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

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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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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Historical ACT Percentiles for 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 29, 2017 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

For those currently taking the ACT or those who took the ACT in 2013-2016, you may wonder: how does your percentile compare to students with the same score in other years? In this guide, I'll explain what percentiles are, how they work for the ACT, and why they matter. I'll also give you ACT percentile charts for 2013-2016, so you can see how your scores stack up against historical ones.

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The Complete IB Physics Syllabus: SL and HL

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 28, 2017 3:00:00 PM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

I took IB Physics HL back in my high school days. It is still probably the most challenging class I have ever taken (even including my college courses), but I got a 6 on the exam, so trust me - it's doable. 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'll cover the topics covered in IB Physics Standard Level and IB Physics 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 Chemistry Syllabus: SL and HL

Posted by Dora Seigel | May 26, 2017 11:00:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB Chemistry is tough. If you are reading this syllabus, I assume you are interested in potentially taking this course or you are currently enrolled in the course. In this article, I will cover the topics covered in IB Chemistry Standard Level and IB Chemistry 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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Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay? Complete List

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM

SAT Logistics, SAT Essay

Planning to take the SAT? Before you sign up, you need to decide if 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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How Many Questions Can You Skip for a Good SAT Score?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 19, 2017 5:00:00 PM

SAT/ACT Score Target, SAT Strategies

Every year students fight to get the SAT score they want. For many students, completing all the questions before running out of time is a serious challenge. If you're one of those who struggles to finish the test in time, skipping can be a real asset. But how many questions can you skip for a good score on the SAT?

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

Posted by Dora Seigel | Apr 3, 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 (1 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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How Do You Calculate SAT Score? Raw and Scaled

Posted by Dora Seigel | Mar 31, 2017 11:30:00 AM

SAT General Info

The old SAT was scored on a 2400 point scale, and the new SAT is scored on a 1600 point scale, but you don’t answer 2400 or 1600 questions on these tests (or a number remotely close). So, how does your score get calculated? I'll show the steps to calculating your final SAT score for both the old (pre-March 2016) and new (March 2016 and on) SAT. 

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How Do You Calculate ACT Score? Raw and Scaled

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

ACT Logistics

The ACT is scored on a scale of 36. How do you end up with a composite score from 0-36 when you answer a lot more than 36 questions? In this article, I'll walk you through the three steps to calculate your ACT composite score:

  1. Calculate section raw scores
  2. Convert raw scores to scaled scores
  3. Average section scores to determine composite
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