23 Best Practices to Online Tutoring Jobs for College Students

online tutoring jobs for college students

It isn’t easy for to find good-paying work as a college student.

Undergraduate students typically earn minimum wage.

It’s even worse for you if you’re in graduate school where hours worked compared to actual pay frequently turn out below minimum wage.

At StudyGate, we feel your pain.

That’s why we’re interested in giving online tutoring jobs for college students.

You’re already studying in the library and giving it your all.

More than anyone else, you’re updated with the latest thinking.

Shouldn’t you enjoy the benefits of sharing that knowledge?

This article isn’t full of easy solutions, but the ideas are powerful when put to action.

Best of all, they can be used anywhere you choose to tutor.

We’re looking for more tutors on StudyGate, especially grad students as well as undergrads with a great GPA.

Opening an account is free and our students need your help!

Start Tutoring With StudyGate

We hope you find our help content useful.

Click the link above to learn more about how we tutor.

Either way, grab all the tips you could possibly want below!

Use the table of contents below to navigate our tutor help articles:

Tutoring Sessions:
5 Math Apps to Amp Up Your Math Tutoring Sessions
How to Develop a Great Lesson Plan to Keep you Focused and Organized
Should You Use Skype, FaceTime, or Google+ Hangouts? What to Expect From Various Video Chat Services
Tutoring Tips: 8 Not-So-Obvious Things a Tutor Should Never Do
Using a Student’s Tech Prowess During Online Tutoring
Video Chat Etiquette 101: What NOT to do

Online Tutoring Industry:
The Best (and the Worst) Parts of Work from Home Jobs
Bid on the Homework Market Like a Master
Four Examples Of Great Educators And What We Can Learn From Them
How tutors use Uber for learning to make $1,000+ monthly working online
How to Become an Online Math Tutor in Three Easy Steps
Online Tutoring Jobs: Pros & Cons of Popular Online Tutoring Platforms
The Shocking Truth About Mindfulness In Tutoring
Top Online Education Jobs That Can Minimize Your Commute
Tutor from home: A guide with industry suggestions

Marketing and Sales:
Amazing Strategies to Market Yourself as an Online Tutor
Calling bold and aspiring tutors: Choose from these 4 strategies for an optimized tutor headline
Get More Work! Tutors, Here’s How To Market Yourselves To Students!
How Doing Both Sales and Tutoring Will Get You More Work
How to charge the perfect tutor rate
How to Price Your Tutoring Services Without Cheating Yourself or Your Clients
How do I optimize my tutor profile picture?
How to Optimize your Tutor Bio

We also made a downloadable guide to these articles: get your PDF now

online tutoring jobs for college students

Tutor Students And Make Money

 

 

 

Tutor from home: A guide with industry suggestions

 

4 Questions For You To Ask When Searching For Tutoring Platforms To Tutor From Home

  1. What is their specialty and does that align with yours?
  2. How much do they charge in fees or pay you hourly? Click here for an overview of major platforms active as of February 2019.
  3. How much traffic do they actually get?
  4. Can you find work yourself?

5 Marketing Tips That Set You Apart

1. Sell a high quality sandwich at a steakhouse. You can do this be seeing what other tutors in your subject are offering, then do that even better and do it with some creativity

2. Promote your service offline at public libraries, friends, and schools. If more than 20% of talk time is about what you offer, it’s too much.

3. Make your selling point crystal clear. If an 8-year-old couldn’t see the benefit of working with you and feel excited about that, then it’s too complicated.

4. Decide what kind of influencer you are with this short quiz: https://platformuniversity.com/quiz/ (I’m not affiliated with this site) PRO TIP: To avoid spam, use reddit@mailinator.com for the email address.

5. Advanced bid offer. Find a big project, and make a bid that is exaggerated but not so ridiculous as to be unacceptable. Then follow up with a message that says even though you have many ratings (if you do), you are currently not too busy. Then mention either a better price or faster delivery than you initially offered.

4 More Marketing Tips to Really Make a Difference

6. When negotiating fees, remember there is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay. However, there is also an obligation to make a concession to someone who has made a concession to us.

7. Use humor with a bait and switch technique: You flunked out of college after you accidentally blew up the lab, but not before you had an affair with the professor running the lab and the dean found out. Actually, there is no blown up lab and no affair. But you are a hell of a student accounting tutor for the past 3 years with a 3.0GPA.

8. Turn the student from a customer into a collaborator by asking good questions about the project. Make requests for context, syllabi, reading materials.

9. Humans are phenomenal suckers for flattery. Find ways to compliment your student and their ability to learn.

Build Your Tutor Brand

How tutors use Uber for learning to make $1,000+ monthly working online

 

Platforms: benefits and drawbacks

If you have great people skills and know how to market yourself, yes, you should be able to find work on your own. The advantage of finding a tutor platform, however, is credibility boost. If you are an XYZ tutor, that means you stand for quality. Students trust XYZ, so they can easily trust you too.

The biggest truth that most people miss about tutoring online is that they focus on the commission rate as the sole indicator of the platform value. Tutors should measure the ability of a platform to drive traffic to their account. If traffic volume is high, tutors can afford to distinguish themselves and charge higher prices through the value provided by the site brand.

For the best platform: Measure customer acquisition time

When considering tutoring platforms as an earnings resource, measure how much time you actually spend looking for work before you get it, online or otherwise.

How much time would you otherwise spend looking for work on your own?

 Jobs for College Students: The 4 best strategies

The most successful tutors I have met do the following things:

  1. They clearly define a specific skill set. This makes it easy for students to know what is offered.
  2. They brag about themselves in a way that is constructive. You don’t have to be a rock star, but you should be specific.
  3. They care about their profile picture if they have one. Great tutors come across as teammates.
  4. They message in a way that is casual and helpful when asking followup questions. Less important than the grammar is the enthusiasm.

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The Shocking Truth About Mindfulness In Tutoring

 

Key Steps for Mindfulness

  1. Our reactions determine our mental and physical health. For the student, a positive attitude is equally important to your knowledge of the subject material.
  2. When you work with students, it is your responsibility to provide them with quality information.
  3. The point is that we should all pay attention to what our students say. Your job is not only to teach them and provide them with accurate information, but to encourage them to think positively and increase awareness of the negative thoughts they may be thinking.

Five Steps to Positive Thinking

  1. Gather: What thoughts are passing through your conscious mind at the moment? Can you determine the attitude of those thoughts? What feelings are they generating?
  2. Focused Reflection: What thoughts consistently flow through your mind? What would you like to directly change?
  3. Write: Based on steps 1 and 2, take a moment to write a mind map of the thoughts going through your mind. Enhance authenticity by writing it out as creatively as you wish.
  4. Revisit: Identify the negative thoughts that you wrote down in your mind map. How can they be redesigned in a way that will help you live the kind of life you want?
  5. Active Reach: Choose one thought that you would like to change. Review it in its current state and redefine it in detail. Dwell on that new thought and own it as your current reality.

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Calling bold and aspiring tutors: Choose from these 4 strategies for an optimized tutor headline

 

Highlight specifics

Create something that addresses the reader and would make them want to read on.

Be authentic

  1. What are students going to get out of working with you?
  2. How will that make their lives better?
  3. How will you deliver your service?
  4. Can you use numbers to set expectations (how fast you deliver, how fast you respond to messages, years studying)?
  5. Why should your audience keep reading?

Tell 1 main thing

Have you ever been to Upworthy.com? The articles there tell readers a story. They are not sensationalist with adjectives to grab undeserved attention. Instead, the headlines serve as a spark for conversation starters.

A good tutor headline focuses on just one of the following deliverables:

  1. Subject
  2. Delivery
  3. Review
  4. Experience

Give immediate value

This optimized tutor headline strategy offers specific value through the use of “sell words.”

