Improving Academic Performance

Mark Skoskiewicz

Recent Posts

Using the Science of Habits to Improve Performance in School: Part II

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Dec 29, 2017 @ 08:30 AM

In a previous article on the power of habits,  we discussed how habits are a tool our brains use to be more efficient. Instead of consciously analyzing every situation, thinking about various courses of action, and then deciding what to do, we use habits to automatically do this or that to save time. In theory, this allows us to decide to use our brain power to focus on things that really matter and really do require conscious deliberation. This is sometimes a good and sometimes a bad thing. It’s good when the habit is brushing our teeth each morning and night, or looking both ways before we cross the street. It’s bad when we grab a few cookies without even thinking about it when we are bored, or react negatively to constructive feedback.

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Tags: mindset, study skills, how to improve my grades, improve study habits, study tips, study strategies, improving academic performance, habits

Using the Science of Habits to Improve Performance in School: Part I

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Fri, Dec 08, 2017 @ 01:00 PM

We write a lot on this blog about how academic success (and other types of success) is much more a function of the choices you make and the effort you put in than a function of your intrinsic or genetic talents. In other words, most recent research suggests, and we firmly believe, that academic skills are built through practice and success comes through developing better strategies and making better choices. 

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Tags: mindset, study skills, how to improve my grades, improve study habits, study tips, study strategies, improving academic performance

Books Every Student Should Read – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 10:52 AM

As many readers of this blog know, MyGuru tries to be much more than a place where parents and students can look for a private tutor. We are trying to build a community of parents, students, tutors, and other experts where ideas about how to be healthier, more productive, and academically successful are exchanged.

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Tags: growth mindset, mindset, Carol Dweck, study skills, improve study habits, psychology of success

Want to Do Better in School? Develop Plans, Set Specific Goals, and Monitor Progress

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Sat, Nov 25, 2017 @ 10:19 AM

 

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Tags: study skills, improve your grades, improve study habits, improving academic performance

Breaks, Mini-Tests, and Multi-Task Avoidance: Three Ways to Study Better

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Nov 08, 2017 @ 09:40 AM

Few people like to do homework or study for a test. But it’s obviously important to do these things to perform well in school. And if you must engage in these activities, you might as well be as efficient and productive as possible. You want to get as much benefit from each hour you invest in studying as possible.

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Tags: study skills, improve your grades, how to improve my grades, improve study habits, time management, Brain Rules, improving academic performance

Focused Training: The Key to Building Academic Skills and Improving your IQ

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Jul 05, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

Over the past few years I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and a fair amount of writing on this blog, around what truly drives academic performance. One of my favorite (and most important) insights has been that IQ, or natural intelligence, is far less important than people assume it to be. This article considers that insight from a different angle, and introduces an interesting new book about how it may be possible to improve your IQ through targeted training.

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Tags: IQ, deliberate practice, Strategy Development, effort

An Introduction to Grit: A Key to Academic Performance

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


Over the past five years, I’ve done a fair amount of secondary research (reading articles, books, etc.) on academic performance. Two of the most interesting and actionable discoveries I’ve made are that A) a student’s mindset is far more important in explaining academic success than I would have imagined and B) a concept called Grit is what seems to power the performance of a student with the right mindset.

 

The “Growth Mindset” is a concept invented by Dr. Carol Dweck, a Standford Psychologist. Her research shows that individuals can generally be placed into one of two buckets: a) those that have a growth mindset and b) those that have a fixed mindset.

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Tags: growth mindset, deliberate practice, grit

3 Concepts Students with Learning Disabilities in Math Need to Know

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

At MyGuru, our tutors have generally attended highly selective academic institutions for their undergraduate and graduate studies and amassed hundreds of hours of tutoring experience. We have experts in a variety of subject areas.

However, we don’t tend to be specialists in helping students with learning disabilities.

I do know that, with the right customized instruction, learning disabilities can certainly be overcome. When one of our students has a “mild” disability, we’ll often seek advice from one of our partner firms, the Chicago Home Tutor (CHT) which does specialize in learning disabilities. If the disability is moderate to severe, we’ll often refer the student to CHT.

In this blog article, I’ll relay a situation we recently came across related to helping a student with a learning disability in math, and reproduce the three-part advice provided by the Chicago Home Tutor. The advice below was provided by an individual named Brendan Deztner a CHT tutor who is licensed as a learning behavior specialist and also received the highly qualified designation in math from the Illinois State Board of Education.

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Tags: math skills, Learning Disabilities

Key Reasons to Consider Online Tutoring

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Jan 04, 2017 @ 04:00 PM


I’ve come to firmly believe the benefits of online tutoring far outweigh the downsides. From online GMAT tutoring to online statistics tutoring to online chemistry tutoring and many other subjects (some of which require a virtual whiteboard, some of which don’t), we have a long list of success stories around delivering private, customized tutoring online.

 

I recognize that for some students, the stress associated with not understanding key concepts and being generally behind in a class can be exacerbated by trying to become familiar with new technology. But I believe many students who have just a slight bias toward in-person and away from virtual tutoring would be well served by re-considering an online approach.

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Tags: online tutoring, online tutors, online tutor tips, online statistics tutor

Five Powerful, Free Resources for Improving Performance in School

Posted by Mark Skoskiewicz on Wed, Dec 28, 2016 @ 10:00 AM


In the past few years, I’ve read a lot of articles and visited many web-sites to learn more about what drives academic performance and to identify mutually beneficial partnerships. I have chosen one web-site, one “app,” one blog, one online course, and one podcast. I believe any given student should at least be familiar with many of the ideas covered by each of these resources. As such, parents, high school, college, and graduate students, as professionals of any age, could benefit from spending time exploring each resource below.

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Tags: study skills, study habits, online educational resources, note-taking