Tag Archives: finals

La Jolla Tutoring: Things Students Can Do Before The Year Ends

La Jolla Tutoring Tips: Four Things College Students Can Do Before the Year Ends


The year isn’t over yet, but summer is on the mind of many students. While you cram for your finals – book your private La Jolla tutor today – it’s okay to do a little planning for your summer. College students are expected to stay busy and add to their life and work experiences over break. Here are four ideas to get you started.

1. Apply for an Internship

As you know, the job market is more competitive than ever and a good degree isn’t enough for highly sought after positions. Graduates are expected to have at least one internship in the field in which they wish to work. Make sure your resume is up to date, and have a template for a cover letter ready to go for when you find a promising internship. Most internships aren’t paid, but allow you enough time to pick up a part-time job.

2. Make a list of Goals for the Summer

Whether you want to learn a new language or visit a new country, summer is the perfect time for self-improvement. Choose things you enjoy and are curious about, then commit enough time over the summer to reach your goals. The more skills and life experiences you can pick up over the summer, the more prepared you will be for the next year of school

3. Look Back Then Move On

While it’s important to reassess the school year, it’s also important to not dwell. Don’t beat yourself up over missed opportunities or lower than expected grades. Commit to improve and move on. Our private La Jolla tutors are here to help you catch up over the summer and give you the confidence to make next year even better.

4. Plan a Trip

After a long, grueling school year, you’ve earned a vacation! Whether it’s a road tip in your home state or a trip abroad, summer is the perfect time to feed your wanderlust. Traveling is a great way to grow as a person, and will allow you to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. No matter how far you go, a trip to a new place will make you more confident as you head into a new school year. Look into study abroad opportunities at your University.

End the year strong with the help of a private La Jolla tutor from TutorNerds.

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests All blog entries, with the exception of guest bloggers, are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at pr@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us write.

Tips from an Irvine Tutor: You’re Using Flashcards Wrong

Studying with Flashcards: Why you’re doing it wrong

Flashcards are a quintessential tool for students looking to memorize a significant amount of material in a short amount of time. Whether it’s for vocabulary words, parts of a cell, or trigonometric derivatives, flash cards are used by students everywhere to learn the material and pass an exam – book your private Irvine tutor for finals.

And using flashcards is an incredibly effective study strategy – if they are used correctly and with purpose. For such a ubiquitous and straightforward tool, it’s surprising how few students are taught how to use flashcards. Consequently, flashcards tend to be misused and misunderstood. If you are using flashcards, keep reading to make sure that you are getting the most out of your studying.

Looking and Flipping

The least effective, yet most pervasive, flashcard strategy is to just read them like you would read anything else. Students will look at one side, flip it over and read the next side, then move on to the next card. They’ll go through their whole deck this way – essentially just read the list of things they should know. Sure, you might learn your words this way just by reading them over and over, but there are better ways.

The Right Way

Instead of just looking and flipping, the process should be more like this: Look, think, test yourself, then flip. One of the main benefits of flashcards is that they allow you to test yourself. Look at one side of the card, then see if you know the other side before you flip it. Think of the answer, say it out loud, or write it down. I recommend doing all three to make sure you really know the material. Do not just read through the cards and flip through them without testing your knowledge.

Keeping the deck unchanged

Once the deck of flashcards is made, many students just stick with it. They go through the same deck, start to finish until they feel like they know all of the cards. This method is very time consuming and not conducive to really learning the terms you are studying.

The Right Way

Separate the deck into two piles as you study. You should be testing yourself before you flip the card; if you know the other side of the card correctly, then put it in one pile – if not, then put it in a second pile. Even if you got the answer partly correct, put it in the second pile. This will create two decks for you: one with cards you know, and one with cards you don’t. Focus your studying on the “don’t know” cards, putting the ones you master into the “know” pile until the “don’t know” deck is empty.

Then, shuffle all of the cards together and go through the whole deck again. Make sure you still know all of the cards even when they’re all together and shuffled. Studying this way will prevent you from having to go through the whole deck every time instead of focusing on what you need to learn.

Only Using Words and Definitions

Many students think flashcards can only be used for learning vocabulary words, key terms, or other simple concepts with definitions. This leads to simple flashcard decks with dictionary definitions that might not be best preparing you for your test.

The Right Way

Flashcards can be used for so much more than just vocabulary! You can use flashcards for pictures, for example, problems for equations, and more. Anything that you need to have memorized you can consider using a flash card (READ: OC Tutoring Tips: Four Tips for a Better Study Session).

For classes where you need to know diagrams or identify pictures, consider drawing/printing what you need to know on one side of the flashcard. For complicated diagrams, processes, or pictures (anything that you’ll have to label/identify several parts in the same image) you can have multiple flashcards with the same picture but different “blanks” that you have to fill in. This way you can memorize complex concepts without being overwhelmed.

You can use flashcards in math or equation-based subjects, too. Equations that need to be memorized can be flashcards. You can also use example problems and their solutions for complicated problems. For the solutions, considering numbering the steps to get to the answer. When you study with the cards, you can test yourself on what the steps to the solution are. Now if you see a similar problem later, you will know how to approach it.

