Category Archives: Study Skills Training

Study Tips to Help Students Excel in High School

Using proven study tips can help students achieve academic goals.

In high school, the pressure is on. Good grades and extracurricular activities are all geared towards getting into the college of your dreams. With the extra work load of advanced classes and, for many students, a part-time job, the need to effectively complete assignments and study becomes harder still. However, a few pieces of advice can help any student do better in school.

1.  Time management is your most important skill.

Frequently, a high school student comes home with what seems to be an insurmountable amount of homework. “How am I ever going to get it all done?” they ask, and then wind up being unable to complete any of it because of disorganization. Simply being able to pause, and plan out what needs to be completed in the available time should see every assignment completed, with spare time left over for all-important socializing and recreation.

2.  Work on your studies every day.

Cramming and pulling all-nighters may seem like the cool thing to do, but they are counterproductive. Simple things like reviewing your notes each night can keep the material fresh in your mind, retained in your memory and eliminate the need for panicked last-minute attempts to memorize everything.

3.  Stay organized.

It is very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of paperwork, textbooks and notebooks that high school requires. Keeping it all organized will better allow you to find needed information so that you can use it for studying. Also, nothing tanks your grade faster than missed homework assignments. Adding a bunch of needless zeros into your grade can drop an A down to a C (or worse) very quickly.

4.  Participate in class.

This may sound like common sense, but when you actively participate in class discussions and activities, you retain more of the information that is being presented. Contributing to the class and paying attention will have your mind thinking about the material, not just passively absorbing information that will soon be forgotten.

5.  Set goals for yourself.

No one plans to fail, but committing yourself towards a desired end will motivate you to try your best to make those goals a reality. Just remember to make sure that you set reasonable goals. Setting an unreasonable goal will only result in failure. If this happens, you will be even more frustrated and disappointed. Figure out a good set of goals, and work hard to achieve them

6.  Learn how to take good notes.

Being able to follow a discussion and jot down the most important points is one skill that you will definitely need in college. High school allows you the opportunity to learn and refine this skill. Your teacher can always help you improve your note taking, and comparing notes with other classmates can reinforce important concepts.

High school is an important time in your education. Parents and teacher expect you to work independently and complete assignments on time. With the right attitude and the belief that you can do well, these study tips can help put you on the path of high school success.

Tips to Help Students with Learning Disabilities Study

Students with learning disabilities do well with the right supports and study skills appropriate to their learning style.

Learning disabilities can be challenging for students, but they are not impossible barriers to education. With the right supports, every child can learn. When it comes to studying, coping with a learning disability often means finding the right strategy for the student. The right strategy and a lot of patience can mean the difference between success and failure. The following tips can help parents and students succeed.

Tip #1 – Get organized.

School often means an overwhelming amount of paperwork. Helping your child keep everything organized goes a long way when it comes time to study. Having separate notebooks and folders for each class allows important papers to be at the ready when it comes time to study. Have a dedicated space for homework and studying at home, and make it a routine part of every day.

Tip #2 – Know how your child learns best.

Everyone learns differently. Some children are visual learners, some are kinesthetic learners. You know your child better than anyone else, and know how he or she thinks. Playing to your child’s strengths will help reinforce classroom material and make retention easier.

Tip #3 – Break it down.

Children with learning disabilities often do not know what to study, let alone how to study. These children need explicit information. Talk to your child’s teacher about the specific areas to concentrate on for tests, and review your child’s text books to see what information is being taught.

Tip #4 – Make learning familiar and fun.

One of the best ways to remember facts is to come up with anagrams, word associations, and silly phrases that stick in the brain. Do you remember how to spell “arithmetic”? Maybe not, but you might be able to remember that “A Rat In Tom’s House May Eat Tom’s Ice Cream.” There are lots of memory devices available to help children remember all sorts of complicated facts.

Tip #5 – Develop test taking strategies.

Sometimes, being able to pass a test is about strategy. When it comes to answering questions, teach your child to concentrate on the answers that they are sure of, eliminating some of the choices. With multiple choice questions, remember that one answer is usually obviously wrong. Read the question and answer carefully in order to narrow down the possible correct answer.

Tip #6 – Look at the big picture.

Parents of children with learning disabilities are often focused on the immediate goal. Getting through the third grade may be challenging enough as it is. But the most important thing to remember is that you are preparing your child for the rest of his or her life. Being successful in life requires a healthy, positive attitude and the willingness to work hard. These are attributes that are not measured on tests.

