If you’re a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship Program, you used to have the SAT forced on you. But big news: you can now validate your qualifying PSAT score with an **ACT** score! Let me explain how that impacts the testing decisions of high-achieving students.

# What's New On The Common App 2019-2020

The Common App makes changes every year—some big, some small. This year, several of those changes affect user experience. Let me fill you in on what’s changing for the 2019-2020 application year and what’s staying the same—and then I’ll walk you through the Common App step by step!

# How Do You Cancel Your ACT Score?

SHOULD you cancel is one question (and I’ve written about it!), but once you’re sure you want to, there’s another question: HOW do you cancel your ACT score? This post walks you through it step by step.

# "Should I Cancel My SAT or ACT Score?"

There are new and helpful options for how to cancel your SAT or ACT score. But don’t get carried away, because there’s a really important question you should ask yourself before you take advantage of them: SHOULD you cancel your score? Let me walk you through the decision the way I’ve helped my students tackle it.

# What's the SAT Adversity Score?

If you follow testing and college-process news, you may have heard of the SAT’s new “Adversity Score.” But what is it, really? And how will it affect YOUR testing strategy? I’m breaking it down for you.

# Baby Algebra: A Conclusion

We’ve reached the end of our baby Algebra upgrade series at long last! In this final post, I’m showing you a trick that upgrades your baby Algebra skills and scores you points on the SAT. And you definitely haven’t learned in math class—or in any of your test-prep books!

# Baby Algebra Upgrades: Inequalities and Absolute Values

We’re starting to wind up our baby Algebra upgrades, but before we do, don’t forget about Inequalities and Absolute Values! Lots of people do—but not the SAT Math test makers, so listen up.

# Baby Algebra Upgrade: How Many Solutions Does A System Of Linear Equations Have?

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this Baby Algebra series! Now that you’re working with linear equations and *systems* of linear equations, I’m going to teach you a little shortcut to solving—or even skip having to solve!—some of the problems the SAT will throw at you on this topic.

# Baby Algebra Upgrade: How To Recognize Systems of Linear Equations

You might not know the math you think you know! This week, in my series teaching you to beat the SAT math paradox, I’m showing you how to recognize systems of linear equations…even in disguise. If you can spot these subtle systems, you can solve problems quickly and easily that might otherwise have stumped you.

# Baby Algebra Upgrade: How To Recognize (And Actually Understand) A Linear Equation

In the first post of my new series upgrading your baby Algebra skills to the level that will let you snag all the points available on the SAT, we’re covering the foundation: what are linear equations, anyway, and what do they actually mean? Need answers? Read on!

# The Math Paradox: Why The Easiest Math On The SAT and ACT Is The Hardest

There’s this paradox I’ve noticed: it’s never the hardest math that stands between my students and the scores they need to get into their dream schools. As strange as it might sound…it’s usually the EASIEST math. Why, and what can YOU do to prevent this math paradox from hurting your score? In this post, I’m explaining how to level up your “baby Algebra” with the help of my new series.

# Kristina's Complete Guide To Subject Tests: How To Ace Your SAT IIs

This post is a complete guide to all of the resources I’ve got to help you ace your SAT II Subject Tests—from strategy to crucial content!

# How To Answer A “Big Picture” Reading Question On The ACT Or SAT

Both the SAT and ACT ask these “big picture” reading questions, so lots of tutors and test prep companies try to prepare you to answer them. In this post, I’m reviewing the strategies that you’ve probably heard before…and sharing the simple and effective one that works for my students, which I bet you haven’t!

# Two Techniques For Acing Transition Word Questions

In my last post, I gave you the most complete transition word guide you’ll ever find—and in this one, I break down my two techniques for acing the questions that test that knowledge!

# The Most Comprehensive Transition Word Guide You'll Ever Find

Transition words are a big deal on the SAT and ACT! But what are they and how do they work? Here’s the most complete guide to transition words you’ll find.

# The Ivy Lounge Test Prep Punctuation Cheat Sheet

In the first post of a new series walking you through the highest-impact content you need to master for SAT and ACT reading and writing sections, I’m walking you through punctuation! What punctuation rules are absolute need-to-knows for test day? Read on!

# This New Year's Ritual Will Get You Into College

A new year is a chance to pause, take stock, and course correct as you proceed joyfully towards your goals. This little New Year’s ritual offers you questions to ask yourself and words to take to heart—all designed to help you realize your college process goals, no matter where you are in that process right now.

# Is the College Board Going Down?

The College Board has had some high-profile problems in the last couple of years. So is this it for the SAT (and the SAT IIs…and AP exams…)? In my expert opinion, not even close—here’s why.

# From Frantic To Finished...Fast!: Kristina's COMPLETE Application Resource Guide

Those deadlines are looming and your stress level is rising. Don’t panic! Read this guide instead and let me walk you through the steps of completing your regular decision applications (no matter where you’re starting).

# Understanding The Curve: Don't Pray For An Easy Test

Think an easy test means you can expect the score you want? Not necessarily. In fact, an easy test can make it harder to get the score you need! Let me explain.