How to Study – Tips and Tricks That Work

Sometimes it’s just the basics that you need to do if you want to learn how to study for exams or tests.  Nothing fancy, nothing special – just the basics.  And nothing is more basic than learning how to take good notes and creating note cards that have all the facts, details and specific information that you need for whatever the course may be.  This is really the ultimate way to study for anything to do with spelling or history!  It’s cheap, fast, easy and concise and most of all – it works!

What’s this special tip?  Note cards….Yes, note or index card studying. The best way to do this is throughout the semester as you study at night or at the end of a chapter as you prep for a test or exam.  I’ve seen some do it just for finals but it’s a mind numbing, exhausting and time consuming process if you have to crank out an entire semester’s worth of note cards for most courses.  And it takes longer then to do it than it would if you did it as you were going through the chapter initially.  So to save your brain cells for other things and to save time, create your note cards as you move through each topic, chapter, book or lesson.  You will be so glad that you did it that way!

Yes, there are fancier ways and more technologically advanced ways of accomplishing the same things.  However, I’ve yet to see one that is any faster, easier or less costly.  Nor is there one that I know of that is more effective.  You see this tip requires you to identify the fact, word or concept.  Then you have to write it down and check what you wrote.  So it’s THREE TIMES that you are going over that one point without even knowing that you are drilling it in that often already.

If you need further information on this or assistance, please let us know and check out our private tutors or in home tutors today!

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How to Study – Tips That Include a Study Break!

Want to learn how to study?  Well, we can’t study 24-7.  It’s just not gonna work no matter how last minute you are or how under the gun you might be.  After a certain point in time your body and your brain or going to say “Enough”!  And they’ll stop processing, shut down and you are likely to be in a worse place for your exams, homework or projects than you are right now.

 

That’s why learning how to study and studying well is important to figure out.  Unfortunately, not the same things work foreveryone but we’ve come up with a ton of ideas and how to study tips that ought to help you figure out the ones that will assist you in reaching your academic goals.  And these tips aren’t just for homework or a test.  You can use them for just about anything you study as well as exam and studying for entrance exams like the GRE, SAT, ACTs, GMATs and so much more.

So check out the different ideas we’ve come up with, use the ones you like, try a few others and let us know which work best.  Share your successes and ideas with us here and on Facebook or Twitter as well.

 

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Child Struggling in School? 7 Tips to Solve That Now!

There’s nothing worse for a parent than to watch your child struggling in school. No matter what the situation or subject, we would all love to be able to ease their burden and resolve any problem that comes along. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way and there are times when we simply have to step aside and let them work through it. Sometimes the effort is on their own and sometimes with the assistance of a private tutor or teacher.

So what are some basic steps you can take to assist?

1 – Check in with the school or teachers that your child currently sees.

See if something is going on that they have noticed? Are there social issues? Or is it academic? Are new topics or studying methods being introduced? Like a detective, you want to see what has changed or is different that might be causing the impact on your child.

2 – Review grades and homework.

How consistent is the work and grades that you see for the last month or several months? If you notice any changes that you can pin point, now is the time to address them. Perhaps it is one course in which case certain topics might have been introduced that are not being fully understood by your son or daughter. If there’s a general downward trend then that takes additional digging to find out the cause of that issue. Are your child’s friends and acquaintances the same or have there been changes? Is there a change in free time usage? New sports, activities or work can have impacts as well.

Whatever the case, the burden falls on you to determine what has happened and what options exist.

3 – Talk, talk, talk

When dealing with teens this can become more difficult since they are not the most chatty of creatures but whatever age, it’s now time to start finding out from the source if there’s anything happening.

You might have to be subtle and wait for the best time to have this talk but it is critical if you want to help them to help themselves. Check in on what is going on, use any and all tactics to get them to share what is the latest with school and their classes.   Asking direct and specific questions can help you get the information out of them. Many times they are aware of what’s going on but at a loss as to what to do about it.

4 – Determine what are some options?

Once you have an idea of what is the root of the cause for the drop in grades you can start taking actions. It always feels better to take action! (At least I’ve found that to be true)

If it’s social pressures or other topics along that lines, you want to find the assistance to help cope with and resolve those types of issues.

If it’s academic, you can now create a game plan to help your child get back on the road to academic success.

5 – What assistance from your school is available?

