My top tips for 'outside the box' -
1. If possible 'interview' the student by phone before the first lesson to establish a bit of a rapport, and to show that you are there as the student's tutor, not the parents' ally.
2. Bring chocolate if you are having a long session, once you have asked if your student likes chocolate. I believe in rewards for hard work, and a 90 minute plus session is hard work!
3. I give students some tools for instant relaxation, which they all enjoy learning.
4. Often, especially with anxious students, I help them with visualization of a successful test report coming in the mail!
5. I make sure that the last 2-3 minutes are used to record the homework, and to note what pages we left off, if we were in the middle of a review section.
Re how I tutor for math:
My approach is to individualize the lessons - first do a diagnostic assessment of what areas...
read more

Some basic tips for students preparing for the SAT exams.
If your goal is to score high on the exams (and who doesn't want to score high) then you must start preparing early and spend the time. The preparation must be organized into a daily study schedule with a detailed list of tasks. A high score on the SAT
translates directly into money in your financial aid package in college.
How to organize the preparation:
1. Study time should be scheduled for the time when you are most alert. For most people, this is the morning hours and it is entirely possible to study an hour before the start of the school day - if you go to sleep early.
2. Cut back or eliminate other social activities to properly prepare for the SAT
3. Purchase a preparatory book (used from Amazon is ideal) and use that book to organize a daily schedule for studying
4. Read printed material that you DON'T like - especially newspapers like the New York Times, Washington...
read more

The answer is “Yes” you can learn Cryptography from these videos, but honestly you are going to need a real degree to do the real stuff. You can find out that number theory and probability theory are used.
Their video says, “a lock is only as strong as its weakest point” and suggests that conceptually codes may be reduced to fingerprints. I learned its called Frequency Analysis when you count repetitions, presumably with the purpose of breaking a code. It helps
if you have some practice. I have some through my classes and standardized tests.
There is believe it or not some code braking on tests like The SAT and the SHSAT. On The SAT it was an advanced problem.
I used the following technique to solve the SAT problem: serially shift and algebraically move, decode from a latin alphabet to a numerical one. This is problem 16 page 418 from ISBN-13: 978-0-87447-852-5, The College Board’s The Official SAT Study Guide:
A four-digit integer, WXYZ, in which...
read more

Well, the new school year has started, and that means SAT test dates are fast approaching. In fact, the first one is this coming weekend. To anyone taking the SAT on Saturday, good luck! Remember to get a good night's sleep on Friday!
If you are thinking about applying to college in the next few years, it might be time to schedule an SAT date! Remember, you can retake the test as many times as you need to, so don't be afraid to schedule an early date.
Also, remember that the big SAT Redesign will be kicking into effect in the Spring of 2016, so if you are in the class of 2016 you may want to start your testing early, to make sure you have time to retake the current style of test and not have to relearn everything
for a completely new test the following year.
This semester's SAT test dates and registration deadlines are as follows:
October 11th – Registration ends September 12th
November 8th – Registration ends October 9th
December...
read more

For many students in the surrounding Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties welcome back to the classrooms! if you have any difficulties in class, do not hesitate to let your teachers or your parents know so that they can find you the most appropriate level
of help before it is later in the school year and you end up being in failure of being promoted! I can't wait to see how I am able to help this school year!

Test anxiety can impact everyone. However, with a few strategies, you can overcome these anxieties and excel on your next standardized assessment.
Should you guess?
This is a choice you will need to make based on the assessment you are taking. For certain tests, such as the Praxis, you are scored based only on your correct answers. However, keep the guessing to a minimum. On the SAT, you lose 1/4 of a point for an
incorrect answer, but if you leave it blank, you lose 1 point. So guessing should be used as a last resort. Obviously, you should not guess on too many questions. Which leads me to...
Should you omit questions?
Only skip questions you find extremely difficult. Use other strategies to help you determine if you can, in fact, answer these questions before omitting them. However, do not spend too much time using these
strategies, as time is limited.
Should...
read more

Normally, an equation has a single solution when it contains only one undefined variable. For example, take the equation 3x + 7 = 19.
3x + 7 = 19 [original equation]
3x = 12 [subtracted 7 from both sides]
x = 4 [divided both sides by 3]
This is one case of a larger trend in algebra. As I've already said, you can solve an equation for one answer when it contains a single variable. However, this is derived from the larger rule that you can solve a set of equations where there are as many
distinct equations as there are variables. These are called simultaneous equations, and occur any time that two equations are both true over a certain domain. In the more practical sense, this is what you should do if an exam asks you to solve for a value
and gives you two different equations to use.
To solve simultaneous equations, we can use three strategies...
read more