Here are a few sell words to get you started:

  • Tips
  • Reasons
  • Lessons
  • Tricks
  • Ideas
  • Ways
  • Principles
  • Facts
  • Secrets
  • Strategies

Tutor On Your Own Terms

How to charge the perfect tutor rate

 

Give them what they value most:

  • Can you convince them you understand their question?
  • What is a fair price from their perspective?
  • Is their delivery time possible to meet?

Here are three steps to charge the perfect tutor rate:

  1. Write down a realistic figure for the service you are providing as compared to rates you would get through other tutoring services.
  2. Review your work and calculate the time you took to complete as compared to the price you paid. Divide pay earned by time spent (including messages, follow-up, disputes) to get your hourly rate.
  3. Compare the difference between the two figures.

Tutor At Rates You Set

How do I optimize my tutor profile picture?

1. Show your personality.

Just be real and intentional with the presentation.

2. Keep it cool.

Use the materials that you would use in your specialty to promote your service.

Molly Shapiro over at PicMonkey has some great ideas for optimizing your tutor profile picture.

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Get More Work! Tutors, Here’s How To Market Yourselves To Students!

Question: I need someone to help me edit my economics paper.

Terrible:

Tutor Reply: I can do your assignment. Accept my offer nw. Yes. I can handle

Okay:

Tutor Reply: Hi, it would be a privilege to review and edit your economics paper, ensuring clarity and fantastic style. Publishing is my life’s work. As a design coordinator at Cornell University, I work with designers, production editors, and copywriters in turning manuscripts into published books. Our  goals are to produce and disseminate excellent scholarship… At your request, I can provide more information about my skills, experience, and qualifications.

Great:

Tutor Reply: Hello, I looked at your paper and feel I am a great candidate to help you for two reasons. First, I am a sociologist (Ph.D). While economics is not my primary focus, my dissertation research focused on the pharmaceutical industry which required I gain a basic understanding of the subject. I am attaching my academic resume and dissertation; I am happy to provide other writing samples as needed.

Amazing:

Tutor Reply: Hi Angela, there are a few theoretical gaps and shortfalls I’d like to address with you. However, you’re off to a nice start. (This tutor attached a file with feedback)
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Amazing Strategies to Market Yourself as an Online Tutor

 

Recognize your value and potential

Find an area to specialize in and build experience, credentials, and a personal appreciation for your own value. People gravitate toward those with competence, and from a charisma that comes from knowing what you are good at.

Exploit a niche market

The web can be mesmerizing and bewildering, but it is not complete. Look beyond the volume of information and find angles that differentiate you from the competition. This is where opportunities lie.

Network through various channels and social media sites

Many social media sites exist beyond Facebook and Twitter, believe it or not. Wikipedia lists 213.

Create a website or blog site and promote it

Publish articles and insights of interest in your field to let them know you are serious and engaged. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing is an art and science that can be acquired.

Publish in your field

Publishing articles allows you the credibility clients and parents look for. Once you have a few articles under your belt, with by-lines, you can add them to your portfolio or send them along to potential clients to assure them of your expertise.

Create a series of tutorial videos on the subject

Youtube has a shortage of good tutorials in the academic fields. Personality and quality presentations are a great way to grow your reputation.

Work for an established tutoring agency

Registering for an online tutoring agency or academic services company will instantly give you credibility and allow you to hone your skills through the experience.

Help Students Learn

How to Optimize your Tutor Bio

1. Write down three specific things you do really well

Instead of chemistry, write stoichiometry. Instead of programming, write C++ vectors.

2. Now define the value you are going to give students

What age group do you want to help? And what service do you want to provide at what speed? Which experiences qualify you to provide this?

3. Finally, pick emotional adjectives that describe what you do to help

Effortless, Painstaking, Fun, Free, Incredible, Essential, Absolute, Strange. Here are some more words.

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Four Examples Of Great Educators And What We Can Learn From Them

 

Mrs. Berens: 4th Grade

I loved Mrs. Berens because she played a strong leadership role in our learning journey. She set a high standard, expected us to achieve it, and allowed us to be curious and discover new things in the process. With her, learning was a true pleasure, and I understood that attending school was not my duty, it was my privilege.

Mrs. Rosemann: 6th Grade

Mrs. Rosemann introduced structure at a pivotal time in our lives. At the start of our preteen years, other things were more important than school, and she taught us to remain studious, composed, and to take our own learning seriously. Most importantly, she held us accountable for our behavior, our assignments, and for understanding the lessons. Many of the best educators emphasize that learning is also YOUR responsibility.

Ms. Bullard: 9th Grade English

With knowledge comes pride. The best teachers give you a good kick in the shins and make you forget everything you think you know so you can start learning from a new perceptive, which ultimately makes you smarter. Even though it was a freshman English class, Ms. Bullard treated us like seniors. She expected nothing but clear, excellent writing from us, and that’s what we had to deliver if we wanted to survive. She was a relentless, unforgiving coach—just what we needed.

Mrs. Haus: 9th, 10th, and 11th Grade Biology (AND Chemistry)

Even though she was incredibly nit-picky, Mrs. Haus taught me that anything worth doing is worth doing correctly. Excellence is all about the small things that can make or break you, and my time with her was a testament to that fact.

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Tutoring Tips: How Doing Both Sales and Tutoring Will Get You More Work

 

Tutoring Tips #1

Message students before making an offer, especially if the information is unclear.

Tutoring Tips #2

Keep messaging simple.

Tutoring Tips #3

Keep it professional with good grammar.

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Should You Use Skype, FaceTime, or Google+ Hangouts? What to Expect From Various Video Chat Services?

 

Platform Name

How it Works

Pricing

Additional Information

StudyGate

Apart from a screenshare plugin, no software download is required. Login to website required for system access.

Available for free in student-student communication, and tutor hourly rates start at $10/hr charged per minute.

StudyGate currently features one-way video chat options only. Users can share files, edit code and text, screenshare, and use a whiteboard. Currently works on laptops and desktops only.

FaceTime

The app is already pre-downloaded onto all Apple products like iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, and Macintoshes. Open the app and get chatting instantly!

Available for free with purchase of Apple product listed.

FaceTime is only available on Apple products, and the official application only allows for a one-way chat. Accompanying apps like Fam and Booyah are available for download at the App Store to allow group video chats.

Google Video Chat

Also known as Google Hangouts, anyone with a Gmail account can download the video chatting plugin as long as your device has a web cam.

Free, once you sign up for a Gmail account (which is also free).

Google Hangouts also allows users to make phone calls and create group chats on the app. You can also share photos, videos, and your location.

Skype

Available for all computer operating systems; all you need is a web cam. Download the plugin from Skype.com to get started.

Free to download for personal use, although international calling rates apply.

Skype also allows users to make phone calls to landlines across the country. Group chatting is also available for free.

Zoom Video Chat

Available for all computer operating systems as long as your device is equipped with a web cam. Sign up at Zoom.us.

Free for personal chats that can host up to 100 people for 40 minutes at a time; the next upgrade is $14.99/month.

Zoom also comes with features like break out rooms and whiteboard options.

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Video Chat Etiquette 101: What NOT to do

 

DON’T use a faulty app or internet connection

If the video chatting app you plan to use lags frequently or is prone to glitches, switch to a different one. Skype and Oovoo are both platforms you can sign up to use for free, and are widely regarded as some of the best video chatting apps.

DON’T wear your pajamas

Just because you may be working from the comfort of your couch, it doesn’t mean you get to dress like it!

DON’T set up in a crowded or active area

If you’re planning on setting up a tutoring session at your home, make sure you do so in an area where you won’t be interrupted by your parents, children, or dogs.

Lastly, DON’T forget your headphones

Using headphones is the best way to eliminate background noise, and it ensures your lesson won’t interrupt the peace and quiet of anyone around you.

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5 Math Apps to Amp Up Your Math Tutoring Sessions

 

Anki

Named after the Japanese word for “memorization”, Anki allows users to create custom flashcards in over 35 different languages. The app then helps you track your progress to determine which cards you struggle to remember.