Depending upon your perspective of your child’s school and district, you might want to again ask them for options and assistance. Many schools have tutoring or after school programs that can provide assistance to their students. Based upon what your child needs, this might be an avenue for exploration. Make sure that you check out these options in advance and see if there is a fit. You know your kid and what will work well for them.

6 – What outside tutoring or study skills assistance are there?

Depending upon what your child needs, you might want to explore private tutors or even private tutoring at home depending on the crazy schedules that we all are keeping these days! This option allows you to hone in on exactly what is needed and the tutor will provide focused programs designed to address exactly those areas.

Like PrivateTutoringAtHome.com offers, these types of tutors cover just about every subject you could think of from early education through graduate university studies. Best of all, you can find the right tutor in your area which makes it even more convenient.

Tutors provide individualized attention that fits a child’s learning style, and many tutors work to make the sessions “fun enough that the students actually want to be there,” says Fleming. The fun and games teach the student that learning can be a positive experience. Positive tutoring can help a child learn the material, get better grades, and even form a better attitude about school. Having a positive attitude about school and being interested in it really has a tremendous impact on the results that a child gets in school. Any assistance that you can provide will help insure your child is one of the students that thinks of their education in a positive light.

7 – Implement and monitor

Just because you started a plan for your child doesn’t mean you can rest easy. Now is when you have to help your child stay on track. In addition, monitoring and seeing if there are positive results is critical.

If your child has fallen behind, there will be a catch up period that might include additional struggles. Playing catch up is never fun and it’s frustrating for you to watch as a parent and for the child to go through. However, both of you will make it out the other side with a little bit of time, patience and focus.

Getting through school successfully is frequently a group effort. Parents, children, schools and various other resources like tutors all combine to help make it a successful educational process. By initiating the first steps today, you can insure that your child will continue to grow, learn and flourish and with an education, be successful later in life as well. And, after all, isn’t that what we each want for our kids? I know that I do!

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below! We’d love to hear your stories.

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Hiring a Private Tutor: Ask the Right Questions!

If you are considering hiring a private tutor for your child or if you need one, do not think that you are alone.  According to Dr. Sandi Ayaz, executive director of the National Tutoring Association, private tutoring in the U.S. alone has “exploded tenfold” over the past eight years. That is a tremendous growth increase!  The reasons for looking into private tutors are almost as many as there are kids.  Some parents hire tutors to help their children overcome academic obstacles, others contract with tutors to encourage and challenge their children in ways that might not be possible in a classroom setting, and still others are looking for tutors to fill in gaps or add to the knowledge their kids are getting in the classroom.

Whatever the objective of the tutoring may be, it’s important for parents and students to take the time to find and hire a tutor who will work well with the student’s learning style and personality.  Here are some great questions to help make sure that that you find a tutor that is right for you:

Questions to Ask Private Tutors Before Starting:

 1. What is your teaching style?

Students learn in a variety of styles and at different paces, which is why it’s impossible for teachers in schools  to structure their classroom lessons to match each individual student’s preferred learning style. The right private tutor, however, can adapt lessons to cater to your child’s strengths whether he is an auditory learner (learns best by listening), visual learner (learns best through sight) or a kinesthetic learner (learns best through experience). Before you hire a tutor, make sure to find out if he can structure lessons in a format that works with your child’s preferred learning style.  And if you don’t know your child’s learning style, check in with his teachers and current school for an assessment or update on that information.  It will be a huge help for both you and any tutor you finally work with.

2. What is your tutoring plan for working with my child?

While this is a pretty open ended question and is difficult for someone who has not yet met your child or even seen examples of their school work, the response will reveal the tutor’s thought process for diagnosing your child’s needs and creating a plan to achieve the desired results. The right tutor will have a strategy, and may even have specific methods, for identifying problem areas and understanding the child’s learning behavior. An effective tutor recognizes the importance of working with the student (and in some cases, the parents) to establish performance improvement goals that are both measurable and attainable.  Bottom line – open ended questions like this show the tutor’s comfort level and confidence with respect to their ability to work with your child.  Finding that out early on is critical.

3. Why do you tutor?

Successful tutoring is really about developing a productive learning relationship between any private tutor and their students. Those tutors who are most effective are passionate about teaching and are able to derive value from seeing their students succeed. While many tutors provide lessons and tutoring as a primary or supplemental source of income, the ideal tutor to find will take a vested interest in your child’s progress and have the patience and willingness to do whatever it takes to help your child succeed.  And when you find a tutor like that, you will recognize the difference and the student will also notice the results are measurable as well.

