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Brian Stewart in the news!

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Check out this article from PublicSchoolReview.com:  http://www.publicschoolreview.com/articles/701 .  

Math Tutoring in Columbus, Ohio

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My company, BWS Education Consulting, has started to offer individual math tutoring to students in Columbus, Ohio.  If you live in Columbus, Grandview, Upper Arlington, Dublin, Powell, Bexley or Hilliard, feel free to check us out for the best in affordable private math tutoring services.  

http://www.bwseducationconsulting.com/mathtutoring.html

List of 1000 SAT Vocabulary Words with Latin and Greek Roots

ACT and SAT Test Prep, PSAT, SAT Prep, SAT Reading, Tutoring, Uncategorized
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This is a PDF document that you are welcome to download, link to, or print out with 1,000 of the most common SAT Vocab words.  Along with the words and definitions, the list provides Latin and Greek Roots along with the use of the words in a sentence.  These are the same words that are featured on the SAT Vocab Flashcards here on FreeTestPrep.com.  I hope this helps you do well on the the SAT and PSAT tests!  Teachers and tutors are welcome to use this for their classes and tutoring sessions. 

 

SAT Vocabulary List

 

 

Fictional School Rankings

College Admissions, College Applications, Test Anxiety, Uncategorized
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Number 1:  Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Somewhere, Scotland

Tuition and fees: $42,752

Enrollment:  about 300

Setting: Rural

While many Muggles will only see ruins and warnings of danger, the Hogwarts castle has been on the Daily Prophet’s most beautiful campus list since its founding in the 10th century. Hogwarts offers a wide variety of challenging classes to give every witch or wizard the best possible magical education.

ScreenHunter_01 Sep. 30 17.41

 

Number 2:  Xavier’s Gifted School for Youngsters - New York, USA

Tuition and fees: Unknown

Enrollment:  Varies, first class was 8

Setting: Suburban

Mutatis Mutandis. Located on historic grounds, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters has long been an institution that promotes equality between mutants and humans. Class sizes are very small and students have the unique opportunity to learn from teachers just like them.
*Note: Pre-req for admissions – must be a mutant

X Men

 

Number 3:  Jedi Academy - Coruscant, A Galaxy Far, Far Away

Tuition and fees: Unknown

Enrollment:  First post-war class – 12

Setting: Urban

Jedis have suffered from persecution throughout the history of the galaxy. While Jedi Academies were banned and destroyed during the Great Jedi Purge, since the Galactic Civil War many locations have re-opened to provide young Jedi quality instruction in the ways of the Force.

ScreenHunter_03 Sep. 30 17.41

 

Number 4:  I.F. Battle School - Space Station, Orbiting Earth

Tuition and fees: Unknown

Enrollment:  about 650

Setting: Galactic

The Battle School not only gives students a top notch education but also trains them for war with the Formics. At the Battle School students learn military strategy and tactics as well as mathematics and science. Before graduation students must also pass  mock battle simulations. Graduates of the Battle School also stand a very good chance of later acceptance to the Command School.

ScreenHunter_04 Sep. 30 17.42

 

Number 5:  Starfleet Academy - San Francisco, California, U.S.A., Earth

Tuition and fees: Money does not exist in this time period

Enrollment: High

Setting: Urban

Founded in 2161, Starfleet Academy has an excellent reputation for training Starfleet officer corps. It’s stellar reputation is upheld by a rigorous entrance exam. Notable alumni include Jean-Luc Picard and Kathryn Janeway. Ex astris, scientia; From the stars, knowledge!

ScreenHunter_05 Sep. 30 17.42

 

Number 6:  Empire State University - New York, United States

Tuition and fees: about $34,000

Enrollment:  about 22,000

Setting: Urban

ESU has been compared to both NYU and Columbia University.  Empire State has a policy of integration, making sure all types of students feel welcome – human and mutant alike. Given this history, ESU has many notable alumni including Peter Parker, Johnny Storm, Gwen Stacy and Emma Frost.

ScreenHunter_06 Sep. 30 17.42

 

Number 7:  Camp Half-Blood - Long Island, New York, U.S.A.  

