Finals Prep – 101

May 3rd, 2012

Finals are approaching quickly and AP testing is right around the corner. Students are stressing out because they aren’t sure how they’re going to remember everything from the whole entire semester. But there’s no need to worry! With preparation and planning, Study Hut Redondo Beach tutors can help you tune into the secrets to ace those tests. Although some students find studying for finals excruciating, having a good study buddy and study space makes a huge difference and that’s what we offer for our students. Each subject and student requires different methods of studying. So, the students are paired up with tutors who they can get along with and who are experts in the subjects they need help in. We can assist them in filling out those last minute study guides, making detailed flashcards, and taking practice tests. In math and physics, we understand that there’s what seems a never ending list of equations. In English, we know that writing essays is a long process. In science, we recognize that the vocabulary could be a little confusing. In foreign language, we realize that conjugations and translating between words gets frustrating. We teach you how to apply those equations to problems, write outlines for essays, and understand vocabulary. I spent a session working with a student on her outline for an essay and she came back the following week with a smile on her face because she knew she did well. I also had one student thank me for tutoring her on the water cycle because she enjoyed how we drew it out and made diagrams for it. We understand that teachers don’t always explain things clearly, but they still show up on the finals! We’re here to make sure you get everything, so come on over and meet your tutor today!

STAR Testing

April 22nd, 2012

Every year, the California public school system imposes the STAR Test on elementary, middle, and high school students as a means of assessing the average progress in classrooms. Generally, teachers tend to take a break from regular material to prepare for the tests, which cover everything that the state deems standard for education. Students study English, math, history, and science for the STAR Tests. As a rule of thumb, most students find that there is not much new information to cover for each section; instead, it is almost strictly review. However, it does help for students to spend some time preparing for the STAR, as some of the material may not be easily recalled.

STAR testing is done toward the end of the school year, about a month before summer recess, so much of the information is covered early in the year and may be forgotten, especially for the history section, which is based on facts instead of general concepts, as in the cases of math and English. STAR testing is sometimes criticized as not be representative of what students ought to learn: some students take sciences out of the usual order, and some repeat math classes, which alters the average learning curve. However, as long as the STAR Test is in place in California, teachers strongly encourage students to do their best and score well in all subjects. Of course, the test reflects directly on the school and the teacher, and higher scores indicate better instruction. Furthermore, the break from regular material that STAR Test preparation offers allows students a great chance to catch up on old material or to get ahead on future subjects. Studying for the STAR Test also greatly reinforces what students have already learned, as well, which certainly improves retention and comprehension. Although the STAR Test may be flawed, at the very least it encourages students to study and reinforce all of their completed work.

Summer Tutoring Programs

April 15th, 2012

Summer is a great time for students to get ahead in a class. Both getting prepared for the upcoming year and finding extra help with a summer class is an excellent summer choice. Study Hut in Redondo Beach offers group and private tutoring over the summer. This summer Study Hut will offer group classes in reading, writing, geometry and algebra. Each of our group classes is small and designed to help students prepare for the upcoming year of class.

Many Palos Verdes school district students are improving their GPA greatly by taking advantage of summer courses. When a student gets a low grade in a required class such as Math or English a counselor will recommend that the student retake the course over the summer. Summer school courses move through material very quickly and students often need help keeping up with the work. Study hut is a great place to come in for extra help. It is especially difficult to focus on studying at home after class because of computers; TV and the various ways kids distract themselves. Study Hut is a great environment to gain the resources needed for your student to excel in their class.

Getting a head start on next year’s classes is a fantastic way to improve performance in those tough classes. AP and honors classes jump right into the difficult material and many students have a hard time keeping up. The Study Hut can help your student be prepared to hit the ground running. Our tutors know what to expect in all the AP classes. We know the teachers and what they want from their students. Aside from the class grade, getting ahead will give your student the best chance of getting a four or a five on the AP exam.

AP Exams – Coming Soon!!

