Tag Archives: los angeles

Participation Points: Fake It Till You Make It

Tips From a Private Orange County Tutor: Participation Points – Fake It Till You Make It


Whether you are in high school or college, you are likely to have classes with grades that incorporate some type of “class participation” credit. More and more teachers are including this factor to help incentivize students to speak up, ask questions, and contribute to communal discussion while in the classroom. It is also commonly included in online or hybrid-style classes where there is a requirement to post comments or reply to others in an online discussion – book your private Orange County summer tutor today.

Your participation grade may be well-defined (two required comments in class per week for full credit, participation in a designated group discussion for credit, total discussions tracked throughout the semester, etc.) or it may be more arbitrary where the teacher simply assigns a grade based on how much they feel you’ve been contributing during the class. This grade is usually around 5 – 10% of your grade, but I’ve seen grades as high as 20 and 25%. Regardless, it should be easy points that you can get.

As a student myself, I despised participation grades. In high school, they were typically the “well-defined” variety, and I struggled when I did not have any questions or what I thought were interesting comments during class. In college, the participation grades transitioned mostly to the “arbitrary” group, and I never knew what my grade would be until the end of the class.

I’ve found that many students voice similar concerns. Maybe you consider yourself to be shy and don’t like speaking up in class. Maybe you just never have any questions that need answers. Maybe you’re embarrassed by your questions and don’t want to look like you don’t understand. Maybe you feel like there’s never a good opportunity or opening in the conversation for you to contribute something. These are all common issues, and it is okay to feel this way.

The advice that I give is simple: fake it.

An easy and effective tactic to solve any of these issues is to come up with a question that you already know the answer to. Take something from the beginning of the lesson, or something you already understood, and ask about it anyway. This might seem counterintuitive, but here’s how it benefits you:

If you’re shy or anxious, it takes a lot of the stress away by asking something you already know. Now, instead of having the anticipation of not knowing the answer and the pressure of having to try to understand and learn something new, you will know that you just need to ask the questions and allow your teacher to give a response you already understand. And, importantly, you will also be getting good practice at making yourself speak up. It’s okay to have anxiety or feel shy in class, but you will need to be comfortable asking questions for when you do need help in the future.

If you feel like you don’t have any real questions, this allows you to get your participation points without the stress. You can ask simple questions that you know, or you can challenge yourself to come up with more complex questions. This can show off your knowledge by still being a question that gets you credit. Remember, the class participation points will help your grade, so you need to treat participating just like any other required assignment: make yourself do it.

If you’re embarrassed by the questions you have, this tactic will allow you to ask questions that you consider less embarrassing. If you feel embarrassed by “easy” questions, then ask something complicated that you do understand. Better yet, ask something complicated that you don’t understand. Don’t worry about the answers your teacher gives and don’t worry about understanding. Remember that you are doing this for the experience and the participation grade. Consider listening to some of your classmates’ questions and mimicking the same types of questions they have. Doing this too, you will hopefully also start to recognize that there’s no need to be embarrassed by your questions and that many of your classmates either don’t care, have the same confusions themselves, or won’t ever think about your question later.

If you don’t know how to speak up and find an opening in a class discussion, this can make the process easier. Often, a student will listen to the previous point and spend some time thinking about a related comment or question. In the meantime, however, the discussion has already changed topics and moved to something else. Now the student has to think of something new, only for the conversation to change again. Combat this by taking something straightforward that you understood and make up your mind to ask it early. Questions and comments like “so it sounds like you’re saying…” “do you mean that…” and “that seems similar to…” are good roots. Similarly, you can purposefully misunderstand someone and ask about it. Remember, you need credit and practice. Your comments and questions don’t need to be profound – they need to get you your points and make you more comfortable in the setting.

Treat your class participation grade like the assignment that it is and get it done. This strategy of coming up with “fake” questions can make the task easier regardless of what you felt was holding you back before. It can also give you good practice with speaking up in class for when you do need to ask questions and get feedback. Remember, many students struggle with participation grades and that’s okay if you feel that it’s difficult. To get a perfect participation grade and learn how to speak up in class we can apply the classic adage about confidence: “fake it ‘til you make it.”

