Semester 2: How to Stay on Top

January 28th, 2019

Welcome to Semester 2! Now that Semester 1 finals are over and your 1st-semester grades are locked in, you’re now looking forward to a fresh start and a continued momentum into Semester 2. While Semester 2 is a continuation of Semester 1, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for Semester 2.
Semester 2: How to Stay on Top
Now that you have spent half of the school year in each of your classes, your teachers now expect that you are accustomed to the pace and course load of the class. They will now begin ramping up the speed and difficulty of the courses. While this increase may be slight, if you multiply this increase across each and every one of your classes, you can easily find yourself overwhelmed, and trying to play catch up.

One way to prevent 2nd-semester overload is to stay as organized as possible. If you do not stay organized with all your papers, handouts, worksheets and homework, you could soon find yourself buried in clutter, without knowing which way is up. Being unorganized will make your transition into the 2nd semester harder than it needs to be. You should have a place to put all of your individual files for each class and you should review them weekly to remove the papers and downloaded files that are redundant and unnecessary for upcoming tests, midterms and finals.

Additionally, you should dedicate time each week (if not daily) to review what you learn in each class and prepare for quizzes and tests. You’ll thank yourself come test time when you have everything organized and time blocked out specifically for studying already planned out. You will spend less time studying, reviewing and you will be more prepared for any and all tests and quizzes.

In addition to staying organized, it is equally as important to reach out when you need help with your courses in Semester 2. Consider Semester 1 as time spent building a foundation of a pyramid. In your classes your teachers are teaching you foundational concepts and testing you on them. When you do not do well on the test, you can go back and work on that part of the foundation. While you are catching up, your teacher teaches concepts that may not be related to what you are struggling with, giving you time to learn the new concepts, while correcting the old.

That is gone in Semester 2. Semester 1 is horizontal learning, Semester 2 is vertical. You are now building the steps of the pyramid, each new concept now builds on top of many different foundational concepts and the process continues from there, at an increasing speed until the end of the year.

If you find yourself struggling to learn a concept, you may find yourself already having to build on top of that very concept the next day. Now your problem has been compounded and you are now struggling with two concepts. If it is not corrected quickly, your learning pyramid can crumble. This is why it is so important for you to reach out to your teachers, fellow classmates and especially tutors to help you when you feel yourself falling behind.

If you are organized and proactive when you need help with your courses, you can be successful in your second semester.

When to Start Tutoring

March 19th, 2018

When to start tutoring…something parents ponder as their child matriculates.  Parents are often curious about when the ideal age is to start one-on-one academic tutoring.  The truth is, the right age to begin tutoring has more to do with the specific needs of the student as opposed to turning a certain age.  At the Study Hut, we have tutors that specialize in working with students of all ages, from kindergarteners to graduate students.  When we are evaluating a child’s educational needs, our goal is to focus in on the student’s unique situation and provide customized individual tutoring.

When to start tutoring

So while we see each student as unique, academic needs in general tend to fall into three categories. Some students are doing OK in all of their classes with the exception of one subject where they need help.  In this case, the student can benefit from extra one-on-one instruction, assistance completing homework, and individualized attention while preparing for tests and quizzes in that class.

Others are dealing with challenges in multiple subjects.  In this case it is especially important to disregard the student’s age and simply get them the support they need as soon as the problem is identified.  Students can gain tremendously from working with a tutor to learn basic study skills such as organization or how to effectively study.  These techniques are often not taught in school, yet they are the very tools kids need to be academically successful.  Poor grades at any age can cause students to feel frustrated and over time can lead to self-identifying as a “bad student”.  This is a difficult scenario to reverse.

The third type of need we encounter is when someone is preparing for entrance to a private school or college.  This often involves studying for a standardized test and potentially writing essays for the application.  If a student is preparing for the ISEE or HSPT it is recommended to start studying at least six months before the test date, if not sooner.  Tenth grade is a good time for students taking the ACT or SAT to come in to the Study Hut for a free practice test.

Just as we would never recommend a “one-size-fits-all” approach to tutoring, we do not have a standardized rule of thumb for what a good age is to begin tutoring.  If you are dealing with a child who is struggling academically, whether it is in elementary, middle, or high school: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Manhattan Beach Algebra Tutoring

April 7th, 2016

Whether it’s extra help for a really hard test the next day, some tricks on how to factor quadratics, or just the peace of mind that an algebra tutor can provide, Study Hut is the prime choice for Manhattan Beach algebra tutoring. Since opening our doors in 2006, we’ve helped hundreds of students succeed in Algebra: the subject that gives them the foundation for all future math classes at high school and later in college.

