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Hello all!   I am super excited to sign-up for The New MCAT.  I can't tutor on the new exam without taking it, so I will be on a journey to make sure that the exam is everything the committee says it is.   I will be posting different material, study questions and strategies that I find useful for preparing for this exam.  I hope this will help you to, and I will give feedback on the different subject problem areas that I see in my current students.   I have exactly 4 months until the exam.  This is a good amount of time - planning is crucial for the exam - because there are 4 sections on the new MCAT.  Here they are:   Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills   There is a small video to describe The New MCAT, and... read more

Hi all,     So my experiment with the waiting list was a mixed success.  I had some students remain interested when I contacted them as availability popped up later in the semester, but it was about 20% of the people. It was still a useful way to remain visible to students so I'm going to continue it.   I have room this Fall for another student or two, so please contact me ASAP to avoid the waiting list! I'll have the most available time slots for the least amount of traveling.  This means that students who want to meet in Manhattan will have the easiest time / find my schedule the most flexible.  I've started doing a little tutoring in Python programming, so if anybody is interested in working on that at a discounted rate please contact me!  Cheers! Chris

Hi!   If you are interested in a healthcare career, I definitely encourage you to pursue it! Don't let the fact that you may still be in high school or that you already may have a career in another field, stop you from exploring the possibilities in healthcare. If you want to succeed in the competitive environment surrounding most healthcare careers, academic preparation is very important. If you have any questions related to healthcare, please let me know, and I will answer them or refer you to other resources. I love helping students in science and healthcare related studies!

Colleges and professional schools want candidates with a well-rounded resume. This means that as students, you have to balance demanding coursework with sports, internships, volunteer service, and most importantly, also find down time to enjoy with friends and family!   Efficient study techniques will help you juggle all this quite well.    Some tips:   Don't record lectures to spend extra hours listening to the same lecture later. Save study time outside of class and learn within class time. Take good notes during lecture! Note topics the instructor spends time on, important keywords, terminology.    When given an assignment, complete it in advance and run it by the instructor a few days before it's due. This will ensure full credit because his feedback will tell you exactly what he wants out of the assignment. You're going to do the assignment anyways, just plan ahead and make time for it early on. Do not procrastinate... read more

I received my BS in Physical Chemistry from Chongqing University, China and my Ph.D in Biochemistry from Miami University, USA. I have extensive teaching experience in college-level General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Plant Biology as I served as a Teaching Assistant in Miami University for 4 years. I know their backgrounds and ways to improve their grades. Right now I am tutoring AP chemistry and Chemistry Olympiad in an education institute in the Bay Area. During my Ph.D, I did independent research in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and plant biology. I also mentored undergraduates in developing research proposals and projects for fairs/conferences. My goal is to help students to understand, summarize and prepare for their exams to obtain desired results in a reasonable period of time. During my teaching, I strive to foster an exploratory atmosphere by asking questions and knowing their backgrounds/weakness. I try to make connections between... read more

Dr. Bob suggests that a basic mathematics course be introduced for nurses and medical professionals on a multi-year schedule in well-defined programs with continuous certification as a continuous program in hospitals and certification programs especially if medical errors occur.   Medication Errors with the Dosing of Insulin: Problems across the Continuum Pa Patient Saf Advis 2010 Mar;7(1):9-17.      ABSTRACT Controlling blood sugars with insulin is essential in the management of hyperglycemia in both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. However, studies have shown that the use of insulin has been associated with more medication errors than any other type or class of drug. From January 2008 to June 6, 2009, Pennsylvania healthcare facilities submitted 2,685 event reports to the Authority that mentioned medication errors involving the use of insulin products. The most common types of medication error associated with insulin were... read more

I am a High School Science Teacher and we deal with a lot of word problems that contain many variables that could fit into many different equations. Here is how I break down the content step by step for my students.      Physics Problem A box is accelerating across a frictionless surface. It is being pushed with 75 newtons of force and the has a mass of 10 kilograms. What is the magnitude of the box's acceleration?   1) You want to identify and label all variables presented to you in the problem.      Ex: F = 75 N, m = 10 kg   2) Identify and Label the Variable the question is asking you to find.      Ex: a = ?   3) List possible known equations that have the variable you need to solve for.      Ex: a = v/t            F = ma   4) Choose the equation that has variables that are known from the problem.  ... read more