Our private Orange County tutors are full of great tips for students. Book your private Irvine tutor for the summer.

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.

Los Angeles Tutoring Tips: Four Habits of Successful Students

Four Habits of Successful Students

Doing well in school requires a lot more than just smarts. You have to develop habits that ensure you’re getting the most out of your classes and that you’re productive when you get home. Creating such scenarios takes effort on your part. If you’re consistently missing homework assignments or doing poorly on tests, then it’s time for a change. Take a step back and review how you approach your academics. Waiting until the last minute to work on a project? Staying up all night cramming before an exam? If you keep up the same habits, you’re going to keep getting the same results.

Approaching your academics with structure will give you confidence. Many students feel overwhelmed when they think about their schoolwork and any looming deadlines. Productive study and work habits will help mitigate this anxiety and keep you focused.

Our private Los Angeles tutors are here to offer some tips. Our tutors are all highly educated, which means they’ve developed many beneficial habits in and out of the classroom. Below are four habits every student should adopt.

1. Write Things Down

There are many benefits to writing things down in the classroom. The most obvious is that you’ll be able to review it later when you’re working on an assignment or studying for an exam. Don’t expect a test only to include things from the textbook. If your teacher is talking about it, then it’s in play to be on the exam. You don’t have to write everything down word for word, but important concepts, names, dates, etc. should all be noted. A second benefit of writing things down in class is that it helps you remember it later. Further, this applies to important dates, deadlines, and events. Teachers aren’t going to hold your hand and remind you when a deadline is on the horizon.

2. Have a Designated Homework Hour (or Two)

Homework is a drag. After a long day of class, the last thing you want to do when you get home is crack open a textbook. This feeling of “homework dread” often leads to procrastination, which is never a good thing when it comes to academics. If you put your homework on hold, you’re more prone to forget about it. Mark on your calendar a dedicated hour (or two) for doing homework. Even if you don’t have hours worth of homework, spend the time reviewing upcoming deadlines and taking note of your progress.

3. Book a Private Los Angeles Tutor

We aren’t just saying this because we are a tutoring company, we are saying this because it works. Most of our experienced tutors benefited from tutoring while they were in school. No matter how well you do in school, you can still benefit from some extra help and structure. Tutors will help you catch up in any class in which you’re falling behind as well as teach useful study and schoolwork habits.

4. Learn From Your Mistakes

Your teacher just handed you your first C+ of the semester. You’re not happy, but you also didn’t bomb it (READ: What to do if You Failed a Test). Smart students will review the test to see what they got right and what went wrong. Don’t wait until you’re cramming for your final to try and catch up on all the things you did poorly on throughout the year. It is okay to vent a little after a poor grade or low test score, but shake it off and vow to do better. Review the test with your private Los Angeles tutor and catch up on any grey areas. You’ll be thanking yourself come finals day!

Call TutorNerds today to book your private, in-home Los Angeles tutor.

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.

Back-To-School: 4 Ways to Help Your Kids Adjust

Four Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids With Back-To-School


Some parents are happy to see their kids head back to school, while others might get a little sentimental. Either way, every parent wishes for their kids to do well in school. After a long summer, many students are a bit rusty. They’ve been out of the classroom and have adjusted to a summer schedule. Now it’s time to get back on a routine and stay focused. The good news is that parents can help their kids adjust back to school life. Here are four tips from a private Los Angeles tutor to get you started!

1. Set a Schedule at Home

For many, school schedules are much different from the summer schedule. Late nights, few responsibilities, lunch at different times each day. In other words, summer is a bit more chill, which is why it’s often hard for students to adjust back to a daily schedule where meals, classes, and after-school activities happen at the same time every day. Odds are it will take a week or two to adjust, so don’t rush the process. You can do your part at home by sticking to a schedule of when you wake your kids up, when you eat dinner after class, and an allotted homework hour helps them stay on track.

2. Encourage Your Kids to Be Vocal in Class

Too many students fall behind in their studies because they are either too embarrassed or shy to speak up and say they need help. Most teachers are more than happy to go over something again or explain differently, but they won’t do it unless you say something. Telling your kids that it’s okay to ask for clarification or extra help will set them up for success.

