Monday, February 16, 2015

Habits of Effective Students






Habits of Effective Students



1. First and foremost, paying attention in class is important. Usually one pays 100% attention to the subjects they like and less for subjects that they don't. Following through, usually, your scores will be higher for the subjects that you like and pay attention to. That's because tutors usually go through the areas which are likely to be examined and prepare you accordingly for the exams as you are paying attention. So the key here is paying attention regardless how you feel about the subject.

2. Complete all your homework by yourself. Try to do as many as you can by yourself before seeking help. This helps to drive in concepts and methods taught in class, and assist you in mastering them well. I have seen people copying homework instead of doing it themselves. These people usually have to put in a much greater effort at the end of the exams to score better, stressing themselves out.


3. Practise even more questions on the same topic. The old adage "practice makes perfect" holds true. With more practice comes more confidence, leading to lesser mental blocks. The speed of doing questions will increase, and the number of careless mistakes will decrease. These are extremely important criteria for you to achieve spectacular exam results. You can do this by using the Ten Year Series, past year prelim papers, assessment books, or even free websites like ExamWorld, which provide some free questions and solutions for students.


4. Learn from other students as well. You can do this by looking at good works that have been marked. Look at the different comments by the teacher, learn the different approaches to answering questions and essays, and understand the common pitfalls to avoid them in the future. Afterall, it's always easier to learn from others mistakes right? I photocopied A grade essays from my classmates to analyse, understand their points, their argument and analysis, etc.


5. Find and discover various ways to check your answers, especially for hard sciences like maths and physics. Looking for your answers and workings again is only one way of checking. Most questions have more than 1 approach (for maths) and by using a different approach and getting the same answer, you are more or less assured of being correct. Other methods can include working backwards to reach what the question wanted to you too. Or perhaps, for probing questions, substituting a value to find that both sides of the equation give you the same results. Or even for physics, by remembering some constants, you can more or less know whether your answer is reasonable a not. An example would be finding the density of oil to be 667 kg per metres cubed. Obviously, oil is less dense than water (1000 kg per metres cube), so the answer was reasonable. This habit is extremely important, and I usually teach my tuition students how to do so and where to look out for such "free marks".


6. Make short notes to read an hour before your exam. Instead of relying on tutors for physics tuition, knowing and understanding the concepts well, memorizing the equations and definitions of the different terms, can suffice in scoring As for your exams. The knowing and understanding the concepts should have been covered in points 1 to 4 above. The equations and definitions on your short paper are mere to there to help refresh your memory so that you do not stumble in exams.


7. Teach other students freely when they ask you for help. If you can explain the question well, it truly means that you have internalised and understood perfectly the concepts being tested in the question. I realised during my JC tuition time that questions other students ask are usually of higher standards than simple questions. By helping them, I trained my mind to be able to solve tougher questions as well. And by being able to explain to them, I became even more confident and sure of myself in those concepts. Take it as a surprise test/revision that occurs frequently.

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Friday, February 13, 2015

How to improve brain power - The brain exercise

Brain Exercise – Increase your brain power in minutes

Always forgetting a person’s right after you met them?
Always forgetting where you left your keys?
Always remember the answers to your exam after the exams are over!


Well, read on to find out how you can, almost immediately, improve attention, mindfulness, concentration, and anxiety levels.

Many practitioners, including doctors, tutors, a therapist in the field of special needs and children with autism have been performing this exercise routinely and have gained enormous benefits.
You don’t have to take our word for it, you can Google it or Youtube it to view testimonials vouching for the benefits of brain exercise.

Here is a step by step guide on how to do it!


Step 1: Roll your tongue and press firmly against the roof of your mouth










Step 2: Use your left arm to pinch your right earlobe and then your left arm to pinch your left earlobe making sure that both your thumbs are on the upper-side of your earlobe.







Step 3: Now inhale deeply as you squat down, hold it for 3 seconds and then stand up and exhale slowly.

Step 4: Do this seven times in the morning, noon and night to tremendously increase your brain power daily!

The Science behind it:
The right lobe activates the left brain and the left brain activates the right brain. EKGs, a form of brain images, show that the exercise synchronizes the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Pinching the lobes also activates the pineal gland, which sits in the centre of the brain.  The pineal gland regulates our circadian rhythm and thus mood and overall well-being.