Practice is the key to SAT mastery. No matter what preparatory course you take, what tutor you hire, or what study guides you purchase, all of your resources are for naught if you don’t devote significant time and effort towards practice exams.
Knocking out a healthy load of practice tests is particularly important for standardized exams. Why? Because standardization means that the test makers (a.k.a. the College Board) are bound by an obligatory adherence to consistency. As such, from year to year,
while the precise questions vary, the core subjects and concepts are constant. Moreover, the style of questions is uniform. Translation: the more questions you see, the fewer curve balls can be hurled your way. With enough practice, you can familiarize yourself
with the majority of possible question types, which will (1) improve your test taking abilities and (2) bolster your confidence come test day.
Another reason why practice tests are so important is that they...
read more

Nailing an 800 on the math portion of the SAT can be a tricky feat, even if you are steadfastly familiar with all of the requisite formulas and rules. A difficult problem can overwhelm even the most prepared individual come test day. Time constraints,
test surroundings, and the overall weight of the exam can unnerve the most grounded students.
So what do you do when panic strikes and your mind draws a blank? How do you re-center yourself and charge forward with ferocity and confidence? What you do is this: write everything down from the problem. This is the most important part of the problem solving
process. As you peruse the question, write down the pertinent data and establish relationships by setting up equations. This exercise will help you see solutions that were previously difficult to decipher.
As you work on practice tests and sample problems, you must work diligently to form a solid habit of writing down important bits of information as you plow through...
read more

The “silly mistake” is quite possibly the most mischievous and irksome of the math demons. It is a sly beast that lurks in the deepest recesses of your mind, emerging only periodically to sully your scores in a most disturbing way. Because of its crafty
nature, it is able to lull you into the false belief that your thorough understanding of mathematic concepts will keep you safe from its clutches. But, as I’m sure you know, “silly mistakes” afflict even the most soundly prepared students.
What exactly constitutes a “silly mistake?” Here are some common examples for standardized tests:
Misreading the question (or failing to read the entire instructions)
Filling in the wrong bubble on your answer sheet
Making a slight arithmetic error
Incorrectly copying down the original problem
Turning a negative number into a positive number (or vice versa)
I don’t care who you are, what your educational background is, or where you go to school… you have been...
read more

Hey folks, I am sure many of you have plans of going to college or finishing up that last hectic year of school. Well with these endeavors comes not only tests and quizzes created by books and your professors/teachers, but you also have to take nation
and statewide test in order to pass and/or qualify for a position in a higher learning institute. Such tests include the SAT, ACT, MCAT, etc. What you want to remember about taking these tests is that these tests are testing you ability to locate small mistakes
and easy to miss information. They also want you to understand this material. You have to be prepared for these easy to miss situations. For example, I am sure you all have done a math question, felt like you did it perfectly correct only to find out that
you actually got it incorrect. Furthermore, the answer you got appeared as one of the answer choices! Or you were on the right track to answering correctly, but made...
read more

The news broke recently that the College Board is once again changing the SAT. These new changes, scheduled to be implemented in spring 2016, represent a pretty large departure from the SAT of the past. The College Board states that this new SAT will “ask
students to apply a deep understanding of the few things shown by current research to matter most for college readiness and success.” Here are the changes that will have the biggest effect on test preparation, as I see them:
An Increased Focus on Evidence-Based Analysis
The new SAT will place a higher priority on analysis based on evidence. In the critical reading and writing sections students will now be asked to support their answers with evidence, including citing portions of the passages. In effect, the new SAT will require
students not only to know the correct answer, but to be able to explain why the answer is correct, and point to specific evidence in the passage that supports their choice. The essay...
read more

The College Board has revealed the nature of long-suspected changes to the SAT. Please note that this new-format test will NOT be given until 2016. So if you're on here right now looking for SAT prep, you're probably still taking the old test. Students
who are currently freshmen will be taking the new test for the first time in their junior year, assuming normal patterns of taking a first SAT in junior year. (By the way, I do not recommend the practice I've seen in some families of taking a first SAT in
sophomore year. The test has content which is beyond most sophomore curricula. The PSAT is a much better diagnostic vehicle at that age than the real SAT.)
This article explains the new SAT in the best way that I have seen. In short, guessing will no longer be penalized, the essay will become optional (reverting scores to the familiar 1600 range), some math questions will not have a calculator, and the reading
passages...
read more

SAT PREP!
As a seasoned SAT tutor, my students have informed me of many different online resources for SAT prep. Some have been quite useful, while others are not so much. In this post, I will rank 5 resource links to SAT review websites or apps that I find helpful
in preparing for the SAT. Keep in mind that these resources may be immensely helpful but are not perfect solutions for stand-alone SAT preparation. The best SAT preparation is done with a live tutor who is knowledgable about the SAT itself and about the different
strategies for test-taking that work best for each individual.
Top 5 SAT Prep Resources
1.
CollegeBoard.com's full practice SAT exam is the very first place every student should begin. Who better to provide SAT test prep, than the makers of the SAT?!
2. INeedAPencil is a great free resource for an entire comprehensive prep program funded by the CK-12 Foundation.
3.
Number2 is another free resource with...
read more

