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Study tips Part 2

Welcome to my blog or welcome back to my blog. Having trouble in your classes? Need some study tips? This blog is for you. In part 1 I discussed 2 important tips; time management and organization.  See my other blogs at if you are interested in reading about them.

1.Take notes

There are many methods of note taking out there. One such method is the “Cornell Method.” On your paper make a 2.5 in (6.25cm) margin on the left, leaving a 6 in ( 15cm) area on the right. During class take notes using the 6 in ( 15cm) area to capture the important points. skip a few lines in between topics.  Immediately after class, complete the notes as much as possible. After doing, this, go back and write a cue word in the left 2.5 in( 6.25cm) portion.

Another method of taking notes is the old tried and true outline method. This works well in classes that are content rich, such as science and math. This is just your basic outline, with the main points being numbered starting with one, and then all the sub points or steps indented underneath. Despite what you may have learned elsewhere, you don’t need to use roman numerals or letters when listing the sub points, just indent a little and make a bullet. Here is an example from my area of expertise; Biology

1. Evolution

. definition= change in the gene frequency of a population over time

. 5 main ideas

. Living things produce more offspring then can survive

. members of a population have heritable genetic variation

.  some individuals have traits that enable them to survive better in a given environment than


. competition for resources lead to struggle for existence

. differential reproductive success

3. Concept mapping or graphic organizer

This method is a graphic representation of a lecture. The main topic of the lecture would be at the top of the page and lines would be drawn to all major points and the minor points would be listed under the main points.

4. The sentence method

Still another method is to write down the important concepts in a sentence. Such as: Darwin formulated the theory of natural selection in 1859.the 5 major points of the theory or natural selection are . . . . .

There are many methods of note taking that I don’t  have room to discuss here. Feel free to look them up on Google.  It is important to find one that you like and that works for you. Once you have decided upon a method you think you might like, you need to use it. It is not necessary to write everything that the instructor says, just make sure you have the topic and the important information, so you can study it later for the test. I hope this blog has been useful to you. I cannot guarantee that you will pass the class, nor can I guarantee that you will get the grade that you desire, but by taking notes you will be well on your way. You may even ace that  exam.




Study Tips for Students part 1

First off, I want to apologize to any readers out in cyberspace. I was without a computer for a while, so I was unable to post anything to this blog. Are you a student or know someone who is? Do you need help because you just don’t “get it?” Want to start getting better grades so you can get into the college of your choice, or into the graduate program you desire, or so you can get a promotion at your work? Whatever your reason is for wanting to better yourself, I commend you. You have come to the right blog. So let’s get started discussing study tips. In this blog I will discuss organization and time management. In future blogs I will discuss other study strategies.

1. Organization

get a separate binder, notebook etc for each class. Some students like notebooks, binders with different colors for different classes. Some get all the same color and use labels to distinguish them. If you cannot afford to get a separate notebook/binder for each class, then get some dividers and pocket folders with 3 holes, place them behind the divider you make for each class along with some paper. If you use separate notebooks for each class, be sure that you get the correct notebook/binder for each class.

Keep all work, even graded assignments, for each and every class. Do not throw anything away, until the final is over, or if you are in high school, Don’t throw anything away until the quarter is over and grades are finalized. This is in case the teacher loses it or neglected to mark it in his/her grades. It also helps if you get distracted and forget to turn in an assignment. You can just go to your folder and whip it out, and turn it in. You may not get full credit because you turned it in late, but some credit is better then zero.  Being organized also helps with time management, which is #2.

2. Time Management

I know this is easier said than done, but stop procrastinating. Not only will this help you complete all your homework, but it will also make you less stressed out during those times when all the professors or teachers thinks his/her class is the most important. If you read the syllabus, you will know what is due when, if you don’t know then just ask. The teacher will tell you. Many times parts of a project or a rough draft are required to be turned in by a certain date so you can get feedback, before submitting the final draft.

Get some sort of planner and write down when each assignment is due in each class and use it! It is a great time management tool and a gret organizational tool as well. Check it everyday to see which assignments are coming up the soonest, not just the next day, working your way through the week. After completing those that are due the soonest, begin working on the ones that are furtheset out. Review notes every night, so you can ask questions the next day in class to clarify anything confusing. This also makes studying for a mid-term or a final more effective. You can spend the bulk of your study time on concepts that are still confusing to you, and skim over the things that you are confident that you know.

I hope this was helpful to you. Good luck with your studies this semester, or upcoming semester.




Standardized test success-part 4

This is the last in a series of a four part blog about standardized test success. I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs, and I wish you success on your test.

