Getting Started with AP Exams

March 1st, 2016

Getting started with AP exams requires a free practice test>. Diagnostic testing is an essential first step to any training program. After the student takes a diagnostic AP exam to get a baseline score, we will meet with you and your son or daughter to go over the results.  This meeting will lift the veil on where you stand now, what needs to be done to get where you want to be, and set a road map for how we can get you there.  We will break down the entire test with an accurate score report, complete with statistical analysis of your best and worst sections.  

Before we can attack this monster of a test, we will want to make sure everyone is on the same page.  At this free consultation we will address your fears and expectations leading up to the real test.  Once you understand what the test entails we can develop a study plan designed just for you, focusing on boosting your strengths and reinforcing your weaknesses.

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We will then set up a recurring time with one of our expert tutors.  Being with the same tutor every time maximizes efficiency and ensures your best results.  Our tutors are not only masters of that subject, but also know the test backwards and forwards, so you are sure to get the very best instruction.

We also recognize that the life of a high school student is already packed with activities.  Study Hut does all one-on-one training for AP tests, and is open seven days a week until 10pm.  We are flexible, and will match you with a schedule that works for you!

To begin the process of getting started with AP exams, just fill out the contact form below.  Your information will be sent to the branch nearest you, then the manager will call to set up a time that works best for you!  

AP Test Prep

March 1st, 2016

AP Test Prep

The first step in your AP test prep process is to take a Free Diagnostic Test>. Practice AP tests are offered every week at Study Hut for your convenience. After taking the test, we encourage all of our students to come in for a Free Consultation in order to discuss current strengths and weaknesses. Once properly assessed, we pair each student with a specialized tutor in the given content area as well as create a personalized curriculum tailored to each students’ needs.

Once the curriculum is designed, you will work with you tutor on AP Test Prep.  We start by first brushing up on key concepts before diving into one-on-one focused sessions of areas of that need improvement. Because all of our tutors have great experience and familiarity with the structure and commonly tested content, we devote crucial time to teaching test taking strategies.

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For best results, we recap lessons and we move through practice questions.  If needed, we support the lessons with take-home work. Throughout the tutoring process, we frequently administer practice DBQs, FRQs, and Multiple Choice sections.  All homework is reviewed during the next lesson to make sure the lesson sinks in.  Once you can demonstrate mastery, we move onto the next concept.

Next we track your progress through regular full-length practice tests.  These also ensure that you will have experience in executing the strategies and content proficiency that you will develop during your tutoring sessions.  We hold them here in our office twice a month on Saturday mornings.  Taking them in a simulated testing environment like that ensures an accurate timing schedule, and the added stressor or not taking it in the comfort of your own home.  Our primary goal is to make sure that you go into your AP test with the confidence, knowledge, and experience to achieve the high score you deserve. 

Newport Biology Tutor

November 3rd, 2015

Are you having trouble in biology? Do terms like thylakoid, carbon fixation, meiosis, and apoptosis sound like gibberish to you? Don’t worry! We can help.

Here are 5 useful resources our Newport biology tutors have found that can help!

