Improving Academic Performance

Tips for Staying Organized: Part 1

Posted by Banke Abioye on Wed, Apr 05, 2017 @ 09:58 AM

Keeping abreast of school assignments, tests, and projects can be quite a hassle if you are not organized. Not only can good organizational skills help you complete tasks in an orderly and timely manner, good organizational skills can also help you stay focused and earn higher grades and better test scores.

In this two-part article, we’ll talk about organizing your: a) things b) work space c) schoolwork and d) time.

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Tags: organization skills

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

Best Practices: Study Planning

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


Whether the topic is ACT prep or improving performance in a math or history class, developing a customized study plan is without a doubt a critical success factor. It’s something I talk a lot about with parents, and something we constantly reinforce with our tutors.

But, what are the key components of an effective study plan?

In this blog article, we reproduce and share a “follow up email” sent by one of our most experienced ACT tutors to a new student as a means of illustrating the key issues any good study plan should address. We have changed the names of the tutor and student to protect their identities. Emails like this should be a core element of any effect tutoring relationship.

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Tags: Study Planning

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

Brain Rules Part 2: 6 More Ways to Improve Brain Function

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

In this second installment of Brain Rules, I’ll introduce 6 additional brain rules to leverage in understanding the ways we think, learn and retain new information. Hopefully, you can incorporate some of these into your routine to help you study more efficiently and effectively.

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Tags: brain science, malleable brain, John Medina, Brain Rules

Brain Rules: 6 Ways to Improve Brain Function

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 @ 10:00 AM

In Brain Rules, John Medina, a molecular biologist and student of the brain, dissects the way our brains work, providing practical tips and advice for how to harness your brain’s ability to learn and grow to be more successful in every avenue of life from school to work and more.  

Oftentimes, students feel that the only way they can improve academically or enhance their performance on exams is by taking an expensive course or hiring a tutor, someone else to teach them. While seeking-out academic help is certainly important and can help you make great strides, there are many things you can do on your own to improve your brain function and ability to better comprehend and recall information.

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Tags: brain science, memory techniques, Managing Stress, John Medina

How to Improve Reading and Writing Skills with these Easy Steps

Posted by Dave Landry, Jr. on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 @ 08:42 PM


Reading and writing are two skillsets that are imperative in school. Any successful student will tell you that both reading and writing are keys to improving grades and learning. You cannot be successful in school without reading and writing. Fortunately, these are two highly valuable skills that can also be easily improved. However, keep in mind that to get better at anything you must be dedicated to practicing regularly, the same goes for reading and writing.  Here are some easy ways to improve your reading and writing skills to help you become a successful student. 

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Tags: Reading Comprehension, Improving Writing

When, and When Not, to Hire a Private Tutor

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Thu, Feb 09, 2017 @ 08:49 PM

Much as an athlete benefits from a good coach, a student can reap incredible benefits from a supportive tutor. Tutoring, in many ways, is similar to coaching: it requires relationship building, positive reinforcement, support, and a true, unwavering interest in a student’s success. The right tutor can be the difference between struggle and success. With a willing and coachable student, a tutor can identify weaknesses, build confidence, and act as a constant support. There are many instances when hiring a tutor can be beneficial, including:

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Tags: When to hire a private tutor

Learning Specialist - Isn’t that just a tutor?

Posted by Lisa Alvarado on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 @ 10:00 AM


Tutors have existed for as long as man. Elders helping the younger generation learn the skill sets necessary to survive in their environment.  Of course, early tutoring focused more on gathering food and creating shelter than on memorizing math tables. Fast forward to our test driven and memorization based school curriculum. Students have to absorb and repeat mountains of information on a regular basis.  They have to work quickly, efficiently, and a strong competitive sense emerges in most classrooms from an early age.  Most parents feel their children need to keep up, and some are concerned with even “Average” performance. As a result, Americans spend billions of dollars each year for tutoring support for their children.

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Tags: Learning Specialists, Cognitive Skills

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