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 Hello Students!    My name is Vanessa Ralph and I am a Pharmaceutical Chemist/Chemistry Curriculum Illustrator and Animator. I would love to solve any homework questions you have while also explaining all the concepts you need to understand to successfully replicate what you've learned on a test or exam.    Please visit my website at to submit and questions you would like to have solved or subscribe to my YouTube channel to see how I go about doing these!   Take care! 

Want to be published? I am the editor of three on-line science journals, published through the CK-12 Foundation ( These journals, Understanding Biodiversity, Profiles in Science (early 2016), and Current Trends in the Biomedical Sciences (late 2016) are opportunities for students to become published.  I am available to assist students nationwide through the research, writing and publishing process - just sent me an email to find out more.    

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

As an experienced teacher of over 15 years, it's easy to recognize frustration in students.  Some of that frustration is admittedly self-imposed, but let's face it; some is teacher/environment imposed.  Not all students learn the same way.  As a teacher and tutor, I modify my approach to meet the needs of individual students.  This task can be quite daunting when you have a classroom full of 25, less than fully engaged pupils; however, when tutoring one on one or in a small group dynamic the task is quite masterfully attained.   I love teaching, I love seeing those "light bulb" moments.  Successful teaching/tutoring is measured by student success and learning is gauged by how well mastery has been achieved.  That's my goal.

I was just thinking about this questions yesterday. Being a scientist, the comment was made that when you love science, you love the exciting and you love the tedious. So, I have my five things... 1. Make it personal. I start by listening to the student and what gets them excited and what they are fearful of in that environment. For example: I have a Math student who loves basketball. He hates math and is very athletic. I ask him "what would you do to increase your free-throw percentage from 52% to 91%?" His response, "I would do anything!" But, he is bad at math on paper, so we come up with a way for him to track his free-throws, shooting percentage, overall efficiency, etc and he calculates these items. 2. Use Analogies. After listening to my student, I start putting all my questions in form that they will understand and love. The student starts forming their own questions because they have learned how to think rather than have a blank... 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!

1. Not studying early enough. I often compare chemistry to TV shows like Game of Thrones or Mad Men—you have to watch the series from the beginning or else you'd be completely lost. Chemistry classes and textbooks are set up in a very linear way. The harder you work earlier in the class, the less work you have to do the rest of the semester.   2. Hating the class too early. Don't be a member of the sheep repeating, "Ugh, this class sucks!" If you're a first-time chem student, how do you know this class sucks? Do you actually find the material uninteresting, or are you just repeating what everyone else says?    3. Not practicing. Studying for chemistry is kind of like perfecting a good jump shot or learning a new song on a piano. The more time you spend with it, the better you'll be.

Alegbra:   Algebra 2/Trigonometry:   Geometry:   Math A, Math B, Integrated Algebra, Other Math:   Chemistry:   Earth Science:   Physics:    

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

Example problem: A doctor has ordered 325 mg of aspirin. The aspirin is available as a solution that contains 0.50 g of the medication per mL. How many mL of the solution would the patient need ? 1. Write down all of the information that you have. a. 325 mg aspirin b. 0.50 g/mL aspirin solution 2. What are you looking for?   a. x mL of aspirin solution needed 3. Set up the problem to solve for mL of aspirin solution 325 mg aspirin x (1 mL) = ________ mL of aspirin                         (0.50g) 4. Convert mg aspirin -> grams aspirin 325 mg aspirin x (1g) = .325 g aspirin                      (1000 mg) 5. Solve by plugging Step 4 into Step 3. .325 g aspirin x (1 mL) = 0.65 mL aspirin                      ... read more

The Table of Metric Conversions is especially important for the students I tutor in chemistry. Below are some tips or important aspects of the table to keep in mind. The table I have included has common conversions   Prefix          Symbol            Factor   Giga               G                  10^9 Mega              M                  10^6 Kilo                k                   10^3 Base unit        _                   10^0 or 1 Centi              c                   10^-2 Milli      ... 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

Hi all,     So I've reached capacity again this year on students, but I'm trying something new.  I've created a Waiting List rather than hiding my profile.   I'm curious if I'll have a number of students waiting for the same subjects, which will allow me to come up with new ways to help everyone.  Perhaps if I have several students uptown (or wherever) I will be able to offer a group lesson that any/everybody working on the same subjects can attend and help out people on the waiting list. If you're looking to get inspired about Chemistry, I recommend you check out the very cool reactions in this video:   Or if you're a student (or a parent) trying to convince yourself (or your child) about the importance of working hard at Math & Science, I recommend checking out these infographics:   Hope... read more

Chemistry, in my opinion, is the most widely applied subject in the educational system. You can apply chemistry when you're cooking, cleaning, filling up your car, brewing beer or wine, welding, dating (carbon and speed dating), and thousands of industrial processes. I once heard from one of my chemistry professors, Dr. Chad Morris, "Chemistry is applied physics, and physics is applied math." Therefore physics, chemistry, and math all work in harmony.   You probably apply chemistry every day and don't realize it. When you make coffee in the morning, ever wondered about the chemistry involved in making a cup of joe? You have to first grind the roasted coffee beans to expose the caffeine and flavor compounds housed within the beans. You then have to filter hot water through the grinds to extract the much needed caffeine and flavors. Water works as a solvent to dissolve the polar caffeine and flavor molecules which pass through the coffee filter and into your carafe... read more

I think, by far, the most important part of being successful in organic chemistry is the ability to stay on top of the material. I'll start with this piece of advice for those you who are planning on completing both sections.     Make flashcards.   I know, I know, it's advice that everyone gives for every type of memorization, but I think that it especially helps with the amount of new reactions that you will see, especially in orgo II.   My recipe for the cards is to make cards that have the reactant(s) and the reagent(s) with a question mark where the product(s) would be.   e.g. CH3CHCHCH3 -----Br2----->  ?     This way will help you to recognize which reagents do what.   The other style is to leave out the reagents.   e.g. CH3CHCHCH3 -----?-----> CH3CHBrCHBrCH3   (You'll want to draw them out probably, but this software doesn't allow that)   If... read more

If you are like me, you want to get a head start on things -- "hit the ground running," as they say. What better way than to get started on the new year in academics! I always found that when I was in high school or college, summer reading was very enjoyable. There were no deadlines -- I could nestle up by a tree and read for hours. I recommend giving it a shot.   When it comes to chemistry, what better way to get started than reading some basics. One of my favorites is Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It is a great overview of science in general. I also recommend John Gribbin's In Search of Schrodinger's Cat. It is an amazing story about the discovery of quantum mechanics and is a must for all explorers of science.   It is also a good idea to get a chemistry set and do some basic chemistry experiments. It is a fun and interesting activity! A lot of chemistry experiments can even be done in one's own household... read more

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