School is difficult enough for most children. Children with learning disabilities often have to work twice as hard, but they can succeed. Set goals, stay positive, and stay focused on what is most important, and your child will succeed not just in school, but in life.

 

Preparing for the GED the Right Way

Passing the GED exam requires strong study skills and preparation.

Everyone deserves a second chance. That is why the General Educational Development (GED) test exists, the only high school equivalency exam recognized in all 50 states and Canada. The GED is actually five tests, measuring knowledge in social studies, science, mathematics, reading and writing. All of the tests are multiple choice, except the writing test, which requires an essay.

Because the total exam takes over seven hours, test takers may approach the GED with some anxiety. However, just a few simple study tips can have you ready for the GED in no time at all.

Become Familiar With the Exam

Because there are seven sections, make sure your studying covers all of the areas. Look over not only what the test covers, but how the exam is structured. Becoming familiar with the exam will help reduce test anxiety and boost your confidence before you sit down to take the real thing.

Review Different Prep Books

Your local library or bookstore should have several different GED prep books. Try looking through a few of them to see which ones may prove helpful to you. Not every book will be useful for every individual, but one or two should provide a fair amount of information that can help you prepare.

Find a GED Prep Class

The web is a great resource for finding a GED prep class in your area. Some GED prep classes can even be taken online, allowing you to work from the convenience of your home and at your own pace. Instructors who are familiar with the GED exam can help you strengthen the areas where you require more study, which will increase the chance of you passing on the first try.

Don’t Be Afraid to Take the Exam More than Once

You know the old saying: “If at first you don’t succeed…” Hopefully, you’ve prepared enough to pass the first time. If, however, you need to take the GED exam more than once, don’t let it get you down. Consider the first try to be practice, and concentrate on the areas where you did not do as well as expected. Nothing in life ever comes easy, why should the GED be any different?

Practice, Practice, Practice.

There are lots of practice versions of the GED exam available. Work through the practice questions without timing yourself, just to get comfortable with the format and material. Then try a few timed runs to see if you are ready. Practice does make perfect, and the better prepared you are, the more confident you will be at exam time.

Relax

Make sure you build some free time into your study schedule. Take a break, allow your mind to relax and come back to your studying when you are refreshed. Get a good night’s sleep before the exam and have confidence in your ability to pass. If you’ve studied and feel that you are ready, chances are that you will do well.

Managing Your Fear of the SAT

You need to study for the SAT if you expect to get a score high enough to help you get into the college of your choice. Expert tutors can help you with test prep.

You need to study for the SAT if you expect to get a score high enough to help you get into the college of your choice. Expert tutors can help you.

SAT can be quite the terror for students who are trying to get into college. There’s a lot riding on your SAT scores. Your future depends on it, so this is definitely not a test to take lightly. The SAT affects your college admission, and it may very well affect your chance for a scholarship.

This is not a test you can cram for.

The SAT covers a wide range of content and it is not a test that you can study for overnight. If cramming for exams is your forte, you might want to pick up a new skill called “studying a few months in advance”. The most ideal situation is for you to study consistently throughout the year, but we know that ideal situations do not always happen, so set aside 2 to 3 months before the SAT and go through all the materials you have been taught.

Know what you are up against.

As mentioned, the SAT is a massive test. It comprises of different sections which will test you on different subjects and skills. It is beneficial to know what the SAT is made up of. Go through each component to see what is required of you in each section. This way you can be sure of what you should be studying and what you should be leaving out. By dissecting the SAT, you are able to see which sections are your strengths and which are your weaknesses. From there, you can adjust your study plans accordingly.

Practice makes perfect.

As cliche as this may sound, practice does makes perfect. Attempt a couple of SAT practice tests and see which are the sections you are comfortable with, and which sections you need more practice in. Taking the practice SAT tests also can prepare you for the similar kind of questions you will be expecting on the real SAT test. Take this opportunity to manage your time spent on the tests as this will allow you to gauge the speed at which you should be going at in order to complete the test in the stipulated time.

Study hard, study smarter.

There are a bunch of SAT strategies and tips to help make your SAT less difficult. Remember these strategies and try to apply them when you are in doubt. Of course, these strategies and tips cannot replace hard work – they can only complement your knowledge. For example, if you are in doubt, you should not leave the question blank. If you leave it blank, it is a definite wrong answer, but if you tried to answer it, there is a 1 in 4 chance that it might be correct. Another strategy might be to use the process of elimination. Cross out the choices that you think are wrong, until you arrive at the least incorrect answer.

