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

Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay? Complete List

Posted by Dora Seigel | Mar 21, 2020 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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SAT Trigonometry: SOHCAHTOA and Radians

Posted by Dora Seigel | Feb 1, 2020 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 Do You Calculate ACT Score? Raw and Scaled

Posted by Dora Seigel | Feb 1, 2020 12:00:00 PM

ACT Logistics

The ACT is scored on a scale of 1-36. But how exactly do you end up with a composite score on this scale when you answer a lot more than 36 total questions? In this article, we'll walk through the steps needed to calculate your ACT composite score, including how to calculate your raw scores and convert these into scaled scores.

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Hospital Volunteer Opportunities for High School Students: A Guide

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 21, 2020 6:48:00 PM

Extracurriculars

Interested in pursuing a career in medicine? If you are, being a hospital volunteer in high school is a fantastic way to test out the profession. If you're not interested in pursuing a career in medicine but still want to volunteer, that's great too!

Being a hospital volunteer is very rewarding, but it's also a lot of hard work. How can you become a hospital volunteer? Why should you volunteer at a hospital? What are the main duties of a hospital volunteer? I'll answer these questions and more in this guide.

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The 39 Best Clubs to Start in High School

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 19, 2020 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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Best ACT Math Practice Tests: How to Find and Use Them

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 15, 2020 8:00:00 PM

ACT Math

Whatever your ACT Math prep plan, whether you're doing self-study, a class, or working with a tutor, you need to be working with real ACT Math practice materials. The ACT Math test will be unlike any other Math test you've taken. You need to work with the real material to get used to the pacing and style of this unique test. In this guide, I'll let you know where to find free and paid official ACT Math practice tests.

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Does Messy Handwriting Hurt Your ACT Writing Score?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 15, 2020 6:00:00 PM

ACT Writing

Do you have messy handwriting? If so, trust me, you're not alone. Given only 40 minutes to plan and write an essay, most students end up with at least slightly sloppy handwriting. How does bad handwriting affect your ACT Writing score? Can you end up with a lower score? Can you end up with a score of zero? I've got the answers to these questions along with more ACT Writing advice.

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How Do You Calculate SAT Score? Raw and Scaled

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 11, 2020 11:30:00 AM

SAT General Info

You know your SAT score is important for college admissions and even things like scholarships, but how does your SAT score get calculated? I'll show the steps to calculating your final SAT score so you can get an accurate idea of how well you're doing on the exam.

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The Best ACT Score Predictor

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 11, 2020 8:30:00 AM

ACT Strategies

Taking the ACT is stressful—some test you've never seen before will affect where you go to college. As a high school student, I felt anxious taking the ACT because I hadn't done any practice and had no idea whether I'd reach my target score.

One way to mitigate nerves surrounding the ACT is to try to predict your ACT score. If you find out your estimate is close to your target score, you'll feel relieved. If it's low, at least you'll know you need to do more preparation before taking the test.

What is the best ACT score predictor? What should you do with your estimated ACT score? In this guide, I'll walk you through the different ways to predict your ACT score and explain the pros and cons of each. I'll also let you know how to use your estimated score to your advantage.

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The 7 Fundamental Gemini Traits, Explained

Posted by Dora Seigel | Jan 1, 2020 6:00:00 PM

Miscellaneous

Gemini traits are more varied than those of other astrological signs. While most signs have one very prominent trait (for example, Capricorns are notoriously ambitious), Geminis, those born between May 21 and June 21, can be social, talkative, and whimsical, but they can also be indecisive or nosy. Some Geminis love to be the center of attention; others love to gossip. They're typically passionate yet easy-going beings who are always down for an adventure or intellectual conversation.

If you hang out with a Gemini, only one thing's certain: you'll never be bored.

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The Only Actual Science You Need to Know for ACT Science

Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 22, 2019 11:30:00 AM

ACT Science

While you may have been told you need zero science knowledge to answer any ACT Science questions, this is NOT true. There are typically around four questions per test that you cannot answer without previous background knowledge. That's the difference between a 31 and a 36 on the Science section!

In this article, I will give an overview of the 18 topics that will NOT be explained in the ACT Science passages that the ACT expects you to know. The ACT assumes you know these topics from school and science class. To gather this info, I dissected dozens of previous ACT Science test sections to find the concepts you have to know. As far as we can tell, we're the only ones who have taken the time to research this.

If you've gotten bad grades in science classes in school, this article will give you a refresher on the only concepts you need to know.

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Colleges With the Lowest ACT Scores, Ranked

Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 8, 2019 5:00:00 PM

College Info

The college application process can be stressful, but don't worry, if you hope to attend a four-year university and have a low ACT score, there is quite possibly a college for you!

In this article, I list the universities with the lowest 25th percentile ACT scores for their admitted students. The 25th percentile ACT score signifies that 25% of admitted applicants to the school received an ACT score at or below that number. The 75th percentile ACT score signifies that 75% of admitted applicants to the school received an ACT score at or below that score (25% scored higher). I will also explain why you shouldn't always judge the colleges by their low 25th/75th percentile ACT.

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Colleges With the Lowest SAT Scores, Ranked

Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 1, 2019 3:30:00 PM

College Info

Applying to college is a nerve-wracking process, but have no fear: if you want to go to college even with a low SAT score, there is most likely a school for you!

In this article, I'll list the colleges with the lowest 25th percentile SAT scores for their admitted students. The 25th percentile SAT score means that 25% of admitted students to that university scored at or below that number; the 75th percentile SAT score means that 75% of admitted students scored at or below that score (25% scored higher). I'll also explain why their low SAT criterion doesn’t necessarily mean the university is bad.

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When Do IB Results and Scores Come Out?

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 17, 2019 10:02:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

You're in an IB Diploma Programme or a few IB classes, and you have slaved all year (or two years) studying for your SLs and HLs. You sat for the exams - where you probably developed carpal tunnel syndrome. Also, you can relate a little too well to this video, but you are hoping you did a little bit better on your IB exams. So when do you get your scores? How do you get your scores? What does your score mean? I will answer all of these questions and more in this article.

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

Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 3, 2019 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 you need 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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