# Blogs

Case A: Dealing with a sample mean derived from measured data   We all heard about the simplification to use a t-distribution when sample size is small (n<30) and Z-distribution when n is large (n>30); indeed, with increasing n, the distribution of the sample means will converge to the normal distribution thanks to the CLT. But actually, there are two requirements for using the Z distribution.  The requirements for a Z-distribution are: 1) The sample mean is normally distributed AND 2) The population standard deviation σ is known (in order to use σ for our statistic test) The requirements for a t-distribution are: 1) The sample size is large (n>30) OR 2) The sample is normally distributed (may require separate normality tests) OR 3) The population is known to be normally distributed but with standard deviation σ unknown (so we must use s instead). So again, unless n is large AND we know σ,... read more

In general, if you are struggling for getting a low grade in an honors or AP class, it is better to move down. That way you will get a better grade in the class and have more time for other classes, standardized test preparation, and extracurriculars. Thus moving down will generally improve your college chances. Honors math classes are generally particularly difficult, and are more difficult in wealthier areas. Honors math classes at decent private schools are at a whole different level. If you do well in them, you may have a reasonable application to MIT. The regular math classes at those schools are generally at the level of honors math at public schools. I did a lesson with a student in honors precalculus at a school like that. She was totally lost and appeared upset. She told me that she got a 500 on her math SAT. I told her father that she definitely should not be in that class with that score. There was another situation in which a student... read more

While Walmart charges something like a 10% markup, most major tutoring services charge a 200-400% markup over what they pay tutors. The standard approach is to hire college students and others at low pay. One standard model is Ivy tutoring services. They charge a premium for top tutors. However, they hire current students at top schools. In any field, a college student at a top school is not a top expert and usually does not command a top salary. So they charge like \$120/hour and pay the students \$30/hour. Providers of test taking software and so on, also provide tutoring at huge markups. I read on a forum about software to help pick colleges to apply to. The client bought a package that included help with college applications, and of course they got a college student to help with the essays. Chain tutoring centers typically require their tutors to score 680 on the section of the SAT they tutor. Some of them have tutors making like \$20/hour tutor the students... read more

I don't know how every one is doing on tutoring, but I am getting no student referrals from the many questions I have answered over a very long time. The purpose of answered questions is to help students and to create leads for future tutoring. Nothing of that is happening with me. I feel that the students are taking advantage of the system and our generous conduct. Every time they want a question answered or a problem solved they post it and they get what they need from the many tutors responding to them. Once they get what they need then bye bye. They don't need me or you anymore. They are getting all their questions answered and problems solved, so why would they need you or me for a lesson. This is not creating leads for the tutors, but is creating a way to get free tutoring for the students. I am testing to see how you feel about that. I feel that Wyzant policy is not working for the tutors, but working well for the students. If you think that the student is going to contact you... read more

I respect your time so please try to respect mine! Please do your best to give me at least a 12 hour notice before you cancel. All cancellations should be made through Wyzant messaging.   If a student cancels between 6 and 1 hours before the lesson, I will charge up to 50% of the lesson fee.   If a student cancels 1 hour or less before the lesson, I will charge up to 75% of the lesson fee.   If a student is more than 20 minutes late to a lesson, I will charge the full lesson fee and I will stay until the end of the allotted lesson time (so if a student is 20 minutes late to a 1 hour lesson, I will only stay for 40 minutes).   If you must cancel or are late because of an emergency, I will reconsider the fees.