Knowvio

Knowvio offers users thousands of interactive study questions in the following subjects: physics, calculus, chemistry, biology, microbiology, economics, and statistics. If you answer a question incorrectly, the app offers you a step-by-step explanation of how the correct answer was obtained, which reinforces difficult concepts.

CK-12

CK-12 offers help with algebra, geometry, trigonometry, chemistry, biology, and physics. Users can watch tutorials on specific concepts within a subject, and take quizzes when they’re ready to test their knowledge.

DragonBox Algebra 5+

For younger students who are reluctant to complete extra practice when they need it, DragonBox Algebra 5+ offers two levels for students under 12 and 12-17. It’s essentially a game that “secretly” teaches algebra through puzzles that don’t seem like work.

GeometrIQ

Another game based app for reluctant learners, GeometrIQ allows students to advance to higher levels of the game by solving geometry problems of varying difficulties.

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Tutoring Tips: 8 Not-So-Obvious Things a Tutor Should Never Do

 

Mistake #1: Make far-reaching promises

“Learn calculus in seven lessons!”“Improve your SAT score by 300 points!”“Sound like a native English speaker in two months of classes!”

Mistake #2: Forget you’re a representative of your tutoring platform

When you become an online tutor and use a tutoring community platform as your launching pad, you are not just representing yourself.

Mistake #3: Ignore the parents of minor students

Most of the time, minor students are not paying for their online tutoring. Their parents are reaching into their pockets to get extra help for their children. This puts tutors in the position of dealing with both mentees and moms, dads, grandparents, and other guardians.

Mistake #4: Become too friendly with a student

It’s easy to develop a rapport with some students, but remember that no matter how old they are or how much you have in common, you are not their buddy.

Mistake #5: Take on too many students at once

Tutoring allows you to make as much money online as you possibly can. This makes it very tempting to accept any students who could use your assistance. But it’s not fair to them if you can only give a smidgeon of your time, rather than your complete attention.

Mistake #6: Offer tutoring in a subject you’re not comfortable with

If this happens, you have two choices. The first is to take the job and hope you do more help than harm. Obviously, this is risky for everyone. The second choice is to help find a better tutor. Not only is this the right thing to do, but it may get you connected to another online tutor who can send students your way when they need tutoring in your areas of expertise.

Mistake #7: Go into tutoring sessions “cold”

Spend at least two to three hours behind-the-scenes planning for every hour of online tutoring. That way, you’ll always feel in control of the situation and ready for anything.

Mistake #8: Allow students to make excuses

Do you have a tutored student who constantly makes excuses for why he or she cannot finish work, or understand something?

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Using a Student’s Tech Prowess During Online Tutoring

Seek out great learning apps

Educational apps abound, but some of the favorites for teachers at all levels are Edmodo, Kahoot!, and Remind.

Find a trustworthy online chat site or app

A top freebie site is Bitpaper, which has plenty of options for tutors to share information with students.

Ask students about the apps and places they use

New to the world of Millennial learners and Generation Z students? During your tutoring sessions, feel free to ask if your pupils favor one site over another.

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Online Tutoring Jobs for College Students: Pros & Cons of Popular Online Tutoring Platforms

 

Online Tutoring Jobs: Chegg Tutors

Pros:

–    Flexible schedules: For tutors who need flexibility, Chegg is entirely online, and tutors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

–    Chegg offers a free trial period that allows students to test the website and tutoring service, meaning you get the opportunity to cultivate repeat business from the very beginning.

–    Reputation- This offers tutors the chance to work with a company whose name is recognizable and can provide the advantage over businesses that are not well-known.

Cons:

–    Lack of client continuity: While Chegg offers a lot of flexibility to tutors, the trade-off is that you have a lack of customer continuity.

–    Sticky Subscriptions and Subsequent Payout Policy:  To get the most benefit from the service, users have to subscribe. The lowest package will cost $15 a week for 30 minutes of tutoring, with a charge of $.50 every minute after that. That means if the subscriber is paying by the minute, you will also be paid by the minute, not the hour.

–    Limited Client Audience: If you are not comfortable tutoring college students who have not had experience or education at this level, it will be evident to students. This tutoring site is best for those accustomed to assisting peers and have quality writing, math and communication skills.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Sylvan

Pros:

-Flexible hours and small group teaching allow you as the tutor to focus on building the skill you are teaching your students.

-With Sylvan’s companion technology, SylvanSync, you will learn tools to help you work with students through technology.

– Pay is reasonable, according to glassdoor.com, the average pay for tutors is a little bit more than $13 per hour.

Cons:

– Sylvan still holds mostly to the model of face to face learning inside a center.

-According to job postings on indeed.com, most of these centers want certified teachers with a Bachelor’s degree or better. Those who do not possess a teaching degree, certification, or Bachelor’s degree need not apply.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Kumon

Pros:

-Jobs are listed as staff employed opportunities, which is a great option for those who like steady hours and a reliable schedule.

-Kumon takes care of their employees and offers a very nice benefits package that includes medical, dental, 401K retirement and tuition discounts.

-Since it is a brick and mortar business, Kumon is ideal for tutors who enjoy working with students in person.

Cons:

-Kumon is specifically designed for Math or Reading and many instruction options are offered after school unless you are willing to work with pre-school ages. This often means you will work evenings and weekends.

-The pay is below average, glassdoor.com lists the average hourly pay at less than $9 per hour, depending on location.

-Online reviews are mixed, stating that the company focuses on profit and strict guidelines, rather than individual student success.

Online Tutoring Jobs: Wyzant

Pros:

-Wyzant matches students to tutors who have strength in the skills they wish to improve. It’s a bit like match.com, but for learning.

-Regarding pay as a tutor, you are able to establish your own pay scale, rather than being limited to what the company offers.

-The beauty of Wyzant is that you can tutor in person or set up online tutoring and lesson plans for your students.

-Wyzant has options for students to select tutors for more than 300 subjects, which will allow for a larger customer base.

Cons:

-If you are unqualified, Wyzant may offer some stiff competition.  Many tutors are experienced teachers, grad students, and professors who are dedicated to the education of the individual student.

-According to glassdoor.com, Wyzant retains 40% of your pay rate from new tutors. You will to the have to log a set number of tutoring hours before you are able to receive a better pay ratio.

-Wyzant is a referral company that matches your skills and strengths with prospective students, so work may be slow if your skills are not in demand.

Online Tutoring Jobs: StudyGate

Pros:

-Pay is competitive since tutors can set their own hourly rates and commission can go as low as 15%

-There are no brick-and-mortar commitments, so travel time will always be zero.

-Flexibility to provide homework help in a pinch via a bid system OR offer live learning services at your established hourly rate.

-Current tutors benefit from a long-term leveraging opportunity to establish accounts now while the company is still in its early stages.

Cons:

-There is some selling involved, so new tutors often have to establish a reputation with clients and ask good questions before engaging.

-New tutors must provide a recent transcript or diploma to validate their credentials so this can be inconvenient for experienced tutors who may not have this information readily at hand.

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The Best (and the Worst) Parts of Work from Home Jobs

 

Work from Home Jobs Pro: Savings, savings, savings!

The average American commutes between 30-60 minutes a day, that adds up to over $1,000 saved on fuel alone, and that’s without the costs of vehicle upkeep.

Work from Home Jobs Con: It may be almost impossible to fully focus on your children and be productive.

If you’re considering telecommuting to spend time with your children or avoid shelling out for daycare, you may find yourself constantly leaving your desk to clean up messes or intervene in sibling quarrels.

Work from Home Jobs Pro: You no longer have to waste sick days when you’re not sick.

When you work out of the comfort of your home, office drama becomes non-existent, and you can easily work around a doctor or dentist appointment or run those errands you’ve been putting off.

Work from Home Jobs Con:  No more socializing at the water cooler.

If you’re someone who absolutely needs to chat face-to-face with your favorite coworkers throughout the day, you may feel isolated or lonely listening to voices over the phone, or contacting others over Instant Messaging.

