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

Your ACT Superscore Calculator

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 29, 2017 7:30:00 AM

SAT/ACT Score Target, ACT General Info

Planning and trying to reach your ACT target score can be stressful and frustrating. You got a 36 in Math on one test date and a 35 in Reading on another test date. Why can’t you just get all of your highest individual section scores on the same test date?

If you’re applying to colleges that superscore the ACT, you don’t have to worry about that. So what is an ACT superscore? And how do you calculate it? In this post, I’ll explain what superscoring means, how to create your own ACT superscore calculator, and how superscoring affects your test-prep strategy.

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The 39 Best Clubs to Start in High School

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 15, 2017 8:00:00 PM

Extracurriculars

Thinking about starting a club? It’s a great way to meet people with similar interests, do an activity you enjoy, learn more about an activity you're interested in, and gain leadership experience for your college application! But what are good clubs to start in high school? In this article, I’ll give you a list of dozens of clubs you can start!

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How to Cram for the ACT: 10-Day, 4-Point Prep Plan

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 1, 2017 8:00:00 PM

ACT Strategies

If you’ve found this article, I assume it’s crunch time, and your ACT test date is in the next couple weeks. If you do not fall into this category (you have a bit of time—one month or more—before your test date), you can still read this guide for some study strategies, but I recommend you take advantage of all the time you have by spreading your ACT preparation out. Don't wait until the last 10 days to cram.

Though quality matters in your ACT prep, quantity is also important: you have to invest a lot of time if you want to see big improvements. You can make a lot of progress in 10 days, but you need to dedicate the necessary time to improve your ACT score. In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to raise your score by up to four points in just 10 days. 

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59 Great Medical Programs for High School Students + Advice

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 30, 2017 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 trying 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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SAT Trigonometry: SOHCAHTOA and Radians

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 30, 2017 6:00:00 PM

SAT Math

Trigonometry and radians are new additions to the SAT Math section! Do you love SOHCAHTOA and ${π}$ angle measurements? Do you hate trigonometry and radians and don’t know what SOHCAHTOA or ${π}/{2}$ means? No matter how you feel about SAT trigonometry, there is no need to stress. In this guide, I’ll let you know everything you need to know about trigonometry and radians for the SAT Math test and guide you through some practice problems.  

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How to Cram for the SAT: 10-Day, 200-Point Prep Plan

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 13, 2017 8:00:00 AM

SAT Strategies

If you’re reading this guide, I’m going to assume you don’t have a lot of time before your SAT test date. If you do have a lot of time before your SAT test date (one month or more), feel free to read this article for useful tips, but I urge you to spread your prep out over the full amount of time you have. Do not wait to cram.

The total amount of time spent preparing for the SAT matters, and though you can make great strides in just 10 days, you still need to put in the time. I’ll guide you through the steps to successfully cram for the SAT and raise your score by up to 200 points.

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PSAT Score Needed for National Merit Scholarship

Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 9, 2017 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Each year more than 1.5 million juniors take the PSAT in the hopes of qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship Program. But what do they need to score to earn Semifinalist distinction? In this guide, we'll let you know what PSAT score you need to qualify for Semifinalist status in your state and potentially move on to win a National Merit scholarship.

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The Complete IB Extended Essay Guide: Examples, Topics, and Ideas

Posted by Dora Seigel | Sep 6, 2017 12:00:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB students around the globe fear writing the Extended Essay, but it doesn't have to be a source of stress! In this article, I'll get you excited about writing your Extended Essay and provide you with the resources to get an A.    

If you're reading this article, I assume you're an IB Student getting ready to write your Extended Essay. If you're looking at this as a potential future IB student, I recommend reading our other introductory IB articles first: What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program? and What is the IB Curriculum? What are IB Diploma Requirements?

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Heart of Algebra: Key Strategies for SAT Math

Posted by Dora Seigel | Aug 16, 2017 9:00:00 PM

SAT Math, New SAT

On the newly redesigned 2016 SAT, the math section content is divided into four categories by the College Board: Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and Additional Topics in Math. Heart of Algebra accounts for the largest part of the SAT math section (33% of the test), so you need to be well prepared for it. In this post, I’ll be discussing this category's content and question types, working through practice problems, and giving tips on how to ace these questions.

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Book Review: The Official SAT Study Guide, 2018 Edition

Posted by Dora Seigel | Aug 1, 2017 6:00:00 PM

New SAT

The College Board recently published a new version of The Official SAT Study Guide (2018 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 Complete List of IB Courses and Classes

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 14, 2017 10:00:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

What are all the IB courses available to take? Here's our complete list of all SL and HL classes. 

Every IB School is different, so your IB school may not offer all of the IB courses below. However, these are all of the classes that IB creates a curriculum and test for. There are 56 classes (counting HL and SL separately). I have categorized them by the subject categories that IB defines as the six subject groups.

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How Many Questions Can You Miss for a Perfect SAT Score?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 12, 2017 10:30:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, SAT General Info

Every year about 500 students get a perfect score on the SAT. How many questions can you get wrong and still be among this elite group? Find out here in a complete breakdown of the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections across eight official SAT practice tests.

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The 9 Best Film Schools in the US (and 1 to Avoid)

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 3, 2017 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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The Complete IB Biology Syllabus: SL and HL

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 31, 2017 10:30:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Oh, IB Biology. I took IB Biology SL back in my high school days. If you are looking at this syllabus, I assume you are interested in potentially taking the course, or you are currently enrolled in the course.   

In this article, I will cover the topics covered in IB Standard Level and IB Higher Level and the number of hours dedicated to each topic along with what the IB expects you to understand in each topic.

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The Complete IB Economics Syllabus: SL and HL

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 30, 2017 10:00:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

If you are looking at this syllabus, I assume you are interested in potentially taking IB Economics or you are currently enrolled in the course. In this article, I'll cover the topics covered in IB Standard Level and IB Higher Level and the number of hours dedicated to each topic, along with what the IB expects you to understand in each topic. 

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