Direct Hits Vocabulary (Volume 2) – What makes these books stand out from other SAT vocab books is the use of pop culture references to explain definitions. For example, the first word in Volume 1, ambivalent, is given the sentence: “In The Avengers, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and Thor are initially ambivalent about joining S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Avengers Initiative.
  • Barrons SAT 2400 – Fabulous book, helpful strategies. I didn’t read the whole thing or do all the practice problems; I only used it for extra help on the sections I struggled with.
  • Grubers SAT 2400 – Didn’t personally use it myself, but it was recommended by a lot of my friends.


→ Non-SAT Critical Reading Advice

→ My favorite reading sources:

  • The Atlantic – mix of interesting articles
  • Variety – pop culture focus, but with more cultured language
  • New Yorker – very cultured, good place to pick up vocabulary
  • New York Times – classic SAT reading material
  • Boston Globe – I have a soft spot in my heart for their entertainment and style sections
  • National Geographic – exactly the sort of passages you’ll find on the SAT

Vocab Flashcards (mentioned in video)


→ Top Writing Errors

→ Top Grammar Rules


→ Khan Academy

Last Minute SAT Prep Tips!

Last night on twitter, admittedly founder Jess Brondo shared her last minute tips and tricks for prepping for the SAT. In case you missed it, we’re sharing the tips here so you are nice and prepared for Saturday. 

Tip 1: If you are unsure on a question on the SAT, NEVER blindly guess. OMIT it. Only guess if you can eliminate 2 choices.

Tip 2:  Don’t waste your time trying to memorize vocabulary words this week since it’s last minute. Instead, focus on latin roots. For a list of the roots you’ll need to know, email (also like us on facebook to always see prep materials we share). 

Tip 3: Always avoid practicing with FAKE practice tests created by companies. The best practice is with the 10 tests from the College Board: and then the free test at

Tip 4: If your practice test scores in the math are less than 600, SKIP the last 5 ?s of the section. They ALWAYS have “traps" that will make it much more likely for you to make careless errors.

Tip 5: You can get 5 days of free access to The SAT/ACT Edge online that has 1000 practice problems and videos of admittedly’s founder Jess Brondo (who got a perfect score) teaching

Tip 6:  Always try to practice with timing yourself. You should make sure you leave more time towards the end of each section because the math and grammar sections go in order of easy to hard so make sure you leave some time at the end of the section for the harder questions. 

Tip 7: Bring extra pencils, check your batteries in your calculator, bring a watch (because you can’t have your phone on the table), and bring water and snacks.

As always, let us know if you have any more questions by sending us an email to Best of luck on Saturday!

Join our little community at Admittedly  and make sure to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter and instagram for more tips, tricks, and contests. 

timetravelingowl’s Guide to SAT Prep

Hello, lovelies! I know that many of you are planning on taking the SAT within the next few months. The SAT can be is very stressful, and oftentimes the struggle isn’t so much knowing the material as it is knowing how to prepare.

Before we begin, consider this disclaimer: I am only an 11th grader. While I have taken the SAT 10 times (through unofficial programs not related to the College Board) and the PSAT 4 times, I am by no means an expert; this list is meant to serve as a suggestion, not a fail-proof method for success. 


The SAT is comprised of 10 sections. Three of these sections are devoted to Critical Reading; 3 are devoted to Math; two are devoted to Writing; one contains the essay portion of the test, and the final is not counted in your final score. This section could be devoted to any of the aforementioned subjects (with the exception of the essay), and is used to determine the difficulty of future test problems.

The SAT is scored a 2400 point scale. You can receive a maximum of 800 points in Math, Critical Reading, and Writing, respectively. Your essay is included in your Writing score.

The essay is scored on a 12 point scale. It is determined by two scorers, who rate your essay from 1-6. The sum of the two scores is your essay score.

Preparing for the SAT:

  • Practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make improvement. You should take the SAT unofficially one or two times before you sit for the real test.
  • Remember that the SAT is NOT the same as the PSAT. Different levels of comprehension and ability are required on the SAT. 
  • Make sure you are aware of the test’s requirements before you take it. For example, you should know the level of mathematics required, the general difficulty of the vocabulary, and the formulaic structure to the essay.
  • This is the official SAT prep book. It’s distributed by the College Board, and it contains multiple practice tests as well as study materials and test tips.