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Tips for Online Tutors: How to Price Your Tutoring Services Without Cheating Yourself or Your Clients

 

Tips for Online Tutors #1: Take Your Education and Experience into Account

If you are on your way to receiving your Bachelor’s degree and have no previous tutoring experience, I would recommend setting your base rate anywhere from $12-18/hour. Those with a Bachelor’s degree can bump their rate up to $18-25/hour, while those with a Master’s degree or higher can start looking at $26/hour or higher. Any tutoring experience can bump your base rate up by a dollar or two per hour, while tutors with teaching certifications can see a bump of $3 or more per hour.

Tips for Online Tutors #2: Examine the Subjects You’d Like to Tutor

If you only feel comfortable tutoring one or two subjects related to your area of study, it’s best to stick with the base rate based on your education.

Tips for Online Tutors #3: Location, Location, Location

Unlike traditional tutors, online tutors have the luxury of interacting with clients from any location that they choose, which eliminates the need for tutoring rate to climb to compensate for travel fees. However, it’s highly possible that you could be asked to tutor a student in a different time zone. If the time change is drastic (6+ hours), it’s not out of the question to raise your base rate by a few dollars per hour.

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How to Develop a Great Lesson Plan to Keep you Focused and Organized

 

Teaching Strategies: Lesson Plan Templates and Samples

There are hundreds of websites for teachers and tutors that offer a variety of lesson plan templates and formats to suit everyone’s style of organization. LearnBoost.com and HaveFunTeaching.com are two of our favorite online lesson planning guides.

Teaching Strategies: Writing Your Own Lesson Plan

What exactly do you want your student to be able to do at the end of the session? Are your steps clear and easy to understand, or are they convoluted? How do you plan to check your student’s understanding of the topic, and test if he or she met the planned objective?

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Top Online Education Jobs That Can Minimize Your Commute

 

Freelance Academic Writing

Pros: Your hours and locations can be as flexible as you choose.

Cons: Student interactions and consistency are far and few between.

Online Tutoring

Pros: Your lessons are flexible and you can work directly with students.

Cons: Oftentimes, more hours are spent planning than actually teaching.

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How to Become an Online Math Tutor in Three Easy Steps

 

Get educated

A Bachelor’s degree allows you to tutor high school and undergraduate students, while a Master’s will qualify you to give assistance to graduate students. A Ph.D is the highest educational certificate you could achieve. Majoring in math is essential, and it doesn’t hurt to add a minor in a related subject like economics or accounting.

Get experience

You can start gaining tutoring experience even before you get your degree by volunteering at your university or local library. In this manner, you’ll be fully prepared to take on paid online tutoring jobs for college students and above after you’re fully qualified.

Gather your clients

StudyGate’s platform takes all the guesswork out of searching for potential students by bringing them straight to you, eliminating the need for online networking or handing out business cards and flyers.

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Bid on the Homework Market like a Master

Demonstrate Credibility

In order to win a bid, you must first ask yourself, “What does this student need to see in order to feel trust?”

If you’ve done similar jobs before, students should be able to see a review you received for that work.

Just provide the link to your tutor profile page and mention the previous client’s name.

Even better, send a screenshot.

Show Reliability

The easiest way to show reliability in the homework market is by communicating with high attention to detail.

Show the student that you really read their proposal in fine nuance by pulling out minor details from their instructions.

Then mention one or two of these points in the messages.

Consider Pricing

Time for some quick research on your homework market.

What are other tutors in this subject charging on an hourly basis?

Find a happy medium of those numbers, then calculate a price based on the amount of hours you think this particular project will take.

Once you have a number, it’s time to double that price.

Then measure what the student has paid in the past make a final estimate for what the student would pay.

Sell Value

The goal here is to sell fear.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend using this in every situation.

But if you took a caring approach before you bid and the student still throws you some shade, here is the perfect way to call them out on it.

Here’s an example of that:

I’m sure you’ll get some low-ball bids, but do you really want to risk this project on someone who isn’t the right person for the job?

When to Ignore a Question

  1. Ignore a question if you don’t have work samples.
  2. If it isn’t in your expertise, it isn’t worth your time.
  3. If the price is ridiculously low, it means the student isn’t serious about paying.
  4. A lack of detail shows the student doesn’t know what they want help with.
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What is Hybrid Tutoring?

hybrid tutoring studygate

StudyGate is the world’s first hybrid tutoring option. But what does that even mean?

Hybrid tutoring

No longer do you have to search the Internet for people available to really help you learn. No more working all alone anymore either. You can find a tutor anytime you want, get the answers you need, and have a conversation about it. If you want someone to study with, you can create a video chat room and invite your friends to get their study on too.

That’s hybrid tutoring and that’s what we offer on StudyGate.

The Old Way

Once upon a time, you would post your questions online for homework help. Then you would get some answers and have a chat with your tutor. They would even show their work. It was a great option when you had an emergency or needed help with a big project.

Lots of companies also offered online tutoring. They would give you a whiteboard and the option to get a tutor with video chat from your device anytime, anywhere.

You could give a star review if you liked the service. Some people call these options Uber for learning, but they were never integrated.

YouTubers also started making Study with Me videos to motivate each other. They would watch each other studying and work online while the video played. With the option for 10-minute breaks every hour via Google Chat, friends could encourage each others to study and stay connected too.

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Tutor from home: A guide with industry suggestions

tutor from home studygate

by Jacob Hallman

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot how to tutor from home and actually provide a learning service that students will love. I also spent some time reading two classic marketing books: Persuasion by Robert Cialdini and Contagious by Jonah Berger.

This post shares the knowledge of these two authors and more, filtered through everything I know about tutoring online.

4 Questions For You To Ask When Searching For Tutoring Platforms To Tutor From Home

  1. What is their specialty and does that align with yours? There is so much competition in this industry that very few companies actually try and tutor every single subject.
  2. How much do they charge in fees or pay you hourly? There is no industry standard here, and the rates can change over time. Good tutors are like gold to companies, so negotiate after a few weeks esp. if you’re in a rare subject and paid hourly.
  3. How much traffic do they actually get? If they have good BBB ratings, Glassdoor reviews, and high DA scores, it will be competitive to secure work there. If they have a smaller online impression, it will be easier to establish an account.
  4. Can you find work yourself? If you want to go FT and live in a developed country, it would be better in the long run to find your own clients if you can afford to earn little to nothing at the outset. For everyone else, tutoring platforms are best.

This link will help answer some of these questions above: https://www.reddit.com/r/tutor/comments/abcsh5/comprehensive_tutor_company_list/

9 Marketing Tips That Set Your Online Tutor From Home Service Apart

  1. Sell a high quality sandwich at a steakhouse. You can do this be seeing what other tutors in your subject are offering, then do that even better and do it with some creativity. Ex: Your sandwich has Kobe beef and lobster tale on buttered Brioche, but your competitor offers high-quality steak.
  2. Promote your service offline at public libraries, friends, and schools and always follow the 80-20 rule when in conversation. If more than 20% of talk time is about what you offer, it’s too much.
  3. Make your selling point crystal clear. If an 8-year-old couldn’t see the benefit of working with you and feel excited about that, then it’s too complicated.
  4. Decide what kind of influencer you are with this short quiz: https://platformuniversity.com/quiz/ (I’m not affiliated with this site) PRO TIP: To avoid spam, use reddit@mailinator.com for the email address prompt at the end. Then double down on this influencer personality by positioning yourself as such to your students.
  5. Advanced bid offer. Find a big project, and make a bid that is exaggerated but not so ridiculous as to be unacceptable. Then follow up with a message that says even though you have many ratings (if you do), you are currently not too busy. Then mention either a better price or faster delivery than you initially offered. Just make sure you can deliver on your promises!
  6. When negotiating fees, remember there is an obligation to give, an obligation to receive, and an obligation to repay. However, there is also an obligation to make a concession to someone who has made a concession to us. Make it your goal to end the transaction with the student feeling good to facilitate ease of future cooperation together.
  7. Use humor with a bait and switch technique: You flunked out of college after you accidentally blew up the lab, but not before you had an affair with the professor running the lab and the dean found out. You tried to transfer credits to a community college to save the degree, but then the school closed due to financial difficulty. Actually, there is no blown up lab, no affair, and no community college. But you are a hell of a student accounting tutor for the past 3 years with a 3.0GPA.
  8. Turn the student from a customer into a collaborator by asking good questions about the project. Make requests for context, syllabi, reading materials. This shows you want to understand their need clearly. Here’s a link for how to optimize this approach: https://blog.studygate.com/index.php/2018/03/07/market-yourself-to-students/
  9. Humans are phenomenal suckers for flattery. Find ways to compliment your student and their ability to learn.