April 4th, 2012

As AP Season approaches, it’s normal to get a little apprehensive. However, keep in mind that AP Exams in no way define you as a person nor are they the ultimate deciding factor when it comes to college admissions. Sure, a good score can boost your app, but it’s not going to make or break an acceptance. With that in mind, there a couple things you can do to help prepare for the exam:
First, don’t procrastinate. It’s really easy to let AP test prep slip down the ranks on your To-Do list, but doing a little prep everyday is better than spending the weekend before your test cramming a year’s worth of information into your brain. If you haven’t already started, start gathering up the prep materials that your teacher has given you so far and organize them by topic. Pick a topic and give yourself at least an hour or so everyday and start reviewing the material.
Second, don’t do the same type of prep everyday. Change it up. For example, instead of reading through your notes or summaries first, you may want to look at the questions on an old AP exam and see what you remember and what you don’t. That way you can focus on weaker topics and review the stronger ones later. If you need/want more material for your studies, check out the College Board website (may have old exams posted) or go to the library and flip through a couple test prep books (Barrons, Five Steps to a 5, etc.). Study groups are also a great way to motivate both yourself and others!
Lastly, know that you’re not alone in this! The Study Hut is here to help you! The tutors have all been through the AP exam process multiple times and have taken a wide array of subjects. Not only are they familiar with the material and exam structure, but they also know how you feel and what you’re going through and are always here for that extra moral support!

Online Summer School come to Palos Verdes

March 26th, 2012

Good news on the high school front: Palos Verdes Unified School District is now allowing some classes to be taken through Brigham Young University for summer school credits! Previously, PVUSD only permitted students to go through their own summer school program or to one of the local community colleges, although Redondo Unified School District and Torrance School District have allowed BYU online summer classes for some time. With this new development, Palos Verdes High School and Peninsula High School students are able to take their classes online and still enjoy their summer breaks. Furthermore, the advent of online classes is a great opportunity for students to learn at their own pace, be it faster or slower than a classroom setting would normally allow. Although the selection of classes allowed by the school district is limited, it is certainly progressive nonetheless.


As for students who may need extra help with their online classes, the Study Hut offers one-on-one sessions and supplemental lectures to assist students in passing with the highest marks possible, as well as administering practice tests. The Study Hut is open for summer hours seven days per week with tutors specializing in every subject. Also, when it comes time for the final exams for these classes, the Study Hut is an officially licensed exam sight with professional exam proctors. These classes can be used to repeat classes that students may have failed during the regular school year or just to get ahead of the curve for the following school year. By knocking out a class or two over the summer, students may have the option to take a lighter course load during the main school year, which could contribute to better overall grades. Also, with basic necessities handled over the summer, students can take elective classes that they find interesting during the year. For students who have failed even a semester of a class during the year, this program gives them a chance to move ahead with the rest of their class instead of falling behind in a subject simply because the results were not ideal on the first go-around. Overall, the addition of BYU summer school classes for PVUSD students will allow greater flexibility and opportunities for success.

ACT Group Class

March 20th, 2012

In the most recent informational survey conducted on the average income of Americans, the difference between those who only graduated high school and those who graduated with a bachelor’s degree was well over a million dollars over the course of a career. For most of us, that is a whole lot of money! With that in mind, it is definitely worth it to go to college. However, getting into college takes some work: students have to get good grades to keep a decent grade point average, participate in extracurricular activities, and do as well as possible on the SAT or ACT. The latter, of course, is the most difficult for most students because they have no clue how to prepare for these dreaded exams. The solution: ACT or SAT prep classes!

Students who attend preparatory classes tend to score substantially higher on both the SAT and the ACT than those who study on their own. Small group classes are the best way to improve a student’s confidence and target his or her specific problem areas before the test. The ACT can be particularly intimidating because it tends to favor math and science over reading comprehension, and most students could use a little extra help with these two subjects. When seeking out an ACT class, make sure the student-to-instructor ratio does not exceed 10:1, the course includes plenty of homework, and there are full-length proctored mock-ACT tests. The smaller the class size, the more attention each student will receive, which ultimately makes pinpointing his or her weakest areas much easier and more specific. Homework provides the additional practice kids need to stay on top of the material and uphold the information between classes, as well as gives a bench mark to the instructor. Practice tests, naturally, are the most important of all in preparing for the ACT! They are the single best way to gage progress. With all of these components, odds are your student will greatly improve their ACT score!