Tips for studying:

  • Take breaks. After two hours of intense activity, your brain simply cannot retain anymore information. You’re wasting your time. Take 10 minute breaks ever hour or 30 minute breaks every two hours.
  • Stay hydrated. Water will help you preform better and feel better.
  • Eat foods high in protein. Your brain needs the excess energy provided by protein-rich foods.
  • Study in a different room every day. The change of scenery helps your memory.
  • Keep the room slightly cooler than normal. Cool air keeps you awake and increases brain activity.
  • From time to time, stretch, jog in place, or preform some other physical activity. This increases the circulation of your blood and results in a higher concentration of oxygen deposited to your brain.

Critical Reading:

  • Read. That’s the best way to raise your Critical Reading score. The books don’t have to be classics; it’s the act of reading and comprehending that matters. Go to the library, collect any book that looks interesting, and check out the whole pile. Read at school, at doctor’s offices, while you’re waiting for someone or something. Read constantly. And more importantly, understand what you’re reading.
  • Vocabulary is an essential part of the SAT Critical Reading section. Use this website to access word lists; try to memorize one set a night. In order to insure long-term retention, use any of these digital flashcards or download a similar app. 
  • Use practice tests to test your comprehensive ability.
  • Read each passage thoroughly. With the exception of “tone” questions, each question is fairly straightforward, and the answer will probably be directly taken from the passage.


  • This is an amazing resource for SAT prep. While all three subjects are available, I primarily use Testive for the math section. While there is a hefty fee for infinite daily problem sets, the site is free to use for a limited amount each day. It’s easily customizable, and the staff is interactive and friendly–I’ve emailed them quips about including Doctor Who monologues in their Short Passage section, and they replied promptly, telling me that this was their favorite request they had ever received. The cool thing about Testive is that it’s entirely at your pace, and it’s designed to help you reach your personal goal.
  • This is a great resource for understanding the SAT math section.
  • Pinpoint your troublesome areas. For me, it’s geometry; thus, I must concentrate more on geometry than, say, ratios, which I understand much better.
  • If you can afford the yearly fee, this site is excellent for math prep.
  • Remember: certain formulas are given to you within the SAT booklet. The rest you must memorize. ALWAYS make sure your calculator is fully charged before the test. You can read the College Board’s calculator policy here.


  • Memorize grammatical rules; they’ll be your best friends.
  • Watch out for tricks; false equivalencies are especially favored by the College Board.
  • Just because a sentence sounds right doesn’t mean it is right. Conversely, a correct answer might sound clumsy; if it is grammatically correct and the most succinct and clear answer, however, it is the right answer.
  • This website contains a fantastic guide to the Writing section of the SAT.

The Essay:

  • Read this.
  • Remember: the essay is formulaic. You need a strong, decisive thesis, two or three arguments/examples, and an effective conclusion.
  • The topic will be extremely broad. Your job is to make it specific. You must take a definitive stance and argue convincingly. Details are key.
  • Commentary is essential! The best example is totally worthless if you don’t explain what it means. Don’t assume that anything is self-evident; remember, books belong to their readers, and you perceive an example in a different way than your grader will.
  • That being said, don’t story-tell. Don’t rehash the whole book/film/event. You only have 25 minutes to write this essay; you don’t have time to describe each act of Julius Caesar.
  • Have a clear “path.” Insure that your transitions are clear and consistent. 
  • Personal experiences are just as valuable as literary or historical examples.
  • Don’t feel pressured to cite “real” literature; this essay is not testing your knowledge of classic texts, it’s testing your ability to connect examples to a broader context.
  • HOWEVER, there are some examples you should try to avoid. They are overused to the point of tedium, and you must remember that your essay graders are human. They’ll get bored. It’s not the end of the world if you use these examples, and there are fair cases to be made for all of them in the right context, but try to avoid:
  • Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Hitler

  •  The Great Gatsby

  • The Scarlet Letter

  • Charles Dickens

  • Romeo and Juliet

  • et cetera…

  • Being a voracious reader will aid you in this section, too. You need a large pool of examples to pull from; additionally, reading will present new ideas to you and will help to improve your writing abilities. Consider checking out any of these titles.