Tuition and fees: Free (must be half-blood)

Enrollment:  37

Setting: Rural

While Camp Half-Blood has had some reputation issues as a party school (being run by Dionysus), there is no better school for demi-gods in the world! Camp Half-Blood is a safe environment in which demi-gods can grow and mature amongst their peers while  maintaining ties to the outside world.

ScreenHunter_10 Sep. 30 17.47

 

Number 8:  Pennbrook University - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Tuition and fees: about $43,000

Enrollment: about 9,250

Setting: Suburban

One Pennbrook University student chose to attend PU over an acceptance to Yale. She told people this was because of the friends and community she was sure to find while attending Pennbrook. With world class professors like Mr. Feeny, who could say no to Pennbrook? Go Penguins!

ScreenHunter_07 Sep. 30 17.43

 

Number 9:  Greendale Community College - Colorado, United States

Tuition and fees: $64 per credit hour

Enrollment:  about 21,000

Setting: Suburban

GCC may not be at the top academically, but it’s definitely an affordable option! With over 80 fields of study including air conditioning repair school, all headed up by a very colorful dean, Greendale is a fun place to obtain a degree. Notable alumni of GCC include Luiz Guzman! Greendale also features many options for getting involved on campus and even features an annual paintball tournament.  

GCC

 

Number 10:  Hudson University - New York, New York, U.S.A.

Tuition and fees: unknown

Enrollment: mid-range

Setting: Urban

Hudson University has long been described as a campus having a very high crime rate.  However, the University has a very close relationship with the NYPD and most cases are solved relatively quickly. If you choose to attend Hudson University be sure to have the NYPD SVU unit on speed dial.

ScreenHunter_08 Sep. 30 17.43

We hope that this list has given you a welcome break from the stress of the U.S. News College Rankings.  Be sure you go to the college that is best for you — rankings are very, very subjective.  

–Brian Stewart

How to Increase Your Mental Focus and Endurance When Taking the ACT, SAT, GED or Other Standardized Tests

ACT and SAT Test Prep, ACT Prep, AP, GED, IB, PSAT, SAT Prep, Study Skills, Study Tips, Uncategorized
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A common concern that students have when they take a major test, like the SAT, ACT or GED, is how they can maintain focus.  Here are 15 things that can help you improve your mental focus when you are taking a test. 

1.       Get Plenty of Sleep.  If you are cramming for a major memorization test, sacrificing a bit of sleep can make sense.  If you are studying for a major conceptual and problem-solving test, however, adequate sleep is essential.  The SAT, ACT, GMAT, GRE, GED and other major standardized tests uniformly are conceptual and problem-solving tests.  As such, be certain that you are well-rested for test day.  If you are thinking about staying up late to study the night before the SAT or ACT, please don’t!  Get a good night’s sleep instead. 

2.       Caffeine Can Backfire.  Caffeine can be a helpful supplement for students who have attention deficit issues (please talk to your doctor about your personal situation).  For most students though, caffeine can make you jumpy and jittery on test day.  The adrenaline you have pumping through your veins will more than be sufficient to make you alert.  You want to make sure you are not accelerating your thinking such that you make lots of careless errors. 

3.       Don’t Ask Too Much of Yourself.  If you have only score in the 50th percentile on practice tests, do not expect that you will score in the 99th on the actual test!  You will have significant focus issues if you attempt more problems than you should and if you attempt to read faster than you can comfortably do so.  If you give your mind a reasonable task to do, it will comply.  If you don’t, your mind will shut down and think about other things. 

4.       Get Medical Help if Needed.  If you notice that you have quite a bit more difficulty in focusing on tests than your friends do, it couldn’t hurt to have a doctor or psychologist evaluate you.  I once had a student who told me that every time he took a test, he could never stay focused.  I suggested that he see a doctor, since he had never been evaluated for attention issues.  He was able to get some ADHD medicine for his test.  He took the test with his medicine, and did well enough to get in the college of his choice.  It doesn’t hurt to look into this if you never have.  If paying for a medical evaluation is a concern, your school psychologist should be able to do an evaluation on you free of charge. 


