The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

June 11th, 2014

Title: The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

 

Do you have any friends who seem to breeze through their finals? While your friends are chilling out, are you stressing out?

 

How do they do it!?!

 

They know something you don’t know.

 

Don’t tell anybody, but I am about to let you in on a big secret. This secret will quite literally change your life- it can make you healthier, less stressed out, and happier.

 

Here’s the secret to properly preparing for finals: stop cramming.

 

That’s right, to ace your finals and to be less stressed out about them you need to stop cramming. Cramming up to the last minute pulling marathon all nighters is an inefficient and unhealthy way to study.

 

Instead of cramming, you need to spread out the work. Starting now, you should take a bit of time (not too little but also not too much) to begin reviewing old notes, problem sets, and exams. The key is for this to be a regimented and manageable review process. If you stick with it and do a little bit each day you will not have to do a lot the weekend before your exams.

 

 

The bottom line is that you are going pay now or pay later in terms of preparation.

You can coast now and “pay later” with caffeine-fueled evenings reviewing a semester’s worth of materials in a few days. This is the “drinking from a fire hose” approach. Not fun.

Or you can “pay now” by doing a little bit of preparation each night and spreading out the workload into something more manageable. Being well rested and healthy indisputably helps you perform better exams, this approach of spreading out the work means you will be able to cover more material in a smart way.

 

An additional benefit of being ahead of the curve when it comes to preparation is if you come across any questions you can ask friends or instructor for extra help and advice.

 

As Mark Twain (or maybe Agatha Christie) once said, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” There is no time to wait, start this process now without the unhealthy late-night heroics, and your mind, body, and report card will thank you.

10 Reasons to get a tutor

May 29th, 2014

1. During the school day, teachers’ attention is spread among many students. A tutor can create a targeted plan for your child’s specific needs.

 

2. Today, kids have increased access to technology, busy parents, and have extremely busy schedules, all of which can potentially distract them from their studies. Time with a tutor gives them the time to focus only on homework or studying.

 

3. Tutors have the time to explain a concept in several different ways, instead of having to move class along at a certain pace.

 

4. Tutoring can also teach study skills, which can then be applied to what’s going on in school.

 

5. Even for students who are doing well in school, tutoring can provide a competitive edge to do even better.

 

6. Summer tutoring can prepare students for upcoming difficult subjects, such as algebra, or reinforce what was already learned that year so September isn’t spent playing catch-up.

 

7. For high school students, individual or small group tutoring can be essential for APs and SAT subject tests.

 

8. For younger kids, tutoring can help boost standardized test scores.

 

9. A tutor can be a useful sounding board for an upcoming project, paper, or exam, and can help prevent the stress and frustration of leaving an assignment for the night before.

 

10. Whether it’s third grade math, high school chemistry, or middle school history, tutors have expertise in their subject and can make it more engaging and maybe even fun.

 

Top 10 Reasons The New SAT Will Still Be Tough

March 26th, 2014
Top 10 Reasons The New SAT Will Still Be Tough

The College Board recently announced that the 2016 SAT will have several important changes. While on the surface some of these changes may seem to make the test “easier,” here are some reasons why you’ll still need to practice, practice, practice.

10. You may have heard that the College Board is changing the SAT to get rid of obscure “SAT words” and thought that meant you could throw away all your flash cards. Think again! There’s no magic list of words that won’t be tested, and they will still test on words that will come up repeatedly in college work, such as “empirical,” or “synthesis.”

9. Along the same lines, each SAT will feature historical documents for your analysis, such as letters by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Declaration of Independence. Do you know what “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes'” means? That’s a direct quote from the Declaration of Independence, which also features vocabulary such as “endowed,” “usurpations,” and “arbitrary.”

8. The penalty for wrong answers may be gone, but you’ll still need to focus and manage your time wisely to get as many questions right as you can.

7. The days of finding the answer for a reading comp passage right in the text are potentially gone. Instead, questions will feature graphs and additional information you’ll need to use to analyze an issue and come to a conclusion for your answer.

6. There will be more diverse reading passages from different subjects, including more of a focus on science, that are designed to reflect college-level work.

5. The math section will involve multiple steps to find a solution, and the questions will be presented in real world contexts. Get ready for a whole lot of word problem practice!

4. The College Board announcement stated that the new exam will focus on three main areas in the math section: Problem Solving/Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and the Heart of Algebra. If that doesn’t sound very straightforward, you’re probably right! The test preparers want to see your familiarity with subjects such as ratios, percentages, proportions, linear equations and systems, and complex equations.

