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

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

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Feb 2, 2022 10:00:00 AM

International Baccalaureate (IB)

Are you taking IB English and need some help with your studying? No need to reread all the books and poems you covered in class! This study guide is for IB English A students (students in IB English A: literature SL/HL, IB English A: language and literature SL/HL, or IB English literature and performance SL) who are looking for additional guidance on writing their commentaries or essays.

I've compiled this IB English study guide using the best free materials available for this class. Use it to supplement your classwork and help you prepare for exams throughout the school year.

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

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Feb 1, 2022 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 on it.

If you're reading this article, I'm going to 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 introductory IB articles first, including our guide to what the IB program is and our full coverage of the IB curriculum.

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54 Great Medical Programs for High School Students + Advice

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 14, 2021 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 Best SAT Math Practice Tests and Questions

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 5, 2021 6:00:00 PM

SAT Math

For SAT Math prep, no matter your strategy—whether you're doing self-study, taking a prep class, or working with a tutor—you need to be working with real SAT Math practice materials. The SAT Math test will be different from 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 show you where to find official SAT Math practice tests and questions, and go over what materials to avoid.

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How Long Does It Take to Send SAT Scores?

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 18, 2021 4:00:00 PM

SAT Logistics

If you're applying to college, you need to know the answer to one question: how long does it take to send SAT scores? Knowing this will help you plan when you will take your SAT.

You want to make sure that whenever you take the SAT, you have time to get that score sent to your target schools before the deadline. When is your last opportunity to take the SAT if you're applying Early Decision or Early Action? When is your last opportunity to take the SAT if you're applying Regular Decision? I'll answer these questions and more in this short article.

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The 13 Best Performing Arts Colleges in the US

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 9, 2021 12:00:00 PM

College Info

Attending a performing arts college is a big decision—you're committing to focusing exclusively on your art for four years. Once you've made this choice, you need to find a school that'll allow you to accomplish your career goals.

In order to help you find the right school for you, I've compiled a list of the best performing arts colleges in the US. Keep reading to see what these are!

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Complete List of Performing Arts Colleges in California

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Oct 3, 2021 10:30:00 AM

College Info

If the stage calls your name, and you're interested in pursuing a degree in one of the performing arts (theatre/dance/music) in California, then this article is for you. I've compiled a comprehensive list of all of the universities and conservatory programs in California that offer performing arts degrees (Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate's).

 

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PSAT Score Needed for National Merit Scholarship

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Sep 19, 2021 12:00:00 PM

PSAT Info and Strategies

Each year about 1.6 million juniors take the PSAT in the hopes of qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship Program. But what score do you actually need to earn Semifinalist distinction? In this guide, we'll tell you what PSAT score you need in order to qualify for Semifinalist status in your state and potentially move on to win a National Merit scholarship.

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Complete List of Performing Arts Colleges in New York

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Aug 26, 2021 10:00:00 AM

College Info

If you're hoping to attend a performing arts college in New York state or New York City, this article will get you one step closer to that goal. I have compiled a comprehensive list of the over 70 universities and conservatory programs in New York that offer performing arts degrees (Bachelor’s or higher). I have also chosen the top 3 performing arts schools in New York.

 

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Which Colleges Require the SAT Essay? Complete List

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Jul 15, 2021 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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Does Messy Handwriting Hurt Your SAT Essay Score?

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Jul 15, 2021 8:30:00 AM

SAT Essay

Worried about your messy handwriting? It’s tough not to have sloppy handwriting when you’re given only 50 minutes to read a passage, analyze it, and write an essay. How will your handwriting influence your SAT Essay score? Can it cause a lower score? Or even lead to a score of zero? I’ve got the answers along with more SAT Essay advice.   

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What Do Colleges Look For in Admissions? Why Are the SAT/ACT Important?

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Jun 8, 2021 2:00:00 PM

College Admissions

 

Applying to college soon? Curious about what colleges are looking for in applicants, especially when it comes to SAT or ACT scores? Not sure how you stack up against other applicants at your dream school? 

If you feel like you have more questions than answers about what colleges look for in admissions, you're note alone. The college admissions process can be very confusing, and it's easy to feel lost and frustrated. In this article, we'll tell you what colleges look for in admissions and how to make your application the best it can be. We'll cover: 

  • What colleges look for in applicants 
  • Why SAT and ACT test scores are important 
  • How understanding college admissions criteria can help your own college admissions process


Let's dive in! 

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How to Transfer Colleges Successfully: Complete Guide

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Feb 27, 2021 1:54:00 PM

College Admissions

Transferring colleges can be a very difficult decision to make, but you need to find the college that is the right fit for you even if it means transferring. Whether you're trying to transfer from a 2-year school to a 4-year school or from one 4-year university to another, this article is to help you on your journey to transfer!

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Historical ACT Percentiles for 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Dec 31, 2020 1:00:00 PM

ACT General Info

For those currently taking the ACT or who took it in 2011-2015, you might wonder: how does your percentile compare with students who got 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 2011-2015 so you can see how your scores stack up against historical ones.

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The 44 Colleges With the Lowest SAT Scores, Ranked

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Posted by Dora Seigel | Nov 3, 2020 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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