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Hello to all those in the middle of finals or gearing up for them. I feel your pain. The question? How much do I have to study? Here's a few quick tips: 1. Study as much as you need to until you feel comfortable with the material. 2. Change the way you are studying every hour or so. Studying is like a mental workout, so just as you would do when you work out your physical muscles, you should change up your exercises to restimulate your mind, in order to stay fresh, focused, and effective, while continuing to build your knowledge-base. So for example, try a few sample questions to test your strengths and weaknesses, then try boiling down some of your notes into a cogent, but brief summary, then perhaps read over some information about the topic. 3. Do not simply parrot back some key phrases and type that into the study guide you are creating. You have to actually process the information and grapple with it to truly understand it. Once you do that, you will be able to summarize... read more

If you are like most students, you are hard working. You find yourself with very little extra time for more studying, between going to classes, completing your homework assignments and papers, and of course, saving some time to relax and have fun. So, at this time of the year, you have precious little time leftover when it comes to trying to cram for an exam. The question on every student's mind at this time of year: "what is the best use of my time to help me get the best grade possible?" Should you read through your notes over and over until it sinks in? Should you reread portions of your textbook? Should you just focus on taking practice exams? Flashcards? Outlines? Study group meetings? The answer? It depends. Here are a few quick tips on learning how to study: 1. Figure out (quickly) if you are a visual learner, aural learner, or someone who only learns by writing things down/typing them. Whichever you find most helpful between those methods (seeing... read more

It's just about that time of year exams. Whether you are in middle school, high school, college, law school, or other type of school, this time of year brings with it added stress and nerves. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you manage that stress: 1. If you have been studying the material for your exam throughout the semester/school year, there's no need to get extra nervous now. Keep working hard and it should pay off.* 2. If you have not been studying as much as you think you should/could have throughout the year, don't panic. Panic is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you start to worry, the worse you think you'll perform. Numerous studies have shown that one thing that affects exam performance more than almost anything is doubting yourself. Although it sounds silly -- it is crucial to stay positive. It really makes a difference, whether you're taking a multiple choice exam or writing an essay. Also, there's still time to study and... read more

Each week I see my students grow. Maybe it is understanding a new concept. Maybe its figuring out a nuance they didn't previously perceive. Sometimes it's just feeling more comfortable with the material so they can more quickly dispatch the questions they are assigned. At times, students and tutors can become complacent with this gradual progress -- for any progress is a positive thing. However, as a tutor, I feel it is also my job to assess the students' true potential and push them at a healthy pace to realize that potential. My job may mean shaking things up and trying new approaches every now and then to take the students out of their comfort zone. My philosophy is that through experience, patience, and truly putting in sufficient time to get to know your students on a personal level, you can better assess their true potential and help them stretch beyond their comfort zone so they really begin to take flight. This has to be done with care, because you do not want to overburden... read more

Instructors all have different approaches on the methods they find most helpful for their students, and the case is no different when it comes to measuring progress. I am of the school of thought that one size does not fit all when it comes to measuring students' progress and providing them with meaningful feedback about their progress. Every student is different: each has his or her own style of learning, remembering, processing information, and personality. Therefore, the traditional methodology a tutor uses for a particular student will almost certainly need to be tweaked for each student. For instance, some students are visual learners, whereas others are aural learners, and still others only learn by through writing information themselves. A conversational overview of the material may not work for students who need to see the information. Handouts alone may not work for students who need to actually fill in information and write it down themselves in order to process it... read more

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