4. Do you have any private tutoring references, or have you worked with students in a similar situation as my child?

Ideally you would find a tutor that is able to provide references and referrals for you to contact.  But they are hard to come by for several reasons.  Not the least of which is that some students or families would prefer to keep their tutoring requirements private.  That’s where an online tutoring source like PrivateTutoringAtHome.com compile lesson ratings and written reviews from actual students who have previously worked with tutors. That allows you to read third-party reviews from parents and students who have worked with a tutor.  It makes it much easier for you to determine what you can expect from a tutor in terms of subject proficiency and personality.  And if you need a tutor, you don’t want to waste time on someone that doesn’t know the material you need to learn or has a different teaching style than will work for your child.  If you choose to hire a tutor on your own rather than through a reputable marketplace, you still want to make sure to ask for references.  Do realize that the reference you receive that way may not be a completely impartial source.

5. How can you help my child become an independent learner?

The most effective and valuable tutoring relationships will help the student become a more engaged, independent learner.  After all, isn’t that what we would all want for our kids?  Memorizing and mastering very specific topics or skills may yield some results, but it is ultimately a short-term solution to the student’s broader educational needs. While certain lessons may focus on a particularly troublesome topic, learning to understand and appreciate the learning process, theory and logic behind concepts will help your child overcome subsequent obstacles, avoid future frustration and flourish as a student.  Looking for your private tutors via our network which includes more than 75,000 active private tutors nationwide in subjects that range from math and science to test preparation and music is sure to offer you a wide range of tutors to help in whatever subject and via any learning style that you may be looking for.

So before you throw in the towel or continue to plow on alone, why not check out some of the private tutors at home that are available today?  You will be amazed at the results that you get!  And don’t forget to let us know how you do in the comments below.

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Words: Paucity to Prodigious

Use some of the words below to describe amounts: “There are SO MANY ants in our yard!”  Sounds much smarter when you say, “There’s a plethora of ants in our yard!”  Say that and you’ll get all the ladies, boys.

  • Paucity; n. Smallness of number.
  • Those in charge of the election were disappointed when they saw the paucity of voters that came.
  • Scarcity of amount.
  • There was a paucity of clean water which caused some panic.
  • Petty; adj. Trivial; of little importance.
  • I am in charge of many things an I must leave the petty details to be taken care of by others.
  • Narrow-minded; shortsighted.
  • Don’t be petty and miss the big picture while being trivial over small details.
  • Mean and grudging.
  • She’s so petty that she’s still mad at me for the wrong I did to her ten years ago.
  • Pittance; n. A very small amount, often referring to an unusually meager amount of money.
  • I only earn a pittance at my current job and that is why I’m looking for new employment.
  • Scant; adj., v. Adjective: Barely sufficient; falling short of a necessary amount; inadequately supplied.
  • Because of the weather, only a scant amount of fans came to the baseball game.
  • Verb: To shortchange or deal with something inadequately or neglectfully.
  • Because of my demanding job, I scant on time with family.
  • Mammoth; n, adj.
  • noun: a great, hairy, prehistoric, elephant-like creature.
  • I have seen a replica of the remains of a prehistoric mammoth.
  • Anything if unusual size.
  • Did you see the mammoth mosquito?

 

  • Adjective: enormous; of great or unusual size or proportions.
  • Driving the enormous truck was a fun experience for me.

 

  • Monumental; adj. Resembling a monument.
  • The monumental gathering for the opening or the store was really fun.

 

  • Exceptionally large, sturdy, or enduring.
  • It may seem like a monumental undertaking but I know it will be worth it to write a book.

 

  • Plethora; n. An excessive amount; a surplus.
  • We had a plethora of jelly beans left over from Easter.

 

  • Prodigious; adj. Excessively great in size, force, or content.
  • The tornado caused such prodigious wind that many trees snapped in half.

 

  • Exceptionally talented.
  • She is a prodigious student in her school. She especially excels in theater.


			
		

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Learning These Words Can Help YOU!

Have you ever read a book in which the vocabulary was so elevated you could barely understand what was going on?  I have and I wanted to quit on the second page.  Learn these words and that is less likely to happen.

