Jennifer’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Jennifer’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
Algebra 1 is where you are solving problems involving an unknown number called a variable, usually designated x or y. Often, your job is to figure out what the number is.
Unlike in earlier basic math classes, the problems usually have more than one step. Beginning students often run into trouble when they try to skip steps, or forget which order to do the steps in. Mastering algebra requires doing lots of problems, often with someone prompting you as to what step to do in which order. I have lots of experience walking students through these steps. Contrary to what many beginning students have told me at first, algebra really is possible, and just about anybody can get the hang of it with enough supervised practice.
Ah, anatomy. All the mindless memorizing you could ever want, and more.
Fortunately there are a few tricks to cut down on the monotony. For starters, if you have ever studied a romance language, it helps to remember that the root words of many anatomical terms are based on Latin. Therefore these root words are often similar to the Spanish/French/Creole/etc., but not English, word for that body part. For example, the root word for liver, hepato, is similar to the Spanish word, higado. Also, if you can remember both the origin and insertion of a muscle, it is often possible to deduce the action by remembering that muscles always work by contracting.
I can walk you through these short cuts, as well as a few handy mnemonics, but it is still a lot of memorizing.
The ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Battery, is the test given to everyone seeking to enlist in any branch of the military. What career options will be open to you in the military, or even whether or not you will be allowed to enlist in a particular branch of the military at all, is dependent on your ASVAB score, so it is very important to do well.
The ASVAB consists of eight sections: general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, mathematics knowledge, electronics information, auto and shop information and mechanical comprehension. To help figure out which of these areas you most need to study, I would recommend doing the practice problems available for free at www.asvabprogram.com (go to ASVAB Test Information link under Aptitude Test) before contacting me.
I was a college biology major, and as such have taken coursework in most of the major subdisciplines including ecology, anatomy/physiology, cell, genetics, biochemistry and even nematology. (In case you are wondering, nematodes are a type of worm.)
What learning biology entails really depends on which type of biology you are studying; it is indeed a huge field. Anatomy and some types of field ecology are mostly memorizing (lots of muscles or lots of birds), whereas genetics is all about knowing how to set up the problem.
High school biology is usually a mix of cell, maybe a little molecular, basic Mendalian genetics, some anatomy/physiology and ecology. If you are doing the old dissect the mouse exercise, you may have to do some memorizing, but it is not nearly as much as college anatomy. I can help you understand the concepts so you don't get bogged down in the details.
Undergraduate and even high school chemistry involves a lot of applied math. You have to understand how to translate the chemistry concept into a mathematical equation. The math isn't even that advanced, if you passed Algebra 1 and can multiply fractions you should be OK. Many students get stuck on how to set up the equations. I can walk you through this.
There is also some fairly theoretical material. The problem with chemistry is that you can't see an atom, and quantum mechanics does not always correlate with common sense. (What do you mean you can't know where the electron is at a particular time?)
My current day job involves helping a non profit set up a GED class, so I am quite familiar with the test. Basically, it is a test of your ability to read, write and do math at the level of an average high school senior. Though there are sections on social studies and science, the answer to the question is always given in the reading passage or graph provided. You just have to know how to find it.
The same advice I gave about the ASVAB applies here as well: if you have not already attempted the GED then please take a practice test first to nail down your weaknesses. Even if you already have a pretty good idea of where your weaknesses are, this will still help you become more familiar with the format of the test questions. Email me, I can shoot you a list of sites where you can find freebie online practice GED questions.
I took a class in genetics in college, and then studied medical genetics in medical school as well. High school and undergrad genetics is basically the laws of probability applied to a biological problem. Unlike a lot of other subjects in biology, there isn't really that much to memorize. The math in basic genetics isn't really that hard either; if you can remember what you learned in elementary school about fractions, ratios and percents you should be OK. The key to solving the problems is first of all knowing how to read the question carefully and figure out what it is asking (yes trick questions are popular here) and then being able to set up the problem correctly. I can walk you through both.
I passed the MCAT myself several years ago, with a score of 35, so I am familiar with the test. Oddly enough, a lot of what is on it is not what you will actually be studying in med school. (No, doctors do not need to know orbital mechanics.) Nor is it, for the most part, a measure of your ability to cram facts in your head. (Don't worry, you'll get to USMLE Step 1 soon enough; that's mostly memorizing everything you did learn in the first 2 years of med school.)
What the MCAT does measure is your ability to read scientific literature and synthesize it with what you already know. You need to be able to pick facts out of the passage, and figure out which physics or chemistry formula to plug them into. In a similar vein, the Verbal section is a test of your ability to analyze a, this time non technical, written piece.
I took a couple classes in Microbio in undergrad, and studied the subject in medical school as well. There is some conceptual material, but it is mostly just memorizing the properties of different microbes. I can show you how to break the information down into categories, so the memorizing is not so overwhelming.
I studied pharmacology in medical school. Understanding pharmacology involves, first of all, a basic understanding of physiology. You need to understand how the biological process operates in the absence of the drug before you can understand the affect of the drug.
There is some math involved. Pharmacokinetics is the most difficult, it corresponds to high school Algebra 1 or maybe Algebra 2. Calculating dose per kilo is easier; that's basically just multiplication. I can certainly walk you through these calculations.
Physical science is a general term for anything that is science but is not biology. A class in physical science will include several, but not necessarily all, of the following: physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology. Generally, survey classes like this are more concerned with teaching general principals rather than having you memorize a bunch of details. Even though physics and chemistry involve a lot of math if studied in more depth, in any sort of general science class the teacher will usually make an effort to minimize the math. I can help you understand and apply the concepts so that you do not get bogged down in the details.
Physiology is the conceptual side of anatomy. This time, instead of just memorizing what's there, the focus is on how the body works. There is some math involved; so long as you have a solid grasp of basic algebra, i.e. graphs and plugging variables into equations you should be fine. Students do sometimes get stuck linking a graph or equation to process taking place in the actual organism; I can help talk you through this.
Prealgebra is both a review of basic math and an introduction to basic algebraic concepts. As for the former, it is extremely important to have a solid grasp of fractions, ratios, percents and negative numbers before embarking on algebra. I can certainly help you review whichever of the above you need help with. For a description of basic algebra, please see algebra subject description.