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Past PSLE Papers To Be Released in Examination Format: Providing Greater Clarity On The Overall Standard Of The PSLE

Past PSLE Papers To Be Released in Examination Format: Providing Greater Clarity On The Overall Standard Of The PSLE
1Since 1993, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) has been releasing the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) questions by topics for Mathematics and Science, and by item types for the English Language and Mother Tongue Languages. This has supported teaching and learning in schools and helped familiarise students with the types of questions in the PSLE.
2Starting 2015, on an annual basis, SEAB will be releasing PSLE papers from the previous three years in examination format, for both the standard and foundation levels1, in all subjects. This enhancement aims to provide students and parents with greater clarity on the overall standard of the PSLE.
3The PSLE is a checkpoint in a child’s learning journey, intended to help him take stock of his learning before entering the next phase of education. Hence, the PSLE is designed to test students’ mastery of knowledge and skills in the Singapore primary syllabuses. The examination papers are pitched appropriately and aligned to the primary syllabuses. As the examinations are designed for a wide range of students, there is a spread of questions that enable all students to demonstrate different levels of mastery.
4Chief Executive of SEAB, Ms Tan Lay Choo, said, “With a clearer understanding of the overall standard of the PSLE, we hope parents will be better informed in supporting their child for the PSLE, while bearing in mind the importance of giving their child time and space to pursue other meaningful activities and personal interests.”
5For 2015, the release will include PSLE papers from 2012 to 2014. It will be published by appointed publishers and made available at major bookstores from 7 February 2015, Saturday.
Footnote
  1. Each year, our primary 5 students will be offered a mix of Standard or Foundation subjects depending on their aptitude in each subject, as demonstrated by their performance in the primary 4 school-based examinations.
    [content is posted from http://www.moe.gov.sg]

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This is what your teachers don’t teach you - How to study smart “the real way!”

This is what your teachers don’t teach you - How to study smart “the real way!”






Now try this and be serious about it. 
Close your eyes and think of a “white bird carrying a baby in a white napkin”. 
Ok, you may continue reading now.






The keyword we are going to talk about is metacognition – teachers know this but students don’t. Metacognition refers to thinking about thinking. Let us explain this to you.
We need to understand the way our brain likes to think. We also need to understand that we can and have the potential to remember and recall a great number of things no matter how high or low our IQ is.
These are the few golden steps which you must follow when studying with a tutor and trying to remember concepts:

1) Whatever concept you are trying to remember, write down the name of it on a piece of paper.
2) Explain the concept on the piece of paper as though you are teaching it to someone else.
3) When explaining the concept, you will realise the points that you don’t understand or need clarification on.
4) This is where you need to refer back to your textbooks or notes to clarify.
5) If you do come across a very complex and confusing explanation, break it down and simplify it or come up with an analogy to understand the concept.

Using analogy is very powerful, our brain loves images and that’s how it likes to remember things. That is why right now you can still remember the “white bird carrying a baby in a blue napkin” but not the first sentence you read.

You don’t need to be a genius to train your memory, you just need to imagine. The crazier, weirder and amusing your imagination, the better you will be at remembering. And yes! It is that easy. Try it!
If you have found this article useful please share it so that all can benefit from it. 


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How to learn holistically



Learning Holistically

The alternative strategy is to focus on actually using the information you have to build something. This involves linking concepts together and compressing information so it fits in the bigger picture. Here are some ideas to get started and maybe try out with a home tutor:

Metaphor – Metaphors can allow you to quickly organize information by comparing a complex idea to a simple one. When you find relationships between information, come up with analogies to increase your understanding. Compare neurons with waves on a string. Make metaphors comparing parts of a brain with sections of your computer.

Use All Your Senses - Abstract ideas are difficult to memorize because they are far removed from our senses. Shift them closer by coming up with vivid pictures, feelings and images that relate information together. When I learned how to do a determinant of a matrix, I remembered the pattern by visualizing my hands moving through the numbers, one adding and one subtracting.

Teach It - Find someone who doesn’t understand the topic and teach it to them. This exercise forces you to organize. Spending five minutes explaining a concept can save you an hour of combined studying for the same effect and this is the reason why Singapore tutors have mastered content after multiple sessions of teaching.

Leave No Islands – When you read through a textbook, every piece of information should connect with something else you have learned. Fast learners do this automatically, but if you leave islands of information, you won’t be able to reach them during a test.

Test Your Mobility - A good way to know you haven’t linked enough is that you can’t move between concepts. Open up a word document and start explaining the subject you are working with. If you can’t jump between sections, referencing one idea to help explain another, you won’t be able to think through the connections during a test.