Other Common Mistakes and Solutions

Sometimes, students will use flashcards in a way similar to a PowerPoint presentation: a title or heading on one side and a list of bullet points on the other. While this isn’t a bad way to write and organize your notes, it isn’t an optimal way to study the information on the card. Break up your larger flashcards into smaller facts and associations if you can. This will make the information more digestible and easier to test yourself on when you’re studying. Paraphrasing and putting things in your own words are good practices in this process as well.

Another common study mistake that students make is studying in only one direction. That is, they’ll always look at side “A” and test themselves by flipping to side “B.” You should always be trying to learn your terms and recognize associations in both directions when possible.

A Final Mistake

The final mistake is not having variety in your flashcard decks. Many students will make their own flashcards and use dictionary definitions or textbook syntax to memorize. Other students will exclusively use pre-made flashcards online or on apps on their phone. In both cases, you want to be able to write flashcards in your own words to promote your understanding. It is good to use other decks in combination with your own to have a more well-rounded understanding.

Flashcards are a valuable tool that can help you memorize and study for virtually any subject. If you haven’t been getting the most out of your studying, or you think flashcards aren’t helpful, try some of these tips and watch your results improve.

Michael C. is currently a private math, science, and standardized test tutor with TutorNerds in Irvine and Anaheim.

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests All blog entries, with the exception of guest bloggers, are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at pr@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us write.

Why You Need a Private Irvine Tutor This Spring

Four Reasons to Book a Private Irvine Tutor This Spring


Spring is around the corner, and students are counting down the weeks until the end of the school year. While it’s tempting to daydream about summer break, now is the most crucial time of the year for students to focus. With AP exams, finals, and testing only weeks away, it’s critical for students to keep up their good study habits. You’ve worked hard all year to get good grades and high test scores, so this spring shouldn’t be any different. Stay focused, work hard, and keep up your curiosity.

TutorNerds is here to help. Offering the most experienced private tutors in Orange County, TutorNerds can assure that you finish the semester at your full potential. While there are many reasons to book a private Irvine tutor for the spring, we’ll focus on four of the most common.

1. Keep You on Track

With prom, spring sports, and extra curricular activities ramping up, spring can be overwhelming for students. Private tutors can help you navigate your schedule and make sure you are on track with all your assignments and studies.

2. Catch Up

Even the best students will have a chapter or two with which they struggle. Don’t make the mistake of assuming it won’t be a big part of your final. A private tutor will help you catch up and master the areas you’ve struggled with so you’re prepared for anything on test day.

3. Score High on Your Finals

Finals are the hurdle every student must jump before crossing the academic finish line into their summer break. Don’t assume that because you’ve done well all year and scored high on previous tests that you will ace your finals. Start studying early and rely on the help of a private Irvine tutor to go over any material you struggled with in the past.

4. Test Prep

With test dates for the ACT and SAT in April and June, some students might start feeling overwhelmed. In addition to prepping for finals, they have to take one of the most important tests of their academic careers (READ: Orange County SAT Tutor Tips). There’s no better way to prep for the SAT or ACT than with the help of an Irvine test prep tutor. Our test prep tutors have all scored high on their tests, and have helped thousands of SoCal students improve their scores. From going over practice tests to improving your math skills, our test prep tutors are here to help.

Don’t wait until a week before your finals to book a private Irvine tutor. Call us today to connect with the most experienced tutors in Orange County.

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests All blog entries, with the exception of guest bloggers, are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at pr@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us write.

Last Minute AP Study Guide | TutorNerds | Orange County

Only One Thing Stands Between You and Summer: Finals

Like a cold, concrete wall, finals stand between you and the bliss of summer. We understand the struggle; we’ve been there before. But what if we told you finals don’t have to be that way. With a productive study schedule, and resources such as a private Orange County tutor from TutorNerds, any student can do well. Did we mention resources? What about a FREE resource? You’re already on it. That’s right, our education blog is a free resource for students, parents, and teachers. Further, we wish to bring you the most relevant and helpful content, so let us know what you would like to see on here in the future. Until then, let’s discuss finals; particularly AP finals.


One of the most popular AP course series include: World History, European History, and US History. Many of you are taking the final exams for these courses in the next couple of weeks. Below are eight tips to the perfect, last-minute study guide. Good luck, Orange County!