And above all, remember the golden rule of online tutoring: there is no convenience a student will not resort to to avoid the real labor of thinking.

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How to Optimize your Tutor Bio

optimize tutor bio studygate

The YouTube videos of Pewdiepie, Casey Niestat, and elrubiusOMG are your curriculum for this crash course on how to optimize your tutor bio!

Disclaimer: those videos have nothing to do with education.

Instead, these YouTubers teach us the one thing that students find most engaging: tight communication. Perhaps not so coincidentally, that’s what matters most in a highly competitive tutoring environment.

Have you watched at least parts of those videos yet? Now is the time to watch before reading further.

There are two big takeaways:

  1. The content is to the point, within seconds. Viral videos have 0% wasted time in empty space.
  2. Each YouTuber focuses on 1 theme in 1 video before exploring it in depth.

Everyone already knows students have grown up with the Internet. This means that they have extremely sensitive bullshit filters, way more sensitive than previous generations of students

Students can spot spammy content from a mile away, so the golden rule when writing a bio is to be genuine and accurate. Don’t use filler space. Get straight to the point, immediately. Don’t say you are the grand master of all subjects even if you are. To optimize your tutor bio, tell students exactly what you do.

You can stop reading now and get the main point of this blog. If you optimize your tutor bio, you will tell a tight and coherent story about what you can offer students.

If you want to continue, there are a few exercises based on these takeaways to help you you optimize your tutor bio.

What you put into Studygate is what you’ll get out of it

Here are some prewriting steps for making your profile access as many students as possible:

1. Write down three specific things you do really well

Instead of chemistry, write stoichiometry. Instead of programming, write C++ vectors.

2. Now define the value you are going to give students

What age group do you want to help? What service do you want to provide at what speed? What experiences qualify you to provide this?

3. Finally, pick emotional adjectives that describe what you do to help

Effortless, Painstaking, Fun, Free, Incredible, Essential, Absolute, Strange. Here are some more words.

Your answers above will help to write your bio and headline. You have less than 15 seconds to capture your student’s attention, so this is the perfect opportunity to make a lasting impression.

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Four Ways To Stay Motivated And Finish The School Year Strong

Stay Motivated

It’s May! That means state testing, prom, research projects, just a bit more homework than you bargained for, and a whole bunch of other things that can really take a toll on your focus. It’s easy to start slacking right around this time of year. The end of the school year is in sight, summer’s on the way, the weather’s nicer, everything seems more upbeat and relaxed. But you’ve got to stay motivated!

Don’t fall for it!

There’s a lot you can do to sabotage yourself in this critical time in the academic year. It’s okay to stop and smell the roses every now and then, but you’ve also got to stand up straight, square your shoulders, and put in the work. Here are four ways to help you do that:

Organize and Prioritize

If there was ever a time to stay organized, this is it. With so much going on in school and at home, it’s important to keep every date, every obligation, every meeting straight in your head. If you don’t already, keep a planner handy to write down things that you know you need to take care of in the future. Then, rank those things from most to least important. Now,  you can direct your attention to the things that need it the most, and you’ll feel less stressed as a result!

Be Mindful

Speaking of stress, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything that’s going on around you. In the midst of all the chaos, take time to slow down and understand what you’re working on. Group projects and research assignments pile up during this time of year, so it’s a good idea to be especially aware of your work habits and how you’re feeling. When choosing how to divide your time, be selective! Ask for help if you can’t meet a deadline, focus on delivering quality work, and above all, set aside some time to take care of your health.

Get Some Perspective

The tests you take during this important season can improve or hurt your chances of ending up with that A you’ve been working so hard for, or the high SAT or AP score that will take you to the college of your dreams. It’s a crucial moment! But that’s all it is. A single moment in the vast timeline that is your life. Don’t put any unnecessary stress on yourself. One test does not decide what your entire future will be. Chin up, shoulders back, do your very best, and your future will fall into place, you’ll see!

Remember Your Goals

There are so many contradictory things about May. It’s testing season, and you should study hard, but prom is coming up, and you want to party hard. Graduation is coming up, and you feel like you’re finished, but those last few assignments count—it’s not over yet! Take time to remember your goals. What did you set out to achieve? Make them more visible in your everyday life. Write them on post-it notes and stick it in your notebook, on your refrigerator, on your bathroom mirror, EVERYWHERE. With summer around the corner, it’s very easy to get distracted with all the fun things going on, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to stop short of the finish line.

 

Students, this is time to remain focused and do all you can to finish the school year strong! Keep yourself accountable, check your urges to slack off, and accomplish what you set out to do! For more helpful tips, homework help, test preparation, and one-on-one tutoring, visit us at StudyGate.com!

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Four Reasons Why Vocational Classes Will Make AP Students Successful

AP Students

Harvard president Charles Eliot expresses how difficult it is to provide an  education that leaves students prepared for the workforce in his 1869 article, The New Education. On one hand, he champions trade schools. He cites their usefulness in producing effective workers with a strong sense of practicality. On the other hand, he recognizes the need to develop the American educational system to cultivate strong thinkers and educators. His difficulty in finding a comprehensive education presented a problem that still exists today.

About forty years ago, lifestyle courses such as home economics and wood shop were serious elective classes. They taught important skill sets for everyday life. As schools slightly shifted their focus to boosting academic test scores, these classes have taken a backseat and gained a reputation for being “easy A” courses. They are basically where unmotivated students can gain extra credits toward graduation.

In recent years, however, schools like Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, Washington are starting to combine Advanced Placement courses with vocational classes to provide much needed hands-on experience and better prepare students for life after high school, according to a recent PBS article. It’s a move that could potentially lead us to emphasize that pragmatism and scholarship go hand in hand. Here are a few reasons why this improvement is a step toward Eliot’s vision that will give students the tools to be more productive and successful in the future.

 

Practice Over Theory

Typically, high schools separate hands-on experiences from textbook learning as students get older. Yes, many courses incorporate effective learning exercises into their curriculum, but at the end of the day, there is a greater emphasis on standardized testing and sprucing up that all-important college transcript. Students mostly apply their knowledge to hypothetical situations. While this may do wonders for test scores, abstract theories do not completely prepare students for the future. In short, students learn by doing things. The more things they do, the more they think about their skills and work they want to pursue in the future.

 

Practical Skills Are Essential For Survival

Home economics, wood shop, auto repair, and other vocational courses teach valuable skills that adults use every day. While it is important to learn advanced science and math concepts, learning to cook a complete meal is equally important. Students need to learn basic survival skills, such as how to change a tire, change oil, sewing, tax preparation, and so much more. As students transition into college life, these skills will give them a sense of independence.

 

More Application, Less Memorization

In most AP courses, students rapidly move through difficult concepts and lessons throughout the year, taking tests regularly. Then, over the months of March and April, students and teachers shift into test preparation mode. They study the AP test format, nailing down all the definitions and possible questions and preparing students for the big test in May. These courses are useful for teaching students advanced concepts and how to take on challenges, but they are ultimately test centered. The knowledge gained is quickly lost. Students at Tesla STEM High School agree that applying knowledge to real-world situations helps them understand the material. One student links behavioral sciences to a career in forensics, saying that, “The lab work really puts things in perspective and makes them easier to understand when we take tests.”

