Tag Archives: general study tips

How to Manage Anxiety Before and During the SAT

Although seemingly innocuous, one of the biggest problems everyone faces is anxiety. Multiple students have told me that even though they have done as much preparation as possible, they are still overwhelmed by feelings of stress and anxiety on the night before the SAT. Although they are often told by their parents, teachers and SAT tutors to relax and rest early on that night, many students are often eaten alive by worrying thoughts: What if the three alarms I’ve set don’t work tomorrow? What if I can’t remember anything I’ve memorized come tomorrow? What if I have no idea what the essay question is asking me? What if there are really difficult vocabulary words? What if…?  Sometimes, these thoughts force students into insomnia and keep them up till the wee hours of the morning, hurting their performance during the actual SAT.



[Continue reading to find out how to deal with SAT anxiety…]

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Does it Matter When I Take the SAT?

I remember looking at the handful of SAT test dates that one can take during a year and worrying about, firstly, how I could fit in more studying and test-taking around my already-packed high school schedule and, secondly, which date would be most advantageous to me given that I would be bell-curved against the other students taking it on that date. Advice such as “June is terrible because every other student will be taking it during summer” or “October is when all the smart kids sit for the SAT” and “December is definitely the best month because the smart ones would not have left it to the last minute so only the average ones will take it then” often inundated already stressed out high school students. Yet, was there really any truth in choosing test dates strategically to gain a testing advantage?

Does the date I take the SAT matter?

Does the date I take the SAT matter?

[Continue reading to find out whether the SAT test date matters…]
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Organization – Tools of the Trade

by KC Wade

In her post, “Time Management,” Nina Bahadur offers tips on how to prioritize your assignments and make study schedules, which will set you on the path to studying more efficiently.

Maintaining momentum is equally important if you truly want to realize the benefits of time management. To get organized and stay organized, you should have the appropriate study materials and environment. The following four items are great basic tools for encouraging organization:

Expanding File Folder

Expanding file folders help to organize classwork. Each tab stands for a class, and class handouts go straight in the designated pocket. No need for three-hole punching, and you have the assurance that English papers will always be found under the English tab! File folders can also store handouts from extracurriculars like sports and clubs.

To prevent clutter, empty out your file folders at the end of each grading period. Keep notes you need for future midterms and exams and recycle the rest.

Some classes require you to keep separate binders, but I would stick with a central file folder as much as possible. Keeping track of one, large folder is easier than juggling 4-6 small binders, and it’s less weight to carry back and forth from school.

[Continue reading to learn about other organization tools]

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How to Improve Your Long-Term Memory: The Importance of Timing and Frequency

by Kevin Wong

Technique Trumps Innate Ability

For those of you who may think, “Oh, I have a terrible memory.  I could never retain all the stuff I need to remember for school”, think again.  Memory is far more dependent on technique and habit than innate ability.

In 2003, Nature analyzed the cognitive abilities of eight people who finished near the top of the World Memory Championships and found that their natural memory abilities and brain anatomies were NO DIFFERENT from those of the common person.

A typical World Memory Championship competitor can easily memorize and recite, in order, an entire deck of playing cards in less than 2 minutes, and an ordered list of over 1000 random numbers in an hour. These memory athletes, using their very average memories, simply trained themselves to use powerful techniques that take advantage of the way the human brain encodes and stores information to accomplish impressive feats of memory.

Believe it or not, if you had the discipline to train your mind to commit information to memory in a new way, you too could accomplish extraordinary feats of memory as well.

[Continue reading to learn techniques you can use to improve retention]
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Want to get better grades? Be an ACTIVE learner!

by Kevin Wong

Active Learning: What is it?

Active Learning forces students to interact with information in the learning process. Instead of trying to learn by simply listening to a teacher or reading text and attempting to mindlessly commit as much information to memory as possible (passive learning), the student engages in activities such as asking/answering questions, writing, or engaging in discussion related to the material during the learning process.  These simple activities force the student to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information, which promotes deeper understanding and longer term retention of the material.

[Continue reading to learn how to implement ACTIVE learning strategies for yourself]

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Welcome to the Princeton Tutoring Blog!

by Greg Wong and Kevin Wong

Who are we?

Welcome to Princeton Tutoring’s blog! We are an elite private tutoring company headquartered in Princeton, NJ. Since 2005 we have helped hundreds of students improve their confidence, increase grades, and gain admission into selective high schools and top colleges.

Our tutors are the nation’s highest performing college students and recent graduates.  They are high school Valedictorians, National Merit Finalists, and National AP Scholars. They are Princeton Dean’s list recipients and published fiction, poetry, and academic journal writers. Outside of their work with Princeton Tutoring, they are teaching assistants, tennis coaches, and dance instructors. Extracurricularly, they are actively involved in community service, are varsity athlete team captains, and are accomplished Grammy-performing musicians.

What is the goal of this blog?

Over the past several years, clients and friends have turned to us for advice on a variety of topics – “How can my child improve his organizational skills?”, “Should my son take the SAT or the ACT?”, “Which extracurricular activities and how many should my daughter focus on?”, “What are some of our recommended methods for reducing test anxiety?”, and so on.  In each case, we would respond by sending a carefully drafted response to a single person. What if we could share that information with a larger audience so more people could benefit?

Our goal with this blog is to address the most relevant academic (and occasionally non-academic) concerns of middle/ high school students and their parents by sharing tips and advice from the unique perspective of our tutors. You can also expect to see blog posts from teachers, college admissions counselors, and educators who are affiliated with Princeton Tutoring.

How is this blog organized?

The ultimate goal of many of our readers will be to gain admission into a top college of their choice. Therefore, we have organized our topics around the major components that will make you (or your child) an attractive college applicant:

  • General study tips (e.g. study techniques, time management, reading and writing tips)
  • Standardized tests (e.g. SAT/ACT, AP, SAT subject tests)
  • Extracurricular activities (e.g. summer, during the school year)
  • College admissions (e.g. essays, school selection, alumni interviews)

How to use this blog?

Looking for a specific topic? Try using the search function. Alternatively, click on any of the categories/tags listed on the right-hand-side of the page to view related groups of posts.

If you’d rather have automatic updates every time we submit a new post, you can subscribe by email. We are initially planning to update our blog a couple of times per month.

Contact us!

If you have any questions/comments or if there is a specific topic you’d like to see, feel free to contact us at greg [at] princetontutoring.com or kevin [at] princetontutoring.com.

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Please visit www.princetontutoring.com to learn more about our Company.

Happy reading!

About the authors: Greg and Kevin are brothers and Princeton University graduates. They have over 20 years of experience in the educational services industry as tutors, mentors, and coaches. After several years as private tutors, they founded Princeton Tutoring in 2005 to continue their passion for education on a larger scale and to help more students achieve their potential.. Please click here for more information about Greg and Kevin.