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Imagine being a college admissions officer and reviewing hundreds or thousands of applicants that all look very similar. How do you make yourself stand out from all the others. One way is to do something special and have that work published. Mechanisms for high school students to become published in science do exist. These include Profiles in Science and Current Topics in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences, both published online and in print format. Email me through WyzAnt for additional information.

Hey guys,     After working with high school and college students in algebra 1 & 2,  i came across quite a few students who found logarithms hard to work with . Most of the  students failed to retain some important log based rules which were essential to be effective at problem solving.   Here's a list of a few rules :   logab = x could be written as  ax = b. Let me work a couple of examples to show how this rule works   log39 = 2  By using the rule that i talked about above can be written as 3^2 = 9 where a=3, x=2 and b = 9.      loga10 - loga5  can be rewritten in the form loga(10/5)  which is the same as loga2. As long as the bases are equal to one another we can divide when there is a subtraction taking place using log.   When it comes to addition we need to add logarithms that have the same base.     Also... read more

It is hard to believe Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published nearly 30 years ago. Although all 7 habits are excellent tools for both tutors and students, I believe the Second Habit -- "Begin With the End in Mind" -- can play an important role in creating the foundation for a productive and satisfying learning partnership.   For example, it is no use for a tutor to expect a student to go back and read the assigned book when the analysis paper is due in 48 hours. Similarly, a parent will be bitterly disappointed if they expect an "A" in Chemistry after only a few tutoring sessions. And a student shouldn't expect to learn a semester's worth of Physics without completing a single assignment.   Tutors can start this conversation by asking a few key questions: "What would you like to accomplish during our time together?" and "How would that accomplishment look to you?" Follow up questions... read more

Hello,    The question was asked last night, "where do I find the MCAT 2015 practice exams?"   Answer, with my suggestions. Your goal is to have those practice exams.  Here are the steps with obstacles to get those exams:   1. Sign up for an AAMC.org account. (You have to have an account in order to access the material) After you have an account, 2. Go here: https://www.aamc.org/publications/274794/mcatpracticetesttermsconditions.html and click on www.e-mcat.com (I have gone directly to www.e-mcat.com it didn't work; there is a glitch unless they have it fixed.) 3. You will have to put specific items in your cart and order them. Here are the specific items that I bought and it opened up a lot of free online material as well as 20 full-length online MCAT 2015 practice exams: MCAT – The Official Guide to the MCAT® Exam, Fourth Edition 1 MCAT - Online Practice Questions from The Official Guide... read more

I think that the only way to get anyone interested to learn something is by making it appealing to them and explaining the real life applications of it.  1) I use lots of real life examples and applications where that knowledge can be applied  2) Use food, money etc as analogies to help explain math concepts 3) Silly and funny mnemonics to help remember details that are otherwise hard to memorize 4) Make a game where the student can quiz me and I can quiz the student about the topics being taught. This gives them a chance to ask me questions that they might otherwise be shy to ask. It also gives me a chance to gauge how much they absorbed from what was taught 5) Tell them inspiring anecdotes and make them believe in their abilities to do well with just a little more push

Here is the thing about watching Zig Ziglar in video: "He makes me feel like a kid in the 70's." But, his principles for success ring true:   Identify the Goal (Clear, identify the target, nothing nebulous and be specific) List the Benefits  (For you, what you want, vitally important) List the Obstacles to Overcome (Anticipate in advance, things that could prevent you, find accountability) List the Skills and Knowledge Required (Knowledge = power , skills = tools , knowing + doing = powerful combination) Identify the People and Groups to Work with ( Who can help you? , knowledge + skill = value needed for success) Develop a Plan of Action (Critical, step-by-step details to achieve your goal) Set a Deadline (For accountability sake to yourself and who you are working with , unaccountable = unsuccessful)   To conclude with a simple math formula:   Knowledge + tools + doing + accountability...

As a college student with a difficult major and two minors, my timetable is my best friend.  It's not an exaggeration when I say that I live and breathe by it.  I don't schedule anything without looking at it, and if anyone (friend, professor, boss, etc.) asks me, "Do you have free time at [X]?", I just email them a copy of it.   If you don't have a timetable, then that might be why you can't seem to manage your time properly.  And I don't just have my classes scheduled.  Every single thing I ever have to do is logged in it.  This includes, but isn't limited to :   Classes Work study Work (outside of work study, like here!) Meal times Homework times (further divided up by class) Tutoring appointments (for me and my classes) Extracurriculars (the number of which has shrunk as my college career has gone on) Cleaning the apartment Me time (because who can live without down time?) Sleep time Now,... read more

Hello to everyone who is just getting back into the groove for the first day of class!  I am excited for you guys and gals.   Josh Kaufman wrote The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business.  Great book to read if you are contemplating an MBA, are interested in starting your own business or have already started a business and are looking for some help.   The note I want to highlight is about education and learning. Continuing your Education and Learning are essential in order to succeed.  However you define success, and Josh goes into some detail about this as well, you will need to constantly learn.  Josh does a great job of explaining what education and learning is, so I will let him tell you why they are important:   Your brain forms mental models automatically by noticing patterns in what you experience each day.  Very often, however, the mental models you form on your own aren't completely accurate - you're only... read more

