Use Your Break Wisely!

December 13th, 2015

Oh the weather outside is frightful

Use Your Winter Break Wisely!

Ok the weather is pretty nice…blue skies for days…Ahhhh. Winter Break! A time to relax, eat, hang out with family, and celebrate. You should definitely do all of those things… (here comes a but)…(drumroll please)…

BUT

You should ALSO use your break wisely! Open that backpack and do some studying over Winter Break. It’s been a long, hard semester, and you do not want to spoil all that you have put into it by slacking right before finals. With the biggest test of the semester right around the corner, many of you already have a study guide or an idea of what your final will look like. Use that!

 

You can start making flashcards for vocab. That’s something you can do with Mariah Carey belting out “All I Want for Christmas…is an A!” and it’s been proven that listening to music while studying can improve your performance on the test!

 

You should make a detailed outline with flow charts, timelines and pretty colors. This will refresh your memory of the topics and provide a beautiful study guide you can use once finals week arrives.

 

Grab your old tests or practice tests, and retake them, checking your answers as you go. This will help you decide where you need to allocate the most time for studying, and where you can skim a bit because you already have a good handle on the material.

 

DO NOT simply run your eyes over every single chapter in the book, or every single page of notes you’ve written. This is a waste of your time. Rereading is a passive activity, plus it is much too general. With so much material to cover, you are better off zeroing in on what’s important (hint: what’s on the study guide or what was on old tests).
Have fun over break, but spending the entire two weeks binge-watching Parks and Rec for the 3rd time will come back to haunt you when finals week arrives! Put in a few hours over break and I promise you’ll thank yourself later!

 

El Segundo ACT Tutoring

December 8th, 2015

With the upcoming ACT test, it’s a good time to start studying! The ACT is an overarching and comprehensive exam that often requires a more tailored approach to studying. Sometimes, going through the review book on your own is just not cutting it. If this describes you, look no further than El Segundo Study Hut! We have several different ACT packages to suit any student’s needs.

El Segundo ACT Tutoring

El Segundo ACT tutoring offers tutoring packed with beneficial study material and highly experienced and qualified tutors. Every package comes with at least 3 proctored practice tests. However, each package varies depending on how many total hours of work as well as preference for one-on-one or small group tutoring. Furthermore, it comes with customized homework for the student to complete in order to reinforce study material. Through this catered package, any problem areas can be assessed quickly and efficiently in order for the student to solidify outstanding ACT scores. Also, students will be given online video solutions for independent study (great for visual learners!). Beyond the supplemental material, El Segundo ACT tutoring employs passionate and knowledgeable tutors who aim to help your child boost his or her ACT scores. Any problems your child may face with the ACT can be solved by our exceptional staff.

Before we can accommodate your child’s needs, just bring them in to take an ACT diagnostic test. Using detailed analytics, we will promptly create a package geared toward fortifying your child’s area of weakness in order to get the best results as efficiently as possible.

El Segundo ACT Tutoring

If you’re interested in El Segundo ACT Tutoring, simply send us an email or give us a call at (310) 648-8526 to set up an appointment. Our team at El Segundo Study Hut is looking forward and committed to helping your child achieve his or her ACT goals!

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

Study Tips from a CDM Math Tutor

October 29th, 2015

Having a hard time studying for your math test? One of our tutors from the Newport Beach/CDM Study Hut shares her study tips!

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition
See what I did there? Math is about learning the steps. This holds true for Algebra, Geometry, Stats, and even Calculus. You have to be comfortable with what you’re doing at each step, no matter what curveball is thrown. Think of a baseball player who spends hours in the cage, or a basketball player who finishes every practice with 10 made free throws (Kobe Bryant has actually been known to come to the gym early to make 800 jump shots before practice)! The more practice you put in, doing the problems over and over again, the easier it will be and the better you will do on the real thing.

Give It a Scent
While you’re studying for that Geometry midterm or Trig final, or another subject for that matter, chew a unique smelling gum, or spray a new perfume/air freshener. Then, while you’re taking the test, chew that same gum, or spray that same scent. The smell will trigger your memories of studying and improve your performance!

Study Somewhere New
While it is great to have a spot where you always study (it has everything you need and a comfy chair!) it’s good to mix it up sometimes. Go to the local library, Starbucks down the street, or just a new spot in the house. Just like with the new scent, your memories of studying will be linked with the feel/look of the new study spot.

This CDM math tutor's favorite mnemonic.

