SAT Study Guides: Apps & One Cool Book

Acing the SAT … there’s an app for that. No, really, College Board has a question of the day Twitter account you call follow to give your social media a little more substance.

imgres

Available on iTunes, is a new SAT Math app by Michael DeRosa featuring digital flashcards that focus on learning concepts rather than memorizing information. Find over 2,600 question combinations here.

Also available on iTunes, is the English vocabulary app by ExamBusters with over 1,000 common SAT words. Find synonyms, antonyms, sample sentences and parts of speech.

But are apps as effective as taking pen to paper? My two-cents, you want to overload your brain with as many ways to study and learn information as possible. If you’re an auditory learner, apps may be the way to go (in addition to taking as many practice tests as possible, and working with a tutor). If you are a tactile learner, perhaps you might want to make your own flashcards. Take my learning style quiz and figure out what kind of learner you are. You can never be too prepared for standardized tests, and although you may dread studying, the more prepared you are, the less you will experience anxiety. Remember, avoidance is a form of anxiety, so the more you procrastinate and put off studying, the more anxious you are making yourself. If apps can help you get into the study groove, why not give them a try? But don’t rely on them.

I also recommend this cool not-your-everyday SAT study guide, written by my colleague, writer, former tutor, and Bonobo enthusiast, Elliot Schrefer, Hack The SAT for strategies and sneaky shortcuts on how to up your score. 51WrSpr2Q0L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

 

UPCOMING SAT TEST DATES: March 8 and  May 3, 2014 Register Now!  

Advertisements

[Parents] No School = A Stressed Out Kid? Holiday Break Survival Guide

1202-Kids-Notable-articleLarge

They might not admit it, but kids (children and adolescents) crave structure. Though they might fuss and fight about the monotony of school, young people enjoy the stability and comfort of routines. (American Psychological Association). School — regulations and all — provides both structure and routine. “The holidays can be a very stressful time for everyone,” explains Sara Listas, LMSW. “With teens in particular, you might see an increase in ‘acting out’ behaviors. This might be due to unconscious anxiety that comes with a break in the routine. Adolescents might not be aware of it, but they know they are going to be out of school in an unstructured environment.” Even in my college lit class, my students like to sit in the same seats each session, and will tell their peers to move if someone sits in his or her spot.

So what happens when the routine is broken, even for a short holiday hiatus? Here are a couple tips to help parents ease the school-free days to come.

  •  Understand that a change in behavior (and often not a pleasant one) is not personal. As Sara Listas, LMSW explains, unconscious anxiety comes with a break in the routine.
  • Keep children and teens stimulated, mentally and physically. Of course they will want to sleep, hang out with friends, and do all kinds of unstructured activities, but try to plan outings that require active participation. Rather than focussing on saying “NO” to TV or video games, organize museum visits, playwriting and performances, cooking, craft projects, yoga classes or any type of participation in a team sport.
  • Encourage children of all ages to read and/or host book parties and salons to chat about what they’re reading.
  • Volunteer work during a holiday break is a fantastic (and philanthropic) way to keep teens engaged with the world (and help them build their college resume).
  • When visiting relatives, encourage children and teens to interview family members or look through mementos and keepsakes. An added bonus will come when students realize that history isn’t just a class, but an integral part of the human experience.
  • This recent New Yorker article disputes the reliability of brain games to improve attention (especially in young adults with A.D.H.D.) and boost I.Q. levels, but they are better than GTA 5.
  • Use the break to assess progress and create realistic goals. Often times, students (and parents) don’t realize how far behind they are until the end of a semester or time right before a holiday break. School reports and grades usually precede a break, so expect the results to come while you’re on holiday. If the results come as a total shock, don’t freak out. Breathe and reboot. Now is the time to strategize how to catch up. If a student is behind in more than one subject, divide and conquer. Remember, as a parent, you model behavior for your child. And chances are that if a student is behind and not telling you, he or she is overwhelmed and not sure how you will react.If a student is all caught up with his or her work, you may want to assess what to do with this time. Our achievement-driven culture tells us to ignore down time. But, I say, rethink what constitutes achievement. In fact, why not pose that very question to your child? The best academic success happens when students set their own goals and regulate their own motivation. Of course they might need some nudging, but the more agency they take in their achievement, the better the results.