Find Patterns – Look for patterns in information. Information becomes easier to organize if you can identify broader patterns that are similar across different topics. The way a neuron fire has similarities to “if” statements in programming languages.

Build a Large Foundation - Reading lots and having a general understanding of many topics gives you a lot more flexibility in finding patterns and metaphors in new topics. The more you already know, the easier it is to learn.

Don’t Force - I don’t spend much time studying before exams. Forcing information during the last few days is incredibly inefficient. Instead, try to slowly interlink ideas as they come to you so studying becomes a quick recap rather than the first attempt at learning.

Build Models – Models are simple concepts that aren’t true by themselves but are useful for describing abstract ideas. Crystallizing one particular mental image or experience can create a model you can reference when trying to understand. When I was trying to tackle the concept of subspaces, I visualized a blue background with a red plane going through it. This isn’t an entirely accurate representation of what a subspace is, but it created a workable image for future ideas.

Learning is Your Head – Having beautiful notes and a perfectly highlighted textbook doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the information in it. Your only goal is to understand the information so it will stick with you for assignments, tests and life. Don’t be afraid to get messy when scrawling out ideas on paper and connecting them to your head. Use notes and books as a medium for learning rather than an end result.

Hope you found that useful!
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Thursday, February 12, 2015

The common problem faced by many parents



House Tutor – We bring tuition to your home.

The common problem faced by many parents:
Hired many tutors for your child and found that none of them worked out? 
There is a simple reason why this happens. It is simply because you did not choose the tutor. 
Yes, every single time you put in a request for a tutor, a tuition coordinator will pick up the assignment and find a tutor for you upon your request. 
And more frequently than not, the coordinator is more focused on closing the deal to earn the commission rather than finding you the right tutor to suit all your child’s needs.

How are we different as a tuition agency?
House tutor is the only website where you are able to view the tutor's profile, qualification, and rates and also chat with the tutor directly on our website.
Yes! You chat with them directly to understand your tutor, their background and only hire them only when you find them suitable and able to accommodate all your needs!

How much will it cost you to engage a tutor from our site?
It’s absolutely free!
We do not charge you any extra cost!
You just need to pay the monthly tuition fees agreed upon.

How to register?
Please follow the following simple steps:
1) Go to www.housetutor.com.sg
2) Click on register to input username and e-mail address
3) Log in to e-mail to confirm
4) Log in to www.housetutor.com.sg
5) Set up your profile with our step by step guided system
6) View our listed tutors and chat with them to hire them


Hope to see you join us soon :)
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Singapore's Tuition Landscape


Singapore education system has been developed and greatly refined by the pool of educators anchoring the ever-changing landscape. 
The system is very robust and ensures students are given the best opportunity to excel in their strengths! 
The time commitment is a mandatory requirement on the students’ part and if the child is unable to catch up in sufficient time, he or she will get left behind.
Over the years, from the changes, tuition, has changed from a want to a need in every household in Singapore.

All our children have different abilities and processing time. We need to provide our children with the right supplement to ensure that they are learning at the maximum potential rate.
Finding the right and suitable tutor is essential for this. Hiring a tutor depends on many factors:


1) Budget – We need to be realistic as we have our finances to manage but we also need to provide our best possible.
2) Proximity – Best situation is to have the tutor come to your house to save your time. Why do you want to pay more and spend more time to bring your child to a different venue?
3) Suitable tutor – You need to hire a tutor who is able to help your child at their level. E.g. hiring an MOE teacher with a vast number of experience to teach your child basic mathematics might cause a burn in your pocket. It is important to find the suitable tutor to teach your child at his or her competency level and change the tutor when necessary to improve the competency.
4) Communication – This is the most important point in hiring a tutor. It is very important to communicate with the tutor prior to hiring the tutor. This will give you an understanding of the tutor’s competency and how the tutor (strategies) will be able to help your child.
Currently, all tuition agencies in Singapore do not allow the parent to communicate with the tutor prior to engagement due to security reasons. And most of the time the tutor is chosen by the coordinator rather than the parent themselves. Do you think a coordinator will know the needs of your child?
House Tutor, is the first and only platform in Singapore to allow both parents and tutors to chat on our site. Direct communication is established between parent and the tutor so that they can converse to understand each other and how the child can benefit.
Come and join us at www.housetutor.com.sg and go through our pool of tutors to find yourself the tutor of your choice.


Hope you found that useful!
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Tips in maintaining stress

         Stress can be defined as a feeling that one feels when they are overloaded or struggling to manage their work or demands. Stress ...