Transition from 8th to 9th Grade

November 5th, 2018

Anyone who has gone to high school remembers the transition from 8th to 9th grade. From schoolwork to socialization, everything seems a little more difficult and a lot more important. High school can certainly be challenging, but with great challenges comes great rewards. Establishing patterns of academic success in 9th grade sets students up for an awesome high school career. No one is better suited to help students have a smooth transition into 9th grade than our team of experienced tutors here at the Study Hut!

Transition from 8th to 9th Grade

All of our tutors are college graduates from top universities, and many of our tutors graduated from local high schools. Since our inception in 2006, we’ve helped hundreds of high school students achieve their academic dreams. What are the secrets to our success? All of our tutors are experts in high school subject matter. What’s more, our expertise is not limited to helping students with homework and tests. Our staff is trained to arm students with useful study techniques and organizational skills.

Here’s how the process goes: all of our tutoring sessions are one-on-one where students meet weekly with the same tutor, developing a rapport. Our tutors work with students to make sure students are using their planners to track nightly assignments and create study schedules for projects and exams. We teach students to effectively plan ahead with projects and assignments. It’s a lot harder to get away with cramming in high school than it is in middle school. We also help students keep their folders and binders organized. We’re allergic to crumpled up papers at the bottom of backpacks!

Here at the Study Hut, we love what we do, and we really care about our students. We know how to create a stress-free environment and inspire students to plan for their tests, take ownership of their schoolwork, and rock their first year of high school! Our tutors know what it takes to succeed in high school, and understand how difficult the transition from 8th grade to 9th grade can be. By the same token, we know how rewarding success in 9th grade can be. Early success in high school can set the tone for the rest of a student’s academic career, so don’t hesitate to call the Study Hut!

Freshman Year of High School Counts

October 16th, 2018

Freshman year of high school can be overwhelming. All of a sudden, your school is the size of a small city, the students you pass in the hallway have facial hair, and your classwork becomes a heck of a lot harder. Colleges understand that the freshman experience is one of acclimation more than acceleration, even for the most gifted students. Having said that, there’s a dangerous misconception that the freshman year of high school doesn’t count at all. Here at the Study Hut, we want to dispel that myth. The maiden voyage of high school does count, and if it goes something like the Titanic’s, that could be a problem.

Freshman Year of High School Does Count

Freshman year grades are a slim, diet-sized slice of the pie chart of factors colleges consider–but they are a factor. If a student’s freshman report card reads like the sound of a deflating tire, colleges will take notice. Some say that if a student’s freshman year grades fall between so-so and oh-no, the student will be alright if they show steady improvement throughout the remainder of high school. In a lot of cases, this is true, but improving steadily is easier said than done. If a student gets Cs and Ds, C-and-D work ethic and study habits got them there. Those poor patterns can be tough to break, especially because classes get harder the further a student progresses.  

Contrary to popular belief, we at the Study Hut believe freshman year counts. Colleges consider freshman year grades. Equally important, students establish academic habits, for better or worse, which will endure throughout their academic careers. Here at the Hut, our tutors are trained to instill in students the skills they need to ace the first stop on the path to college. We teach students to track their assignments effectively, create study plans tailored to their unique schedules, and learn accountability. Our tutors have an masterful grasp of the high school curriculum and can help with any and all subjects. If you’ve got the freshman year blues, stop by or give us a call!


Hit Learning Targets

June 4th, 2015

John comes in to Study Hut to work on math with his tutor Charlsey. John transferred into a new district after a big move, so he was not used to the curriculum that the rest of the students had been working on. He wanted to hit learning targets, catch up to the rest of his class and do more practice problems than just the ones the teacher had assigned.