If you need help with your SAT test prep, contact us for private tutoring.

Ways Students with Learning Disabilities Can Improve SAT Test Scores

Students with learning disabilities may need extra help to study for college entrance exams. Your teacher and a tutor are great resources to consider.

Students with learning disabilities may need extra help to study for college entrance exams. Your teacher and a tutor are great resources to consider.

Studying can be quite a challenging task for all students because of reasons like lack of interest and short attention span. Studying is even more difficult when you combine the two reasons above with learning disabilities. Here are some tips on how students with learning disabilities can study better and hence, score good grades on big exams like the SAT.

Identify the Problem

The first thing to do is to pinpoint what the problem is. For example, the problem could be an extremely short attention span. If you know what the problem is, you can find the right approach to deal with it. If you spend most of your days studying but you are not getting the results you want, it could mean that you do not have the right study skills. Pay attention to yourself and find out what your problem is.

Organize Content You Need to Study

For exams such as the SAT, it is usually very taxing content-wise. There are a lot of materials and topics to study for. This can get very confusing and discouraging for a student with learning disabilities. The solution to this problem is to be very organized. List all the subjects and topics that are required for the SAT, and check them off one by one as you move along on your revision route. This way, you will feel like there is less clutter and things are more systematic.

Listen up!

Teachers are the experienced exam-takers. They are a great source for clues and tips for your big exam. More often than not, teachers may drop hints about important information on what to focus on and what to spend less time studying for. Try to pick out verbal cues from your teachers. Clues can be words such as “write this down” or “listen up”. When you hear your teachers say these verbal cues, be sure to write it down, mark it or flag the pages so that you know what you should be studying.

Don’t Forget the “Cheat Sheets”

Yes, there are cheat sheets available. They are located at the end of every chapter in your textbooks. These cheat sheets are called “chapter review”. Textbooks these days offer these review pages with questions you can answer. If you have trouble with chunks of texts in your textbooks, the important parts of the chapter will be highlighted in this review portion. Be sure to take note of what is mentioned in the review pages, and then go back to the chapter and read up on it again, this time, paying more attention to the new information you have just learned. The questions in the review sections are also helpful – they can help you see how much you have understood from reading the chapter as well as summarizes the entire chapter.

Tips on Balancing a Job and Preparing for the GED Exam

Getting your GED expands your job opportunities. Tutoring can help you pass the exam the first time you take it!

Getting your GED expands your job opportunities. Tutoring can help you pass the exam the first time you take it!

Taking the GED test is an important step for many who did not complete high school.  Passing this test certifies that your “General Education Development” is equivalent to a high-school senior who graduates through a traditional school system. For people whose education got interrupted for any number of reasons, they can obtain this equivalency and pursue further studies or career goals. Most employers and colleges consider the certificates based on passing of GED to be an equivalent of high-school graduation. The GED test is designed to test the capability of a candidate in Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science. Taking practice tests and then following up with study of the material equivalent to the school curriculum is the best way to get ready for it.

GED 2014 Version

GED tests have been revised several times since they were first made available. The last revision was in 2002 to bring it up to the latest standards in schools. Prior to this, it was found that a large majority of the test takers look at it as a means to access higher education. Only about 30% of the test takers considered GED certification as a means to better employment. This is contrary to expectations on which this test was introduced. It was thought a candidate with an education equivalent to a high school graduate will help open up employment opportunities. This test is expected to be revised in January 2014. It is being redesigned to better test for college preparedness. More importantly, the test will not be on paper any more but will be taken interactively on computers. This is a significant change for test takers.

Preparing for the GED

People planning to take the GED are those whose high school studies have been interrupted. They will have some catching up to do depending on how long they have been out of the school system or when their home schooling stopped. It is possible they may not be familiar with computers the way school students are. So, in addition to preparing for the Math, Science, Social Studies and the reading and writing, they must catch up with computer usage very quickly. If you are already using a computer on your job, this process will be much easier for you. The computer training does not need to be extensive. You simply need to be able to use the computer sufficiently to answer questions timely. The best strategy is to take online practice tests.

If you have a job, it is recommended you develop a study plan. You will need to balance the demands of your test prep with the time you must spend on the job. Whether you are brushing up and adding to your subject knowledge or preparing for the practice tests, private tutoring can help you score higher on your test. We offer private test prep tutoring here to students who want to pass the GED test the first time they take it. Contact us today!