  1. Make a Timeline – Stop by your local office supply store and get yourself a couple pieces of poster paper. Write down the various different cultures or events (depending on your subject) at the top and draw arrows to the other events that affected each other through time.  For Example, World War 1- 1914 (Franz Ferdinand) ———– Germany/terrible economy——–Rise of Nazi Party———- World War 11 (1939 Europe/1941 USA-1945). Keep your notes basic and use key words to help trigger your memory of each important event on the timeline. Using too much detail can be overwhelming if you are studying last minute, so keep it simple at this point.
  2. Use color coding – If you’re doing World History, choose a different color for each culture and mix together if necessary to show a blending or separation of cultures. For example, Russia could be green, and then the various new countries formed when they became separate from Russia could be blue and yellow (blue + yellow = green). Color coding can be a really useful visual tool to help understand how different cultures or events related to each other.
  3. Order a study prep book and have it shipped overnight – A test prep book can be enormously helpful because it breaks down the information into simple parts and highlights what you really need to know, as well as suggesting which topics will be heavily emphasized on the exam.
  4. Get a study group together ASAP – Call up your friends and arrange a few group study sessions at your local coffee shop or library. I bet that most of your classmates have the same questions that you do, and answering them together can help make the concepts clearer.
  5. Arrange for a private tutor to come to your home a couple of times before the exam – Because there won’t be much time, be sure to have your questions prepared in advance so that you can make the most out of those few hours. Many of our Irvine in-home tutors have taken AP courses in the past, so they’ll empathize with your situation.
  6. Go through the chapters of your text book and make a list of all of the major events that were discussed – Write one paragraph about each chapter that sums up the key events. Making a list ahead of time will ensure that you don’t miss anything. This will also help you not lose time on irrelevant material. Also, sites such as Quizlet.com offer great AP flashcards.
  7. Look in the glossary in the back of your book and write down any words, phrases or terms that you are unfamiliar with  Find the definition or relevance of each and write them down on flash cards. Carry them with you to school and study for 10 minutes each morning and each night. Try to memorize as many as you can before your exam. It’s tempting to add words you already know to the stack, but you’re only wasting time if you do.
  8. Write a practice essay – Even if you have done this in class many times before, it will be really helpful to be 100% comfortable with the essay portions. Who knows, maybe the essay on the actual final will be similar to yours.

The AP exams are just around the corner, so make sure that you spend these last few days wisely and give yourself the best chance at a 3, 4 or even a 5 score. You got this.

tutor logo California Common Core Standards Other Perspectives and Cultures” | TutorNerdsAll blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal.

One last thing, summer doesn’t mean an end to learning. In today’s competitive world of college admissions, it’s crucial students spend the next few months improving and catching up. What better way to do that than with a private summer tutor? We work with student’s schedules so they can still have fun.

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College is worth it! Or at least we think so. That’s why it’s important to have a college educated Orange County tutor in your arsenal when applying to your dreams schools. We know the benefits of higher education transcend just an elevated income, yet it doesn’t hurt to take that into consideration.

Here’s an interesting read from the New York Times: Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Says

The Student’s Guide to Study Breaks | TutorNerds

Take a Break, Orange County

Tutor-Nerds-SATEveryone needs to take study breaks at some point. Endless studying helps very few people, and frequently exhausts most of your energy. Instead, find out when you should be taking breaks and what you can do to maximize those relaxing moments. Today we’ll be covering just that, so kick the habit of “quick” Facebook updates or “short” phone calls to friends. Learn how to take breaks like a professional, eventually getting more done in less time.

Determine Your Maximum and Minimum Study Sessions

You may need to first change your concept of a “break.”  Study breaks are not large chunks of time; instead they are frequent pauses throughout your studying that allows your brain to unwind. The amount of time you take a break is just as important as how long you study. Therefore, you’ll first figure out how long your study sessions should be. Your study session is the maximum amount of time you can spend in full concentration with a subject. Complete the following steps with readings from your favorite and least favorite subject.

1. Find material you need to cover for class, preferably something from a textbook you haven’t seen before.

2. Note the time you begin reading.

3. Really focus on learning the information and understanding the bigger picture.

4. Be aware of when your mind first gets distracted. Note the time, and then repeat the same steps with your other class.

You now have your maximum and minimum study session intervals. Write this information down and use it whenever you plan on studying. Even if the interval is small, try not to go longer. You will likely find yourself (we’ve all been there before) reading but not absorbing any information. Even at a young age we learned to move onto other activities when we got bored; have you ever seen a toddler become instantly frustrated with one toy and move excitedly to another? Don’t fight your natural instincts; use them to your advantage!

Fruit, Not Facebook

Now that you know how long you can study, use these tips to maximize your breaks. First, and most importantly, breaks should last approximately five minutes. Any longer and you may not be able to focus again. Use a timer so you can take breaks when necessary, and enjoy them without distraction. Spend your break on relaxing or energizing activities, such as eating a healthy snack or going for a walk. Things to avoid at all costs include naps, junk food, phone calls and social media black holes (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).


Treat Yourself to a Change of Scenery

In science blog, “Cognitive Daily“, Dave Munger discusses ART, short for attention restoration theory. The theory looks at how people best calm their minds after focus from studying or working.

ART says that the natural world engages your attention . . . by features of the environment (e.g. a sunset, a beautiful tree). The artificial world demands active attention, to avoid getting hit by cars or to follow street signs. Since intellectual activities like studying or writing also demand the same kind of attention, taking a break in the artificial world doesn’t really function like a rest.

The idea is that we need to spend our breaks in a natural environment as opposed to our standard artificial one. Take a walk around the block, or sit outside in the sun to recharge. Changing our environment, even for just a few moments, allows our minds to truly relax and makes learning easier once you return. Feeling adventurous? Irvine Walking Routes.

Remember to stay focused when you return. First review the information you just completed to start the process of quick recall. Take note of the main points, and then continue on to the next topic. Make those study breaks work for you, Orange County.

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