This CDM math tutor’s favorite mnemonic.

 

 

Create Mnemonics
While it is rarer that you need to memorize lists in math, memorizing formulas can be daunting. Using a common mnemonic can ensure that you commit that bad boy to memory. For example, many people like to use Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally to remember the order of operations (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction). The only thing better than using a common one like this is making one up for yourself, because then it has personal meaning and you are more likely to remember it.

Ask for Help
No one can do it alone! Tutors at Study Hut have been collecting tips and tricks like these for years, and would love to share them with you! Call today to start building strong study habits and acing those tests!

End of Semester Grades

May 10th, 2015

Without fail, every semester there are students who do not think about or pay attention to their grades until one month before the semester is coming to an end. Whether this lack of attention is because they have more important obligations or simply do not care, the outcome is the same. The student has a grade that they absolutely do not want, and very minimal time or points to make it up. There are a few options to help you bring up your grade at the end of the semester. 

The most important thing you can do is discuss your grade with your teacher. Did you simply not turn in a lot of assignments? Was there one chunk of content you just could not wrap your head around so your grades are low across all of those assignments? Have you been consistently scoring low and now need to hit a homerun on your final so you can bring your grade up a whole letter grade? Luckily, most of these things are an easy fix.

semester grades via clipartsheep.com

If you are sincere and have a genuine reason for why you have copious amounts of missing work, most teachers will let you turn it in for at least partial credit. Even partial points will help a lot if the missing assignments made a huge dent in your grade.

To do well on makeup tests and upcoming finals, make sure to come in and see a tutor to cover any topics you missed or did not understand completely. Especially if your entire grade relies on one or two tests there is no room to slip up. A tutor can help you figure out why you have been getting low grades all year if that has been the issue.

Semester Grades

School and Sports

May 6th, 2015

No matter how brilliant and talented a student is, it is always difficult to juggle school obligations with extracurricular activities. It becomes even more difficult when that activity takes up your entire weekend and every day after school. However, when you are passionate about something it is completely worth it. Grace plays soccer on one of the best teams in the nation, so sometimes it is difficult to keep up with homework and school projects. She spends a lot of time at practice, at games, and traveling to and from tournaments.

school and sports via www.how-to-draw-funny-cartoons.com

Grace had been working really hard to get all her grades up so that she had straight A’s. When soccer season picked up, she began traveling every weekend and missing a lot of school so she could make it to her games. She is the star goalie for her team, so she puts in a lot of work. Due to all her traveling, she had fallen behind in math. She wanted to bring her grade back up because she knew the content was easy, she just had not been able to be in class so she could learn it.

school and sports via www.awesomeinventions.com

Grace worked with her tutor Charlsey to catch up on all the concepts that she had missed. They worked through all of Grace’s homework. Charlsey gave her extra practice problems to ensure that Grace fully grasped her new material and would be able to do well on her upcoming test. They even worked ahead, just in case Grace’s team advanced to the finals and she needed to take more time off of school. Grace got an A on both of her most recent tests and brought her grade back up!

Personal Tutoring Session

July 17th, 2014

For a few sessions this summer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a student named Rachel. Recently we have been going over Math, specifically, the circumference and area of circles. Like any other subject, it is important to understand the material conceptually in order to proceed in solving the problem. While working with Rachel, I made it a point for her to grasp the differences between such things as pi, the radius of a circle, the diameter of a circle, the circumference, and the area. In order to accomplish this, I presented her with problems in a specific order that would utilize what she learned in previous problems. For example I asked her to solve for the circumference with a given area. This required that 1) she knew the formulas for both circumference and area, 2) she understood the significance and meaning of each number she was solving for within each step and 3) she utilized what she learned from previous problems to solve the bigger problem. Overall, there has been a noticeable improvement in Rachel’s speed, accuracy, and conceptual understanding during her time at Study Hut.