Tips for Helping Teens in Foster Care with Homework

Teens in foster care benefit from tutoring as well as structured homework time.

Teens in foster care benefit from tutoring as well as structured and consistent homework time.

It is common for youth in foster care to be behind their peers academically. Although younger children may be more willing to spend time on homework, teens in foster care may rebel against foster parents or guardians who try to get them focused on academic goals. In-home tutoring can provide the motivation teens need to do well in school. Tutors with experience working with kids who are several grades behind where they should be can boost a child’s confidence and get them thinking about their future.

However, a tutor cannot be with your foster child all the time. There are steps you can take to provide an environment conducive to learning. Here’s how foster parents and guardians can help teens with homework without turning these after-school study sessions into a dreaded war of wills:

Be Organized

Homework hour is all about making sure your teen has sufficient time to complete assigns while he still has energy. Make sure your chores are completed beforehand so she has your undivided attention if she needs it. Turn off the television and eliminate other distractions that can interrupt a teen’s concentration. Actions counter to these recommendations send a message to your child that homework isn’t a priority.

Be Consistent

Establishing a reliable routine is just as important as helping your teen with homework. Set a designated time and place for schoolwork. Have everything your child needs at hand, including reference books, a computer, dictionary, and writing paper. Your child has a limited attention span, so don’t waste it by having him hunt around for an eraser.

Take a Break

After school, give your teen some downtime before hitting the books again at home. Have a healthy snack while chatting about her day at school. Discover what she learned in class and if she faced problems during a particular lesson. Reassure her that homework reinforces learning. This is your opening to start the day’s assignments.

Learn the Lesson

Nothing frustrates a teen more than a difficult homework assignment and nothing annoys you more that not being able to help her. Take time to study the material before trying to teach your child how to find the correct answers. If you don’t understand the lesson, find someone who does. An in-home or online tutor can provide assistance when you need it.

Think Outside the Box

Learning should be fun. Change settings by doing homework at the library instead of at home. Experiment with various methods of imparting the same knowledge to your child and see which ones work best to help her understand her homework.

Limit Homework Time

Your teen has spent almost an entire day in school, learning many subjects in a closed classroom environment. At home, keep homework time between 15 to 20 minute increments. Forcing your tired child to spend longer than 20 minutes on homework may produce resentment against extra assignments and discourage learning in general.

Offer Constructive Feedback

If your child has a tough time with a particular task, be patient and suggest different approaches to the problem instead of berating his inability to find a solution. Remember that homework is practice for what your child has already learned in class. Go through the lesson with her briefly before taking another shot at the answer.

Monitor Progress

Keep tabs on your teen’s progress in school. His struggle with homework may point towards learning difficulties during class. Discuss the issue with his teachers or attend parent-teacher meetings to find out more about the teaching methods employed in school and ways you can help at home.

Tutoring can help teens in foster care catch up with their peers and prepare them for graduation. Contact us today if your teen needs tutoring!

How Online Tutoring Can Make Positive Inroads in Educating Children

Online tutoring is a convenient and effective way for students to get the academic help they need.

Thanks to the developments in technology, it is possible to pursue education through the internet in the form of online tutoring. Students learn their subjects in a virtual environment, which is much different from the traditional tutoring setting. Where the student lives does not make a difference because students can learn and study anywhere as long as they have Internet access.

Online tutoring can help all types of students.  Students struggle in school for various reasons. A particular subject might prove to be tough for some students, while some students will require more time to grasp a subject. These factors are easily addressed with online tutoring.

Following are reasons to consider this type of tutoring:

Tutors are Available for Various Subjects

First and foremost, learning through the Internet provides your child with the ability to learn many subjects conveniently and effectively. The student can change the subject with each tutoring session or get help in the same subject with multiple online tutoring sessions. Many students tend to find a particular subject hard to grasp. With online tutoring, students get to spend as much time they want on a subject.

Excellent Education Right in Your Home

Traditional education has a pattern, which some might find de-motivating. You have to attend classes that are time-limited which might interfere with your child’s learning. Online education provides your child with the freedom to choose their own schedule and learn right from home.

Quality Teachers Make Learning Fun

Online teachers are highly qualified. When learning through online tutoring, your child can discuss one-on-one with these teachers who provide instruction. It is often easier for your child to learn in this type of setting. Tutors are experienced in their subject areas and know how to interact with different types of students. In a one-on-one session, your child will be provided a comfortable environment where he or she will feel comfortable discussing the subject. It is not possible in a traditional classroom where a single teacher has to handle thirty or more students. They are not be able to address students individually.