 

Mixing Students Of Different Academic Levels Could Be Beneficial

In our current academic culture, the gifted and talented students are slowly separated from everyone else. In high school, there is a clear distinction. Mixing students of various skill has the potential to increase learning by removing status as a factor in academic success. The students normally suited to AP courses can apply their knowledge with other students and learn to become problem solvers. They learn how to work in a team of people with different backgrounds and skill sets. Students who lack the skills to succeed in college and beyond would face greater challenges and demand excellence from themselves. A learning environment plays a significant role in a student’s success and there is a lot that they can do to support each other.

 

 

A man cannot run an organization or company without having first performed the organization’s basic services, according to Eliot. A doctor cannot become the head of a major medical institution without having spent time with actual patients. The same concept applies here. Students will be better off if they apply their advanced lessons to real situations. Knowledge coupled with experience yields longer lasting success, and it is time that our educational system reflected this principle.

For more articles about education, homework help, study tips, and one-on-one tutoring, visit StudyGate.com!

 

 

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What’s The Point Of Going To College: A Look At What We Believe Education Should Do For Us

What's The Point Of College?

What is the point of going to college? Is it only supposed to prepare you for the workforce? Or should it broaden the mind and expand one’s ability for developing and understanding new ideas? This question has plagued the minds, the lives, and the relationships between students and parents all over the country for decades.

It’s deeply troubling. But it doesn’t need to be.

 

 

A Matter Of Finances

As it turns out, the perceived purpose of college has been in debate for quite some time. On February 28th, 1967, the national conversation took a turn into territory that informs the way many people, students and parents alike, think about college in the present day.

On the day in question, Ronald Reagan held a press conference on the topic of the 1968 presidential election. He was the newly elected governor of the state of California at the time. The reporter’s line of questioning turned to the state budget. That’s when Reagan shifted his focus to education. When asked whether cuts in education were necessary, Reagan’s initial response was:

“…there’s no one in this administration that intends to do anything that will be harmful to education. But we do believe that there are certain intellectual luxuries that perhaps we co do without a year or two without hurting the cause of education. And we’ve asked for their cooperation both at the college and university level, in finding those things that can be done without getting into the real meat.”

 

 

Useful vs. Useless Majors

These “intellectual luxuries” Reagan referred to are liberal arts courses. The then-governor cites courses where students learn to organize political demonstrations and repair band instruments as examples, but we can safely extend his point to include many of the more arts-centered subjects as well as the humanities.

This idea—that some courses are less valuable than others and are therefore not considered part of a good education—is one that is alive and well today. If you ask a college student who is still undecided why they have not yet chosen an area of study, most students will say they do not know what kind of career they want to pursue. That seems to be the prime reason why undecided college students cannot choose an option. It is not because they are dazzled by the number of courses available for study. It is because they are preoccupied with finding the right subject that ultimately yields the greatest career and financial opportunities.

Parents all over the country urge their children to earn a degree they’ll be able to “use” in the future. That does nothing but confuse them. Every student thinks: “I want to major in _____, but if I do, will I be able to find a job? Are there even jobs available for this subject area? Will I make enough money to support myself?” It’s a harrowing, ultimately unnecessary thought that only holds the student back and dampens their ambition. The student places all their focus on one aspect of their future—earning a living. It neglects all other aspects that can potentially boost their ability to do so. Here’s what I mean:

 

 

Yes, College Should Absolutely Prepare A Student For The Workforce…

There is no denying that a college education is an invaluable resource for everyone. Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals need to have a thorough understanding of medicine before they can even think about practicing in the real world. Business professionals need to learn about economics, finance, management, and a host of other concepts before they enter the working world. These things are non-negotiable. College can give a student the knowledge necessary to direct their natural gifts and earn a living to support themselves. However, it’s not exactly that simple.

 

 

…But It Should Also Refine Critical Thinking Skills And Fuel A Sense Of Curiosity…

Think back to any graduation ceremony you’ve ever attended. Celebrating a group of students who have the intellect and curiosity to someday change the world is the thesis of just about every speech you’ve ever heard. Why? Because good educators strongly believe in equipping students with the tools necessary to create, innovate, and solve major problems in our world. Yes, they want to you make a living, but education is ultimately about progress. Progress for you and your family. Also, progress for the children in our schools. Advancement matters for our society at large and for our world.

Progress takes a great deal of effort and thought. A college education should provide the tools to bring change.

 

 

…While Also Transmitting Culture Throughout Generations…

These days, students receive their civic and historical education largely though college. Think about it. In college, students (should) learn the importance of voting, the political process and the lasting impact our lawmakers’ decisions can have on us and our families, the history of many foreign countries and peoples, and so much more. Sure, much of this stuff is touched on in high school, but college is supposed to truly expand a student’s worldview. It is here that we learn about our role in society. These things are a crucial part of education because they ultimately decide our trajectory as a nation. Yesterday’s problems give rise to tomorrow’s solutions, which bring about more problems that need solving. College integrates students into a learning tradition in which old ideas are improved, built upon, or dispelled as per the current social dynamic.

 

 

…And Molding Students Into Functioning Adults.

There’s a reason why students leave home when they begin college. Being responsible for a certain number of classes per day, a certain amount of homework per week, and a bunch of extracurricular activities prepares students for the responsibilities of the real world. If you don’t show up to class, you could fail your course in the same way that you’ll be eating dinner in the dark if you don’t pay your electricity bill. Where do we learn to manage our time and commitments? Where do we truly feel the impact of our financial decisions and develop our social skills as adults? College.

 

 

Okay? So What?

Governor Reagan’s comments and the short-sighted attitudes that have survived over the years through our limited perception of college should not dictate how our students approach college and their future careers. Yes, of course college should prepare students for the workforce. That’s obvious, especially in our age of hyper-competitive job markets.

But we’re kidding ourselves if we want to pretend that’s all college is for.

Learning is a lifelong process. A professional in any field needs to know how to take a problem and come up with an effective solution, wonder how to change things for the better, and ultimately work well with others to create wonderful things.

While Reagan was absolutely right to emphasize job preparation, we must now include a proviso. Instead of encouraging students to pursue degrees that are directly applicable to certain industries, such as medicine and law, we must motivate them to cultivate their strengths so they will choose a major where they feel can achieve the most success.  Students will find more success in this, because it allows them to rely on their own ambition and work ethic rather than the agonizing luck-of-the-draw approach we currently rely on.

College is so much more than a place to find the best way to squeeze a good living out of our education.  It’s where we grow, mature, and where many of us discover what we think is important in life. Treating it as such will remove much of the stress and uncertainty from the college experience. It will enable our students, now and in the future, to decide on and commit to a path worth taking.

And that is a much better use of all of our time and effort.

 

 

For more thoughts on the state of education, homework help, and study tips, visit StudyGate.com.

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StudyMate: Smart And Secure Strategies To Survive The SAT Showdown (Part 2)

SAT Survival Strategies

“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” -Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

It’s 6:30AM. You’ve had a good night’s sleep, ate a good breakfast, and you’re about to make your way to the test location for the big showdown. This is what you’ve been preparing for all these months. Now it’s time to put that training to the test.

But wait!

This is the real thing! This is where it counts! Even with all that preparation, you’ll need to walk in with a winning strategy if you truly want to do your best. Listen up, solider! Here are some things you can do to stay confident in the fog of war and emerge victorious!

 

Roll Call!

Before you leave, double check to make sure you’ve got all your important stuff. Make sure you’ve got your calculator, your pencils, erasers, snacks, and ESPECIALLY your watch. You can’t afford to leave a single thing behind. While you’re at it, make sure you’re carrying your I.D. and any test registration materials!

 

Set Up Your Station

As soon as you find your desk, lay out everything you need. Take out an eraser and an extra pencil, and keep everything else tucked away under your seat. You don’t know how tiny your work space is going to be, so make the most of it and minimize any distractions.

 

You vs. Time

When your test administrator has gone over all the rules and you’re allowed to begin, take a look at the top of the section you’re about to start. There is usually a suggested time limit printed at the top, and you should set a pace to work within these confines.

