SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Dora Seigel

As an SAT/ACT tutor, Dora has guided many students to test prep success. She loves watching students succeed and is committed to helping you get there. Dora received a full-tuition merit based scholarship to University of Southern California. She graduated magna cum laude and scored in the 99th percentile on the ACT. She is also passionate about acting, writing, and photography.

Recent Posts

Book Review: The Official SAT Study Guide, 2020 Edition

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 16, 2019 6:00:00 PM

New SAT

The College Board recently published a new version of The Official SAT Study Guide (2020 edition). What’s the book like? Is it helpful? In this review, I’ll break down the strengths and weaknesses of this newest edition of the official guide, discuss how students feel about it, and tell you whether it’s ultimately worth buying.

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The 9 Best Film Schools in the US

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM

College Info

In the past few years, applying to film school has gotten extremely competitive: top schools like USC’s School of Cinematic Arts now boast lower admission rates than the Ivies. Simultaneously, the number of film programs has grown—rising from about 300 in 2006 to almost 400 in 2010.

With so many programs available and so much competition for the top spots, where should you apply? In order to help you find the right school for you, I’ve compiled a list of the best film schools in the US, based on my experience as a film student and actress in LA.

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What Is the IB Curriculum? What Are IB Diploma Requirements?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 2, 2019 2:50:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

If you're reading this article, I assume you know a little bit about the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. If not, I encourage you to read our other article What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program? before reading this article. As a brief refresher, the IBO started this program in the 1960s to be a rigorous, internationally recognized diploma for entry into universities that students all around the world could earn.

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Which IB Courses Can I Take Online? Can I Get an Online IB Diploma?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 2, 2019 11:14:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Wow, the world has changed a lot for us old folks who graduated in high school in 2010. While you cannot get your IB diploma or International Baccalaureate diploma online, you can take several IB courses online if you are enrolled in an IB World School (I'll go into more detail on this below).      

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Every IB Geography Past Paper Available: Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 12, 2019 10:51:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

If you are preparing for your IB Geography SL/HL papers, studying your notes is likely not enough to get a 7. Taking practice tests using IB Geography SL/HL past papers is the only way to ensure you know what to expect the day of your exam. You'll be better prepared because you'll know the test length and format...and you'll be more confident because you're more familiar with the question formats!

In this article, I'll let you know where to find IB Geography SL/HL past papers—both free and paid—to help you excel on your own IB Geography exam.

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Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay? Complete List

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 5, 2019 7:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics, SAT Essay

Planning to take the SAT? Before you sign up, you need to decide whether you’re going to take the test with or without the optional Essay. How should you pick? Well, some colleges require that you apply with the SAT with Essay; others don’t care whether you submit an SAT score with or without the Essay.

In this article, I’ll provide you with a complete list of colleges that require or recommend taking the SAT with the Essay.

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Expert Guide to SAT Grid-Ins: 5 Key Tips

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 1, 2019 8:00:00 AM

SAT Math

If you’re planning to take the SAT, you may have heard of this strange question type known as grid-ins. You probably know that there are multiple-choice questions and an optional essay, but what are grid-ins? Problems that require you to draw pictures or graphs, perhaps? The reality is grid-ins are almost identical to multiple-choice questions; they just don’t provide answer choices.

This guide will explain what grid-ins are, discuss where they appear, outline how many appear on the SAT, and provide tips on answering them. 

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59 Great Medical Programs for High School Students + Advice

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 7:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars

Thinking about a career in medicine? I highly recommend trying out some medical experiences in high school before committing to a pre-med track. Many of my high school friends who hoped to go into medicine ended up changing their major during college when the pre-med courses got too difficult.

Doing a medical internship, summer program, or community service project in high school can help you decide if medicine is the right track for you before you waste time and money going pre-med in college. This guide will explain what experiences are open to you as a high school student, what those experiences involve, and how you will benefit from them.

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The 3 Types of ACT Science Passages: What You Must Know

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 4:06:00 PM

ACT Science

The ACT Science section is one of the bigger mysteries to students since it is the most different from the SAT, PSAT, and other tests you have taken. Here, I will try to unravel the mystery by explaining the types of passages on the ACT, as well as the unique question types for each of these passages.

By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what the ACT Science section entails and how to best prepare for it. 

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Every IB English Past Paper Available: Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 3:30:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

In this article, I cover IB English Literature SL/HL, IB English Language and Literature SL/HL, and IB Literature and Performance SL. These are the core language A options for English speakers. When preparing for one of these IB English exams, you should take a practice test. Where can you find IB English past papers, free and paid? I will answer that question and let you know how to get the most out of these past papers.

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Every IB History Past Paper Available: Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 2:30:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Taking a practice IB History exam before the actual exam will help you familiarize yourself with the length, style and format of the test. In this guide, we explain the IB History test format and link to the best past papers available. At the end, I’ll explain how best to use these IB History past papers for your studying.

Disclaimer: these free exams should be used at your own risk. The exams are not authorized by the IBO and were most likely put up online without the IBO’s consent.

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Where to Find IB Physics Past Papers - Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 11:14:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

When you take the IB Physics exam, you'll be nervous no matter what. But having seen a practice test beforehand will be a huge benefit since you'll know the format of the test cold and will be used to the length and style of the test.

In this article, I will at least try to get you familiar with the exam format by exposing you to IB Physics past papers, both free and paid. I'll also share strategies on how best to use these IB Physics tests for your own exam prep.

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Where to Find IB Chemistry Past Papers - Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 11:13:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Taking the IB Chemistry exam will be a nerve-wracking experience, but having seen a real IB past paper before taking the actual test will be a huge advantage since you'll have experience with the test format, the length, and style of the test. In this article, I will show you where to find IB Chemistry past papers, both free and paid. I'll also share tips on how to study most effectively using these IB Chemistry past papers.

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Every IB Economics Past Paper Available: Free and Official

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 10:50:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Taking the IB Economics exam will be nerve-wracking no matter what. However, taking practice tests with past papers beforehand will be a huge advantage since you'll know the test format and be used to the length and style of the test. In this guide, I will familiarize you with the IB Economics test format and let you know where to find past papers, both free and paid. I'll also give you tips on how best to use these IB Economics past papers for your preparation. 

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The Best IB History Notes and Study Guide for SL/HL

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 28, 2019 10:40:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

If you want to do well on the IB History exam, you'll need to have a solid set of notes to study from. This can be difficult though if you're missing notes or feel like some of your own notes don't cover certain topics in enough depth. Luckily, we're here to help! We’ve assembled the best FREE online IB History notes into this complete study guide.

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