  1. If it’s photosynthesis that is giving you tons of issues, this is an easy-to-read and thorough study sheet put together by a Newport Biology Tutor from the Study Hut team. It covers everything from terms to structures to processes.
  2. Biology is a very visual subject. It is all about processes that are happening all around you, and even within you. Reading about it in a dry science textbook robs it of this vivacity. This website, CellsAlive, has some great animations that give these concepts life. Check out this animation of mitosis: http://www.cellsalive.com/mitosis_js.htm CellsAlive also has videoes of common biological processes as they happen in real life. For example, here is a video (with some great sound effects added) of what happens to a bacterial colony when it’s invaded by a virus: http://www.cellsalive.com/phage.htm
  3. If your biology book is overwhelmingly large, and incredibly daunting, BiologyCorner has clear, concise concept maps that can help condense the information to a more manageable, bite-size morsel. It has  pictures, coloring pages like this one (don’t laugh!  They’re really helpful!) puzzles, and quizzes.
  4. If it’s not precisely the material that’s giving you issue but you just have a hard time studying, you can use things like Chegg’s free flashcard app to put those flashcards right on your phone. That way whenever you have a free second (in the car, waiting in line, as you’re falling asleep) you can run through them. Science shows that spaced repetition increases memory. If your phone is actually the problem, not the solution, you can download apps like SelfControl Freedom (free), Disconnect (free) that will lock you out of the internet or your entire phone for a certain amount of time.
  5. So maybe you’ve tried these things and it still does not make sense. We’ve been there. For some, biology is just another language. Luckily we have Newport Biology Tutors that can translate biology into a language you can understand! We can make it fun and memorable and give you the one-on-one attention you need to dominate this biology class. To make an appointment or if you just have a few questions, fill out a contact form to the right, or call us today at 949-226-1573.

Newport Biology Tutor

How to Ace Bio

May 20th, 2014

How to ace Biology class

  1. Learn Latin! No, you don’t have to be fluent, it is a “dead language” after all. But knowing your Latin roots is a valuable help. Biology is full of strange words that need to be memorized. Endotherm, hemophilia, cephalization, echinoderm, autotroph, mesoderm…the list goes on. It can get overwhelming, and you aren’t going to remember everything. The good news is that knowing your Latin roots will let you “fake” your way through words you’ve never seen before, and remember words that you probably knew a while ago. Take echinoderm. If you know that “echino” means spiny, and “derm” means skin, you know you are talking about something with spiny skin. What has spiny skin? Sea urchins! Echinoderms are members of the sea urchin family, including sea stars and sea cucumbers. How about autotroph? Well, “auto” means self, and “troph” means food. Self food…what organisms make their own food? Plants! Now you can avoid being bogged down in big scary looking words, even if you have never seen them before.
  2. Pretty colors. Biology involves more than writing. You need to be able to recognize images and figures, as a lot of biological learning comes across visually. Would you rather explain what a cell looks like with words or with a picture? A picture is usually much easier to understand. This is where the colors come in. When you are labeling and drawing figures for different biological concepts, try to use different colors for the different pieces. This will help the image stick in your mind, and differentiate between the important parts. When you think back to remember the image on a test, it will be much easier to remember what “the purple part” of the cell was rather than the gray part in a gray picture. Color coding your flashcards works the same way; the color will help the word stick in your memory and your recall will be faster.
  3. Repetition. Let’s face it, biology takes a lot of memorization, more than most subjects. You are going to have to sit down and memorize the process of cellular respiration, the different amino acids, the phylogeny of birds. The fastest and most reliable way to do this is to write down the info. Then write it again. And again, and again, and again until it becomes easy. Physically writing down information you have to know can really cement that info in your long term memory, especially for things that aren’t pictures, but just words or names you have to know. Instead of passively looking at a textbook page, fill up pages with the Krebs cycle if you need to, or the reactions of photosynthesis, or the structure of amino acids. By test time writing the whole thing down will be second nature, and getting an A will be a piece of cake.

How to study for Science

December 6th, 2012

Biology can be a complex subject to grasp. Difficult terminology and concepts, typical of chemistry and physics, partnered with vast and often times redundant biophysical processes make General Biology, AP Biology and SAT Biology a hotbed of tutoring activity. Relating specific concepts within daily notes to the seemingly endless volumes of information in Bio texts is paramount to success in the classroom and on standardized tests.

Developing teaching and testing strategies that work is our passion. Our tutors formulate a step by step approach to address problem areas within the subject matter. Our tutors focus on relating in-class information to everyday case studies and experiences to help students identify with the subject matter. We feel that resolving conceptual errors and becoming versed in basic biological processes is the first step to success in Biology. Using advanced placement tests, practice SAT’s and in-house report cards, we are able to assess, in real-time, the progress our students are making.