  • Dearth; n. A scarcity or lack of supply.
  • During the war, there was a dearth of food storage.

 

  • Diminutive; adj. Very small; tiny. (Diminutive is occasionally used as a noun. It refers to anything that is small or the name given to suffixes on words that indicate smallness. For example, the suffix let is a diminutive. When it is added to a noun, it indicates a smaller version of that noun, such as a booklet or starlet.)
  • She is a diminutive baby, weighing only 4 pounds.

 

  • Infinitesimal; adj. Immeasurably or incalculably small.
  • I never thought we’d be able to study the infinitesimal nucleus of an atom, but with new technology, we can.

 

  • Insignificant; adj. Of little importance or power.
  • My problems seem insignificant when compared to others.
  • Small and not important.
  • The scratch on the paint was insignificant and the owner of the house didn’t make us repaint it.

 

  • Lilliputian; n, adj. Noun: A very tiny person or thing.
  • Compared to the tall basketball player, the children were Lilliputians.
  • Adjective: Small or trivial in size.
  • The Lilliputian house was perfect for the small family.
  • Not important; petty.
  • The discussion was Lilliputian in the midst of the emergency.

 

  • Meager; adj. Scarce in quantity or extent; in short supply.
  • After camping for two weeks, we had a meager supply of food.
  • Deficient in richness or fertility.
  • The soil was meager and so the crops barely grew.

 

  • Minuscule; adj, n. Adjective: Extremely tiny; very small.
  • She used a minuscule amount of frosting on the cake so as to not overpower the people who ate it.
  • Noun: Small, ancient, cursive script.
  • The minuscule writing was hard for me to read.
  • Lowercase letters.
  • A term for lowercase letters is minuscule.

 

  • Minute; adj. Exceptionally small or insignificant.
  • The way he looked at me seemed minute but my friends told me it was significant.
  • Characterized by precise and close scrutiny.
  • I did a minute inspection to make sure they had cleaned properly.

 

  • Mite; n. A very small sum of money.
  • To a widow, a mite may seem like unto a large sum of money to others who have more.
  • A very small creature or object.
  • The small child was a mite compared to the big football players.

 

  • Negligible; adj. Not considered important enough to be worth bothering about; insignificant.
  • The problem was negligible to me, but to the woman next to me it seemed to be important enough for her to cry about.

 

  • Scintilla; n. A minute amount; barely a suggestion; just an inkling or a spark.
  • For a moment I had a scintilla of hope that he loved me, but then I came back to reality.

 

  • Trifling; adj. Of trivial or nonsensical importance; not important and easily dismissed.
  • His trifling plan was impossible to make a reality.

 

  • Trivial; adj. Of little significance or importance; concerned with trivia or inconsequential information; commonplace.
  • I know many trivial facts but I blank on the important ones.

 

  • Ample; adj. Of a large or great size; fully significant, even more than enough.
  • There is an ample amount of love for you here.

 

  • Behemoth; n. Something that is enormous in size and/or power.
  • The giant was a behemoth that terrorized all the towns nearby.

 

  • Colossal; adj. So enormous or gigantic that it seems to defy belief.
  • The colossal monument blew me away.

 

  • Copious; adj. Containing or yielding plenty; bountiful in amount or manner.
  • I have a copious amount of corn from the harvest.

 

  • Gargantuan; adj. Of enormous size, quantity, or volume or capacity.
  • I thought I’d never climb the gargantuan cliff leading to the path.

 

  • Humongous; adj. Gigantic or extremely oversized.
  • I was so hungry I ate the humongous pizza.

 

  • Immeasurable; adj. So vast or limitless in size that measurement is not possible.
  • My love for him is immeasurable.

 

  • Incalculable; adj. Impossible or too great to be calculated or resolved.
  • Incalculable damage came after the hurricane.

 

  • Infinite; adj. immeasurably great or large; having no limits or boundaries.
  • The teacher displayed infinite patience even though the students were rude and restless.

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Words, Words, Words

Virago; n. A woman who is noisy, bold, or domineering.
The man’s wife was a virago. She yelled at him all the time.

A strong, often large, courageous, and brave woman.
She is a virago who is strong in her belief of education. Because of her belief she has opened up her own school.

Brash; adj. Hasty, unthinking, and impetuous; quick to act without considering the consequences.
I made the brash decision to not call on her birthday and now she won’t talk to me.