Congratulations! You have decided to take your test. I hope that this blog has helped you along in your test preparation and has given you more confidence. In this final blog we will discuss the writing skills section of the test, if your test has one. This is different from the essay, also known as open response, that some test require, rather this section focuses on your ability to comprehend, in English, what you read and draw inferences from it. This section might also test your knowledge of English grammar.

1. If a sentence contains a grammatical or usage error, DO NOT choose E, only choose E if there is no error.

For example, here is a sentence from a practice SAT that has been released

The Aother delegates and Bhim Cimmediately accepted the resolution Ddrafted by the neutral states. ENo error. 

On the actual test the answer choices would be below the words that are in boldtype.

In this sentence, there is an error so one cannot choose E.

Did you find it? the answer is B. The pronoun him is in the wrong case.if you are unsure, go back and check it.That brings us to our next point.

2. Read the sentence/ passage CAREFULLY, and ask yourself does it make sense? If not then that might be the error.

Depending upon what the question is asking, You must read the question carefully. Some questions might ask you to find the error in a sentence or paragraph, some questions ask you to make inferences about the meaning of a word in a paragraph or sentence.

3. Parallel pharsing of sentences is preferred. 

If there are 2 or more sentences connected by a conjunction, choose the phrasing which most closely resembles each other.

4. watch out for the word “being.”

If a sentence or a phrase involves the word “being” find another way to express the thought.

5. Check pronoun agreement

if the antecedent (the noun or phrase that the pronoun refers to) is plural then the pronoun must be plural as well. If the antecedent is single the pronoun must be single. Here is an example; Brian said that his car broke down. Brian is one person,therefore the pronoun must be single and in the same tense.

6. Comparisons should always be between 2 similiar things.

You cannot compare apples and oranges. If a sentence is comparing part of one thing to a whold of another thing, it is wrong. If part of the sentence is plural pick the answer choice that is plural.

7. Practice, practice, practice

All these tips are great, but there is something more important. That is practice, the more the better. You can use the practice test as a study guide. Once you become familiar with the format of the test, then you are free to concentrate on specific areas of knowledge that you may need to review. it is impossible to know every answer to every question on every test, but most standardized test have a similiar format. Test taking is a skill that can be learned, with practice you can come out of the test room feeling confident and obtain a high score.

I hope you have found something that will be useful to you and I wish you continued success on your educational journey. I have used some of these tips in the past and they really did help me score high.

Standardized Success Part 3

Ok, I want to apologize to any of my readers for allowing such a long period of time to transpire between posts. I was very busy for a while, but now I am back, with a fresh post.

Congratulations to you if you took the ACT or SAT and passed it. That was an awesome achievement. If you haven’t taken it or you want to take it again or just want to keep up with my latest blog, read on.

In this blog, I will continue to discuss tips to succeed on standardized tests. This is the third blog in a 4 part series about being successful on standardized tests.

This blog will focus on some tips for the math section of standardized tests.

1. The figures are drawn to scale

If there is a question that asks you to refer to a figure, they will always be drawn to scale unless stated otherwise. There should also be a key describing the scale much like the legend on a map.

2. Make an educated guess if possible

Find out if there is a penalty for guessing on the test. Many standardized tests have no penalty for guessing; you can use that to your advantage. How? by elimination. Eliminate the answers that you know are wrong, and then select from the ones left. Don’t know which one to select? If you can determine which ones from the left over answers are incorrect, you can narrow it down even farther, until you come to the right answer. However, time is of the essence on standardized tests. If all else fails leave it blank and come back to it or pick one of the remaining answers. I like the eeny meeny miney mo method.

3. Draw a figure or write down a formula if it is not given. 

Use this as an aid to help you work the problem. for instance, if you are asked to find the length of a side of a triangle using the Pythagorean theorem and the theorem is not given to you but you know what it is, then go ahead and write it in the test booklet.

4. Look at the answer choices BEFORE working the problem.

Sometimes questions are deliberately worded so as to cause confusion. If you do not understand what the question or problem is asking you to do, glance at the answer choices first. They can help you figure out the question.

5. Use learning aids

If a calculator and/or scratch paper are allowed, use them. The calculator will help you figure out the answer faster and save precious seconds on a timed exam. However,during the test is NOT the time to find out how your calculator works, do that beforehand so you are very familiar with the functions. During the test you will be stressed. If you do not have a calculator or do not feel comfortable using it during a testing situation, opt for the old school method of scratch paper.