Summer Tutoring for Elementary Students

June 17th, 2014

Summer Tutoring for Elementary Students

Summer tutoring at the Study Hut is a great idea for any elementary aged student. Many people assume that tutoring is only for struggling students who need remediation. While tutoring is great for these students and will help them get back on their feet grade-wise, tutoring is also beneficial for students who are doing great in class, especially over the summer. The summer vacation is three months long, a very long time to have to remember everything you learned last year. And most teachers like to jump right in when class starts, as they have enough material to cover in a year without including weeks of review. The new Common Core standards emphasize coherence in mathematics, so students need to be prepared to build on the previous year’s learning. Here is the link for more info:

http://www.corestandards.org/other-resources/key-shifts-in-mathematics/

So, how do you make sure you are ready for these new standards? Practice! Tutoring is the perfect way to keep your brain active over the summer. Just like you have to work out to keep your muscles in shape, you have to keep your brain working to keep it in “school shape”. Tutoring will keep your study skills sharp and have you ready to go as soon as class starts. No more wasting the first week of school trying to switch your brain back into “school mode.” Was there a subject last year you kind of learned, but were never clear on? Maybe something that is going to make another appearance this year? (Long division? Fractions?) Tutoring will clear that up without the added stress of homework and other subjects and tests. Confidence is a key to success in school, and confidence comes from practice. With a little bit of tutoring in the off months, the next year will be a breeze.

Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

June 13th, 2014
Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

1. Start Early! – This is the most important one. The internet provides plenty of ways to waste your study time, but you’ll be happy you stayed away from Netflix and Reddit when the final finally comes.

2. Study in Chunks – Your brain works best in 50 minute intervals. You may feel studious after your 6 hour study marathon, but a tired brain doesn’t absorb information like a fresh one. Take 5-10 minutes breaks every hour to make sure you’re making the most of your study time.

3. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place – Studying in bed may sound like a good idea, but once you’re in bed, so will a nap. Find a place that works for you. It should be somewhere where you can focus, spread out your notes, and get in a studying groove. And if you get sick of one place, switch it up!

4. Know Your Teacher – Ask questions, take notes, review old worksheets. Figure out what your teacher thinks is important because that’s what will show up on the final.

5. Study Alone – Start with what you don’t know. Review your old tests, quizzes, and homeworks, and take notes on what you missed. Then spend some time on your own with each of these topics. Write down any questions you have because the next step is…

6. Study in Groups – Once you’ve figured out your own strengths and weaknesses in each subject, form a study group. Here you can ask questions you had on your own and answer some of your study buddies’. Explaining concepts and hearing them explained in new ways will strengthen your understanding of the material.

7. Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and you may need all the brain blood you can get for finals week. It’s also a great way to take a break from book to soak up some sun.

8. Sleep – It may be tempting to cram all night, but
it may not help as much as you think. Give your brain a rest! When the night before the test comes around, be confident in the studying you’ve been doing all week and get some extra sleep.

10 Reasons Why Mira Costa High School Is Really Great

April 17th, 2014

10 Reasons Why Costa Is Really Great

1. People help each other out
Costa has so many clubs dedicated to helping charities locally and globally. Students and teachers join together to raise money and volunteer for things they are passionate about! And that is really cool. Many clubs raise money, some raise awareness, but the important thing is that Costa students really care about giving back to the global community.

2. Amazing new buildings!
New science buildings that ensure students get amazing hands on experiences and get to use new equipment. Even some of the older buildings have amazing technology and help make learning fun.

3. Everyone is blonde
Blonde is like a recessive gene or something, Costa is basically a crazy science experiment focused on furthering the blonde population. Its totally true because of science.

4. You meet friends for life.
You meet some of the people you will be friends with for the rest of your life. And you get like 6 hours a day to bond with them. And if you haven’t met your BFF so far– there are like 2,000 students. You probably haven’t met them yet.

5. Our sports teams are great
We win games. Run fast. Throw balls through hoops. CIF and stuff.

6. The teachers really care for students
Teachers at Costa are among the highest rated in the nation. Our teachers go above and beyond what is asked of them. Teachers are always going out of their way to like be positive role models, inspire the youth and write awesome letters of recommendation. They are pretty great.

7. Students are (over) achievers
But in a really positive way. We have way more AP classes than most schools, and we have to make more sections to accommodate all the students who want to take them. And if you get in over your head with your overachiever ways there’s always Study Hut to back you up!

8. Everyone has a secret talent.
At Costa, people have all these crazy secret hobbies like jiujitsu and rhythmic gymnastics. It makes the student body really diverse and also probably home of many future Olympians.

9. Amazing student activities and events
Costa ASB throws great school functions like dances, pep-rallies and more. Its fun to release some stress and see a student dressed up in the crazy horse costume.

10. You genuinely get an amazing education
Academics are taught, but life skills are learned. Students from Costa are well equipped to go to college and start making positive changes is the world. Costa paves the way for students to discover themselves and where life might take them.