1. Hyperphysics
This website is basically a concept map of every physics topic, and I mean every. It's not a comprehensive guide to all of them, but it provides a basic overview of pretty much everything you could ever want to know about physics. It's
not a "Physics for Dummies" site, so if you're struggling, you'll still need a competent tutor. That being said, if you want to look up and equation or definition, or just learn a little more about something your teacher only mentioned, it is the best resource
I know.
2. Paul's Online Math Notes
This website offers extremely detailed lessons on Algebra, Calculus I, II, and III, and Differential Equations. To be honest, I learned most of what I know about Calculus through Paul, not my professors. I'll even admit that many students can use this
in place of a tutor. Paul's teaching style isn't for everyone, though, so many people will still need some extra help.
3. SparkNotes...
read more

You probably heard people telling you that "Oh, you can't really improve you SAT score!" That is true from one perspective. According to College Board, the national average improvement on SAT is only 40 points! That is really disappointing considering
the fact that the total score is 2400. However, even though this is totally true, does that necessarily suggests that
you cannot improve your SAT score? If you are
bold enough for the truth, the answer is: no. Because honestly, most students who took the SAT for the second or third time, did not spent enough time and effort studying for the exam. If they did not study, how would you expect them to improve? You
cannot just simply take the exam and expect the score to raise by itself.
Although SAT is more of an "ability" test, that you cannot really study, you can still study it and improve your ability and hence, improve your score! Why do I say that? Because...
read more

I assume you already know these two exams, so how to pick which one to take?
The Best Option
(only apply to those who still have a lot of time to prep for the test ex. Freshmen, Sophomore, or Junior who has nothing else to do):
Take both test. Do the practice tests (only the ones that are very close to real one) and see which one you score higher. And then, choose the one that
you scored higher!
Otherwise
SAT -- if you are more into English
ACT-- if you are more comfortable with math and science
In addition, because SAT is more of a "reasoning" test that tests your ability, it is more tricky to most students. And for ACT, it is more a straight forward test that test you on certain required topics. But in conclusion, you have to study for it before
you take the actual exam. You have no idea how many students mess with these serious exams and ruin their chances of getting into dream colleges.
If...
read more

I couldn't solve an SAT math problem (farmer picking pumpkins of the right weight and asking what ranges will he NOT pick) where I manipulated the word problem on a number line graph to give x<2 and x>10. I was asked to pick the answer that
could be the correct one.
The answers I had to choose from were in the form of absolute value inequality equations, I solved all five answers and found that the answer (D) |x-6| >4 was the correct answer. This is one way to do this, grunt work/crank it out, but I want to explain
to my student (AND MYSELF) how to do it analytically.
It appears that what I want to do is generate an absolute value inequality equation from data, seems simple enough, but I cannot find any references on the internet where this is done, it's always the other way.
Can someone explain to me the logic of how to do it?
From looking at the steps I went through to solve the...
read more

I am currently teaching SAT courses in the Bay Area, and a lot of students have been enrolling in my math classes.
I wanted to summarize what I think are important aspects of test preparation, as this crucial testing period begins:
1) Know the format of the test
2) Understand how the guessing penalty affects your strategy (e.g. a person scoring a 500 has a different strategy than someone scoring a 700 in math)
3) Do at least 15 practice problems per day.
4) Try to do a full length practice SAT every 3 weeks
5) Target your areas of weakness (and know what your weaknesses are)
6) Don't rush during the test. Rushing only leads to careless mistakes.
7) Be open to new strategies. Sometimes, the way we do things might get us to the right answer, but there may be a more efficient way. The SAT isn't just about accuracy - it's about doing things efficiently.
8) Know your strategies of last resort. Plugging in the answer choices is a...
read more

Hi! I'm Jennifer J., B.S., MEd, JD, PHD ABD WyzAnt Tutor
In my blog I will tell you everything you need to know about the "start-to-finish" process of preparing and taking the SAT and ACT exams. that will get you into the college or university of your choice.
Some Background About Me:
I teach classes and tutor privately for the PSAT, SAT and ACT. I have taught these test preparation classes since 1999. I taught for Princeton Review, and then started my own business, Pathfinders College Preparatory. Since then,
I have amassed my own collection of actual SAT tests, answer sheets, practice material, etc. I work with anywhere from one to four students at a time. I will tutor you privately in your home or at another location.
Commonly Asked Q & As:
Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about preparing for the SAT, the PSAT, and the ACT exams:
Q:...
read more