During our one-on-one sessions, we provide a tailored experience that partners with the pupils own personal study strategy. We provide a wide range of study materials: Texts, workbooks, flashcards, SAT Prep, SAT Tests and online materials are all resources we utilize in order to help students gain a better understanding of the subject matter. Students are also paired with extremely capable and knowledgeable tutors who are familiar and have a background in subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. We do our very best to deliver the most advantageous tutoring session for each individual student.  Working with a tutor is much like working with a personal trainer:  we are here to make your “work out time” more efficient so your results are better and come faster.  We are not here to do their work for them, but to help them make the most of what little time they have!

Buckle down and prep for Finals in advance

November 26th, 2012

The four weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter holiday break can be the toughest lap of the academic race for many students. Everyone loves to buckle down and cram for the “last lap” before Finals in January, but this “second-to-last lap” in December is brutal. With tons of distractions, from family coming into town, holiday shopping, and making sure to enjoy the holiday spirit, it comes as no surprise that many students have a tough time focusing on their tests and assignments.

But this is not the time to be distracted. In fact, this is the most crucial season of all. These four weeks are a perfect time for teachers to play catch up. Oftentimes, teachers will try to cram in two full chapters or units during this brief period, and the effects on students’ grades can be tremendously impactful. Some students will be distracted and choose to focus time and energy on interests other than school. These students will pay the price come January, and many grades will be far too low going into the break to be brought up. Other students will realize the incredible opportunity in front of them. They will buckle down, hit the books, and earn excellent grades on the tests, quizzes, and assignments offered.

For math classes, including geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus, the methods and concepts discussed this month will probably be the toughest content you will see on your first semester Final Exam. Keep this in mind, even if you are feeling overwhelmed by the material. If you can master these tough concepts now by studying in advance and working with your tutor, your holiday break will be significantly less stressful, and your Finals preparation in January will be a much easier process. This holds true for other classes too, including history, Spanish, English, biology, chemistry, physics, and even your elective classes.

Study Hut Foundation getting going

November 6th, 2012

Study Hut Tutoring and our entire team are ecstatic to announce that the Study Hut Foundation has officially opened its first office. For those of you unfamiliar with the Study Hut Foundation, it is the non-profit arm of Study Hut. Our mission is simple: to provide additional educational opportunities to underprivileged students.

We signed the lease on Friday, and we will begin getting the office ready for studying and tutoring by January 1st. This process will include everything from buying tables and chairs, to sharpening pencils and filling the candy bins….hehe….The office is located in Lomita (very close to Harbor City as well) and is located on Narbonne Avenue, right across from the public library. We will be serving students from many neighboring cities, but the convenience factor is definitely there for Narbonne High School students, so we will be working closely with counselors, teachers, and administrators. We are seeking students who need the help most, and also those who are most eager to use the assistance in a positive way.

The first goal of the Study Hut Foundation is to bring some of the same college preparatory services that we provide our current Study Hut students to less fortunate students in the local area. This will benefit the entire community, and will provide additional opportunity to local students who show the potential and desire to achieve. We will provide scholarships for subject tutoring in math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, precalc, etc.), science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), English, writing, reading comprehension, history (European history and U.S. history), government, economics, psychology, Spanish, French, and more. Additionally, we will offer SAT prep, ACT prep, and other test prep services, all free of cost.

Our team will consist of current tutors, as well as volunteers from local high schools and universities. We will specialize by subject, and we aim to provide the best service possible at the best possible price (free)!
For those of you interested, we will be adding a page for the Study Hut Foundation to our website shortly, and there will also be opportunities for donations and support in the near future. Stay tuned!

Time for our team to take off the party hats and roll up their sleeves. The Foundation is here!

PV AVID Finals tutoring

January 11th, 2012

Study Hut tutors could not be more excited for the big Finals push. We have students from AVID coming in for private tutoring all week, but we also have a huge event scheduled for Saturday. As in years past, we will be hosting an all day tutoring and study session on campus at Palos Verdes High School. We will have access to multiple different classrooms, and tutors will get to go into different rooms and help students with the specific subjects they need most help with.