Armed with advanced degrees in math and engineering, tutors like ours at Study Hut are not only qualified, but also fully dedicated to the success of our students. Besides having extensive tutoring experience, our tutors are local. This means that they went to the same schools as their students and even had the same teachers. If you want someone to give you the inside scoop on how to succeed in “the hard teacher’s” algebra class, Study Hut can help out.

Manhattan Beach Algebra Tutoring

All algebra students are paired with the best tutor for the student’s needs and preferences. All sessions include study skills and organization help and a short generic academic check-up. From there, we move on to the math. Whether it’s review, answering questions on difficult topics, or studying for a test, our one-on-one sessions are always productive. We also don’t just stress doing the algebra correctly; we really want to make sure the student understands the concepts. Short review quizzes at the end of sessions are common. If we notice any kind of red flag, we immediately get in touch with parents to devise a plan of attack. Algebra, brace yourself!

At Study Hut, we know that potential new students and their parents often have questions before starting Manhattan Beach algebra tutoring. That’s why all are welcome to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Study Hut manager. In the meantime, take a second to fill out the contact form on this page. We’d love to hear from you!


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.

Binder Organization

December 29th, 2014

Keeping your binders or binders organized is important for a few reasons. You will know where everything is, which means: no missing assignments that you totally did, no missing notes to search for while you are studying for a test, and everything no shuffling through every paper trying to find a worksheet from class. You will spend less time trying to find things. An organized binder will also keep you from getting stressed out or frustrated because you will always have your things and be able to find them. Luckily, keeping your binder organized is super easy to do.


First, be diligent about keeping up your binder. If you let it pile up until there are papers falling out everywhere and all the pockets are tearing, you are not really keeping your binder organized.


Use dividers to separate different classes and sections. Some students like to separate notes and homework, while others like to just divide it by classes. Do whichever way works best for you.


If you do not have time to put a worksheet or handout in its proper place when you get it in class, put it in a front pocket. Then every day when you get home, put all your pocket papers in the right place before you get started on your homework. It will only take a few seconds but it will make a world of difference.


With your organized binder, you will find that you have fewer missing assignments in class, better access to your notes, and overall a better grade!

Hollywood’s Magic Castle!!!

April 12th, 2013

This Sunday Hut 1 is going on a trip to the Magic Castle!!  The Magic Castle is the showplace for some of the greatest magicians from around the globe. We also take great pride in showcasing the magnificent building that houses the Magic Castle. Built in 1908, this storied mansion has watched Hollywood grow and change for over 100 years while never losing its original charm.

The Magic Castle is the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc, a very special organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic. The purpose of The Academy is to encourage and promote public interest in the art of magic with particular emphasis on preserving its history as an art form, entertainment medium, and hobby. Beginning with a charter membership of 150, the Academy has grown into a world-renowned fraternal organization with a membership of nearly 5,000.

Dinner is served at the Magic Castle in an atmosphere of Victorian elegance. Entreés range from simple but elegant pastas to lobster and Filet Mignon. The Castle’s menu also includes excellent seafood and vegetarian fare. Now enjoy fantastic food and magic with your family! The Castle is open Sat. and Sun. for brunch and offers three performances, Palace, Parlor, and Close-up. Invited guests welcome!

If you’re a magician, you just like magic or you would like to be able to entertain guests at a very exclusive private club in Hollywood, The Academy of Magical Arts has a membership category just for you!
If you have received a guest card from a member, you can find lots of information to help plan your visit, including the dress code.
The Academy of Magical Arts offers a basic magic class for adult beginners. This class can provide you with the skills you need to develop your own magical routines and prepare for a successful AMA Magician membership audition.
The Magic Castle features some of the finest award-winning magicians in the world with all new magic acts each week in our showrooms.

College Trips!

April 4th, 2013

It’s Spring Break and another great trip students are taking this week are to visit college campuses around the United States! Whether it’s a private school, UC schools, State Schools, or Junior Colleges… Spring Break is a great way to start your college journey!!

Here are things to pay attention to when you are visiting a college campus:

1. The location: Is your college in a college town?

2. The dorm/living situation. Do they have nice accomodations? Do you have to share a room or can you ask for a single room? How many roommates?

3. Is there school spirit? Does the school have sports teams and games to watch on campus?

4. Can you get involved? Do they have clubs and organizations you can participate in?

5. Are you surrounded by a big city or fun city events? If you are in or near a city like LA or San Francisco there are always fun events to attend.. i.e.: concerts, museums, amusement parks, beaches, and fun outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and exercising in general – just to name a few!!