Well, that’s all for this installment. I hope you have found this blog helpful. Please check out parts 1 and 2. If you desire paid tutoring assistance, you may contact me via several websites:, ,, and finally, //





Ok, so if you read my first blog, you may have noticed that I promised that more would be coming soon. Well, today is your lucky day, because today  I am writing part 2 of this blog. The next two or three sections will concentrate on specific sections of the test. Today I will provide some study tips for the reading section of the test.

1.Pick the answer choice that makes sense.

As you read through the passage, look at the answer choices to determine which one seems to be the most logical based on the context clues or the passage. For example. if the passage is about photosynthesis and all the answer choices except one are about something other than photosynthesis or don’t seem to make any sense, pick the one that makes the most sense.

2. If the passage has quotes or views from two different authors, keep what each author says separate.

some tests have passages that are followed by several questions and you have to determine which answer is the right answer to the questions. Write down in the test booklet a chart or some other way to separate what each author says or write down the important points in the passage, then when you answer the questions, you won’t get confused.

3. Pick the synonym that is the most appropriate for the passage.

if the test question states that ( insert word here) most nearly means __________ pick the word listed in the answers that most nearly reflects the word as used in the passage. You can determine the right word by reading the proper sentence in the passage and substituting a word from the answer into the passage to see if it makes sense.

4. Pick the best answer.

As you read the answer choices, if there are 2 or more that look good, carefully reread the answer choices that both look good and pick the one that sounds the best.

5.make sure your answer choice is correct for both passages.

If the test question asks you to compare 2 passages for similarities or differences between 2 passages, ensure that your answer choice is correct for BOTH passages.

That is all the tips for today. More tips for the math section and the writing section coming soon. I hope that this has been helpful to you. If you would like more help or need a PAID tutoring session, please check out my website at or leave me a message at Other websites where you can reach me are coming soon. You can also email me at and I will be happy to set something up and discuss payment with you. Have a great day, and good luck on your test.


Standardized Test Success Part 1

AAAAHHHH! The dreaded SAT. If you’ve reached the point in your education where you are stressing about the SAT or ACT, or any other standardized test that you have to take, Congratulations! You are not alone. There are thousands of students across the country that are in the same boat as you. You can do it! You can get a great score on the test, if you just spend a little time preparing. This blog is one tool you can use to prepare, not only for the college entrance examination, but for any standardized test you will have to take. I have divided this blog into 4 parts so it is easier to read. Today, I have chosen to discuss general test taking strategies.

1. Fill in the bubbles correctly with a #2 pencil.

There will usually be an example near the top of the answer sheet that shows you how to fill in the bubbles . Make sure you completely understand that example. Usually you fill in the entire bubble for your answer selection. Do NOT put an x or a check mark, a line through, or a dot in the bubble. If you make a mistake and need to erase, make sure you completely erase the mistake and fill in the whole bubble for the correct answer. There is only 1 answer for each question.

2.Don’t spend too much time on one question.

Every standardized test I have taken is timed. Therefore, time is truly of the essence here. One can simply cannot afford to use half the test time solving 1 problem. If you can’t figure out the answer, or you don’t know the answer after 30 seconds, put a mark by the correct # on the answer sheet and move on to the next one, or guess. You can always come back to it, if there is time. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO FINISH THAT SECTION OF THE TEST IN THE ALLOWED TIME. Why? to improve your score. If there are 60 questions and you only answer 30 in the allowed time you missed 50% of the test. However, if you finish all 60 in the allowed time and you miss 10, that will give you a higher score.

3. Bubble in the correct # on the answer sheet

It is very important to make sure that the question number you are answering is the same one that you read in the test workbook. For instance, if you just read #6, make sure that you fill in the bubble in #6 on the answer sheet that contains the choice you have chosen. Many test takers, perform poorly, because they fill in the wrong answer on the answer sheet. SLOW DOWN!

4. If possible, mark up the test booklet

Every standardized test I have ever taken, allows the test taker to write notes in the margins of the test booklet as an aid to solving the question. Only the answers on the answer sheet are graded, so it is to your advantage to make notes and write formulas to help yourself, just remember to fill in the correct bubble on the answer sheet.

5. Use all the time

If you finish a section early, you can go back and work on any problem in that section.

This is the perfect time to go back and work any problem in that section, that you may have skipped or want to check. If you do that and you still have time left over, enjoy the silence.

I hope that this blog has been helpful to you today. Part 2 and part 3 and 4 will be coming soon. If you need more academic help, feel free to contact me via my web page at I am available for online tutoring as well. Message me or email me for more info Good luck on your test! Like my page !

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