  • If you’re looking for books to read for pleasure, here is one of my “recommendations” lists.
  • This website allows you to answer questions and donate to impoverished families at the same time.
  • This website is just fantastic in general.
  • I’ll be posting additional tips and links at, so feel free to check out the blog! You can send me your essays for critique and advice; additionally, feel free to shoot me an ask if you have any general questions!

appblr SAT masterpost

As y'all probably know, the SAT will be administered this Saturday, March 14. I know it’s one of the most popular test dates with juniors, so I threw together this last-minute guide to the SAT. Hope it helps!


Things to do the night before the SAT
Exam lifehacks
Tips from Harvard students


appsademia: how I self-studied and got a 2300+
bildungsbuch​: are we there yet – part 2. acronyms
genericappblrurl: the SAT is not the end all be all
greatanticipations: keep calm and take the sections as they go
greatanticipations​: studying for the SAT
lil-lil-star​: SAT guide
tackychandelier: preparing for the SAT
timetravelingowl: guide to SAT prep


I mean, they pretty much say all the same thing anyway. Stay calm, stay focused, and stay positive. You’ve (hopefully) been preparing for this for a while, and now there’s nothing you can do but your best! Good luck! If you have any last-minute questions, my askbox is open.

Time for a Huge Post: SAT!

Hello, hello! This is Amy (: Here’s the big SAT post that I said I would do!

First of all, I’d like to say that SAT does NOT measure intelligence. It merely measures how well you can take the test. As long as you center your prep around learning how to take the test, I believe that you can improve your score. Of course, you have to know and have basic math, reading, and writing skills, but with strategies, you can specifically hone them to fit this test.

I’ll be talking about what I did to prepare for the test. I started the summer before 10th grade at a local college prep place. I followed the program very closely and was able to improve my score by ~450 points :D I’ll be sharing some strategies I learned along the way and how I put them in use to take the test. You may or may not agree with them, and you don’t have to use them of course; I’m just sharing what I did. (:

(Here’s a read more, since this post will be pretty lengthy!)

Keep reading

Major changes are just around the corner for the SAT exam
  • 2005 Major alterations to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) saw the College Board removed portions of the verbal section that had traditionally proven difficult for some students. The Board also added an 800-point essay segment to the exam, giving it a new total point value of 2400.
  • 2016 A new round of changes will see the maximum score on the SAT exam return to 1600, along with a host of other changes that the College Board once again hopes will make college more-accessible to graduating high school students. In addition to dropping the top score, the College Board will also offer free SAT preparation materials and give four college application fee waivers to anyone who takes the test. source
Last Minute ACT Prep Tips!

Last night on twitteradmittedly founder Jess Brondo shared her last minute tips and tricks for prepping for the ACT. In case you missed it, we’re sharing the tips here so you can be prepared for the next testing date. We’ve also shared SAT help if that test is better for you. 

Tip 1:  NEVER EVER omit a question on the ACT. You do NOT lose points for questions you get wrong (the way you do on the SAT) so always take a chance and guess

Tip 2:  Make sure you bring up a concession in your essay (aka you want to ADDRESS the other side of the argument and prove why it is flawed)

Tip 3: The math section is 60 questions in 60 minutes; however do NOT plan for 1 min for EACH question. Save extra time for the last 10 questions (they’re really hard) and do the first twenty faster.

Tip 4: Make sure you are looking at the right chart/table on the science section. We can’t tell you how many students make careless mistakes by looking at the wrong table.

Tip 5: The ACT tests you on punctuation, so make sure you know that a semi-colon (;) MUST come between 2 FULL sentences. If it is separating two fragments, it is wrong.

Tip 6:  Also, the ACT likes to trap students with commas. Think of a comma as a 2 second pause and literally read the sentence that way. If it sounds super awkward, you don’t need a comma.

Tip 7: Starting a sentence with “Because” is totally fine. Your teachers might have said otherwise, but it is completely fine on the ACT as long as it is a full sentence.

Tip 8: Example of a correct sentence starting with because: Because I like running, I decided to train for the marathon.

Tip 9: Make sure you memorize all of your geometry formulas; the ACT does NOT give a formula list like the SAT.

As always, let us know if you have any more questions by sending us an email to Best of luck!

Join our little community at Admittedly  and make sure to like us on facebook and follow us on twitter and instagram for more tips, tricks, and contests. 

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