His teacher did not regularly assign the class lots of practice problems, so he liked using his time at Study Hut to do more problems on each of the topics he had been learning in class. His tutor explained the concepts more thoroughly to John than his teacher had. She made sure that he fully grasped the concept before they attempted the practice problems in order to hit the learning targets. John had the bad habit of not writing out any of his work, which led him to many careless mistakes. His tutor made sure to correct him whenever he started a problem and tried to plug in all the numbers without writing out his work on his paper. Once he began to write out his work, his accuracy improved dramatically and he was surprised that he actually solved his work more quickly with writing.

Charlsey made sure to send John home with extra worksheets to do more practice before his tests since his teacher rarely assigned any homework. For the first time all year, John got a four out of four on his learning target quiz. He was absolutely beaming!


Next Year’s Classes

May 16th, 2015

Picking next year’s classes can be a scary and stressful experience.  Should you take that extra year of a language?  Do you want to do Honors, AP or Regular?  Will you be able to juggle those four APs, yearbook, and two sports teams?  The process can be incredibly overwhelming.  There are a few things to keep in mind while trying to decide on your classes.

If you plan on applying to four year colleges, make sure to show them that you are challenging yourself.  If you can handle another Honors or AP class and still maintain a good grade point average, go for it.   Do not take more than you think you can handle.  Being enrolled in six APs but having a horrible grade point average is not a good look.

Play to your strengths.  If you are really good at your language, take the honors or AP version of the course next year, even if you do not completely love it.  If you are amazing at your sport, make sure that you have time to make it to all your practices and training sessions for your various teams.  There is no one-size-fits-all game plan for approaching classes to impress colleges.  Make sure that yours is tailored to you.

If you still are not sure what you should take to impress the colleges you are looking at, come in and speak with one of our managers.  They are very familiar with the college application process and all of the local high schools.  They will sit down with you and look at the big picture and figure out what is right for you.

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


May 2nd, 2015

An agenda book is an important tool in keeping your student on top of assignments. Not only does keeping an agenda help manage assignments, it also helps students with time allotting skills and helping them plan out their study habits. However, simply having an agenda does not instantly give a student all these benefits. They must use it correctly.

First, your student should be using their agenda book every single day they have school. Every upcoming assignment, test, or project should be written down in their agenda book.   When they get home at night or get to their tutor, they know exactly what they need to get done that evening. Checking with friends can take a long time, and sometimes friends have inaccurate information.

Being able to see their upcoming week will help students with planning ahead. They will not fall into the trap of studying for tests last minute or saving big projects until the night before. Planning ahead is a valuable life skill that students should develop sooner rather than later.

Assigning designated sections for each class makes a big difference in keeping organized. If your student simply jots down what problems are assigned but does not note the class those problems are for, things can get confusing the next day when they don’t remember which set is for Physics and which is for Calculus.

Keeping an agenda will help even the most disorganized student stay on track. You can help by asking to see their planner each day and making sure that they are writing in it.

Foreign Language Tutoring

February 27th, 2015

Students can see a lot of benefit from getting tutoring for their foreign language classes. While the material may seem simple in class, retaining the information is the challenging part. This is especially true once students get to the second, third, and even fourth years of their language. Seeing a tutor for their foreign language is beneficial for may reasons.


  1. Because they are with a tutor, the student will get more one-on-one time than they would with a teacher. A tutor can make sure the student is working on their pronunciation correctly, getting their accents right, and using the appropriate tenses. It is hard for a student to get the one-on-one attention they need in a class with thirty other kids who are all learning the same language. They may not know they are doing something wrong until they lose points on their test.
  2. Practice conversation with a tutor will be much more helpful than the conversation practice they get in the classroom. Sometimes students may be paired up with students who cannot even make it through a sentence properly, or take a long time to even think of a response. Having conversations with someone who actually knows the language will help your student conjugate quickly and correctly, and be able to quickly form sentences out of their ideas.
  3. A tutor will be able to find a way to explain tenses to your student that actually makes sense to him or her. Often times teachers explain the concept thoroughly, but it just doesn’t click with a lot of students.
  4. The extra practice will help your student’s memory stay fresh. They will be able to distinguish between which words have masculine and which words have feminine articles, and irregular verbs will hardly present a challenge.