Recent news about cheating by rich parents to gain entrance at elite colleges for their children highlights the importance of and disparity among test preparation tutoring, based on a parent's resources. Wyzant doesn't support the private test prep coaching (and cheating) industry, and rightly so. For all those parents who are not at the highest income level, coming here to Wyzant to find tutors for your student is a reasonable means to find qualified help. On the other hand, do be realistic in whom you hire and how much you plan to pay. One tutor may charge \$30/hour, another \$125/hour. What's the difference? Parents needs to check on a tutor's credentials, background and experience before hiring him. Don't assume that the higher priced tutor is the better qualified. Ask questions and then don't assume the tutor can guarantee any particular results. The tutor won't write your child's entrance essay, nor sit in on her exam. Tutoring should be about helping the student think for herself,... read more

One of the biggest successes you can endeavor during your tutoring career is expanding your academic reach. Two years ago my student asked me to help her begin preparing for the PSATs. I have never taught that material but she enjoyed my English and reading approach that she was confident I could help her. After reviewing the materials, we began to take apart the test and work through the English sections. Over time I became comfortable and I started to spend time at home studying to increase my knowledge. Fast forward to two years later I am now teaching tips, tricks and strategies for conquering the SATs. This has opened the door for more opportunities that I would have never had if I didn't take the initial plunge into unfamilar water. You can also take that plunge I believe in you.  One of the best ways to approach tutoring the SATs is not just arriving at the answer but teaching strategies to ace the test and avoid tricks. Boosting a student's confidence is also key.... read more

Learning a new language is fun when you succeed; more fun if you succeed at a greater challenge; and less fun if it turns out to be beyond you. But many students are satisfied learning just a little or setting any intermediate goal they wish. If you are a native English speaker, you will find that the official Chinese language, Mandarin, is in some ways simpler than your language and in some ways harder. Since the assumption for native English speakers is that Chinese is the Number One most-difficult language to learn, we’ll go the other way for now and begin with the many features of Mandarin Chinese that can make it easier to learn. 1. Avoidance of New Word Creation follows from:    a. Numbering certain sets of information instead of naming each one! This category includes days of the week and months of the year, an area where English has a different word for each. In Chinese, starting with Monday, it’s Day of the Week One, Day of the Week Two, etc. Only... read more

My Cancellation Policy I value my time spent teaching, and your time spent learning. To facilitate the scheduling of lessons, I use the following cancellation policy: Cancellation Policy for Students: If a student wishes to cancel the lesson, she/he must provide notice at least 8-24 hours prior to the beginning of the lesson. If a student cancels the lesson between 8 and 4 hours in advance, a cancellation fee of up to 35% of the lesson cost may be assessed. If a student cancels the lesson between 4 and 2 hours in advance, a cancellation fee of up to 50% of the lesson cost may be assessed. If a student cancels less than 2 hours in advance, a cancellation fee of up to 85% of the lesson cost may be assessed. If a student arrives to a lesson late, the lesson cost will include the time missed by the student. If a student arrives to a lesson more than 15 minutes late, I may consider the lesson cancelled without prior... read more

Summary: Alas, to get that perfect score, you have to reconsider everything you have been taught at school.   My system of preparation for the standardized tests in mathematics (ACT, SAT, SAT2, GRE, etc.) is somewhat unique and unconventional. In fact, it goes against the grain of most of what you have been taught in school... and likely even in a test-prep class, if you have taken one. Sound a bit unnerving? Perhaps. But consider this: those same math teachers who tell you what to do, had most certainly not scored well themselves when they were your age. What is more, chances are good that they cannot score that well now, either. That's because their ways are... well, unduly complicated. What is a better approach? First of all, I will teach you how to solve 95% of all questions mentally, without writing a thing. Why bother, you may ask. Several reasons. One, it will teach you—anew—what you once knew but have since forgotten: the mathematical imagination... read more

My Cancellation Policy I value my time spent teaching, and your time spent learning. In order to facilitate the scheduling of lessons, I use the following cancellation policy: Cancellation Policy for Students: Any student is free to cancel any session by communicating their wish to cancel using the Wyzant web page or mobile app. The student wishing to cancel his or her lesson, must provide notice of cancellation, through the Wyzant web page or mobile app. The cancellation message must appear in the Wyzant messages page, with a message time according to the schedule below.  For online lessons that are scheduled to take place within 2 hours of being scheduled, notice to cancel must be given no later than 20 min after to the start time of the lesson, if no notice is given, in this case, a cancellation fee of up to 15% may be assessed. For online lessons that are scheduled to take place within 8 hours of being scheduled, notice to cancel must be given no later... read more