3. Book a Private Tutor

We’ve said this before, and we will repeat it, don’t wait until your first report card or exam to find out you need a tutor. Tutoring builds confidence, establishes effective study habits, and helps kids learn in their own way. The best thing you can do is to book a private Los Angeles tutor before you start failing tests and falling behind. If your kid struggled in math or science last year, give them the confidence to improve by booking a private in-home tutor from the first day of class. Our experienced Los Angeles tutors work around your schedule and are available seven days a week. How convenient is that? Call us today to book your tutor.

4. Talk to Your Kids About School

Ask your kids about what they learned in class that day; be curious and ask a lot of questions. If they only seem to talk about a subject they enjoy, ask them about the others and how they feel they are doing. When your kid summarizes what they learned in class, it helps with their mastery of the topic. The more they talk about it, the more they will remember what they learned and will appreciate your interests in their day. This dinner conversation is also an excellent opportunity for you to take notice of a class they might be struggling in and get them help before they fall too far behind.

Don’t wait until your first report card to learn you need a private Los Angeles tutor! Call TutorNerds today.

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.

Score a Free Orange County Tutoring Session With Our Referral Program

Your Free OC Tutoring Session is Only a Referral Away!

What’s better than a tutoring session with an experienced Orange County tutor? A free tutoring session with an experienced OC tutor. With our TutorNerds Referral Program, you can score a free tutoring session for yourself, and a friend, all you have to do is refer someone.

Sharing is caring! That’s why we’ve developed a tutoring services referral program for sharing your private tutoring experiences with your friends. Help your classmates score higher and get the A’s they’re capable of by referring them to TutorNerds. Your altruism will be rewarded with a FREE session with one of our tutors. Sounds good, right? Also, your friends will be thanking you come to the end of the term when you’re both celebrating improved grades and test scores.

As an active and dedicated part of the Orange County community, TutorNerds wants every student to succeed. Our referral program helps more students get that extra boost they need to get an A on their next exam or get into the college of their dreams.

Are you a visual learner? Here’s a comic explaining how our Referral Program works (spoiler alert: it’s easy).

With the school year only a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to take advantage of our TutorNerds Referral Program. Trust us; you don’t want to wait until you get your first report card to realize you need some academic help. Hit the ground running with a back-to-school tutor. All of our OC tutors work around your busy schedules. Further, we offer tutoring in everything from test prep to Latin, which means your referral doesn’t have to be for the same subject as you.

The only thing better than doing well in school is seeing your friends succeed along with you. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to earn a free OC tutoring session. Refer a friend today!

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests Members of the TutorNerds team and our private tutors write every blog post. If you have any questions about our blog, please email us at pr@tutornerds.com.

Summer School Survival Kit

Surviving Summer School

So you have to go to summer school. Although it does sound like the end of the world right now, feel better knowing that more and more students are spending the warm and breezy months of July and August in a classroom. For some of you it will be to catch up and for others it will be to get ahead. Test prep tutoring is also becoming more popular during the summer months. Lets’ face it, the school year is becoming increasingly demanding and your academic responsibilities will start spilling out into the warmer months with each increasing year. Rather than feel the impending doom of a 12 month study year, we can find some ways to survive summer school, study effectively, and even have a little fun. (READ: Education World: 25 Activities to keep kids’ brains active in summer)