Remember that watch we told you about earlier? This is where it comes in handy (sorry).

Having the time right next to you all the time will help you stay focused on your test. If you have to crane your neck to look at the clock alllllllllll the way across the room (and see all the other anxious students working on their tests), it’s going to mess up your flow. You’ll never wonder how much time you have left because you can check it periodically and adjust your pace as you go!

 

Sacrifices Must Be Made

While taking your SAT practice tests, you tried to simulate the real test conditions as closely as you could, but you couldn’t help taking time to answer each question to the best of your knowledge. And that’s great!

But this is war.

And in war, you’ve got to count the cost of your actions.

If you come across a question that you cannot answer in a reasonable amount of time, or has you stuck between two or three answers, don’t hesitate to skip it. It may feel like you’re losing out on valuable points, but an unanswered question hurts less than a wrong one, and more correct answers are going to earn you a better score!

I understand you didn’t want to leave that question behind, son. I know you could have saved it.

But it ain’t worth it, soldier. Move on.

 

Refuel

There will be a designated time to use the bathroom and take a short break. This is when you have your snacks! Yes, you’ll probably be hungry anyway, but OUR reason for bringing snacks is for morale. If you bring a snack you love, it’ll make you happier and put you back in a positive mood after a couple hours of testing. Then, go back in there in finish it off!

 

Live To Fight Another Day (Unless You’re Happy With The Result)

When you’ve handed in your test and have run far, far away from it, remember that you did your best, and that’s what counts. Also remember that you can take the SAT as many times as you want to improve your score. Many people take it two or three times! Get your results when they’re released and take the time to figure out where you excelled and where you could use improvement. Add these things to your strategy for next time, and increase your chances of scoring higher!

 

 

And that’s it! Keep yourself motivated, remember your training, stick to your test taking strategy, and we guarantee you’ll be successful! It’s all about keeping your cool, managing your time wisely and keeping yourself motivated. Once you understand that, half the battle is already won! For more helpful SAT tips and homework help, visit StudyGate.com! Dismissed!

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Smart SAT Strategies to Survive the Test Prep Season

SAT Survival

If there’s one test that fuels the anxiety of millions of students around the United States, it’s the SAT. Students and parents alike invest tons of money, time, and energy into preparing for the test that will decide their fates, and many people prepare the wrong way. Contrary to popular belief (and all that bad advice you’ve gotten) the SAT is all about strategy. Taking the SAT is like going to war (just go with it), and if you’re going to war, then you need an effective plan. Take a look at these smart SAT strategies to help you prepare for battle and ready yourself for the big test.

 

1. Gather Some Intel

Whether you’re taking a subject test or the full-blown SAT, you need to know what kinds of questions you’re going to run into. Go to your local bookstore or library and pick up a couple of books with complete tests that you can practice with every few weeks. If you search online, you can find actual tests from previous years that you can practice on. Before you even THINK about registering for the SAT, take a practice test and see how you do. With any luck, you’ll do pretty badly, and that’s the perfect place to start your training!

 

2. Get The Lay Of The Land

I cannot stress this enough: The SAT is all about strategy. You’ve got to know when to jump, when to slide, when to duck, and when to run for your life! Study the test format. The SAT is written with the easiest questions at the beginning and gets progressively harder as you go. Study the wording of each question. SAT writers love to use seven words to express what you could probably say with three. Get used to the language and the way certain questions are asked. The quicker you can read and anticipate what you’re being asked to do, the quicker you can answer and move on!

 

3. Words Win Wars

You know you’re in deep trouble when you’re taking the reading portion of the test, and you run into a word you don’t know.

Like “nadir”. Or “halcyon”.

You can try to guess the meaning through context clues, but if you can’t, you’re sunk. Get some flash cards and learn the definitions of just five SAT words per day. 5 per day turns into 35 per week! Also, take the time to read anything you can: books, articles, journal entries, essays, and try to figure out the author’s main point as quickly as you can. If you’re unprepared, the reading section is going to be a pain! Arm yourselves!

 

4. Meet Calculator, Your New Best Friend

In this battle, you’re allowed to bring only one weapon (besides your brain), and it’s your trusty scientific calculator. Your mastery of your calculator can potentially slow you down or give you a much needed speed boost! Take some quality time to learn every function, every shortcut, and every formula you need for the test. It will also clear room in your brain for other information you’ll need to memorize. Make sure you know which situations call for which formulas, but make your calculator do the heavy lifting.

 

5. Train Yourself

Now that you know the test inside out, learned a lot of big words, and bonded with your calculator, it’s time to begin your training. Set aside about 1 to 2 hours every other week to sit down and take a practice test from beginning to end. If you like, you can simulate actual test conditions to allow yourself to adjust. Take a test early in the morning, bring some snacks with you, close yourself off in a cold room, whatever you have to do! Pay special attention to the way you manage your time. Time is such an influential factor in the SAT experience—many students feel rushed at times and completely abandon their strategy in order to finish as many questions as possible. Make your time work for you!

 

6. Assemble A Survival Kit

On the day of the test, you shouldn’t be wondering where all your stuff is. Take a few minutes to gather everything you need. In your kit, you should include:

  • A bottle of water
  • Your calculator
  • A couple of extra pencils
  • An eraser
  • Some (a lot of) snacks
  • A watch (yeah, the ones with the hands that you wear on your wrist)

Put ’em all in your favorite bag and store them close by so you can just grab it and leave. Simple.

 

7. Energize

Energy is your greatest resource when taking the SAT. It’s not time, intelligence, or anything else. When you’re sitting in that classroom, you’ve got to have a clear mind and sharp focus. What does this mean for you? For a start, eat a good breakfast! Get plenty of sleep the night before the test! Do all the healthy things you’re supposed to! You need to be in tip-top condition, so take care of yourself! Don’t leave anything to chance!

 

Preparing for the SAT is about dividing your attention between learning the material and developing your test taking strategy. Even though mastery of these two aspects will leave you in the best shape to perform well on the big test, you’re not out of the woods yet! In Part 2, we’ll show you how to handle yourself during the test! Stop by StudyGate.com for more helpful tips and homework help!

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Do You Hate Group Projects? Here’s Five Steps To A Better Experience!

Group Projects

Group Projects. Nobody really likes them, but we all have to do them at some point. Naturally, working with a group of strangers comes with its problems, but they don’t go away once you graduate! You’ve got to master this! You’ll have to do a lot of it in the workplace. Here is a list of things you can do to make the group project experience less painful and more productive!

 

Say Something, And Say It Quick

You’ll be allowed to choose your own groups if you’re lucky. In that case, great! If you don’t, you’ve got some socializing to do. There’s usually an awkward moment in class when you’ve got to sit with your group while your teacher explains your assignment. Take that opportunity to introduce yourself! Learn your partner’s names and be friendly! You’ll come off as a team player and someone fun to work with, rather than That-One-Guy-Or-Girl-In-My-Group-That-I-Don’t-Really-Know.

 

Find The Alpha, Be The Alpha

There’s always that one person, or couple of people, that assumes responsibility and takes control of the group right from the start.

You know who I’m talking about.

They’re the one that comes up with the ideas, coordinates meeting times, introduces themselves to everyone (ahem), and is heavily involved all the way through. Find that person. Stick with them, learn with them, offer your own ideas, approach the group together. Cooperating with proactive people is a great way to learn how to work with others. Every ship needs a captain, why can’t it be you?

 

Listen Up

When your group meets to work on your assignment, a lot of ideas will be passed around. As a member of that group, it’s your responsibility to listen to those ideas, discuss them with the other members, and decide as a group if you’d like to include them. The trick here is to keep an open mind. Everyone probably has an idea of what they want the final product to look like. What you’re being tested on is your ability to take all those ideas and combine them into something you all can be proud of. Discuss all of your ideas early, get on the same page, decide on a direction, and move together as one!

