The Benefits Of Tutoring

Mathematics & Tutoring With David Seff

There are many benefits of tutoring. It provides an opportunity for students to grow confidence as students and build the necessary skills to succeed. Here are five reasons that a tutor can really help students inside and outside the classroom.

1) Individualized Learning

Tutoring offers a unique atmosphere where you can be taught in a way that works best for you. It can be hard to learn in a classroom with 20+ other students wanting and needing attention. While the teachers are capable of helping everyone, sometimes kids need a little extra one-on-one time outside the classroom for it to really click. Tutors can customize the lessons and activities for each individual student.

2) Battle The Summer Slide

The summer slide refers to a learning loss over the long summer months. Usually kids are not practicing their skills in the summer, leading to sliding back a few months of learning. That is where a tutor can really help! Tutoring will ensure that students do not fall behind over the summer, and are ready to hit the ground running next school year.

3) Free Of Distractions

When you are with a tutor, there are no other students around to be a distraction. It is a special space where the student and tutor can focus entirely on learning. Whether it is at the home or library, these individual lessons help students focus on what is most important.

4) Extra Practice

Simply put, some students just need more practice than others. A tutor provides guided practice that will help students master the material with confidence. If a student is having trouble grasping the material, they may become even more frustrated with school. Practicing with a tutor will help them build confidence in themselves and master the subject in the process.

5) Study At Your Own Pace

There are no time restrictions, there are no tests, and there is no sense of competition. Students can review skills and learn new skills at a comfortable pace. Students could benefit with just a few sessions or more long-term sessions throughout the year.

Algebra Basics: What Are Polynomials?

Are you struggling with Polynomials? Check out this video below to learn what Polynomials really is and how you can solve these math problems with ease!

The Three Prisoner Puzzle

Here is one of my all-time favourite puzzles. This can be solved with just logic – no math needed. Sometimes those who are not so good at math, get it quicker! Try it out for yourself.

Three Logic Problems

Here are three challenging logic problems to try out. Good luck!

The Riddle Bridge

Taking that internship in a remote mountain lab might not have been the best idea. Pulling that lever with the skull symbol just to see what it did probably wasn’t so smart either. But now is not the time for regrets because you need to get away from these mutant zombies…fast. Can you use math to get you and your friends over the bridge before the zombies arrive? Alex Gendler shows how.

The 5 Pirates Puzzle

5 pirates of different ages have a treasure of 100 gold coins.

On their ship, they decide to split the coins using this scheme:

The oldest pirate proposes how to share the coins, and ALL pirates (including the oldest) vote for or against it.

If 50% or more of the pirates vote for it, then the coins will be shared that way. Otherwise, the pirate proposing the scheme will be thrown overboard, and the process is repeated with the pirates that remain.

As pirates tend to be a bloodthirsty bunch, if a pirate would get the same number of coins if he voted for or against a proposal, he will vote against so that the pirate who proposed the plan will be thrown overboard.

Assuming that all 5 pirates are intelligent, rational, greedy, and do not wish to die, (and are rather good at math for pirates) what will happen?

To check your answer, go to the original source here.

Redesigned SAT: What You Need To Know


In March of 2014, College Board President, David Coleman, announced plans for an overhaul of the SAT. The new SAT, which will be officially introduced this coming March, aims to realign the test with the work done in high schools and more accurately assess what student should be learning before college.

Much of the discussion surrounding the new SAT has centered on how the changes will impact colleges, high schools, and test prep providers. But what the students? What type of impact will the new exam have on test takers? Here is where future SAT test-takers should focus:

1) Pick Up A Book

The College Board has decided to eliminate the abstruse and outdated language from the SAT. They test will no feature words that students are more likely to encounter in college and the workplace. Many words still look familiar, but their meaning will depend on context, and answering questions correctly will require strong skills in reading comprehension and interpretation.

2) Advanced U.S. History

The new SAT will contain a large number of passages from the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and other Founding Documents. Therefore, taking advanced coursework in U.S. history could really help improve your standardized test score. Consider enrolling in an honors or AP U.S. History course. The skills you learn in these classes may help you negotiate the exam’s new writing section, which requires that students analyze a passage and explain how its author uses evidence and reason to build an argument.

3) Statistics

The redesigned math section has a primary focus on quantitative reasoning and real world applications. Test takers will be asked to analyze rates, interpret graphs, synthesize mathematical information, and make sense of patterns within a particular dataset. All of these skills are considered to be essential in today’s big data environment and should be developed during a statistics course.

4) Sample Free Test-Prep

The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy, a leading online learning platform, to provide free test preparation services. This is a great way to get a better idea of how the test will actually read. However, you still may benefit from fee-based options for some more in-depth training as to what will be on the test.