5.       Control Where You Take the Test.  Don’t just sign up for any old test-center.  Try to take it at a school or facility where distractions will be kept to a minimum.  If you are distracted by large rooms and lots of noise, take the test at a school with small classrooms.  If you are distracted by having lots of people you know at a test center, sign up to take the test on the other side of town.  In any event, think  about where you should do it.  As long as you plan far enough in advance, you should be able to have plenty of control over where you take your test. 

6.       Declare a Drama Moratorium Leading Up to the Test.  You don’t need to take it to the extreme that one of my students once did – he broke up with his girlfriend a week before the ACT so she wouldn’t be a distraction to him!  You may want to isolate yourself a bit more leading up to a test so that you don’t have the “drama” that your “friends” may often cause.  Plan on going out for a fun evening with everyone after the test is over!

7.       Practice Without Social Media Distractions.  Nowadays, we are almost like cyborgs in how we are constantly connected to our phones, computers and tablets.  If you are practicing for the SAT, ACT or another test with the test in one hand and your phone in another, you are setting yourself up for failure.  Get used to practicing without having the constant interaction of social media so that you don’t experience internet deprivation when you are stuck taking a test for 5 hours. 


8.       Have a Snack During Breaks.  This is one of the easiest yet most helpful things you can do to stay focused during tests.  Most every major test will give you some sort of a break.  Use this time to get your blood sugar up to where it should be by having a healthy snack:  granola bar, banana, energy bar, etc. 

9.       Wear Earplugs.  I have never come across anything saying you can’t use earplugs during major tests.  If you are distracted by the smallest of noises, go ahead and bring earplugs (they only cost a few dollars) and tune out your fellow test-takers.   Just be sure that you are aware of when the test proctor is calling time so that you aren’t ejected from the testing site for continuing work when you shouldn’t. 

10.   Eat Peppermint When Studying and When Test-Taking.  I have heard and read from various sources that eating peppermint while you study and then having peppermint while taking a memorization-based tests can help you remember things because you are connecting key concepts to your primitive sense of smell.  I have not tried this personally, but I have had students do this and say that it is helpful.  If nothing else, it will have a placebo effect, giving you more confidence in your ability to remember things. 


11.   Do Relaxation and Hypnosis Exercises.    Athletes do mental conditioning.  Musical and dramatic performers do too.  Performing well on a standardized test is a major undertaking – why not do some relaxation or hypnosis exercises to help you focus?  If your situation is really bad, you may even consider hiring a professional hypnotist to help you learn to subconsciously tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand while taking a test.  If your lack of focus is more mild, you can do any number of relaxation exercises available in books or online to help you channel your energy when test-taking.  

12.   Get Test Anxiety Under Control if Needed.  If you are always distracted by serious worries about your performance when taking a test, address these concerns ahead of time by thinking through how you will handle your test anxiety.  I have an in-depth guide of suggestions here:

http://www.freetestprep.com/blog/resources/test-anxiety-guide/

13.   Get Motivated if Needed.  If you are distracted when test-taking because you just don’t care, find motivation.  The best way to do this is to talk to your parents, teachers or older friends who can tell you why doing well on test you are about to take is indeed very important.  I can assure you that they will have some advice that will ring true for you. 

14.   Accept That There is Nothing Else You Can Do During Test Time.  When I go on an airplane ride, I accept that I will not be able to call anyone or use the internet during this time.  I embrace this quiet time, reading or talking with family members.  Use the same mindset when you take a major test.  Let go of any of the other things that could be bugging you during this time because there is absolutely nothing you can do about them during the test.  Given the ever-present media distractions we face, doing a standardized test can in a way be a bit liberating!  (I know that’s a stretch, but some of you may be able to look at it that way. . . )

15.   Build Your Mental Endurance.  If you are about to run a marathon and you haven’t even gone for a run around your neighborhood, you will completely fall apart.  Similarly, if you are going to take a 4 or 5 hour test, it is unlikely that you will be able to focus for this long if you have done nothing to build your test-taking stamina.  If you know you have issues with mental focus, be sure to do some full-length tests leading up to the actual thing. 

I hope you have found this discussion helpful.  If so, please share it with your friends!  Thanks, Brian Stewart




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