3 Summer School Survival Tips

  1. Schedule Early: Get out your calendar before you and your parents pick out which session you will be attending. Most summer schools offer more than one session so that you can work around your other commitments. Think about how tired you are likely to be after that last day of the academic year. Although it might be hard to believe, even tutors were high school students once and I know I would have needed at least a week to relax and unwind. On the other hand, waiting too long to start your summer program can leave more work as many concepts are easily forgotten if left on the shelf for a few weeks.
  2. Study Effectively: Studying the right way can greatly reduce the time spent with summer homework while at the same time increasing your ability to achieve a high grade and understand the material. Schedule a certain number of hours into your day to finish your assignments. Think of it as a mini school year. Make outlines, keep a planner, set time management goals and really give your undivided attention to your school work. You will be much more likely to fully understand the material if you sit down for two hours and work on the assignment from start to finish than if you study 15 minutes here and there in between other commitments. Studying effectively includes having an appropriate environment. These include your room, the library, and for those of you who don’t get easily distracted, a coffee shop. If you feel like you can study when you are on that family vacation, great, but be realistic. Studying in the car and on planes is often difficult and there are too many distractions to comprehend the bulk of the material. Your study environment should be quiet.
  3. Ask for help: Be honest with yourself about time management. If you were originally planning to spend the entire summer chilling out at the beach, the reality of summer school can be hard. If having a tutor to help you organize and get things done will help, then go for it. Having someone drop by the house each week can also encourage a consistency that is extremely important to successfully passing your summer courses. You can also enlist the help of your summer school teacher, parents and responsible friends to help you study and stay on track.

Summer school is becoming a reality for more students each year. At the end of the day, it’s mostly about balancing your time. You can still hang out at the beach, enjoy a summer BBQ, and spend time shopping at the mall or catching the latest action flick. Study hard, have fun and don’t forget to rest up for next year! Remember,  an Irvine private tutor from TutorNerds works with your schedule, that way you can get the most out of your summer classes and hit the ground running once fall semester starts.

Not taking summer classes? Don’t fall victim to the summer slump! Catch up on math or science, start your college admissions process with the help of our private consultants, or refine your foreign language skills; whatever it may be, we’re here to help!

tutor logo Coding For Kids: Whys it Important? All 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, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.



The California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit and You

I have seen education change a lot in the past decade and the California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit is one of the more drastic changes I have seen. A good deal of the information is new and many questions are unanswered. I present three sides of the equation from three composite figures: Johnny Student, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and Miss Jane. These, of course, are not real names but they do represent a good portion of Orange County’s population. (READ: Teacher tenure ruling in California)


Johnny Student

Why revoking tenure is good for Johnny:

Johnny has been struggling in school for many years. His teachers just don’t get his learning style and his grades are suffering. His teacher, Miss B, has only been teaching for 2 years but she is a fantastic, talented, hardworking teacher and Johnny really clicks with her. Unfortunately, Miss B has been laid off because of seniority regulations and Johnny continues to struggle. If the tenure laws are revoked, Johnny could continue to blossom and thrive academically with Miss B.

Why revoking tenure is bad for Johnny:

Miss B, Johnny’s excellent teacher, is concerned that she might get fired if her students’ test scores aren’t high enough. Johnny has been struggling for a few years and so his test scores are a bit low. If Miss B had tenure, she could focus on helping Johnny thrive academically without fear of losing her job. With potential new laws, Miss B is concerned about her livelihood and gives more of her time to the higher scoring students so that her class average is acceptable and Johnny begins to fall through the cracks (in this case, Johnny will need a private Orange County tutor from TutorNerds to receive the attention he deserves).

Mr. and Mrs. Doe

Why revoking tenure is good for Mr. and Mrs. Doe:

The Doe’s have been asking for help from their daughter’s teacher, Mr. G, for several months. Mr. G seems to never be available and their daughter is not doing well. It doesn’t really make sense because she has done so well for the first several years of school. No matter what they do, Mr. G is never available and doesn’t seem to be doing a good job at all so the Doe’s file a complaint with the school. It turns out that Mr. G has several previous complaints but he cannot be fired because of his tenure. The potential new laws can change all that. Mr. G is given points of improvement that he must comply with or he will be let go. The Does’ daughter’s education is back on track.

Why revoking tenure is bad for Mr. and Mrs. Doe:

Mr. A, the does’ daughter’s great new teacher, has some bad news. He wants to tell the Doe’s that their daughter is struggling with grades and behavior. He has some ideas that he thinks will help her and he would like to share them with the Does. Unfortunately, Mr. A doesn’t feel comfortable discussing anything negative with parents out of concern that he will receive too many complaints. His students’ scores are high enough so he sticks to basic teaching methods. After a few years, Mr. A is frustrated because he can’t reach out to many of the students that he wants to and he resigns to another profession. The Doe’s daughter is reassigned to Mr. G’s class for next year.

