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!

Making the Grade

May 24th, 2015

Sometimes students have teachers who simply do not teach in a way that is compatible with their learning style, which can keep them from making the grade they deserve. In cases like these, it is very beneficial to have regular tutoring appointments with someone who can cater specifically to the way that your child learns. At Study Hut, our tutors truly care about and get to know their students, so they are aware of what methods of teaching will and will not work with them.

Making the Grade

Riley began coming to Study Hut because she was having trouble in her Chemistry and Geometry classes. Her Chemistry teacher was terrible at explaining difficult concepts and did not go over any practice problems with the class. They were just expected to go home and know how to do the homework. She worked with her tutor Charlsey on actually learning the material and putting it into practice on her homework. Actually understanding the content helped Riley complete her labs more easily and started making the grade on her tests. Charlsey observed that Riley did not really absorb the content without actually doing it in problems, so that was why she had been having trouble in Chemistry.

Geometry was the same way. Together, they went through which pieces of information Riley should plug in to the formulas she had been given so that she could get the correct answer. Reviewing topics from earlier in the year also helped her with trigonometry and setting up similar triangles.

Transitioning to High School

February 22nd, 2015

George comes into Study Hut every week to work with his tutor Allie. Allie has been George’s tutor since he began coming to Study Hut. This year George made the tricky transition from middle school to high school. With Allie’s help, keeping his good grades was a breeze. She taught him how to balance all the work that came with his new course load.

Allie and George mostly worked on Geometry and English. Like most students, George was having difficulty grasping the concept of graphing. Plotting the points on and x and y graph was easy enough, but learning all the different forms of equations and finding the x and y intercepts were hard. Allie explained the difference between point-slope form and slope-intercept form. Point-intercept form is useful when you are only given two points on the line and no other information. However, slope-intercept form is more useful. You can immediately find the slope of the line and the y-intercept from a line’s equation that is written in slope-intercept form. Allie also showed George how to find the x-intercept of a line. To find the x-intercepts, you plug in zero for y and then solve the equation for x.

Allie also helped George develop his essay writing. She taught him the proper structure for a five-paragraph essay, as well as ways to create a strong thesis statement. They also worked on creating smoother transitions and engaging commentary for his concrete details. George did amazing and received all A’s and one B his first semester.

Summer Prep at the Hut

June 24th, 2014


Here is a comprehensive list of programs to help your  student stay ahead this fall.

– SAT and ACT classes both one-on-one and group courses. Our group course for SAT’s and ACT’s start after the July 4th weekend.

– Spanish 1/2 and Spanish 3/4 Workshops

– Elementary to Middle School and Middle School to High School Transition Sessions

– Algebra 1, Geometry, and Alg 2 Prep Classes which will start at the end of July. Joey will be teaching some of the courses in the Manhattan Beach Location.

– General Summer School Help

We are open Monday-Friday and you can contact our managers to book appointments for summer. Manhattan Beach Location: – (310)546-2408, Redondo Beach Location: – (310)540-5888, and our El Segundo Location: (310)648-8526

The Rigors of PV Curriculum from a USC Alum

April 1st, 2014

The Rigors of PV Curriculum from a USC Alum

As a former student at Palos Verdes High School ( ), I have found that the Study Hut curriculum for PVHS Math, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, and English are perfect for the PV High curriculum. The PV school district’s expectations for Math classes, ranging from Geometry to Calculus, are very high and the homework and study workloads show this. At Study Hut ( ), I give one-on-one tutoring to help students understand and manage their challenging Algebra, Algebra 2, and Geometry workloads. Adding to this, most students are required to take Biology and Chemistry. From my experience as a Natural Science major at USC ( ), I can personally attest to the very high level and challenging requirements that Palos Verdes high school students face.

At Study Hut, I help students in understanding the difficult materials, as well as in preparing for their tests (whether they be finals, AP, SATs, or SAT 2). Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 are also requirements for PVHS students and during my time at PV High, I remember that many students also take Spanish 3 and Spanish 4. These classes can be especially problematic for students who have never taken Spanish before or are not used to the verbal and written demands of the classes. At Study Hut, I really enjoy helping students improve their Spanish vocabulary, as well as their grammar and pronunciation. With all of these subjects, it really works to my benefit that I have taken the classes that I tutor at PV High (a lot of times with the same teachers), so I have a good understanding of the expectations and style of work that PVHS requires for a good grade. Adding to this, the atmosphere and tutoring style encouraged at Study Hut meshes well with Palos Verdes High School students and generates very positive results.