Labs associated with the pre-med sciences are also required, and the difficulty of these labs varies depending on which school you go to.  The most frequent lament by college students is that their labs and lab reports command an unreasonably large chunk of their time, despite being only worth 1 credit.  Most college courses are 3 credits, meaning they meet for three hours of class per week; but labs, usually take anywhere from 3-6 hours per week, and ultimately do not carry much weight in terms of your overall grade in being just one credit.  You would think that the work required to succeed in labs is adjusted proportionally, but it's not. Most labs have weekly reports and a final paper/project at the end of the semester, right before finals begin.  Last year, I spent every Sunday just working on weekly physics lab reports.  I did well, but consistently lost a full day that I could have used towards other work.  That's the dilemma, though.  You... read more

One of the great challenges in teaching evolution is understanding the flow of time.  Humans have 75-year lifespans, on average.  Our generations are approximately a third of that.  Our existence as anatomically modern humans has only lasted for about 200,000 years.   Only!   A popular analogy for conceiving geologic time on Earth is the clock, or the calendar, where humans occupy the last second or the last chunk of December 31.  This still doesn't give you a very good idea of how long 4 billion years is.   I suggest therefore a new analogy, which compares time with distance.  For the purposes of this blog post, let's say 1 year = 1 meter.   1 meter is an easily conceivable length, and so is 1 year.  Divide it into days, and each day is about one-fourth of a centimeter.   100 years = 100 meters.  Google any one of Usain Bolt's record-breaking 100-meter dashes and see how far he runs... read more

The Spring 2014 semester has ended, along with my first full semester of tutoring. Reflecting back on my roster of students, there’s one piece of advice I want to offer the next batch of students. If you’re starting to struggle in a class, find a tutor NOW. Don’t wait. Why the urgency, you ask? Because once you start to slip behind in a course, it’s an uphill battle to regain the ground you are losing. I think there are two connected reasons for this: 1) You start spending your time worrying about your performance and your grade. You aren’t focused on learning the material; you’re focused on your anxiety. 2) Because you’re worried about your performance, you are losing valuable time that you could be spending on your studies. As a tutor, I can help you learn the material. I can offer you insights on how to improve your performance. And with more time to work with you, I have a better chance of helping you reach your academic goals. Tutors... read more

I just began tutoring a new student in 10th grade Biology.  Biology is my favorite subject and as we were going over terminology and concepts and processes in each section I thought it might be helpful to outline elements that can help in the general study of biology.  I thought this would be a great time to reference some good study techniques from a biological perspective:  I organized my notes into list of 4 valuable concepts.   1.  Take notes:  Obviously right? of course but listen... More than any other subject taking notes in biology is crucial.  Almost all the information that is introduced each lesson is packed with new terms, new concepts and new images of the material.  Taking notes in the form of term definitions, paragraphs describing a process, or drawings is a way to stay on top of complex new material.  I recommend taking notes on a white piece of computer paper without lines, this helps the student to learn how to... read more

I am happy to announce that all my students have passed the NY State Regents examinations, except one student.  The subjects varied from Algebra 1, Algebra 11/Trigonometry, English, US and Global History and Living Environment.  I am so proud of them.  Most of these students are students who struggled quite a bit.  It was a long journey but one I would do again.    I am very proud of them as most of them will be graduating this year.  The NY State Common Core examinations are next.

Mnemonic (said nuh-mon-ik) devices are a great way to memorize complex steps, systems, or anything else you have trouble remembering!   One mnemonic trick is to take the first letter of each word you are trying to remember and then come up with a different word starting with that letter to create a fun phrase.   Here's an example:   In Biology, we must remember how animals and plants are organized and named. This system is called taxonomy and goes like this:     Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species     Kinda long and a little hard to remember, right? Let's turn it into a mnemonic!   1. We take the first letter of every word: K (for kingdom), P (for phylum), C (for class), and so on   So we get: KPCOFGS   2. Let's add words to it:   King                Kingdom Phillip      ... read more