6. Do you know anyone who has gone there before or any family members that live nearby the campus?

7. Is it close or near to home? Some kids like to be closer to home and others like to expand their wings and travel to other parts of the country.

There are just a few criteria that you can go through when choosing a college.

You will get many different opinions when choosing the best schools, but according to the National University Rankings – the top 10 schools are:

1. Harvard University

2. Princeton University

3. Yale University

4. Columbia University

5. University of Chicago

6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

7. Stanford University

8. Duke University

9. University of Pennsylvania

10. California Institute of Technology

Do I need my daily planner?

January 10th, 2013

Do you need your daily planner? The answer to that is an easy one and the key point is organization.

Organization: The structure or arrangement of related or connected items.









A daily planner is always useful and can be a great way to keep organized depending on the type of person you are.

Having a daily planner can always come in use. Since daily planners are usually small, you can carry them in your backpack, a purse, or other small places.

Here are different ideas of things you can write down in your daily planner:

– Homework or assignments from class.

– Meetings or appointments you have scheduled: Dentist, doctor, tutoring, sports games or practices, meetings for an organization like band or a club, study groups, and so on.

– Phone numbers for friends and classmates – that way you can have a copy of their numbers in case you lose your cell phone. It is recommended that you have a study buddy for each class, that way you have someone to contact in case you miss a class or need information about something your teacher said.

– Your planner is also a great place to write down your class schedule.

– Notes that come up during the day. A planner is always handy so you can write things down and always have a piece of paper to write on. Some people use their planner to scribble down information that they don’t want to forget during the day… i.e: Song names, lyrics to songs, directions, plans you made with friends for after school or on the weekends, and other crucial information.

If you don’t want to use a planner, there is always the option of buying a desk calendar or one that you can hang on your wall. Being organized can be very helpful and make your day a lot more efficient.

Finals can be stressful

January 18th, 2012

Finals are the most stressful and overwhelming time of each semester. It was hard enough studying for each test the last couple of months, but how are you supposed to study for a test in every class covering everything you have learned! It’s a tall task, but it is manageable with the right tools and preparation. The tutors at the Study Hut are ready to arm you with the weapons necessary to conquer the dreaded week.

Probably the most important key to studying for finals is budgeting time. You have to have realistic expectations for each class and weigh the pros and cons of time spent studying for each class. If I have a C+ in math and need to nail my final to get a B, I’ll put more time into that class than in English which comes easy to me and I have a solid A. Once you decide how important each final is, now you have to make sure you set time aside for each, and work both diligently, and effectively.

A second key to studying for finals is simply knowing WHAT to study. Believe it or not, finals are usually far easier than the individual chapter tests. This is because on the final, the teacher is going to test the big concepts from each section, not the nitty gritty details like those tested in a chapter test. With the help of your Study Hut tutor, you can go through your old tests and assignments and realistically pick and choose what you must dedicate more time to studying.

So remember: Don’t panic, stay organized, take your tutors advice, and study diligently. Good things will come. Best of luck to you all.

Wrapping up the school year on a positive note

April 26th, 2011

As the school year begins to draw to a close, students are hard-pressed to improve their grades. It’s certainly not too late to do so, but raising a grade significantly at this point is difficult and requires a lot of hard work. If students are committed to bucking down in their classes, dramatic improvement can be made in a short period of time. It’s crucial that students take thorough notes throughout the entire school year in order for them to effectively study for final exams. If notes have not been consistent during the year, a great way to review for finals is to go back through each of the earlier chapters in the textbook, making a brief outline for each one. Students need to balance the learning of new material in the last month or so of school with comprehensive reviews of the prior subjects.

One of the main subjects that poses a problem for students learning at the last minute is precalculus. When broken down into small doses, precalculus is somewhat palatable. A few formulas to memorize here and there don’t seem like too much to wrap your mind around. But when thrown into a cumulative final on all of the year’s work, a comprehensive understanding of the material is more important than rote memorization. At Study Hut, we teach students how to problem solve when presented with different types of exam questions. For example, trigonometric functions often overwhelm students—six trig functions, inverse trig functions, graphing trig functions, properties of trig functions. The list goes on and on… However, all trig functions can be related to the most important two: sine and cosine. By knowing the basic graphs and properties of sine and cosine, every student is capable of deriving all other trigonometric properties and identities.

Think about problem solving at a comprehensive level. By knowing the basics, each student can logically work his or her way through even the toughest of problems. Best of luck!