[Students Only] Study Habit Tip

Study Habit Tip: Work uninterrupted for 30 minutes, then take a break. Turn off all sensory devices. Why dangle temptation in front of you when trying to get work done? No Facebook; no texting; no TV. Time yourself using an egg timer (because you’ve purposely left your phone in the other room; don’t worry, nothing so important is going to happen in 30 minutes, and you don’t want FOMO to ruin your scholastic success). If you monitor yourself accordingly, parents will respect your work habits rather than threaten to take away privileges. And after you’ve worked for 30 minutes, give yourself a reward. You are in control of how you work. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Word.

keep-calm-and-carry-on-studying-19

Find Your Optimal Learning Style

What makes you tick? How do you learn best? Take our diagnostic quiz and find out.

 images
To get the most out of studying, first figure out how you learn best. Things like environment, motivation factors, and personal preferences can affect how you work. Keep track of what cues enhance your performance, and be sure to update your study plan accordingly.
1. Noise Level: Music / Quiet
2. Light: Bright / Dim
3. Temperature: Warm / Cool
4. Atmosphere: Formal / Informal
5. Rate your motivation: High / Low
6. What motivates you more? Parent / Teacher
7. Rate your persistence: High / Low
8. Do you like a lot of structure in an assignment? No / Yes
9. Do you like to work in groups or alone? Prefer Group /Prefer Alone
10. Do you like to have an authority figure: Present / Not Present
11. Are you an auditory learner? (You are a good listener, you respond to books on tape, you understand best when you read aloud)
12. Are you a visual learner? (You use diagrams, maps, and webs to help you sort information and label ideas)
13. Are you a tactile learner? (You respond well to learning tools like puzzles and flash cards)
14. Are you a kinesthetic learner? (You have good hand-eye coordination, you like to do experiments, you respond well to activities)
15. You work best in the: Morning / Evening

 

Why Tutoring?

Why Tutoring?

why tutoring 2

The road to academic success can be exasperating for students struggling to develop effective strategies to read, write, think critically, or even stay organized. Does your child seem to get it in class, only to come home and feel lost and frustrated? Do you find yourself criticizing your child’s study habits? Are you looking for someone to mitigate scholastic anxiety?

why tutoring 1

Individual instruction relies on communication and trust, and simultaneously builds confidence in even the most reluctant students. At Brooklyn Bridge Tutors, we will design a learning strategy specifically for your child, based on his or her learning style. As an experienced educator, student advocate and counselor, the director of Brooklyn Bridge Tutors, Jill Di Donato, often works with students who have learning differences and school-related anxiety, as well students who just need a little boost in self-confidence.

Students who’ve worked with Jill have gone on to attend premiere NYC middle and high schools, from private schools to exclusive-entrance public schools like Stuyvesant, Hunter, Bronx Science, NEST + m, Beacon, Bard, and LaGuardia as well as top colleges like Brown, Mount Holyoke, Columbia, Barnard, Princeton, NYU, Northwestern and many more!

About Jill: Jill Di Donato is a writer and educator in New York City. Her debut novel, Beautiful Garbage about the New York City art scene in the 1980s is available on Amazon. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Liberal Arts Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology and teaches fiction and nonfiction workshops in Barnard College’s Pre-College Program.

In 2006, she founded Brooklyn Bridge Tutors, a holistic approach to learning that offers individual student tutoring, student advocacy, small writing salons, parent seminars, as well as expert guidance in the middle, high school, and college entrance process. As a learning expert with pedagogical training from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Jill has over 10 years experience in student advocacy and offers a holistic approach to learning. What does that mean? She will work individually with a student to diagnose his or her learning style and tailor an approach that meets each student’s needs. She uses a mindfulness practice to help students alleviate academic anxiety, and has piloted writing programs that activate agency through the discovery of voice.

Her services include subject tutoring, (fluent in private and public school curriculum grades K-12) essay writing support, standardized test preparation, (state tests in math and ELA, ISSE, TACHS, SSHAT, SAT I and II, ACT) study skills, academic advisement, school entrance support and counseling, as well as mind-body strategies to relieve academic anxiety. She is an expert in working with students with learning differences and disabilities, and maintains strong relationships with parents, school administrators, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and community outreach programs.

To consult with Jill or to schedule an appointment contact didonato.jill@gmail.com or call 917.655.8290