Rounding Up Three More Usual Math Suspects

We tutors get an interesting perspective into students' math struggles. We find ourselves reteaching the same concepts over and over, to students from 5th through 12th grade.

The human brain has a hard time grasping and retaining certain kinds of information. Terminology is especially hard, which is why you will notice that my Usual Math Suspects List comprises mostly math words and the procedures these words are meant to trigger.

Parents need to realize...


A Surprising Benefit of Test Preparation

To get ready for standardized tests, students have to practice answering many different types of math problems, all mixed together. This can be hard, especially at first.

But it turns out that "interleaving" all sorts of math material produces better retention than practicing only one kind of problem at a time. Making the brain work harder causes it to learn more!

One excellent form of interleaving is to go back every...


3 Math Facts All Kids Need to Know (But Many Do Not)

With school back in session, I find myself reteaching and refreshing students on a very familiar (to me, anyway) list of math concepts. By now I think of them as The Usual Suspects.

I hope parents will find it reassuring to know that it's not just their kid who can't seem to retain certain math facts. Students from middle school all the way up through 12th grade have trouble making some fundamental math ideas stick.

But parents also need to to realize that it's these "little details" which trip kids up in big ways and prevent them from being great math students. Indeed, most calculus students who drop out, do so not because they find the calculus itself hard, but because their math foundations are weak.


Use Math Tests to Teach Executive Function

The point of taking a test is to find out what you know and what you still need to work on. Tests are powerful learning tools!

It's also important for students to use their test results to help them learn to plan and prepare better in the future. Did my study methods work well for me? Should I change some of my tactics? Maybe I should begin studying earlier.


Old vs. New SAT: What You Need To Know

The College Board is calling it the Redesigned SAT, and it's coming out soon!

The New SAT will first be given on March 5, 2016. Until then, the current version will be given.

All students should create a user name and password on the College Board site, to access all the free resources and receive important updates.
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