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AP Testing Season

March 11th, 2012

As we all know, the begining of May marks the start of AP tests. While this can be a very stressful time for many students, proper preperation can make the testing period a breeze. Although two months may seem like a long time, it is important to begining reviewing as early posssible as these test cover such a wide range of knowledge and are designed to make sure students have a college level understanding of the subject matter.
Many teachers offer review sessions in the weeks leading up to the AP tests. These are often a great place to get started and organized on your studies, however you will need to dedicate some time each week to study on your own. Here at the Study Hut we offer one-on-one tutoring in a wide variety of AP subject tests. Whether you are taking AP math and science course or english and history, we will be sure to have a subject expert to help you. Many of our tutors took AP courses at local high schools, such as Redondo Union High School and Palos Verdes High Shool.
When taking AP tests, it is important to have good understanding of the structure and timelimits for each test. It is very important to pace yourself during the test, to ensure you have enough time to attempt each question. Be sure you read the directions throuroughly and understand what the question is asking before attempting to answer it. Another important part of test preperation is to make sure you are well rested and have healthy balanced meal before the test. Being well rested has been proven to increase brain activity. This is another reason why it is important to begin studying as soon as possible, so that you dont have to pull all-nighters test week.
So be sure to see your Study Hut tutor soon and good luck to all the students taking AP tests this May.

Standardized Testing – SAT and ACT Preparation

February 26th, 2012

One of the best ways to improve your chances of getting into an ideal university is to improve your standardized testing scores. Study Hut offers an incredibly helpful ACT group class starting in March. Students enrolled in the class come twice per week in the evenings (Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-9pm) and work on test-taking strategies as well as take full length practice tests to determine their improvement. The group classes are very small (Maximum of 10 students) and students raise their scores significantly because of the hard work they have put into the class, as well as the individual attention. The effort that students put into the course is directly reflected in their test score improvements. In fact, during Study Hut’s last SAT group course, the average improvement was 200 points. SAT and ACT scores play a very important role in determining a student’s eligibility for universities.
The first step to preparing for the real SAT or ACT exam is to come to Study Hut for a full length practice test. We proctor them every Sunday at 9am, and all we need is a couple of days notice so we can prepare for you. Next, one of our specialized tutors will explain what your score means and discuss what universities appeal to your student’s academic goals. You will then receive an individualized strategy that will prepare your student for the success they need on the real SAT or ACT. I cannot stress the importance of high SAT and ACT scores in college applications. Many of our students in Study Hut’s group class are juniors at South Torrance and Palos Verdes High Schools. The Study Hut’s group classes can often be the difference between any university and the school of these students’ dreams; with the preparation they receive, they will be well on their way to brilliant academic careers.

Homework Tactics

February 20th, 2012

With the beginning of a new semester, it is important to stay focused and keep grades high to kick things off the right way. Frequently students are worn out from tests and projects that closed the previous semester, so it is easy to slack off and let small assignments fall through the cracks. Eventually, the problem builds, and subjects like math become increasingly difficult and overwhelming. However, there is an easy fix to this common problem: short intervals of homework every day with frequent breaks.

Often, students think that to do their homework, they have to post up at their desks for hours on end and knock it all out in one sitting. Thus, they dread homework and just do not do it. If, instead, they try studying for fifteen to thirty minutes at a time, they would likely have a higher success rate of completing all their work and retaining the information. When a student practices math problems every day, even if just a few, he or she becomes fluent and comfortable with the subject and eventually stops dreading study time. Whenever students find their minds drifting or their eyes getting heavy, they should stop and walk away from the homework for a few minutes, just to refresh themselves and give them added staying power. Of course, this tactic is great for all subjects, especially the ones each student enjoys the least. With this homework strategy, students should be able to manage studying and still never feel like all they do is homework. Grades will go up and the new semester will be under control nearly effortlessly!

Using your Planner Effectively

February 17th, 2012

At the beginning of each and every school year most schools distribute a handy little agenda planner to all of the students in hopes that they use them often and correctly. However most students regard these planners as just an extra book filled with papers to throw in the bottom of their backpack or back of their locker and forget about until the last day of school when they through them out. But the school does not spend the money and effort to distribute these to students just to have them thrown out, they are given to the students because they truly do help and improve student performance. The bare minimum use of the student planner is they should write down everything that the teacher assigns for that night and to keep it updated with all of the current homework assignments. Then after completing each assignment they must cross if off or some how indicate that they are completed with the work.
Yet, students should and need to get even more in depth and on top of their work load. We all know that daily homework is not the only assignments teachers hand out. They also assign long term projects and normally give the dates for future tests to allow students time to prepare. So the student needs to make sure to go ahead into the future of the planner and write down assignments or tests that are due sometime in the distant future. There are too many students claiming ignorance to when the assignment is due and having to start a huge essay or project the night before it due. Which is terrible because this problem can be easily avoided by taking an extra 30 seconds each day and making sure that the planner is filled out completely and that the student knows what he has to do and when it is completed. Remember schools are always trying to help students improve their grade not hurt it, so use all the available resources to you and you will be great.