Possessing an inner membrane, as well as an outer membrane, and made of phospholipid bilayers and proteins, five specific parts of the mitochondrion and their unique purposes are listed below.   First, lets explore the outer mitochondrial membrane that surrounds the organelle and contains a large number of porin integral proteins that allow molecules to travel through the cell membrane pores in what is commonly known as passive diffusion from either side of the membrane to the other.  In order for larger proteins to enter mitochondrion they must bind to large multi-subunit translocase of the outer membrane proteins that actively transport them across the outer mitochondrion membrane while lipids can be moved between mitochondrion and the endoplasmic reticulum membrane.   The second unique part of mitochondrion is the inner mitochondrial membrane that has proteins with five distinct functions including those that perform oxidative phosphorylation... read more

Here are some of my favorite Science resources. Check back again soon, this list is always growing! I also recommend school textbooks, your local library, and used bookstores.   (Gr. 9-12) – Learn about the life cycle of a cell, including reproduction, structure and live cell growth videos. (Gr. 9-12) – A fabulous resource for science projects; you can even participate in someone else’s live science project (some are even from NASA). Focuses on astronomy, biology, and chemistry. (Biology) – Tutorials and information on all things Biology related (Biology) – Provides a list of vocabulary terms typically seen in Biology courses   (Biology) - Provides quick explanations of concepts, with examples (Bio/Anat/Physics) – Lessons, tutorials, definitions, and practice problems.

Want to place a bet on that?  Ever thought about having your own micro-brew beer?  Do you like bread? Ever spread honey on your toast? Or put blue cheese  on your salad? Or cheese on your burger?  That's right - they are ALL biology based. Every last one of them - and you can't do any of them without it. No plastic substitutes need apply. Let me show you. Beer and bread require a very versatile one celled fungi that we call 'yeast'. It's a first cousin to mushrooms and toadstools, true, but a fungi it is. It is also a PLANT. We do many things with yeasts-these two just happen to make alcohol and carbon dioxide very reliably. We have also learned how to make yeasts do some pretty sophisticated things, too - like produce vaccines and some drugs.  Honey? That's made by honeybees, of course, but it is how they do it that is fascinating. They gather lots of nectar (which isn't all that sweet) and put it into little wax cups. Those wax cups... read more

Proofreading and editing one's own paper for a high school or college English course can be challenging. Sometimes one just needs a second pair of eyes. A tutor will often see the weaknesses in a writing assignment and point them out to a student. Like any teacher, making red marks on a student's paper doesn't necessarily help a student improve his or her writing skills. Working side by side, one-on-one with an English tutor will encourage you to take what you already know and apply it to your assignments. Writing is a skill that is necessary in all disciplines, not just the humanities. Science majors must write well to explain laboratory experiments and correctly compose reports. Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, and Chemistry courses in college will require one to write either lab reports or essays, and possibly both. Pre-med students need writing skills just as much as pre-law students. Whatever the discipline, being able to properly convey your ideas, thoughts, data,... read more

As the school year ramps up again, I wanted to put out a modified version of a Memo of Understanding for parents and students. It seems each year in the rush to get through the first weeks of school parents and students forget the basic first good steps and then the spiral downwards occurs and then the need for obtaining a tutor and then the ‘wish for promises’ from a tutor. Pay attention to your child’s folder or agenda book. A student is generally not able to self regulate until well into high school. Some people never quite figure it out. Be the best person you can be by helping your child check for due dates, completeness, work turned in on time. Not only will this help your child learn to create and regulate a schedule, it prevents the following types of conversations I always disliked as a teacher ("Can you just give my child one big assignment to make up for the D/F so they can pass"; "I am going to talk to... read more

The most obvious answer is cost. If a tutor charges the same rate for one or four students, it becomes cheaper per hour as you increase students and share the costs with other families. It is often believed a tutor is best when working 1:1 with a student. In some instances it is well worth the time and money to have 1:1 tutoring and sometimes it is appropriate for students to study and do school work in small groups. What is not obvious is the dynamics of small group tutoring. In a variety of circumstances it is invaluable for students to learn how to study “what needs to be studied”. The acts of independence and self regulating behavior have far reaching benefits. Groups need to learn to share and take turns. This seems simple and yet there is the underlying tendency to allow the ‘smart one’ in the group to carry the burden of work. Assuming each student is in the class and has a different point of view/observation about what is happening in class, they should share their... read more

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