The accounting profession, as well as the entire educational community has dramatically changed over the past decade. No longer do university students take home text books to read and pour endless hours of continuous studying. Now all secondary and post-secondary education are on-line based with virtual text books. While printing out your reading materials is admirable, it’s not inexpensive when considering the cost of ink cartridges. Education is no longer viewed as a tangible, physical experience with personal relationships. When I was educated in accounting, we purchased textbooks, brought them back to our dormitories, and read our assigned texts multiple times. Today, students have virtual keys to unlock a database at the publisher’s website and lose retrieval rights at each semester’s end! My generation had professors who used chalk boards and engaged in question & answers with the students. The professors cared because the class’ size were smaller. Today’s... read more

Why do I tutor? Tonight, I had a great online tutoring session. It reminded me that I got into tutoring to help students. I don't want to just help them learn how to get over the current challenge. I want to enable students to understand the concepts and build skills. I want them to increase their confidence and unlock their true potential.   I was well-prepared for tonight's career development lesson. I determined specific goals in discussions with my student before the lesson. I customized a lesson plan for the student. I utilized samples to illustrate the concepts. My student really appreciated how I tailored the lesson and made it engaging. My student was very genuine and intelligent and needed assistance to showcase her skills and experience. I am glad that I am able to help her with this.    I've been reading a lot of the posts on the forum, the blog, and in the news. Many tutors are frustrated with the present economy or the Wyzant rate change... read more

Many students are intimidated from using Excel to enhance their accounting homework. The everyday stress of student life & juggling the limited free time available sometimes leaves less than adequate time to learn the basics of your laptop, recall your passwords, memorize the campus layout, restore laptop connectivity, and yes: become even remotely familiar with Excel software! Frankly, I have had one student claim their professor forbid them from using Excel as a tool! I can’t really understand this because once our students graduate, they will be expected to use Excel on a moment-by-moment basis for their employer’s benefit. Excel based problem solving allows the student to concentrate on the theory behind his/her problem solving and how to sharpen his/her approach as opposed to old fashion pencil pushing - which is so susceptible to unintentional math errors and dull pencils will always need to be re-sharpened! Please contact me for a one-hour... read more

My students know what makes me special. Here's why:   1. When I go to a session I try to wear something that somehow fits with the topic, and I explain it. For example, I have what I call "accounting shirts" that I wear for my accounting students. They look like they are printed on old-fashioned accounting paper and students are always amused to hear that the work was once done that way. 2. I work hard on my handout sheets, especially for young students, with memorable symbols and comedic graphics to help teach them. Sometimes it works with adults too! 3. One word- acronyms. The funnier the acronyms, the easier it is to memorize something with them. 4. I have my secret weapon-- advanced Power Point skills where I give a customized lesson for particular students. I get paid nothing extra for my time spent doing this voluntarily, but look at my success rate. 5. If gimmicks are not working, I notice the negative reaction immediately and I don't waste... read more

There are two types of children whose parents come to me for chess lessons: cerebral kids who have possibly already tried chess and have already beaten everyone in the household, and rambunctious, smart kids who need to learn focus. Sometimes, the same child has both characteristics.   Can learning chess change the very nature of a child? The answer is: No, not in any way that you would likely notice in the short-term. Learning chess is a wonderful tool for the tool box. He or she will use it as they will, either now or much later. And of course, most children, no matter how smart they are, wish to spend some of their day pursuing less obviously cerebral activities since they are children and that is their nature. Remaining fit and preparing to be an adult requires a certain amount of physical engagement. If you are a kitten, you play-hunt. Nature tells you to do that just in case you will not be a house cat all your life.   If a child is restless despite... read more