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I have been involved education as long as I can remember. My parents were educators. They helped start a school, were on the board of another, and were founding board members of the North Dakota Home School Association. I started teaching at the age of thirteen, as a volunteer. I have taught professionally, for over fourteen years. I have coached soccer. I co-founded a school and taught a wide array of subjects there for three years, including Latin, Rhetoric, General Science, and History. For nearly twelve years, I have been an education consultant, tutor, and mentor. I am prepared to tutor students in all subjects through high school, and I am well-versed in ACT and SAT preparation. I also do some college-level tutoring, particularly in English, Writing, Study Skills, and other humanities-related subjects. Feel free to ask for more details. I tutor adult students in a variety of subjects, and I have also had success in the past working with students who have a variety... read more

1. "Knowing what topics will be on the quiz is half the battle" Start by asking the teacher tons of questions like "will we need to know this for the quiz?" or "is this one of the key problems that we should know how to solve?" or "would you say that this is a topic of major importance for us to learn in this class?"  If you can, look at the teacher's past quizzes and talk to former students (seniors) about this teacher to see what his tests are usually like. Do they look the same from year to year? Google terms like "inverse trig quizzes" to test yourself and compare what you find to what the teacher gives you.   2. "Be prepared" Get enough sleep.  Eat a good breakfast. Use the bathroom before the quiz. Have extra paper and pencils. Bring your calculator with extra batteries.  Bring your "Note Sheet" with everything you need on it. Do NOT lose this. Don't put... read more

#1. You must lose some battles before you can win the war.-“Timing” you have 2 minutes for every quant question (37 Quant Q’s total) and about 90 seconds for each verbal question (41 Verbal Q’s total.)  There will be a clock on your screen that counts down how many minutes you have left for that particular section. While verbal can be a bit more confusing due to the reading comprehension passages, Quant/Math questions are clear-cut.  How do you get keep pace?  Set some mile-markers by memorizing the ones I’ve listed below.  At each minute, you should ideally be at the question listed.  If you’re too slow, speed up a little bit, but not too much.  If you’re too fast, take a deep breath.   75 minutes-37 Questions 60 minutes- Question 7 45 minutes- Question 15 30 minutes- Question 23 15 minutes -Question 30 10 minutes-Question 33 5 minutes- Question 35 2 minutes-Question 37   #2. Don’t be Late-... read more

Before I realized I had a gift in tutoring as a professional activity in and of itself, I used to do a little bit of it as part of my job as a 1-on-1 and Family Community Support and Intensive In-Home behaviorist.  While I performed many functions which straddled the fence between mental health and social work, a large part of my job involved coordinating between my clients (usually teens and/or their family members), parents, teachers, other medical professionals, community leaders such as activities coaches and clergy, and etc.     Today, I find that one of the things that propels my tutoring into the realm of excellence is my ability to coordinate with parents, teachers, siblings, other students, etc. to ensure students are working with the appropriate content, are properly motivated, and experience realistic social situations (sometimes supportive, sometimes challenging) in order to maximize student enjoyment and achievement.   For example,... read more

The reading comprehension sections of standardized testing can be intimidating. Here are a few tips to help you with them.      First of all, read the title of the passage, and all headings and summaries. These often give you an idea of what the passage covers.      Then, if your test allows, read the comprehension questions before you read the passage. When you read the questions first, your brain may notice the answers automatically as you read the passage. If you see the answer to a question while you're reading, underline the answer, and then keep reading. Do not stop reading to answer the questions until you reach the end of the passage. If you stop, you may lose the flow of the passage as a whole. Remember, you can always read it again once you understand the context.      If you cannot read the questions before you begin, then underline any important information and main ideas as you read. It may also... read more

There are many situations in which a student or parent might want to seek extra help with math.  Does the student often need to retake assessments? As a teacher, I like to offer make-ups because I want my students to know it's more important to learn the material than to move on before they're ready. Needing to frequently retake assessments means that the student needs to reevaluate how they are preparing. Often, getting a tutor can help them figure out how to best study independently. Does the student freeze during assessments? Does their mind go blank? Or do they think they did well but it turns out that wasn't the case? It's possible the student has test anxiety and needs to build their confidence. Talking through the material with someone is one of the best ways to alleviate that anxiety. Does the student have a difficult time staying caught up with the material? Do they feel like they always get it after the test or quiz but not before? This... read more