Miss Jane

Why revoking tenure is good for Miss Jane:

Miss Jane is new to teaching. She gives every day her heart and soul. She won teacher of the year her very first year of full time teaching. All of her students love her and her students’ parents think that she is the best thing to happen to 21st was the last one hired, she could lose her job any given Friday. Many other, less enthusiastic, teachers will get to stay if the layoffs come just because of tenure and seniority. With the potential new law, Miss Jane can stop worrying and focus on her job.


A few years later, Miss Jane starts to get distracted by other things in life and her quality of teaching begins to slide. She remembers that her job is on the line and so she keeps on task, makes extra time for her students and regains her top notch teaching skills.

Why revoking tenure is bad for Miss Jane:

Miss Jane is currently in college deciding on a major. Her older student colleagues tell her how easy it is to get fired as a teacher. Miss Jane compares the median salary for several professions and decides to go into another field. Her potential students never meet her nor do they benefit from her care and expertise.

Facts and Opinions about teaching in California


Median salary for an elementary school teacher in Irvine, CA = $59,078

Median real estate and relocation director salary in Irvine, CA = $151,915

Median police patrol officer salary in Irvine, CA = $57,441

Median salary for a chief technology officer in Irvine, CA = $218,863

Median salary for a hotel manager in Irvine, CA = $109,178

Source: Salary.com

Opinion (but it’s really a question): Thousands of new, and potentially good or bad, college students need to declare a major in their junior year. Without tenure and seniority, how many will choose to go into teaching?

Opinion (but it should be a fact): Children deserve a free, high quality and equal opportunity education in the state of California.

Opinion (but it should be a fact): Teachers deserve to focus on their students and not worry about job security AND teachers who are truly unskilled and refuse to improve should look for another profession.

At the end of the day, we don’t really know yet if this is a bad or good thing. Like many things in life, it may be a mixed blessing. I recommend that parents stay informed, stay up to date and help their children stay academically strong by working with the teacher, learning how their children learn and providing support at home. (Read: More information on the teacher tenure lawsuit)

We’ll have to wait and see…

tutor logo Reaching for the Common Core Standards at an Early AgeAll 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, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

Using Memory to Study Effectively | TutorNerds | Orange County

Did You Remember to Study?

At this point in your lives, studying is a huge part of your day. It’s a pretty big task to be able to go to school for six hours and then come home and put in an additional two hours or so. If you are also getting ready to apply for college, or are preparing for the SAT or AP (read out post, “Last Minute AP Study Guide”) classes, those two hours can turn into a lot more. Have you ever thought to yourself that there must be an easier way? Unfortunately there is not an easier way, but there is a better way.


Memory plays a substantial role in how much information we need to keep in our minds and the brain takes on the complicated task of determining which information is important and which is not.

Short term, long term and working memory

There are three primary types of memory: Short term, long term and working memory. Short term memory lasts about 7 seconds, so this part of the brain essentially takes a mental note about important elements and stores them for a very short time. So when do we use this magical seven second notepad? Lets’ say you are sitting in that giant classroom on Saturday morning taking your SAT and the proctor has just said “start”. It’s time to get that short term memory rolling. For example, if you are solving for X in your head and you remember that the partial answer is 8 and you have the then divide that by 3, you are using short term memory.


This presents a problem for students who are tired or overworked. Sound familiar? Sleep is the best way to keep the short term memory sharp but you can compensate for fatigue by writing everything down. Temporary short term memory loss can lead to a lot of missed answers that you really knew so take advantage or your pencil and test booklet in order to give yourself the best chance at success.

Long term memory can potentially last forever. Remember when you rode a bike at age six? Now, ten years later you can not only remember riding your bike but you still know how to do it. That’s long term memory. This will come in handy when you’re asked about a book you read in school two years ago; it will take your brain a bit longer, but it’ll get there.

Your Most Valuable Study Partner: Working Memory

That brings us to working memory. Working memory is your best friend and most valuable study partner when it comes to studying and taking tests. Working memory is similar to short term memory but it can store multiple pieces of information in multiple formats. Essentially your memory is multitasking the entire time you are studying, which is why you feel so tired after doing homework. So how can you use your working memory to study more effectively?

