As many of you may have noticed, our blog has been a bit quiet lately. That’s because we have been gearing up to make big changes. We are happy to announce that BWS Education Consulting will now be offering college counseling! College counseling is a service that helps guide students through the process of applying for colleges. From creating a list to making a final decision, a college counselor is there to help. You may be wondering why you would want a counselor besides your school counselor: we can give you more support. Your school counselor is a wonderful resource but quite often you are simply not a priority because he or she has a couple hundred other students. With our private counselor you’ll be one of only a dozen students so you can know that you’ll get the help you need when you need it. Check back soon for the first blog from our new college counselor Michal; she’ll talk about what colleges want to see on your application!
- Online Textbook Resources. Virtually every major textbook has a companion website, complete with practice quizzes, chapter summaries, and multimedia learning tools. Strangely, most teachers never have their students use these resources. Use them yourself! Try to find the exact companion website for your textbook through Google. If that fails, try to find a textbook that covers the same topic as your class but which actually has a good companion website that you can use. Here are a couple of great examples:
- Khan Academy. Khan is a wonderful website that has inspired much of what I have created and written. Especially with Math and Science, Khan can give you in-depth instruction on topics that are giving you difficulty:
- Youtube. You will find tutorials on virtually any subject – when I taught high school, some of the “philosophy in 30 seconds” videos were remarkable in helping students quickly grasp a difficult concept. Search for yourself:
- School Resources. Your library may have access to fantastic subscription databases and study tools that you can use. They probably paid hundreds or thousands of dollars for these, so put them to use! If your school library doesn’t have them, check with your public library. For an article detailing some of the changes that school libraries have made, please see here:
- Past Tests. Talk to your teacher about using past tests for practice, or try to borrow them from other students (without cheating of course!). Using these will help you see how the teacher generally asks questions so that you will know how to focus your studying.
- Course-notes.org. They have a great collection of subject notes, particularly for AP exams. Great to use as a supplement to your textbook:
- Powerpoint Search. There is no need for you to learn from a terrible powerpoint in class – there are PLENTY of powerpoints out there that you can use free of charge. Simply go to google, type in the term for which you want a powerpoint, and then type in “ filetype:ppt ”. When I taught high school, I often used this to save time in making lecture notes for my classes.
- College Help Sites for their students, (especially with writing). Many top-notch colleges have compiled outstanding resources for their struggling students, and you can access them for yourself! Here are two of my favorites:
- Ask students in same class at other schools to share what their teacher has done. If you are in an Advanced Placement or Honors Course, reach out to your friends in other schools. Those schools may have teachers of the same course you are in is doing a much better job than your teacher. See what resources, notes, and old tests you can check out from them.
- Purchase the teacher editions and AP resources yourself. As long as you are not cheating by looking at a test bank that you know a teacher is using to generate test questions, I see nothing wrong with supplementing your learning by acquiring the textbook teacher editions and resources for yourself. If several of your peers are in a similar situation, pool your money and purchase the book together. You can find the teacher editions for most textbooks on amazon.com. If you would like access to teacher resources for AP courses, here is where you can find them:
I hope you found this article helpful. If so, please share it with your friends! Thanks, Brian Stewart
Over the years, I have recommended that many of my students consider applying to the University of Toronto. After all, it is one of the most highly ranked universities worldwide, and is closer to Ohio than many schools on the East Coast of the United States. I had the opportunity to visit the city of Toronto and its university for the first time this past week, and I was greatly impressed with everything I saw. Toronto is a highly educated, cosmopolitan, thriving metropolis. If you are a resident of the greater Toronto area and you are interested in having us teach a class in ACT or SAT test preparation, please email our company at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to come to an arrangement. If we are not able to come to Toronto in person, we can conduct online classes or tutoring via Skype.