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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

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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)

summer-school

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.

Teach.com

 

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)

california-teacher-tenure

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.

teacher-tenure

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

Fact:

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.

student-studying-memory

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.

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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.

Stanford-Campus

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.

tutor-study-finals-Orange-County

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

Five Tips For Your College Entrance Essay | TutorNerds

Applying to College is Scary

It’s time to sit down and write that personal essay to send out to your dream college and you have to communicate to the school admissions department why you should get a coveted spot in their freshman class. In this tutor’s experience, everyone seems to leave this particular part of their college application process to the very end. Admittedly, writing about yourself is about as awkward as it gets and with a general question like “Why should you be accepted to this university?” or “How will you use your education to improve your life?” the idea of trying to be original is nearly impossible.

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That’s just it, don’t try, just do it. Of course, I know that is much easier said than done but the more you think about what to write the harder it will be, so it’s important to just get some words down on paper. You always have the option of editing later. In fact, you will probably write several drafts before you arrive at that final, polished version. Trust us, our Orange County private tutors have applied and been accepted to some prestigious universities (it wasn’t easy).

Trying too hard to stand out will almost always end up making your writing style appear forced. Do yourself a favor and take some of the stress away and let your inner brilliance shine!

1. Make a list of things that you honestly want to do with your life after college.

If you’re not sure what you want to do or if you think you might change your mind, just write down something that would be really cool to do with your life, even if it doesn’t seem entirely realistic. Have you always wanted to cycle across the USA? Wish you could get paid to travel and write articles about awesome tourist sites? Write these down in your outline, they could come in handy later.

2. Just start writing.

Forget about flow, grammar and spelling for now (that will come later). If your computer feels uninspiring, go down to your favorite place and write with a good old fashioned paper and pencil. Being in nature, near the ocean, or in any setting that makes you feel relaxed will help the words flow out of your head and onto that paper.

3. Write a few versions of your personal essay.

It will be great to have some options to choose from later. Also, if different colleges have slightly different prompts, don’t try to mold one essay into several. Take the time to write a separate essay for each university. The admissions department will easily be able to tell which applicants took the time to write an entire essay from scratch and who took a short cut. Your personal essay is essentially your resume and cover letter combined. It could possibly take you from the “maybe” pile to the “yes” pile, so those extra hours are definitely worth it!

4. Wait a day or two before proofreading your essay.

It is really hard to edit your own work, but having a fresh eye will give you a better shot at making adequate changes. Do all of the content edits first, and then move on to the grammar and flow edits. If you correct grammar and formatting before content, you may find that you are spending more time than you need and we want to keep this as low stress as possible to keep those creative juices flowing.

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5. Know when to ask for help.

If you are really struggling with this aspect of your college application, don’t be afraid to get help from your private Irvine in-home tutor or a responsible classmate. All of the content should be yours but there is no reason why you can’t get inspiration or formatting help from an experienced writer.

Bottom Line:  Be yourself. You want to end up at a university that is a good fit for you and has the programs and opportunities that will enrich your life and help you get closer to your career goals.

Need practice? Enter our Orange County, California, essay contest. It’s open to all O.C. high school students grades 9-12. In addition to the chance of wining $500 for summer, the contest is a great opportunity to practice your essay skills.

Have a fantastic Earth Day, Orange County!

All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. For educational guest-blogging, please email us at info@tutornerds.com

Eight SAT Essay Tips | TutorNerds

Need Help With the SAT Essay, Orange County?

You have 25 minutes to write the BEST essay ever. You only have to focus on: Punctuation, grammar, flow, originality, formatting, and content. This is easy, right? Of course not!

Lets’ go through this one SAT essay tip at a time and by the time we get to the end it won’t be quite so daunting.

SAT-essay-tips1. Those precious 25 minutes:

The most important thing is to start writing. ‘Blank page syndrome’ AKA writer’s block is very common and you should feel better knowing that most of your peers are experiencing the exact same thing. A blank page is bad. Writing something down, even if you have to edit later, is good. Words lead to more words and eventually a finished SAT essay.

If you are really stuck, write a quick outline. An outline requires words, and words are good.

2. Punctuation:

The person scoring your essay will appreciate proper punctuation but not at the expense of content. If time is a major issue, get that content down and leave five minutes to proofread. One or two minor mistakes probably won’t kill your score, but your essay has to be readable. If one of your sentences has five commas, turn one into a period and create a new sentence.

3. Grammar:

Have you ever heard the term “grammarian”? Well, your grader will be one. S/he will have a special affinity for proper grammar. “Then vs. than”, “your vs. you’re”, subject-verb agreement etc…

Grammar is something you can work on ahead of time and practice makes perfect. Ask a tutor to look over a few sample essays that you have written and give you advice on improving your grammar.

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4. Flow:

This is one of the hardest problems to solve when writing an essay because the solution is not concrete. You won’t be able to look up “flow” and get a specific answer as to how to make your essay smooth and easy to read. This is one topic where tutors and teachers can be most helpful. If you are struggling with flow, you will want someone to sit down with you and really comb through sentence by sentence.

To get you started think of it like this: If you’re enjoying a nice wave out in the Pacific, you want smooth, even waves. You don’t want flat water or choppy, uneven waves. Don’t surf? Let’s say you’re driving along on the freeway. Do you want to hit a pot hole every 5 minutes and stress out in stop and go traffic, or have smooth roads and no cars in sight? Your transition sentences should not be pot holes, nor should they be that giant wave that breaks your board in half. Keep it smooth.

5. Originality:

If you have taken a practice test, you will know that examples are required. Try to be original with examples (easier said than done). Certain topics, although good, have become cliché and your grader will appreciate originality. Talk with your Orange County private tutor about which topics have been used over and over and which are still original. This can change from year to year as more topics are introduced and written about.

6. Spelling:

Unfortunately, the SAT essay is written on paper so there is not a spell check option. Brush up on your spelling so as to avoid a basic mistake. If you come up with a great word but have no idea how to spell it, chose another one. You might get one pass on a misspelled word but that’s it.

7. Formatting:

Don’t confuse formatting with flow. Flow focuses on the readability of your essay while formatting looks at more basic, but still important things such as indentation, the clear placement of the transition sentence etc… Your essay should not look like one giant paragraph.

8. And for the finale, content!

Content is THE most important part of your essay, It is the blood that flows through the veins of your essay and gives it life. There is not a simple tip or trick to bypass content. Being well informed of current events, being well read, and also having a love of writing can come into play here. This is where your tutor will be most helpful. While you’re waiting for that tutor to show up at your door, pick out a few novels and a newspaper and start reading.

Bottom line:

Start early, having time to work on all of the aspects of the essay will alleviate your stress. Practice makes perfect, plan to write 6-10 practice essays before you reach your best level. Ask for help; get a study group, a parent or a tutor to go over all these things with you.

All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. For educational guest-blogging, please email us at info@tutornerds.com

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