March 25th, 2014

Memorization is a constant struggle for most people. One of the best (and immediately useful) classes in college I took discussed how people learned different material. We also went over various memorization techniques. Here at the Study Hut, these skills are obviously applicable and important to our students.

We all know about short-term and long-term memory. But did you know that your brain often filters out information it does not think is useful to you? So when you are trying to study for that geometry test, and you keep telling yourself that the material is not important, this can definitely work against you. That is why repetition, used as a memorization technique, is often useful. Your brain thinks that if you come across that piece of information so much, it must, and should be worth memorizing.

You also learn information in groups. Information can be grouped together either by the environment in which you learned or encountered the information. This is why smells and sounds, like songs, can bring up many other memories. It is then not surprising, that when college students ate dark chocolate in a research study, and then during or shortly before an exam, they were able to recall more information. Taste is mostly olfactory in nature; which means taste is mostly constituted of smell. The researchers also theorized that the caffeine in dark chocolate might have also played a part, but the results were not conclusive. In addition, because we learn information in groups, it can be far easier to remember associations between words, rather than simply the individual words or terms themselves. When studying vocabulary, try to connect meanings and sounds to each other in a story or sentence. When studying history, try not to memorize random dates but connect the important events in a story. This will also, of course, give you a deeper understanding of the meaning of events and no doubt help you write more introspective essays.  In science, try not to remember individual terms but how they connect to one another in a process or function.


Summer Fun!

August 2nd, 2013

Summer School is ending… our SAT courses are underway and Fall is right around the corner! 

Many of the summer school classes ended this week and we have had a lot of students coming to the Study Hut for help through their classes. Geometry, spanish and government were three classes that many students were taking over the summer.

We have an SAT class going on at both our Manhattan and Redondo Beach locations. After the first 2 weeks, the students in Redondo went up an average of 100 points on their exams.

Many students have been starting SAT training so they do well on the SAT exams coming up in the fall. We have many families who are purchasing packages.

Remember, we have a 24 (12 – 2 hour) sessions, 32 hour (16 – 2 hour) sessions, and a 40 (20 – 2 hour) sessions packages! 

We also offer ACT Packages as well if you are interested!

We have a free diagnostic test for the ACT and SAT coming up this Saturday – August 3rd, and another one coming up in 2 weeks on August 17th!! 

With Fall right around the corner, students are calling in to reserve times and dates for the fall to come into the Study Hut. We have created a list and it’s first come/first serve.

We have also been really successful this summer with our reading/writing/math students who are in elementary and middle school that are preparing for their coming school year.

Contact us if you would like to know anymore information about any of these topics listed above.

Manhattan Beach: (310)546-2408 – Office Manager: Kristen

Redondo Beach: (310)540-5888 Office Manager: Justin 


Geometry success over the summer!

July 9th, 2013

You might think that Study Hut during the summer would be a desolate place. This notion couldn’t be farther from the truth. While some students head to the beach or to a summer job, many are actually getting ahead by taking geometry over the summer.

Every day, we have geometry students at The Hut cramming their brains with theorems, postulates, and angle relationships. Mr. Hughes is teaching geometry this summer at Mira Costa and his class definitely moves a fast pace. Both our students and tutors can attest to this! The key to staying afloat in geometry over the summer and landing a decent grade is, first, knowing what to practice, and second, actually practicing again and again. Doing more math problems after five grueling hours of class may seem tedious, but our experience as tutors and more importantly, as students, has showed us that this approach leads to success.

It can be overwhelming to decipher what’s important in geometry and what types of problems to practice. This is where Study Hut can help. Not only do our tutors know the geometry course at Mira Costa better than the back their hands, they can also assess your strengths and weaknesses. At Study Hut, we will keep you organized to use your precious time efficiently. In an accelerated summer geometry course, nothing is more important than time management to prevent you from falling behind.