This year, there will undoubtedly be math tutoring, science tutoring (including biology tutoring and chemistry tutoring), history tutoring, from World History and EHAP to U.S. History, Government, and Economics tutoring. Math tutoring will include algebra tutoring, geometry tutoring, algebra 2 tutoring, pre-calculus tutoring, trigonometry tutoring, and maybe even some calculus and FTS tutoring.

We will also, of course, have English tutoring, writing tutoring for students with an upcoming final paper, Spanish tutoring (all levels), and probably a few other subjects as well.

The event is free (and required!) for all AVID students, and speaking from past experience, it is an extremely productive event for all students involved. The teachers always come to support, supervise, and offer their knowledge as well.

And best of all, we are getting El Taco Man ordered, so he will be showing up with his cart, and all the tacos any young man or woman can eat. Does it get any better than this? I think not. See you on Saturday.

AP Biology, AP Phyisics and Chemistry

October 23rd, 2011

The sciences can be some of the most difficult classes in high school. From basic chemistry, to AP Bio and AP Physics, students often struggle with understanding the facts and concepts taught in classes, and using them to ace their tests. There are some serious science nerds, including myself, here at the Study Hut ready to help you flourish and learn in these difficult, but very important classes. But, for effective tutoring, the sciences are dealt with in a slightly different manner than tutoring math or history.

Classes such as math are learned through repetition of problems, usually through homework. The concepts, although important, usually take a back seat to the problems themselves. To get tutored in math, you can simply show up and do your homework with a tutor, learn the material, and ace your test. But studying for the sciences are much different. The sciences, especially biology, are much more conceptual, than problem based, and concepts take longer to effectively teach than doing problems. If you are struggling in a science class, it can more often than not be pointed to a shaky understanding of the broad concepts which connect all the facts and anecdotes learned in class. So this presents a unique challenge to tutors; It is almost impossible to effectively teach the material if a student comes in expecting to learn a whole chapter’s worth of material in an hour. To get the best help possible, students should read the text, go over their notes, attempt problems, and then come to tutoring in order to clarify and solidify the shakier concepts.

So if you are struggling in a science course, study ahead of time, know your weaknesses, and then come to the Study Hut as often as needed to stay on top of the material.

High School Students in Manhattan Beach

October 10th, 2011

High school is a fun, challenging, and decisive point in one’s life. Academically, it’s the first time that your performance in classes will follow you and affect your future. It is also a time of great personal growth, and a time of starting to accept one’s responsibilities as a young adult. Because of all these rapid changes in an adolescent’s life, high school can be quite challenging. Through practicing with a sports team, hanging out with friends, and finding new hobbies and muses, finding the time and direction to do well in the often difficult classes packed into the four years can be quite challenging. This is where the Study Hut comes in. All of us tutors have gone through high school—we know what those years were like, even if it seems as though we’re too old to remember. The Study Hut is also a very community based organization, and the founders Rob and SP who grew up around Manhattan Beach, and many of tutors, know the greater Manhattan Beach area and its schools very well.

So Mira Costa high school students—let us help you get through these fruitful and challenging years. Study Hut has tutors proficient in everything from the mandatory mathematics of high school, to the more advanced AP courses of the sciences. Let us help you organize your planner, and make sure you’re armed with the best knowledge possible to do well in your classes and ace your tests.

High school is also the time for the SAT and ACT—those scary three lettered standardized tests which colleges and universities use as criteria for acceptance into their schools. At the Study Hut, we’ve got you covered. There are personalized SAT and ACT courses designed to teach you the fundamentals of test taking, so you know exactly what you’re going to get, and how to handle it during the test. Although challenging, there’s a method to these tests, and you too can learn to ace it.

So Mira Costa—come to the Study Hut… you’ll be happy you did.