3. The Writing portion has been replaced by the new Essay section, which is designed to mimic a college-level writing assignment. You’ll need to analyze the text, come up with an argument, and support with evidence from the passage using clear, persuasive sentences. The essay is currently optional, but some schools may require it.

2. On the bright side, one change that won’t make the exam harder in and of itself is that it is now offered digitally as well as on paper. However, even if you’re more comfortable taking an exam on your computer, you’ll have to make the judgment call of whether it’s worth the risk of tech issues.

1. It’s still the SAT! It’s a 4+ hour long exam, with math problems, reading comprehension, ands writing that is a large part of your college application process. None of the new changes change the fact that you’ll need to work hard and practice to get your best score.

New SAT Group Course Starts Tomorrow!!

January 20th, 2014

Tomorrow our new group courses in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach start again!!! Our group courses take place on the nights of Tues/Thurs from 7-9pm.

The cap for the SAT classes are 10 students and P.J. and Martin are the teachers for the SAT course.

The January group course help the students prepare for the March SAT exam.

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P.J. will be the teacher for this SAT Group Course which will help students prepare for the May SAT test. We are only offering one group course on Tues/Thurs!!

We will have one week off for Spring Break so please keep that in mind. If you would like to sign up for our group course in Manhattan Beach please contact our MB office manager Kristen … kristen@studyhut.com or call the Manhattan Beach Study Hut: (310)546-2408. For the Redondo Beach Study Hut please call Justin at (310)540-5888.

We have many tips that we share with our students on how to succeed on the SAT – and today our 1st tip comes from Andrew, one of our SAT tutors.

1st Tip: “Lookout for extreme answer choices in the Critical Reading section! If the answer choice contains strong words like ‘never, always, must, impossible, cannot, only, all, none, etc,’ then it is likely incorrect.”

 

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Lastly, if you don’t want to be in the SAT Group Course, we also offer 3 different SAT Packages: 40 hour, 32 hour, and 24 hour (prices range depending on package you pick). We also do private one-on-one SAT tutoring. We have wonderful SAT tutors including but not limited too: Rhiannon, Jeff,  Josh, Andrew, Victor, Brian and many others! One-on-one private tutoring costs $100 plus a $65 materials fee.

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AP Test Dates from Collegeboard

May 14th, 2013

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!! AP TEST DATES FROM COLLEGEBOARD.COM 

AP Test have started and we wanted to post all the AP test dates for everyone to see! These dates are posted on collegeboard.com. We are in the 2nd week of AP testing, so we wish good luck to all the students taking exams. 

May 6-10 and

May 13-17, 2013

 Exam Dates

Week 1

Test Date Morning (8 AM) Afternoon (12 PM)
Monday
May 6
AP Chemistry
AP Environmental Science
AP Psychology
Tuesday
May 7
AP Computer Science A
AP Spanish Language
AP Art History
Wednesday
May 8
AP Calculus AB
AP Calculus BC
AP Chinese Language and Culture
Thursday
May 9
AP English Literature and
Composition
AP Japanese Language and Culture
AP Latin
Friday
May 10
AP English Language and
Composition
AP Statistics

Studio Art: Last day for your school to submit digital portfolios and to gather 2-D Design and Drawing students for the physical portfolio assembly. Students should have forwarded their completed digital portfolios to their teachers well before this date.

Week 2

Test Date Morning (8 AM) Afternoon (12 PM)
Monday
May 13
AP Biology
AP Music Theory
AP Physics B
AP Physics C: Mechanics

IMPORTANT ALERT AFTERNOON (2:00 PM)
Special Exam time.
AP Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism
is the only exam given at 2:00 pm.

Tuesday
May 14
AP United States Government and Politics AP Comparative Government and Politics
AP French Language and Culture
Wednesday
May 15
AP German Language and Culture
AP United States History
AP European History
Thursday
May 16
AP Macroeconomics
AP World History
AP Italian Language and Culture
AP Microeconomics
Friday
May 17
AP Human Geography
AP Spanish Literature and Culture

May 22-24, 2013

Late-testing dates.

June 15, 2013

AP Services must receive written requests to change college score report recipients, and to withhold or cancel scores for the current year’s exam administration, by this date.

July

AP scores are released to designated colleges, students and their high schools

Free AP Diagnostic Test

March 14th, 2013

EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! THE MANHATTAN BEACH STUDY HUT IS OFFERING FREE AP DIAGNOSTIC TESTS!!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to get a 5 on an AP test? Well now is your chance!! We are offering free AP Diagnostic Tests and the first one is only 10 DAYS AWAY!

March 24th (Sunday) and April 20th (Saturday) are the two times that we will be offering the exams for all subjects.

If you would like to sign up please contact samantha@studyhut.com or call 1-310-546-2408.

For those of you that don’t know, AP stands for Advanced Placement – a program in the United States created by the College Board offering college-level curriculum and examinations to high school students. American colleges often grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores above a certain number on the examinations. The AP curriculum for the various subjects is created for the College Board by a panel of experts and college-level educators in each subject. For a high school course to have the AP designation, the course must be audited by the College Board to ascertain it satisfies the AP curriculum.

Some colleges use AP test scores to exempt students from introductory coursework. Each college’s policy is different, but most require a minimum score of 3 or 4 to receive college credit. Typically this appears as a “CR” grade on the college transcript, although some colleges and universities will award an A grade for a 5 score.

Grading the AP exam is a long and complicated process. The multiple choice component of the exam is scored by computer, while the free response and essay portions are scored by trained Readers at the AP Reading each June. The scores on various components are weighted and combined into a raw Composite Score. The Chief Reader for each exam then decides on the grade cutoffs for that year’s exam, which determine how the Composite Scores are converted into the final grades. During the process a number of reviews and statistical analyses are performed to ensure that the grading is reliable. The overall goal is for the grades to reflect an absolute scale of performance which can be compared from year to year.

Free Tutoring at MBMS on Wednesday Mornings!

March 5th, 2013

Every Wednesday at 8 a.m. – Study Hut Co-Owner SP, MB Officer Manager Sam, and Nicole go to Manhattan Beach Middle School to tutor students for an hour for free during the school’s late start. They have been going to the Manhattan Beach Middle School since the middle of January and each week more students attend the one hour free tutor hour. The tutoring takes place in Mr. Lub’s Classroom (Room 103). One of the Study Hut tutors made a sign to put at the middle school on Wednesday mornings letting students know where the tutoring will take place so hopefully each week more students will attend.

We started the first week with a small turn out, but each week a few more students show up. This past week they had 15 students – the most students they’ve had yet. The tutors bring doughnuts with them – which all the students look forward to. Along with the tutors, the school supplies a cart of books so you can work on any subject you need. Many of the same students come consistently every week, allowing the tutors to get to know the students on a more personal basis.

The tutors have had students come in for help in every subject including but not limited to Spanish, English, Math, Reading, and Science. The tutors have worked on many assignments with students including book reports, homework, studying for tests, organizational skills, arranging classes for High School, and many others. Usually during the hour, a few students work on the same assignments which makes it easier to  help more students at one time.

Along with the tutors, MBMS also sends in classroom aids to help during the hour and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Again, the tutoring takes place in Mr. Lubs Room (103) from 8 – 9 a.m. during the late start hour! We hope to see you there!

 

 

Biology Study Techniques

October 27th, 2011

Many students fear science like it’s the plague, but like any subject one can succeed in science if the WORK is put into it. For biology, there are three most effective techniques to receive an A. These three techniques can actually be applied to all subjects, not just to biology. They include: 1. paying attention in class (diligently listening to the instructor’s lectures), 2. understanding what is happening in the laboratory sessions (for other subjects, presentations, videos, handouts, etc will fall into this category), and actively reading the textbook when studying.

The first technique involves listening to lectures in class. This means actually going to class and staying awake! The best idea is to bring the textbook to every class in order to follow along in the textbook as the teacher is presenting the concepts. If you come across a topic that does not make sense to you, you can ask the teacher to explain it right then and there. This will help you associate the pictures/diagrams/graphs that are in the book with the teacher’s explanation for later recall. Attending lectures this way will help the student learn the material in two different ways (visually and auditorily).

The second technique is to understand the laboratory work you do in class. For 99% of the time, the labs will coincide with the concepts that are taught in class. By understanding the labs, you are able to understand the concepts in greater depth and to relate it to a real life example. The labs also serve as an aid to recall the concepts with a hands-on experience. Oftentimes, teachers will also give some exam questions about the lab as well. These will definitely serve as easy points on the test.

The third technique would be to read the textbook! Most students who do not understand the concepts did not actually read the textbook! The textbook is where all the answers are! Reading the textbook will definitely help one understand the material (if the teacher’s explanations are not enough). But one must read the textbook ACTIVELY. This means taking notes in your own words and making flashcards using the textbook which will further help in memorizing and understanding the material. Most students only do the assigned homework but do not actually read the textbook. All the information is given in the textbook and it serves as a great tool in studying.

Although the type of assignments teachers give will always aid students in learning the material, if the student does not take out the time to learn the material or do the assignments, they will definitely not do well. It is the same for every subject, not just biology. If you want a high payoff, you must do the work and put out the TIME.