Here are three tips for success in geometry over the summer:

1)      Try your best to pay attention in class. Five hours of class is a long time, but you will be in much better shape if you take an interest in the subject and will spend less time at home trying to figure out what the heck you were supposed to learn that day.

2)      It is not unusual for a student to occasionally feel overwhelmed and lost in geometry. Trust us, you are not alone! Get help from an experienced tutor at Study Hut. Often times, a second explanation or a different approach will turn a few light bulbs on.

3)      Know your postulates and theorems! In order to do proofs, you need to know and understand all of the postulates and theorems in your book. You will commit these to memory more easily by making an ongoing list of postulates and theorems as you learn each chapter. Put this list in front of you every time you do your homework. If you do this, these fundamental concepts will begin to take root in your brain and you will not have to shuffle through your book.

Summer kick off!

June 28th, 2013

We have had a great start to summer tutoring! This week all our managers were out of the office for a Canoe trip down the Green River in Utah… but our tutors were in the office working hard and getting a lot done! Our managers go on a trip for a week once a year, and they canoed 70 miles down the river! What a huge success that is! 

We had many new students this week and we are super excited for what the summer’s going to bring! We had many younger students in here getting prepared for their next school year. We are open all summer.. Monday through Friday 10am until 8pm! 

Yesterday (Thursday) was a big day for us! We were preparing a lot of students for Mr. Hughes Geometry Summer School test today and for the Modern World History exam as well !

We have been focusing with the younger students on mainly reading, writing, and reading comprehension. It has been getting a slow start, but it will definitely pick up after July 4th!

We have a lot of great summer camps coming up starting July 8th and 9th! We have a new summer course that we are offering in the summer for Freshman that will be Sophomores in the fall. It is a Pre-SAT course that costs $650 and will be Tuesdays and Thursday from 6-8pm. It starts July 9th and ends August 15th (so a 6 week course). If you are interested – you can come in for an SAT Diagnostic test. The Diagnostic test will take an hour and forty minutes. You will complete 4 (25 minute sections) taken from past CollegeBoard SAT tests!

If you are interested you can contact or You can also call our MB or RB office: (310)5462408 (MB) or RB: (310)540-5888

We are also offering a lot of SAT/ACT/ and HSPT Diagnostic tests coming up! We have one tomorrow – Satuday July 28th, Saturday July 6th, and Saturday July 20th! Let us know if you want to sign up! They are free and go from 8am to 12noon! 


June 20th, 2013

The year is finally over! Congrats to everyone who finished their finals this week and are officially on summer vacation! We have had a great Spring semester and hope to see many of you during the summer here at the Study Hut. 

The schools around the neighborhood have all held their commencements and we want to congratulate all the students!! To those going from 8th grade to High School or those going from High School to College, have a wonderful summer and we know you will continue to do well and succeed!

Here are the schools that have held graduation in the area:

Redondo Union High School: Friday June 14th @ 2pm

Mira Costa High School: Thursday June 20th @ 5-6pm at Waller Stadium

Palos Verdes High School: 2pm Graduation on Wednesday June 5th 

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School: Wednesday June 12th 

Manhattan Beach Middle School: Wednesday June 19th @6:30pm-9pm at the Gym/MPR

For those starting summer school – Keep in mind:

Besides our normal $45/hr tutoring and our SAT tutoring… we have 4 different programs you can sign up for. We have an Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry and summer reading class!

We have many great summer programs that we are offering this summer so here is all the important information you need to know! If you don’t need to sign up for a class – we also have normal one-on-one tutoring for summer school. 

The summer courses all take place between July 8th and August 8th – it’s a 5 week program – 20 hours a week – and it costs $495. 

We are going to cap the classes at 10 students each so sign up now to make sure you get a spot! 

The Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry classes are prep classes to help students prepare for the course that they’re taking in the fall. These classes will be taught by our same tutors that work here, and will either take place on Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday.

For the summer reading, get ahead this summer! We have experienced tutors for all the reading levels and for every book on the summer reading lists! Learn to annotate and analyze literature and practice quizzes included!!

If you are interested, you can call the Study Hut!

For Manhattan Beach Location: 

Manhattan Beach: (310)546-2408 or you can e-mail:

For Redondo Beach Location:

Redondo Beach: (310)540-5888 or you can e-mail: