Studying for Finals 101: Part I

Westside Tutoring & Testing Services: How to Study for Finals 101

The Do’s & Don’ts of Studying for Finals: Part I

Westside Tutoring & Testing Services: How to Study for Finals 101

All-Nighters: A Recipe for Failure

As we move closer to finals week and SAT, ACT, and LSAT dates, the temptation is to stay up later, get up earlier, study in marathon sessions, skip meals, and avoid showers (unfortunately). In point fact, pulling your hair back and into a ponytail often serves as the next-best thing to a shower…for guys and girls!

Westside Tutoring & Testing Services' How to Survive Finals Week 101

Unfortunately, this strategy, or series of strategies, has a real downside…over and above the obvious one!

Almost everyone has pulled an all-nighter at one time or another, myself included. It was one of the most grueling experiences of my academic life and one I wouldn’t want to live through again. My all-nighter came before a Social Psychology final taught by Professor Brian Blake at Cleveland State University. And yes, I got an A on the final and for the course.

But would I do it again?

Never!

If you have several exams over the course of a week or two, coupled with an all-important ACT, SAT, or GRE, adhering to the above-mentioned strategy or set of strategies will do more harm than good.

Instead of going all Kamikaze, here is a strategy that works:

  • Begin at once!
  • Set up a schedule and stick to it.
  • Study in 45-60 minute blocks, depending on how dense the subject matter is.
  • Take a 5-10 minute break and then resume.
  • You can keep that up for 4-6 hours (4-10pm) and still get a decent night’s sleep (weeknights).
  • Study in 3-4 hour blocks over the weekend. Remember to take breaks every 45-60 minutes. You will be able to study longer (3-4 blocks) and retain more.
  • Don’t skip meals “because you just don’t have time” or you’re “just not that hungry right now.”
  • Make sure you eat a decent breakfast loaded with complex carbs on exam day(s).

NOTE: Your brain is a voracious consumer of carbohydrates and you must replenish your body’s stores every day…several times a day during exam week. Think of yourself as a marathoner and carbohydrate loading a necessity.

Load! Load! Load!

Westside Tutoring & Testing Services Recommends Carb Loading

No Kidding!

More to follow….

Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts and strategies you use that work.

Professor Z

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr.
Westside Tutoring & Testing Services
Serving the Students of NE Ohio for Over 3 Decades!
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004 (office)
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What We Offer: Specializing in Tutoring Gifted Students and Students with ADD and ADHD

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services - 30 Years of Tutoring, Coaching, Mentoring, and Influencing Students

Professional Tutoring throughout the Cleveland Area for Students from 5 to 55 Years of Age

Tutoring for All Subjects and All Levels: Specializing in the Gifted and Students with ADD and ADHD

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services is an education-based consulting firm focusing on academic support, to include one-on-one tutoring throughout suburban Cleveland.

 

Call 216-712-7004 (voicemail monitored 24/7/365)

Below you will find a partial list of the subjects Westside Tutoring and Testing Services offers tutoring in. Westside-Tutoring and Testing Services tutors students of all ages, from pre-school and elementary school through graduate and professional school:

 

Science Tutoring

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services of Lakewood, Ohio Specializes in Science Tutoring

Earth Science

Physical Geography

General Science (often taught in the freshman year of high school)

Biology

  • Embryology
  • Osteology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Gross Anatomy
  • Microbiology

Chemistry

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Physics

Math Tutoring

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Pays Tribute to the MathMan

PreSchool Math

Elementary Math

Middle School Math – General Math

Pre-Algebra

Algebra I

Algebra II

Geometry

Trigonometry

Pre-Calculus

Calculus

Statistics – Beginner through Graduate Level

In tribute to a great math tutor and educator.

We’re sorry to inform you that Henry the Mathman passed away on September 8, 2011.

He was 88.

History Tutoring

Cleveland's Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Makes History Tutoring Interesting

World History

US History – Pre-Revolution to 1865

US History – Reconstruction to 1945

US History – Post WWII to Present

Western Civilization – The Golden Crescent to the Fall of Rome

European History – The Fall of Rome through Enlightenment and Revolution

European History – Emerging from Revolution to WWII

European History – The Holocaust in Depth

European History – WWII to Present

Egyptian History

Africa and the Fight for Colonial Power (we can drill down – Africa is a huge continent and topic)

Africa: Emerging from the Yolk of Colonial Power to Present (we can drill down – Africa is a huge continent and topic)

Asia – Focusing on China and Japan (we can also delve into Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc)

Russia – The Tsars (Peter the Great, the Ivans, Catherine the Great, and the fall of the Tsars)

Russia – The Revolutions of 1905 and 1917 through Perestroika

Russia – The Purges

Russia – From Lenin through Stalin

South American History

MesoAmerican History

Mexican History – Pryamids to the Fall of the Aztecs

Native American History and First Contact

English Tutoring, Grammar Tutoring, and Literature Tutoring

Westside Tutoring and English Tutoring - A Lifelong Love Affair with the English Language

English – Grammar

English – Reading

English – The Essay, Critical and Creative Writing

English – The Research Paper and Technical Writing

African American Literature

American Literature – Prior to 1860

American Literature – 1860 to 1945

American Literature – 1945 to Present

American Literature – The Great American Novel

British Literature – The Greats: Shakespeare, Dickens, Austen, etc.

British Literature – The Industrial Revolution to 1945

British Literature – 1945 to Present

British Literature – The Novel

Humanities Tutoring and More

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services - 30 Years of Tutoring, Coaching, Mentoring, and Influencing StudentsAnthropology Tutoring

  • Archaeology
  • Biological Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Linguistics
  • Physical Anthropology

Psychology Tutoring

  • Introductory Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Child Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Learning and Cognition in Psychology
  • Personality Psychology

Sociology Tutoring

Economics Tutoring

  • Micro-economics Tutoring
  • Macro-economics Tutoring

Business Management Tutoring

Marketing Tutoring – Across a Broad Range of Topics

Sales Instruction – Want to be a better salesperson?

  • Learn from one of the best! Results are guaranteed!

Test Preparation

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services - Test Prep for SAT, ACT, LSAT, GRE, GED

High School Standardized Tests

PSAT

Standardized Tests (there are several used at present – school district dependent)

Graduation and Graduation Equivalency Exams

Ohio Graduation Test or OGT

GED

Teacher Certification Exams

PRAXIS – We’ve had tremendous success, 100% of our students achieving a qualifying score!

College Entrance Examinations – Undergraduate

ACT

SAT

CLEP

Graduate School Entrance Examinations

GRE

Professional School Entrance Examinations

LSAT

GMAT

Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional School Application Consulting

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Offers College Education Consulting

Application Support – College or university and graduate school or professional school applications must be professional and set you apart!

  • We can help you do this!

Personal Statement Assistance

Scholarship Application Assistance

Complete Application Support – From targeting the right program through admission

  • Our program yields results for students focusing on academics and/or athletics!

Reading

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Believes in Building the Proper Foundation and Reading is an Integral Part of the Foundation

Fundamental Reading – For those struggling with the ability to read

Speed Reading – Our most recent student went from 190 words per minute to 1100wpm in 12 weeks! Of course, every student is different and the above mentioned student was and remains highly motivated, but anyone can double, triple, and quadruple their reading speed in 12 weeks.

Our Most Popular Courses by Far: Study Skills and Time Management

Westside Tutoring Believes that Study Skills and Time Management Go Hand-in-Hand -Or it's a Nightmare!

Study Skills – Think back to the many courses you’ve had that deal with study skills….

Westside Tutorinjg and Testing Services Offers a Complete and Effective Study Skills Program for Cleveland Residents

  • Yeah, that’s our experience too. To date we’ve not had a student who has had a course that taught study skills, much less time management!

In fact, most students can go through 13 to 17 years of education, some students at the best prep schools and universities in the country, and never have a class on how to read faster and with greater comprehension.

  • Westside Tutoring and Testing Services teaches students to read more effectively in order to get the most out of the material you are reading, whether it’s for some sort of academic pursuit, business endeavor or project, or some other “serious” pursuit because that sort of education is lacking too.
  • Westside Tutoring and Testing Services teaches students to write well, and in a way that conveys both the student’s thoughts and ideas in a clear and concise manner.
  • Westside Tutoring and Testing Services teaches students to study for an exam…the right way!
  • Westside Tutoring and Testing Services teaches students to outline a chapter…again, the proper way!
  • Westside Tutoring and Testing Services teaches students to do independent research…in a library with real books that require a different sort of attribution….even when taking an independent study course!
  • And so on….

I think you are getting the idea by now. Westside Tutoring and Testing Services, and its founder and CEO Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., are motivated to one end, to eliminating the need for tutoring services…for anyone! No, it will not happen, not completely and not in our lifetime. But we can make it possible for students to no longer require our services one student at a time.

Kind of like planned obsolescence!

No, we will never be obsolete, at least I hope not.

However, as one of our students discovered, a very bright boy in the local school system’s gifted program, if you apply yourself for a specific period of time—and we mean really commit—you will never need our services for that course again! Sure, you may need a little help here and there, even Michael Jordan had a coach, but you will never need the kind of help you need if you’re about to crash and burn in geometry!

By the way, the student I mentioned above has since moved to Pennsylvania and is doing extremely well! I know this because I received a Father’s Day text from him.

Well, it is a different world, I guess!

Time Management – Begin to take charge of your life as never before!

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Takes a Unique Approach to Time Management

Whether you are considering this course for a child, perhaps a high school or college student, or for yourself, this course will change your life!

Again, the results are different for each and every student but one thing seems to be universal:

  • The students graduating from the Time Management course are far and away better off than they were coming in.

Study Skills and Time Management are not taught in the conventional fashion.

We know you know all about “To-Do Lists!” We are going to introduce you to a new way to think. In fact, we will revolutionize the way you think…and conduct yourself day-in-and-day-out. No, I am not talking about a lot of new age mambo-jumbo, I am talking about a course that works. In fact, the Time Management course sells out every year. We only take 10 students per year and we do not accept more than ten until someone has move on and is successfully applying our principles…with exciting, even gratifying results.

Why limit it to 10?

We’ll, first and foremost, we want every student to get the most out of the course and out of the instructor. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, we only have so much TIME!

So, call today, spots always fill up fast as we move closer to the New Year.

For information and/or a free consultation and assessment, call today!

440-821-7018

 

 

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr
Westside Tutoring and Testing Services
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
440-821-7018

 

NOTE: We do not answer the phone while with students, that’s their time! So, if Professor Z or one of his assistants cannot get to the phone, leave a message. We will call you back as soon as we are free, and certainly by the end of the day. Thank you!

Hiring a Professional Tutor and the Fram Oil Campaign: “Pay Me Now or Pay Me Later”

Aristotle: One of the Greatest Thinkers of the Western World and Westside Tutoring

You can pay me now…

…or you can pay me later!

The same holds true for almost everything in life…but it is especially when it comes to teaching, tutoring, coaching, and even monitoring. Yes, there are a handful of people who are at the top of their game and give back, myself included. But it is also necessary to keep the lights on, feed our families, and keep a roof over their heads.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! Take a look at this blast from the past and then we’ll talk. Okay?

It’s interesting how many people think the ad campaign associated with the above-mentioned quote was a General Motors, Mr. Goodwrench campaign. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter anymore because, like so many other unique selling phrases, it has grown out of the original context and has become part of our national culture.

“Pay me now or pay me later” has become one of those phrases everyone can relate to, a message that has outgrown its original intent.

Other phrases that speak to being cheap in the short run and having to pay a much greater price in the long run include:

“You get what you pay for!”

“Penny wise and pound foolish!”

This next one is one of my favorites:

“Jumping over $20 bills to pick up pennies!”

And here’s one that has all sorts of meanings and implications…but it also applies here:

“You reap what you sow!”

The purpose of the first part of this post is, or at least should be, transparent.

In fact, all you have to do is type in a few keywords and you’ll have a sense of the wide range in qualifications and fees for tutors in the Northeast and North Central Ohio areas; and, in particular, for tutors serving suburban Cleveland.

Ironically, I am usually not the first tutor most students see. However, in almost every instance, I am the last. Sadly, in to many instances I am the fourth or fifth tutor a struggling student has been subjected to before the full weight of “pay me now or pay me later” kicks in. If that makes the reader a bit uncomfortable, I apologize. Unfortunately, I see to many of the above-mentioned “tutors” advertising themselves as professionals when they are as far from it as one can possibly get and still keep a straight face.

Being sorta good at math and English in high school and/or college does not prepare a “tutor” to work with students who are failing one or more classes…with or without dealing with the added challenges associated with ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, or worse!

And it certainly doesn’t justify wasting a student’s time and their parent’s money while they find that out!

Aristotle: One of the Greatest Thinkers of the Western World and Westside Tutoring

Part II: Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Offers Professional ADD and ADHD Tutoring Services for Students throughout Suburban Cleveland and Northeast Ohio!

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services Specializes in Middle School and High School Students, Professional Tutor with More than 30 Years Experience

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services offers tutoring, mentoring, and coaching for students and student athletes from 5 to 65. Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr. has been tutoring students for more than 3 decades.

This is a partial list of schools, school districts, and cities our students have come from. To list all of the students we have tutored over the years would be impossible:

Akron University
Amherst
Ashland University
Avon
Avon Lake
Bay Village
Beachwood
Bedford
Berea
BGSU Firelands
Brecksville
Broadview Heights
Brookpark
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland
Cleveland Heights
Cleveland State University
Columbia Station
Cuyahoga Community College
Elyria
Fairview Park
Garfield Heights
Huron
Independence
John Carroll University
Kent State University
Lake Erie College
Lakeland Community College
Lakewood
Lorain
Lorain County Community College
Magnificat High School
Maple Heights
Medina
Middleburg Heights
Nordonia
North Olmsted
North Ridgeville
North Royalton
Olmsted Falls
Parma
Parma Heights
Rocky River
Saint Augustine’s Academy
Saint Edward’s High School
Saint Ignatius High School
Saint Joseph’s Academy
Seven Hills
Seville
Shaker Heights
Strongsville
University Heights
University School
Ursuline College
Vermilion
Westlake

And many, many more!

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr., “Professor Z” or “Jack” to most of his students, has tutored, mentored, and coached students from kindergarten through graduate and professional school in almost every subject you can think of.

Additionally, Professor Z has helped students study for and pass the following exams (again, a partial list):

  • GED
  • Nursing board exams and many of the classes leading up to graduation from nursing school and the exam
  • The PRAXIS series for individuals entering the teaching profession and seeking teacher certification
  • United States Armed Forces Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) for individuals attempting to enter the military and qualify for a better job or skill
  • Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)
  • PSAT
  • SAT
  • ACT
  • GRE
  • LSAT
  • And so many more!

Professor Z has also helped students: 

  • Overcome test anxiety – for students at every level, from middle school to medical school
  • Develop study skills – necessary to improve performance
  • Time management – in order to use time more efficiently
  • To qualify for scholarships and for participation – for athletics at the high school and college/university level 
  • To meet eligibility requirements – GPA and SAT or ACT scores to qualify for NCAA eligibility

Some of the courses Professor Z has provided tutoring services for over the years include (K through professional school, as well as adult and post grad studies):

African-American Art
African-American Literature
Pre-Algebra
Algebra I
Algebra II
American Literature
Anatomy and Physiology (as well as Gross Anatomy)
Anthropology (Cultural, Biological, Forensic, and Physical Anthropology)
AP Courses in almost every discipline
Archaeology
Art History
Biology (all levels and sub disciplines)
British Literature
Chemistry
Civics
Earth Science
Ecology and Human Ecology
Economics – Macroeconomics and Microeconomics
Elementary Math
Elementary Science
Embryology and Vertebrate Embryology
English and English Composition
Environmental Science
Finance
French
Genetics and Micro Evolutionary Genetics
Geography and Physical Geography
Geometry
History (US History, European History, Russian History, Japanese History, Chinese History, Meso-American History, Roman History, Greek History, African Civilization and History, Egyptian History, World History, etc)
Honors Courses in almost every discipline
Latin
Literature – African-American Literature, American Literature, British Literature, etc.
Physiology
Political Science and US Government and Politics
Psychology
Spanish
Statistics

And again, much, much more!

Professor Zajaros has helped students with personal statements for competitive high school, undergraduate, graduate, and professional school admission…as well as helping with the application itself.

Westside Tutoring and Testing Services:

Is the logical outgrowth of a lifelong love for learning and teaching. Professor Zajaros’ son, John P. J. Zajaros, Jr. (April 21, 1976 – July 1, 2012), struggled throughout his life with the challenges presented as a result of ADHD. We know so much more about ADD, ADHD, and other learning challenges than we did 3 decades ago.

It has has been Professor Zajaros’ goal to reach and help as many students affected with ADD and ADHD as possible…to help as many children and adults as possible overcome this terrible learning disability and move on to a happy and productive life.

With the assistance of teachers, guidance counselors, and other support staff, Professor Zajaros has been able to reach hundreds of children over the years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In addition to ADD, ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, and other learning challenges, Professor Z also works with Gifted students and so-called average students, there are no average students, who are struggling to bring their grades up in one or more courses and for any number of reasons.

If you, your son, or your daughter is in need of assistance, call Professor Zajaros today!

There is no time like the present and the longer you wait, the more time it will take. If you anticipate that you, your son, or your daughter is going to have problems with a specific subject or with a number of subjects, there is no time like the present to call for a consultation and assessment.

Call today for a free consultation and in depth assessment!

Professor John P. J. “Jack” Zajaros, Sr.
Westside Tutoring and Testing Services
Lakewood, Ohio 44107
216-712-7004 (office)
440-821-7018 (mobile)
Or email: TheProfessor@Westside-Tutoring.com

A Summer Session to Remember: ADD & ADHD Students

Westside Tutoring’s Summer Session

Students are Encouraged to Attend: Have the Time of Your Life…

…Learn, Grow, Challenge, and Enjoy

Design a Summer Session to Inspire:

The History of Science: Newton, Galileo, Darwin, Einstein…or suggest an author, scientist, philosopher, scholar or cleric…and we’ll do it!

The History of History: From the early migration to the New World to the emergence of agriculture and a stable society…and later civilization. The Bering Strait to the Golden Crescent, Egypt to Rome, the continent of Africa to the Americas are all fascinating subjects, some receiving little, if any exposure in the classroom.

The Little Known Moments in History: Conspiracy theories, real or paranoia? From Pearl Harbor to the Kennedy Assassination to the AIDS epidemic: What do you think? Create a hypothesis and seek to disprove it applying the scientific method, research all aspects of the question (i.e., that means reading real books, journals, etc.), create a paper worthy of publication, submit it to the various online and school-related publications, and argue your findings persuasively. This will be a powerful lesson in researching a specific thesis, developing your research, creating a written document, and then supporting your findings orally and in writing!

NOTE: We will be able to follow the above-mentioned format for just about any topic you would like to study. The sort of education you will receive this summer, particularly while researching and assembling the data regarding your area of interest, will not only help you in your classes next year, when you are required to write papers, it will also be invaluable as you prepare for the writing segments of the ACT and SAT. The summer session will also be extremely helpful as you work on your senior project, school newspaper stories, yearbook projects, and college admission statements.

The application of the exercise suggested above will be invaluable during your years as a student; and, as a professional, a business owner, an executive in the workplace, or perhaps as a blogger? Maybe as a parent…or a teacher?

Question: Where is one of the largest pyramids in the northern hemisphere? Hint: One of our most famous presidents logged in some time there!

Question: What was it about Beagles that turned Darwin on? You might say the  Beagle could really float his boat! He said something about an island being for the birds! Hint: Did you see The Master and the Commander…with Russell Crowe?

Question: While Newton was getting his act into gear, attempting to understand the laws of motion, he was often just short of a solution…a the weighty subject to be sure! Hint: Did Newton want to understand how we get from Point A to Point B? Or was he more interested in figuring out how inertia and gravity weighed in on the subject of motion? So he could get out of the way of all those apples!

I know, I know…but at least I took a shot!

Think about the courses you will be taking in the fall. Or next spring? Let’s apply a little, old-fashioned physics and get on top of the game, now!

If you suggest it, we will put it together and you will be well on your way to an amazing 2011-2012 school year…at any level!

Additionally, you will have an unconventional summer session and you will learn far more than you thought possible in  6 short weeks…guaranteed! Check out the blog post entitled: Summer Tutoring: ADD & ADHD Tutoring Specialist – Summer Session for ADD and ADHD Students? Yes!

Contact us today!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr., Ph.D.
440-821-7018 (cell)
Westside Tutoring
Serving Northern Ohio for 3 Decades!

PS, I also have 4 spots open for a combination biology, anatomy, physiology, and weight loss program!*

*As with most of the other programs, the combination biology/anatomy/kinesiology/weight loss program will begin on July 6, 2011 and is to continue until the school year commences. Depending on your situation, including the commitment demonstrated through late August 2011, 1 or 2 students may be allowed to continue into the school year! If you would like to lose a significant amount of weight, feel better about yourself in every way, and understand how the weight is coming off why, and how to keep it off for the rest of your life? Contact Professor Z immediately! (you will be required to provide a doctor’s release – for your own protection)

 

The Emergence of the Professional Tutor and Academic Success

Academic Challenges in Today’s Challenging World

ADD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s Asyndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury

ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT

Many students and parents have a very limited idea of what tutoring is all about in the 21st Century. The days of the $5 an hour high school-aged tutor coming in after school for a bit of homework help are behind us.

Today’s pre-school, elementary, middle school, high school, college, graduate, and professional school students’ needs have grown exponentially over the last two or three decades. In an era that demands specialization, particularly in math and science-related areas (to include computer science), many students lack even basic communication skills. Significantly, the “video generation” is falling behind in a number of key academic areas…and there seems to be little hope of a remedy any time soon.

Interestingly, our education system appears to be floundering under the weight of increased class size, an emphasis on standardized testing, and a lack of funding. The focus on specialization, instead of emphasizing creative thought and the ability to write well, is having a profound impact on today’s youth…and it is not positive. I am afraid we will end up with a generation of specialists who are unable to think creatively, read and write well, think outside the box, to use a gobbledygook word, and see the big picture. In other words, we will be left with a generation, if not several generations, of specialists unable to think holistically and perform creatively.

Frankly, the thought frightens me…I hope it frightens you!

Tutoring has grown into a profession over the last decade and most professional tutors offer everything from disability services, education-related counseling, online academic services, standardized test preparation, and various forms of student support.

Not only do today’s professional tutors offer access to state of the art computers, desktops and laptops, as well as the associated software, they also invest in and offer access to relevant, education-related membership sites. Additionally, the professional tutor and/or tutoring service must also invest in and offer a substantial library of supplemental material (e.g., textbooks, literature, periodicals, etc.). The investment of time is crucial. Time is most precious and it routinely takes 2-3 hours to adequately prepare for a properly planned tutoring session.

Aside: Fortunately, many teachers still insist their students conduct research offline and a professional tutor will have a myriad of textbooks, periodicals, and relevant material at his or her disposal for their students’ use.

A qualified professional tutor will undoubtedly have an undergraduate degree. In many instances, a professional tutor will have an advanced degree. Optimally, a qualified professional tutor will be comfortable across a wide variety of academic disciplines. It is often the case that students require support across a number of disciplines (i.e., courses, subjects, etc.) and for more than one academic period.

The cross-discipline support is particularly necessary when working with students dealing with such learning disabilities as ADD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, traumatic brain injury (TBI), etc.

Hiring a tutor unfamiliar with the demands related to disability services for such students is almost always a waste of time and money and may be costly to the child’s well-being, as well.

The Alphabet Soup of Academia:
GED, PSAT, SAT, ACT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, TOEFL, PRAXIS, USMLE, ASVAB, etc.

Unfortunately, standardized testing seems to be here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Consequently, talented educators at every level are forced to teach to test, an unsatisfying and unproductive endeavor, at best. Teachers are held to an unrealistic standard and test results are often tied to wages, job security, and tenure (the topic of another article). Students’ performance on standardized tests for everything from overall proficiency to the right to graduation (i.e., OGT—Ohio Graduation Test) means there is often little time for anything else…anything other than teaching the canned test taking techniques, that is.

In my opinion most of these tests are set to an arbitrary standard, culturally biased, and absolutely unfair.

The GED, PSAT, SAT, ACT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, TOEFL, PRAXIS, USMLE, ASVAB, and so on were once considered appropriate, even cutting edge. The tests listed above are an alphabet soup of tests created to measure intelligence, proficiency, aptitude, and ability. The tests listed above are, in almost every instance, no longer even purported to do what was once claimed. The GED is arguably the only test listed above with some redeeming value…a second chance at a high school diploma.

The pre-college, college, professional school, and graduate school entrance tests (i.e., PSAT, SAT, ACT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, and MCAT) are now an industry in and of themselves and the acronym is now the test’s sole name. The SAT is no longer the Scholastic Aptitude Test; it is simply the SAT…and so on.

Aside: Interestingly, when the State of California’s university system considered no longer requiring the SAT as part of their admissions process, the SAT writing segment was born. Talk about pull and a purely business decision!

All that being said, the ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, and MCAT are part of the admissions process for colleges, universities, graduate schools, and professional schools across the nation. In order to prepare for the appropriate entrance test, whether it’s the ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT, a professional tutor is a must.

With intense competition for admission to the nation’s best schools, and equally intense competition for financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, assistantships, and fellowships, an investment in a professional ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT, as stated above, tutor is a must. Selecting the right tutor is an investment that will pay dividends for years to come.

In fact, even the classroom-type test preparation is better than nothing…but just barely!

Ultimately, a private and completely individualized program, a one-on-one program tailored to the specific needs of the student is ideal. A program offering the above-mentioned features and focusing specifically on the appropriate test is optimal (ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, GMAT, or MCAT).

Tutoring has come a long way from the days of the high school student who just wanted to make a few extra bucks after school or the housewife who was “pretty good” in English a few years ago and is trying to supplement the household income. The professional tutor of today must be a well-educated, well-rounded expert. The professional tutor of today must be comfortable working with people under myriad conditions and across any number of different situations.

Finally, the professional tutor must be comfortable with a stressed-out, gifted middle school student going down in flames in advanced geometry, a medical student about to fail gross anatomy, a high school athlete in need of an “A” in chemistry to achieve the required GPA for a full ride to Ohio State and he’s failing 12 weeks from the end of the year, and the high school junior with a 282 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT and has to do better to get into the school of his dreams.

Follow up: The gifted middle school geometry student scored a 100 on his first test after starting working with Westside-Tutoring…and hasn’t looked back! The medical student is now called Doctor by his patients. The high school student needing an “A” in chemistry decided on another Big 10 school, “that one up North!” And the high school junior with the 282 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT? Well, he got a 610 on the Critical Reading section of the SAT on his first try after joining us!

There are so many stories like these, it is truly wonderful!

Are there disappointments? Certainly!

But then…that’s life!

I will say this, any student willing to put in the time and the effort, and blessed with parents willing to allow the process to unfold, as it always does, will succeed. That is, if they are fortunate enough to find a professional tutor, the right tutor able to make it all happen. It can be amazing…and I’ve been doing this for over 30 years!

Tutoring is a wonderful calling, and it is a calling, incredibly challenging and heartbreaking. I wouldn’t do anything else!

For information about the services offered by Westside-Tutoring and Educational Services contact us anytime.

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
Westside-Tutoring and Education Services
Serving Northern Ohio for Over 30 Years!
440-821-7018 (private live)