Although we don’t entirely know which tricks work for which people just yet, many students will be able to study more effectively by trying these 5 tips:

  1. Write an outline of what you really need to focus on before you start studying. If you have a list of key words or phrases, your brain can search for them while disregarding irrelevant information. The less multitasking your memory has to do, the quicker it can function. Compare it to cleaning your room. How likely are you to find your favorite pair of jeans if your clothes are everywhere? A quick cleaning at the beginning of the week can make each morning easier. The memory can work the same way.
  2. Eliminate distractions. The memory is already working hard when you are studying so do yourself a favor and turn off the TV, turn your phone to silent and close the door to your room if your home gets noisy. Many students find wearing earplugs helpful.
  3. Socialize. That’s right, talk to your friends. I don’t mean talk to them on the phone the night before a big test, but rather just in general. We have to think all the time and use short term memory when we chit chat and it keeps our brains active while we are having fun.
  4. Eat your fruits and veggies and protein too. Healthy food is fuel for our brains and memory. The more energy your brain has to burn, the quicker it can get things done.
  5. Sleep! I bet a lot of you are up until 1 or 2 in the morning finishing homework. 4 or 5 hours of sleep is definitely not enough to keep the memory running at full speed. Try getting a full 8 hours and see if you can get your homework done faster the next afternoon. I bet you’ll be surprised.

tutor logo Getting Your Community Service Credits | TutorNerds | Orange County All 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, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

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. Don’t fall victim to the summer slow down!

How to Choose Your University (Part II) | TutorNerds | Orange County

Courses, Career, or Custom Fit: How to Choose Your University Part II

In this second installment of Courses, Career, or Custom Fit, we’ll be focusing exclusively on education. Placing courses, or academic programs and degrees, at the center of your university search is another way to narrow your choices. Students who follow this path tend to know what they want to study; some might say it’s a passion. They’re more interested in what the academic program has to offer rather than where the college is located. Read on to discover another way of choosing your dream school.


What’s your passion?

If you’re certain you want to be a sociology major, fantastic! However, many students change their major in the first few years. As a backup plan, consider a second or third choice, and see if those are offered at the university as well. In your program of choice, take a look at what individual courses are offered and how often they are taught. Some universities rotate courses based on availability of professors or student desire. Ensure the program encompasses all that you’re interested in, taking time to ask students who their favorite professors are and what courses they recommend. Lastly, take a look at what senior projects are required, if any. Do you struggle with large final exams? Look for programs that require students to complete group or individual projects instead.

Check out the rankings

Is the university constantly expanding their psychology department, funding large research projects and enticing students to be more involved? Or has the program not changed in ten years, and seems to be forgotten? If the quality of your education is important to you, identify programs that are thriving. Professors who perform research or publish findings regularly are good indicators of quality programs. You could also utilize sources such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or the College Search function from the College Board to see comparisons between schools.

Are professors up to par?

Quality can be measured in many ways, so try obtaining information from a variety of sources. Admissions counselors typically insist their professors are the best, so try to query some students or teaching assistants as well. Websites such as Rate My Professors or My Edu may be good options, but remember many students have an axe to grind. Overall, every university has beloved and just average professors. Look instead for faculty who are involved with students and who have experience in your field beyond teaching.

Don’t forget the extras

If you start to struggle, are there resources to help? Talk with admissions counselors or students to find tutoring options or reviews of teaching assistants in the program. Are there clubs associated with your program that connect you with other like-
minded students? Remember, you don’t want to spend four years or more in your room. Look for universities that support different types of clubs and organizations. They are great opportunities to make friends, blow off some steam, and make connections that can assist you after graduation.

Tutors you can trust

tutornerds-college-orange-countyWhy should you listen to us? Because our Irvine in-home tutors have college degrees and know how difficult the application process can be. From writing your college entrance essay, to choosing the right school, TutorNerds is here to help. Just look at all the colleges our tutors have received degrees from. Are any of them on your dream list?

tutor logo Last Minute AP Study Guide | TutorNerds | Orange County All 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.

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.

Notable Article

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