Summer is the best time to start studying for college/career entrance exams. Since there is no school and homework, you will not feel overwhelmed when it is time to study. Studying for just an hour a day, 5 days a week, will increase your chances of getting a higher score and you will still have time to enjoy the summer. Alternate subjects weekly. Familiarize yourself with all the subjects on the test. Purchase a test preparation book to get question examples. By the end of the summer, you should have done every problem in the book, including the practice exams. If you need additional help, ask your tutor. Study with others. You will be more motivated to study this summer if you are involved in a study group. Find students that are taking the same exam. Ask your tutor to for a group study session. Knowing that there are other students with the same goal as you can help your study sessions be less stressful. Know your calculator. If a calculator is... read more

With the wealth of LSAT prep materials out there, it can be tough to find the best resources for LSAT study. I've been tutoring the LSAT for 5 years, and these are the materials I've found to be the most helpful.   Practice Tests The best way to practice is by using previously administered LSATs. LSAC has published several collections of tests: Volume 5 (Tests 62 to 71, December 2010 to December 2013) Volume 4 (Tests 52 to 61, September 2007 to October 2010) The Next 10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (Tests 29 to 38, October 1999 to October 2002) 10 More Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (Tests 19 to 28, June 1996 to June 1999) 10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (Tests 7 to 18, December 1992 to September 1995)   The most recent tests (Volumes 4 and 5 above) are the most accurate reflections of what you'll see on test day, while the older tests can be significantly different. I recommend both taking fully-timed practice tests and completing... read more

Having worked with hundreds of test-takers on standardized exams over the years, I have tutored students of all abilities and levels of commitment to their studies. Most students want to know how many hours of tutoring are necessary to achieve the results they desire. While there is no single number of hours uniformly required for all students, for all exams, I do recommend as a rule of thumb that you spend as many hours working on your own as you have spent working with your tutor. To maximize the benefit of working with a tutor for a standardized test, it is necessary to implement, and then practice, the strategies you've learned on your own. Ideally, a student matches the time spent studying independently hour for hour with the time spent tutoring (similarly, university courses typically advise a minimum of one hour of study for every hour spent in class). It is to your advantage to meet with your tutor frequently, and early, enough that the tools you acquire to succeed... read more

  With the wealth of GMAT prep materials out there, it can be tough to find the best resources for GMAT study. I've been tutoring for the GMAT for five years, and these are the materials I've found to be the most helpful.   GMAT General Study   The best source of practice problems is The Official Guide for GMAT Review, published by GMAC. Working through the questions in this book will prepare anybody for the questions on the test. GMAC also publishes practice tests that are just like what you'll see on test day, and they are a great way to gauge your current score and get used to the CAT format. The software, GMATPrep, is available for download from mba.com. For students who need more practice problems, I recommend The Official Guide for GMAT Quantitative Review and The Official Guide for GMAT Verbal Review. These books offer additional practice, but the problems are not as difficult as the problems in the The Official Guide... read more

For anyone that is preparing or thinking about preparing for one of the standardized 'high stakes' tests (you know which ones) -- the SAT, GRE, GMAT, ISEE, SSAT, and so on -- there's something you really should know about test development.   But first consider this. Wouldn't it be sensible for tests to discover what your strengths are and what you do well in?  Of course! But who said these tests or the test developers are sensible?  In fact, why should they be?  Here are two things test developers don't want you to know   1) Test developers usually (meaning not EVERY test is created this way, although most are) try to trick students into providing the wrong answer. Huh?    2) Standardized tests are intentionally designed so that many or even most students will not complete them within the given time limit.   Now why would these nice testing companies engage in these practices?  Select the best... 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

  With the wealth of SAT prep materials out there, it can be tough to find the best resources for SAT study. I've been tutoring for the SAT for over a decade, and these are the materials I've found to be the most helpful.     SAT General Study   For all-around SAT preparation, nothing beats The Official SAT Study Guide, published by the College Board. With ten full practice tests, this book contains plenty of study material for all sections of the test. Because the questions are written by the College Board and, in many cases, have appeared on actual administered SATs, they accurately reflect what students will see on test day. (I've never found a test written by a third-party company that comes close to matching actual SAT questions, and I do not recommend third-party practice tests for study.) Working through the questions in this book is the best, most effective way for any student to prepare for the test.   In... read more

 In the land of Zig-Zag, there are only two types of people: truth tellers who always tell the truth and zig zags who if questioned either tell the truth or lie. The zig zags never lie or tell the truth twice in a row when questioned.   We can infer which of the following:   A) In the land of Zig-Zag, if a person is asked if they are a truth teller and they answer affirmatively, then the next answer he or she gives to a question must be true.   B) In the land of Zig-Zag, if you ask whether their neighbor is a truth teller and the person answers in the negative, then the answer the neighbor gives to the next question is most likely true.   C) Both A and B   D) Neither A nor B