Students Can Clearup Doubts Before Exams

Finally, students can address any questions they might have before exams. Getting answers to last-minute questions can boost the confidence of students before they have to go to school. Many students simply do not feel comfortable asking questions in class or talking to their teacher after class. Online tutoring is a safe place for students to get the help they need!

Beyond In-Home Tutoring: Ways to Help Your Teen Improve Math Skills

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help your teen improve math skills today!

Take advantage of all of the resources available to help your teen improve math skills today!

Math is one of the most challenging subjects in school and a source of endless nightmares for teens and parents alike. Parents who have struggled through their own bad experiences with math may resist helping their teens who need help with math homework. Although in-home tutoring can certainly address your teen’s immediate need for homework help, there are steps you can take to help him improve his math skills outside of formal learning sessions.

Use Math Daily: Show your teen how math is important in everyday life by proposing numerical questions regularly. Take her grocery shopping and have her estimate the total cost before you actually check out. Ask her to calculate the final cost of a sale item when you take her to the mall. Using math daily trains your child to think numerically, laying a good foundation for solving math questions in school and later in life.

Make Math a Priority: Give her practice worksheets on days she doesn’t have math homework. There’s no one way to approach a mathematical problem. If your teen is stuck, help her work at it from another angle or us a different approach like drawing a diagram. Work the problem as thoroughly as possible.

Skip the Problem: Math problems should only take a minute or so to complete, and homework assignments shouldn’t take longer than 20 minutes to complete. Let your teen know it is okay to skip a problem and return to it after she has completed the remaining problems. Spending too much time on a problem causes your teen to become frustrated which can result in unnecessary errors.

Refer to Examples: Go through the math lesson for the day with your teen and look at sample problems that she may have done in class. Refer to the sample when your child starts her homework and guide her towards the solution without actually telling her what to do.

Make Memory Aids: Math is all about numbers and formulas that may be too overwhelming for your teen to retain. Make memory aids that she can review at a glance to remind herself of how a particular problem should be solved.

Learn, Practice, and Practice Some More: Practice makes perfect. Assisting your child with homework reinforces class lessons but without regular review, your teen may still forget what she has learned. Set time aside to go over the week’s key math lessons. A brief oral test can indicate how well your teen understands the math concepts she is learning.

Encourage Group Study: Teens are extremely social. Let her invite some friends over to figure out the math homework together. Help them stay on track by leading them in a discussion of the questions and their proposed solutions. Praise their efforts and reward them with a snack and free time once they’re done with their homework.

Take Advantage of the internet: Educational websites provide a wealth of information and resources you and your teen can use. If you are having trouble with a particular math problem, find help by searching the Internet using keywords in the math problem. Never copy solutions from the Internet, but use them to help your teen better understand a problem and its solution.

Our math tutors have experience providing homework help to teens. Learn more about in-home tutoring for teens by contacting us today!

Practical Advice When Learning through Online Tutoring

Online tutoring will only benefit students who are serious about learning and have strong time management skills.

Though online tutoring is extremely beneficial, students still need to put in the effort to make sure grades improve. Consider the following advice when considering online tutoring.

Learn Time Management

To succeed in school, you need to practice time management. You opted to learn online because you felt it could help you out. But, it might not, if you cannot manage your time effectively. Since you will be learning through the Internet, you might not think it requires you to be as serious as you would need to be if you met a tutor face-to-face. You might feel like watching television or playing a video game. This is when you need to learn how to discipline yourself and set a time period where you are going to make yourself study. No matter the tasks or personal commitments you have, you will want to follow your tutoring schedule to ensure you get the expected results.

Retain Course Content

Sometimes you will find yourself not able to recollect what you learned several weeks or even days ago. When that is the case, you will want to rewrite what is being taught in your own words. When you write in your own words, you are able to retain what you learned in an efficient way. You can try out different methods to see what will work for you. Some students like to rewrite material immediately following a tutoring sessions while others prefer to wait a day or so.

Remain Motivated

When you are learning through online tutoring, you might find it difficult to remain motivated, especially if you feel you are needing to review the same material over and over again. Participating in a small group might be exactly what you need to stay motivated. You can always change tutors if your tutor is not engaging enough.

Online tutoring is a fun way to learn. When you stay focused on your tasks, you are headed in the right direction.  You have a better chance of succeeding when you get serious about your learning!