When tutoring kids in Hindi, I try to focus on the strengths of the language. Hindi is a language where if you can read the alphabet, you can read just about anything. So I introduce my students to the alphabet, quickly forming words out of the letters and telling them their meaning.   Second, I encourage them by praising their efforts. Everyone loves kudos.   Third, I focus on the accent because that is something which is very difficult to "unlearn" if done improperly.   Fourth, I have them apply their knowledge in their practical life. When they start using the sentences with native speakers, there is motivation generated.   Fifth, there is a plethora of beautiful Hindi songs available online. Learning each song helps a person understand its meaning and remember entire sentences and the words within them.   Lastly, my sage advice is for anyone who wants to learn anything well, to make it a practice of sharing... read more

1. Student engagement.  I always make sure that each student gets individual attention by engaging with him or her verbally, making sure they know that they are important to me and that I am monitoring them. 2. Asking students to restate what I have taught - in small amonts of information.  I often know that a student is listening, but restating what I have taught invites them to state it in their own words, thus solidifying their knowledge. 3.  Asking students to tell a personal story about themselves.  This is essential for second language learners speakers.  They are practicing speaking English about something they are intimately familiar with - themselves.   4. Using students errors in speaking to form my next grammar lesson.  Speaking is very informative for me as a teacher to know where to go next to help students to communicate clearly.  Often they can understand grammar that they cannot replicate in speech. 5. Humor is... read more

The best part about tutoring is you have a student's brilliant mind all by themselves to help them explore and enhance their own understanding and analysis of the world around them.  If you can find the spark within the student, the passion that ignited them, there is no stopping them from learning and growing in excellence in academia.  I truly love to see a student's eyes light up when something complicated is connected to a story, a poem, or a simple anecdote from life scenarios.... once students see they can learn by connection, integration, and story telling from their own world, they become empowered to love and create the world around them!  Welcome!

Having learning disabilities, I struggled in the classroom and with homework everyday of my academic life. Studying was never fun for me or my parents. (God bless their patience). I had to learn very quickly how to make learning fun and more stimulating. Thinking outside of the box will help you and your student excel at the homework and test prep game.   #5: I'll Take Learning for $200 Alex Turn your test prep into a game of jeopardy. My students recently had to study for a big test on Western Europe. They had to know countries and capitols, cultural facts and economic stats. I turned the questions into a Jeopardy game by making index cards with the answer on one side and the point value on the other side. For example - Vienna is the capital of this country (point value - $200). The student would have to respond with What is Austria?   It's easy to create this game at home. Even if only 1 student needs to study, bring in the whole family to make it a... read more

In my experience, many children who come to tutoring struggling with mathematics show signs that these troubles have been occurring for a long time, in some cases years. In most of these cases the students only receive a few lessons until parents are satisfied when their child brings home one good test or homework assignment. Then the parents start the cycle over again when the child brings home a bad grade.   Students who have been struggling for a long time will continue to have difficulties until the trouble area has been addressed. Math is a building block subject. If you have difficulties computing the 1st few levels of mathematics, you will continue to struggle in every level afterwards. For an example, a pre-algebra student is working on basic algebra skills. He/she doesn't understand the concept of the algebra. Upon working with the student, I immediately realize he/she has difficulties computing basic math (addition, subtraction, multiplication,... read more

Often times experienced mathematicians tend to get comfortable with certain problem-solving strategies. For example, in a problem one might use a system of equations to solve a problem rather than employing a simpler more easy way to solve it. Though using system of equations are great, knowing how to solve problems using different approaches is important, not just for oneself, but for their students.   Take for example the following problem: A farmer has both pigs and chickens on his farm. There are 78 feet and 27 heads. How many pigs and how many chickens are there?   Solution 1: (Using Algebra System of Equations) 4p+2c=78 (pigs have 4 feet and chickens have 2 feet with 78 feet in total) p+c=27 (27 heads mean that the number of chicken and pigs total 27) Then by algebra p=27-c. Therefore by substitution, 4(27-c)+2c=78. 108-2c=78. 2c=30. c=15. Since, c=15, p+c=p+15=27. p=12. Therefore, the farmer has 15 chickens and 12 pigs... read more

Tutoring is teaching on steroids. You have a small amount of time to make a huge impact in a student's life. In addition, the parents are looking for quick results, after all they are paying. However, there is something that every tutor should consider when planning and tutoring-if the student doesn't like what you are doing, how long do you think the parent and the student are going to continue to make the investment of their time and money? Here are 5 quick tips to help build the connection without spending a large amount of time on things other than the lesson.   1. Talk to the child. I know it sounds silly, but children have things they love to talk about if adults will just take the time to listen. Some students open up right away, others do not.   2. Involve movement. It helps. A lot. Have them sing, dance, or do anything that involves them getting out of their seat and moving around. They have usually sat in school all day. They need a break and so... read more

Happy Post-Holidays! Now that we're getting back into the swing of things, I hope to update this blog more often, so keep tuned. I've gotten some inquiries from medical school applicants seeking assistance on the application process and how to stand out from the crowd. Here are some suggestions that I can give based upon my experience as both a successful applicant and applicant interviewer. I'm going to start out with the experiences that I personally feel will help you stand out. A lot of applicants shadow physicians to gain clinical exposure. At one level, this is great; you need to have an idea of what medicine is like before you commit to 4 years of medical school and years of residency. But like I said, almost every applicant has done this, so it just seemed sort of run of the mill and nothing new. So while shadowing is improtant Consider the experiences section of your application as the chance to show your passion and compassion. Experiences that... read more

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