Aaah...the the most feared, loathed, avoided tests of the century: the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.   I am here to tell you that you should not let these tests overpower you. A bad first score is not enough to tell your potential. You are capable of improving leaps and bounds, perhaps hundreds of points.   Take my younger brother, for example. He took the PSAT his freshman year with no prior exposure to the test and received a 153. He was not happy with his score, so I told him he would have to practice greatly to improve. With my help tutoring him in math and writing, he was able to improve his SAT score to 1820 his sophmore year. That is a 290 point increase! Using the big blue SAT practice book, he took many practice tests to help him get comfortable with the test format. I went over the questions he got wrong, so he could learn from his mistakes and not make the same mistake the next time. The SAT Question of the Day was another helpful tool he used that... read more

I am a firm believer that one does not truly know something until she can put it into a new format. You can take notes from a book or from lectures all day, every day, but until you can put the information into a new shape, you haven't actually learned anything. Make a concept map, put facts and vocabulary into tables or categories, write flash cards, and/or rearrange the information in a new outline. Go really crazy and write a song or a poem, draw a picture, even make something in 3D. What you do or make depends on your learning style, but it has to be something new. I also believe that you only know something if you can summarize it. If you know enough about a subject to condense it into something really compact, like a “cheat sheet,” then you’re doing pretty well. You can capture its meaning in much less space than a textbook chapter. I actually do make “cheat sheets” for most of my tests. I condense all of the information I need for the test onto just a few pages,... read more

You can find some really good resources for math test prep in the used bookstores in a college town. Some examples that I like are: (1) Humongous Book of ______________ Problems (fill in the blank with your math topic);  (2) the REA Problem Solvers series; and (3) the Schaum's Outlines. If you don't live near a college town it might be worth a Saturday trip just to buy books. Alternately, all of these are available (used) through the Amazon Marketplace sellers at really low prices.   You should preview each title of these book series that you might be considering to be sure you like the authors style. Each one is different. You may like one series' treatment of Pre-Calc but prefer a different series for Calculus.   So how do you use these books ?   They are an alternate resource for explanations of basic concepts and problem solving techniques. You should use them as 'hint mills' and sources of problems to... read more

For Freshlaws (first year law students) the flood of information and mind altering Socratic method classroom discussions often result in an overwhelming feeling of concern as Halloween passes and finals loom in a month or so. Law school finals are like nothing most students experience in undergrad because they are often all or nothing and the resulting grades have such a massive effect on career choices. With the best law firms aiming at the top ten percent of law students by GPA and internships starting after first year, each exam carries enormous weight.   So, in November law students must refine their studying to bring tremendous focus to upcoming exams. The time has come to bring outlines up-to-date and edit them. Review the other students in your study group to cut out slackers and focus on those with the same intense drive. If you feel weak in any subject, it is time to consider seeking out a tutor to give you the one on one advantage that is not... read more

How to avoid the "freeze" during a quiz, test, or exam: First, let's talk about what "the freeze" is. The freeze is usually a sort of momentary panic, that makes it very hard to concentrate and focus and solve problems. Does that sound at all familiar? Many students experience it at least once in their lives, and some students face it frequently. When we have a moment of panic, our adrenaline kicks in. We go into "fight or flight" mode, and certain parts of the brain are chemically over-stimulated by the adrenaline. When we are in "fight or flight" mode, it is very hard to concentrate and do challenging problems like math and science problems. Sometimes it takes a long time to calm down and get the adrenaline out of our system. A strong panic can wipe out our best thinking skills for an entire test period, and give us a score that does not represent our actual level of understanding at all. We can actually know most of... read more

How to avoid the "freeze" during a quiz, test, or exam:   First, let's talk about what "the freeze" is. The freeze is usually a sort of momentary panic, that makes it very hard to concentrate and focus and solve problems. Does that sound at all familiar? Many students experience it at least once in their lives, and some students face it frequently. When we have a moment of panic, our adrenaline kicks in. We go into "fight or flight" mode, and certain parts of the brain are chemically overstimulated by the adrenaline. That makes it hard to focus.   When we are in "fight or flight" mode, it is very hard to concentrate and do challenging problems like math and science problems. Sometimes it takes a long time to calm down and get the adrenaline out of our system. A strong panic can wipe out our best thinking skills for an entire test period, and give us a score that does not represent our actual level of understanding... read more

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