Newport Beach Study Hut

February 3rd, 2015

We had a huge day at the Newport Beach Study Hut today, and our top students are all quite eager to hit the ground running with a fresh start second semester.

Mortimer, a diligent and eager-to-learn student, worked on his reading comprehension skills with Rob. They worked on pre-writing essays and the different components that make up an essay. He understands topic sentences, conclusions, and can already write an entire introductory paragraph. This student is already impressively working on various writing prompts for the SAT at the young age of 10!

Another sophomore from Corona Del Mar High School, Mukil, fresh out of a successful finals week, worked on common core math today with the guidance of his tutor. He picked up the brand new concepts taught in class with ease. The new concepts were then drilled by practice problems to reinforce and check understanding. Not only did he get to master previous lessons, but we also helped him prepare and get ahead for his next class. He also worked on Spanish and went over some vocabulary and phrases for his Spanish quiz on Friday.
Lastly, a senior from Mater Dei came in for precalculus tutoring. Although she’s received multiple early college acceptances, she’s not letting senioritis get to her. When she first came in, the packet that her teacher gave as homework made no sense to her. There were lots of blanks and question marks scattered all throughout the packet. However, after just an hour of working through the packet with her math tutor, she ended up fully grasping the points that she didn’t understand an hour ago. Not only did she finally understand it all, but she then demonstrated her understanding by completing difficult practice problems to further enhance and reinforce her learning.

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Open House

February 3rd, 2015

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School had their Open House Night for prospective incoming freshmen last month.  Interested students and parents were able to walk around and tour the campus, learn about all of the academic and extracurricular programs, and get a feel for the overall vibe of the high school.  Palos Verdes Peninsula High School is a great school, just like its rival at the bottom of the hill, Palos Verdes High School.


Here are some statistics on Palos Verdes Peninsula High School.  They were ranked tenth in all of Los Angeles by LA Magazine.  They came in as fifty-fourth in the entire country by Daily Beast.  Unlike Palos Verdes High School, who follows a block schedule, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School follows a regular class schedule where every class meets every day for about an hour.  This type of schedule may work better for the students who want to go to here rather than meeting every other day for each class like at Palos Verdes High School.  The average on every SAT II Subject test was above a 600, except for World History which was a 598.  Peninsula’s average ACT score is 5 points above the state average and 6 points above the national average.  The school offers 22 Honors or Advanced courses and 29 AP or Advanced Placement courses.  They offer Speech and Debate, Model United Nations, a weekly newscast (“Eye on the Panther”), Mock Trial, “La Pantera” yearbook, as well as a cyber defense competition.


No matter what school they choose, students are sure to get an amazing education at either of the Palos Verdes schools.

Finals Cram Sessions

January 8th, 2015

With finals right around the corner, a lot of different high schools are gearing up for their weekend finals cram sessions. Study Hut tutors will be helping out at Palos Verdes High School, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, and West Torrance High School. The AVID classes are holding the sessions in the Palos Verdes Peninsula School District.


There are a lot of different ways that students can maximize their results during tutoring in large groups. First, find other students who are studying the same subject, or better yet are in the same class with the same teacher. Someone may have taken better notes, or have been there on a day when you were absent. Together your group can try and work your way through the more difficult concepts of the semester together. Go through the study guide for the final together. Make sure that the answers make sense to everyone. If you are having trouble with a concept, have a friend explain it to you. They may be able to make it make sense in a way that your teacher could not. Do the same for your friends. Teaching the material to your friends will also help you get a better grasp on the information. If any of you have contradicting answers to one of the questions, make sure you find out what is actually correct either by looking in your book, asking a tutor, or by searching on the internet. Afterward, review the information later in the day or the following day on your own to make sure that it all sank in.