 

Pull Your Weight

This is every student’s nightmare: You’re stuck with a bunch of slackers who don’t care about their own grades, much less yours. They sit around and mindlessly agree with everyone’s opinions at every group meeting, they don’t work on a single thing, and then they show up to the presentation and take the credit. You better believe it’s happening RIGHT NOW. Don’t be that person. Do your part of the assignment, and give it your best shot. If you suspect anyone in your group of being lazy, offer to help with their portion of the work. Best case scenario? They’ll accept and you can work together to create a stronger project, or at least they’ll get the hint and start picking up the slack.

 

 

Group Projects

Take Pride

At the end of your project, your teacher will likely have all of you present your work. As you speak to the class, be sure to give credit to your fellow group members for their individual ideas. If there was a member who made a particularly great point, or did an important part of the project, let everyone know! It will give your fellow group member a little more confidence, inspire them to give it back to you, and show everyone that your group is united!

 

You see? Group projects don’t have to be so bad! It’s all about getting out of your own space and learning how to be interactive, insightful, and friendly toward your peers. Try it out the next time you’re given a group project! For more helpful advice, study tips, and homework help, visit StudyGate.com!

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The Art Of Focus

The Art of Focus

During the last year of my undergrad studies, I found it hard to focus.

I was finally approaching the end of a five-year journey that took me across countless classes in multiple cities, two community colleges, and (at last) one university, and I was DONE. We’re now in the middle of March, and for many of you, the work is piling up and you might feel the same way! You’re tired, you’re hungry, you didn’t get enough sleep last night, and you just want to finish that assignment you’ve been working on for hours. Even though concentrating can get harder as you get busier, don’t fret! There are ways you can get back on track, energized, and ready to take on any challenge. Those methods are part of what I like to call The Art of Focus.

 

Do Something Else

When you’ve been studying for hours, all those textbooks and homework assignments just start to blend together. Give yourself a break, go do something else! The trick is, it has to be something a little complex that makes you think—just in a different way! During midterm season, I liked to spread a puzzle (500 to 1000 pieces, please!) on a table in my room, and I would take a break and work on it every once in a while. It helped me regain my focus because I was using my right brain, the creative side, and giving my left brain, the analytical side, a rest. This is much better than, say, watching TV because it keeps your brain engaged in a different way so you’re ready to pick up where you left off!

 

Do Something Nice

Whenever I felt especially overwhelmed by my studies, I dropped everything I was doing and looked for someone that I could help. It could be someone redecorating their room, moving heavy items, fixing something, or even someone who’s also studying, too! Not only does helping others feel good, it completely takes your mind off your own studies for a while. When you get back to your work, you’ll realize you haven’t thought about it in a while (that’s the idea) and you’ll be able to approach it with a fresh mind.

 

The Art of Focus

Do Something Creative

Do you like to draw? Paint? Write stories? Do you have a fun hobby? Take some time away from your studies to pursue something fun and creative that will allow you to relieve stress! In my undergrad career, I loved playing video games as a study break (particularly fighting games) because I could shift my focus to a different short-term goal, which left me energized when I got back to my homework. Another great thing to try is to simply lie somewhere comfortable, listen to music, and just stare into space. Make a playlist of your most relaxing songs, find a good spot, and clear your mind. Just be careful not to fall asleep!

 

Get Active (Physically And Verbally)

My environment was one of the reasons why I found it hard to concentrate during a long study session. Basically, I shut myself away in a dimly lit room and surrounded myself with piles of papers, books, notes, and clutter for hours at a time. Set yourself free by going…

say it with me…

outside!

If you’re aiming to complete a two-hour study session, take a couple of short 15-minute breaks and go outside (if it’s daytime) or just go walking through your home. Speak to the people you live with, call your friends for a quick chat, talk to your friend’s dog if you have to. Just make sure you’re moving your body and interacting with other people. Studying is often solitary, but it doesn’t have to be lonely!

All of these things are going to take a while to adjust to as you learn what works best for you. Here’s the point: Work and rest go hand-in-hand. You can’t work constantly, despite other’s (and our own) expectations. You regain focus in times of rest. Take advantage of the many ways you can do that, and you’ll develop razor sharp focus in no time! For more helpful tips, homework help, and online tutoring, visit StudyGate.com!

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StudyMate: How To (Quickly) Find Credible Sources For Your Research Paper

Research. Finding credible sources.  The most terrifying words you’ll hear in your entire academic career. Just hearing them made me go into denial:

 

“What? What do you mean I have to form an opinion? Wait, wait, you mean I can’t just say whatever I feel like? I have to look for…facts and evidence?”

 

Yes. You’ve got to do all that, and I know it can be a lot of work. It doesn’t have to be so terrible, though! Good research is systematic. It follows a certain logic as you develop what you want to say. You might be dreading all that time you’ll spend combing through textbooks and clickin’ around the internet, but if you follow what I’m about to tell you…

…and really focus…

…you can finish your research in a day. In. A. Day.

Look!

 

Step One: Take A Position!

Before you even begin your research, you’ve got to know what you want to say. Take some time to read the assignment, understand the expectations, and develop an opinion on the subject. This is going to make things a lot easier for you in the long run. Let’s just say your topic is:

“Is climate change real?”

Decide if your answer is yes or no, and begin thinking about your reasons. It sounds obvious, I know, but SOME people have been known to just pick the easiest standpoint to get the assignment done as quickly as possible. Don’t be that person. Think about it!

 

Find Credible Sources For Your Research Paper

Step Two: Find A…Book? At The…Library?

Yes. They exist for a reason. You can find the most credible sources of knowledge in actual books! Imagine that! Decide what your answer is, then take an hour or two to look for a few library books about your subject. Look through them and pay special attention to certain sections that can help support your main point. Then, take them with you and refer back to them as your prime research materials. Looking for a book should always be your first step; they can help you think of more specific things to say, which makes your research more specific as result.

 

Step Three: Find Some Journals

Next, you’ll want to search for some academic journals. In my opinion, some of the best academic journal databases are EBSCOHost, JSTOR, and Google Scholar, but there are so many others, so experiment and find out which one you like best. Your college or university will most likely have a subscription to many of these databases, so go crazy. Remember those specific points you got from those books? You can use those to search for articles devoted to those points!

So if you’re arguing that climate change isn’t real, and changes in sea level is one of your main points, you’ll look for those articles that support both your ideas and those in your books.  As you find more articles that support them, you’ll continue to refine your own argument. Aha! We’re getting more and more precise as we go!

 

Step Four: Yeah Alright, Now You Can Run To The Internet

At this point, you couldn’t get more specific if you tried. Now, it’s all about proving your point. Look for quality sources on the internet. You’ll be looking for quick statistics, helpful numbers, and short quotes that you can sprinkle into your paper.

At this stage, you’d be looking for numbers that reflect changing or consistent sea levels to support your previous research. I know they’re the easiest to find, but internet sources should be the last thing you look at. Anybody can go online and publish anything they want without having it reviewed. Keep an eye out for credible sites—ones where you’ll find articles with a clear author you can cite, and who has cited information themselves. When you leave those sources for the end of your research, you already know what your paper is about, and now it’s just a matter of finding figures and evidence that support all those books and journals!

 

Step Five: Trim The Fat

So now you’ve got bunch of books, academic journals, websites, and a rough draft of your research paper. Great! Now start cutting the stuff you don’t need. A lot of professors give you a minimum of number of sources they want for each medium—2 books, 3 journals, 2 websites, etc. If you’re going for the minimum, then make sure you have the best material you can find! If you’re going for only 2 books, they better give you a TON of information and support every point you make. You should never wonder whether to use a source or not. Make them work for you!

 

 

And that’s it! When you’ve got all your sources ready, make sure you cite them all correctly! If you don’t know how to cite, you can visit the OWL Purdue website to brush up on all the different styles. As I said earlier, if you follow these tips and stay focused, you can have your research done in a day (I’m serious)! Now go! To get more helpful academic tips and homework help, visit StudyGate.com!

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