Capricious; adj. impulsive, whimsical.
My decision to move away from home was capricious but in the end it worked out for the better.

Daring; adj. Willing to take risks; bold and venturesome, sometimes without much sense.
It was daring of me to cliff jump into the ocean.

Derring-do; n. A reckless, daring, or careless action.
My action to skip school was a derring-do.

Plucky; adj. Having or displaying courage, tenacity, and resourcefulness under difficult or trying circumstances.

I will demonstrate my plucky approach to life by laughing all the time throughout my trial of infertility.
Resolute; adj. Firm, determined, and unwavering.
I am resolute in my determination to finish reading this book. I will do it.

Stalwart; adj. Strong, bold, daring, firm, and resolute; having determination and a stick-to-it attitude.
I will stand stalwart in my decision to work from home.

Steadfast; adj. Steady and reliable; dependable even during trying or dangerous times.
She stood steadfast in her value of not doing illegal things. She left the party quickly.

Tenacious; adj. Holding tight; not letting go or yielding to the opposition.
I will not believe he doesn’t love me. I am tenacious in my belief that he still cares.

Valiant; adj. Brave; full of valor and courage.
The valiant soldier did not run but stayed to fight.

 

Audacious; adj. Fearlessly bold; possibly even foolhardy and daring.

Her audacious behavior was helpful when she needed to stand up for her value.

Unrestrained by convention or propriety; insolent.
Her audacious outburst embarrassed me at dinner.

Spirited and original.
She is audacious in her bohemian style.
Bravado; n. A tendency toward showy defiance or false expressions of courage.
At the haunted house, I displayed bravado even though I was terrified.

Dauntless; adj. Not easily intimidated; courageous and brave.
I wish to be more dauntless and ask him out on a date.
Defiance; n. Bold resistance; brave opposition.
He withstood the bullying defiantly.

Arrogant attitude, often rude and dismissive.
He acted in complete defiance as he left and broke the rule.

Fortitude; n. Showing great strength and bravery under adverse conditions such as pain and torture.
I admired how she pressed forward with such fortitude during her trials.

Gallant; adj. Bold and dashing.
The gallant prince carried me over the mud puddle.

Bravely daring; selflessly courageous.
They made a gallant attempt to save the girl but with no success.

Stately; majestic; seemingly regal in demeanor.
That gallant china doll was very expensive.
Intrepid; adj. Courageous; acting with much determination and little fear.
She was an intrepid person to be one of the first to settle in Nevada.

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Critical Reasoning Question Types-Strengthen Or Weaken Questions Pt 2

Kaplan Strategy

For a Strengthen or Weaken Question, keep the following in mind:

  • Weakening an argument is not the same as disproving a conclusion-and strengthening is not the same as proving.  A weakener tips the scale toward doubting the conclusion, while a strengthener tips the scale toward believing in the validity of the conclusion;
  • The wording will always take the form of, “Which one of the following, if true, would most [weaken or strengthen] the argument?”  The “if true” part means that you have to accept the validity of the choice right off the bat, no matter how unlikely is may sound.
  • Wrong answer choices in these questions often have the opposite of the desired effect.  So if you’re asked to strengthen a stimulus argument, a wrong choice will likely contain information that actually weakens the argument.  And when asked to weaken a stimulus, one answer choice is sure to strengthen the argument.  Pay attention to what the question stem is asking.

Sample Stems

The stems associated with these two question types are usually self-explanatory.  Here’s a list of what you can expect to see on Test Day:

Weaken:

  • Which one of the following, if true, would most weaken the argument above?
  • Which one of the following, if true, would most seriously damage the argument above?
  • Which one of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the argument above?
  • Which one of the following, if true, is the most serious criticism of the argument above?

Strengthen:

  • Which of the following, if true, would most strengthen the argument?
  • Which of the following, if true, would provide the most support for the conclusion in the argument above?
  • The argument above would be more persuasive if which one of the following were found to be true?

It’s also common that the question stem explicitly refers to part of the argument.  You might, for example, see the following:

Which of the following, if true, casts the most doubt on the author’s conclusion that the Brookdale Public Library does not meet the requirements of the new building code?

This example illustrates another advantage of Basic Principle 2: Reading the question stem first.  Here we would be told outright what the author’s conclusion is, making the reading of the stimulus much easier to manage.

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