What It Takes To Be A Successful Tutor

Mathematics & Tutoring With David Seff

Effective tutoring is all about producing results. From a tutor’s perspective, it’s about witnessing your student achieve proposed academic goals and make way for more, in-depth learning. From a student’s point of view it’s about feeling confident with newly learned information and putting it to good use. As simple as this may all sound, effective learning is not something that happens overnight. Effective tutoring should be a direct reflection of a solid tutor-student relationship that’s been built over time, where both parties have a reached a point where they each feel fulfilled by their progress and excited for the academic challenges that are bound to come their way. Here are three key points for tutors to become more effective:


You can never be prepared enough, but there more you are the better. Because tutoring can take place outside of a formal educational environment, it is very important that you shape your own. Make sure to set a schedule with your students, preferably a consistent schedule ahead of time. Establishing a learning rhythm will be key for your students’ academic improvement. Also, try to carve out what each session will be about. Of course there will always be questions that may arise not pertaining to the day’s lesson, so it’s good to leave some extra room for that. But for the most part, focusing each session on either a specific chapter, theme, etc. will also help establish a beneficial learning rhythm for your students.

Know Your Student

The best way to build a good rapport with your students is taking the time to know them. Every student is different. Figuring out your student’s personality will help you understand their learning process and how you should angle your sessions with them. For example, does your student have a sense of humor? Do they need your undivided attention? Are they shy? Does the student feel confident about the subject matter you’re going over? The more empathetic you can be, the more the student will feel comfortable around you and will allow himself or herself to continue to learn from you.

Set Expectations

It is very important that both you and your student know your roles and responsibilities in a tutoring session. Tutoring is not the same as teaching. The tutor is not there to teach or re-teach something that the student has already learned. Instead, tutoring should be more of a well-balanced exchange of questions and information. In other words, tutors are there to guide the students to improve their studying skills, while the students are there to discover things through independent questioning and develop self-confidence.

Important Advice For SAT Preparation

SAT - David SeffThe SAT is a nerve wracking experience almost every high school student. The Scholastic Aptitude Test plays an integral part in the college application process. The 170-question test, which takes about 4 hours to complete, is an exhausting experience compounded by the fact that it is administered on Saturday mornings. While the test can feel overwhelming, you can lessen your stress levels and improve your score by familiarizing yourself with the test beforehand and following these essential tips.

If You Love Books, You Will Love The SAT

Students that excel at the SAT are those who are well read and eager to look up words when they come across a word they can’t define. The test really favors verbally inclined students. The SAT directly tests vocabulary in its sentence-completion section.

When In Doubt, Leave It Blank

The test has a “guessing penalty” that punishes students who take a wild swing at a question that is beyond their intellectual reach by deducting points for an incorrect answer. So if you do not know the answer to a question, if is probably in your best interest to leave the answer blank. If you are able to narrow down the answer to two or three choices, however, guessing may be the wiser option because the odds of you getting the question right outweighs the penalty for guessing.

Know The Classes That Matter

The Math section is almost entirely comprised of information that you learned in Algebra I and Geometry. The multiple-choice writing questions test basic elements of grammar, which tends to go uncovered in high school English classes. It is important to review these math classes and brush up on your grammar before taking on the SAT.

Use Time Wisely

Do not waste too much time on a single question. If a question has you stumped then you should move on quickly and revisit the question if you have extra time after finishing the rest of the section. Those who do well on the SAT give each question its fair share of time.

There Is Another Admissions Test

There is an Alternative to the SAT, the ACT, which is accepted at all four-year schools that accept the ACT. The ACT is geared towards students that excel at math as opposed to verbal skills. The best way to determine which test is best for you is to take a practice version of each exam. While it may seem like a lot of work all for nothing, in reality, taking the time now to determine which test is best for you will set you up to get into the college of your choice.

If you would like to learn more tips or need more information to see if the SAT is right for you then check out this article. Some students are much better suited for the ACT, so it is important to understand the pros and cons of both before deciding what to take.

The Parking Spaces Problem

Mathematics & Tutoring With David Seff

Read the below passage carefully and answer the following questions:

At a local business, parking spaces are reserved for the top executives: CEO, president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer with the spaces lined up in that order. The parking lot guard can tell at a glance if the cars are parked correctly by looking at the color of the cars. The cars are white, orange, red, black, and blue, and the executives names are Andrew, Brett, Caitlyn, Danny, and Erin.

  • The car in the first space is black.
  • A blue car is parked between the black car and the orange car.
  • The car in the last space is red.
  • The secretary drives a white car.
  • Andrew’’s car is parked next to Danny’s.
  • Erin drives a orange car.
  • Brett’s car is parked between Caitlyn’s and Erin’s.
  • Danny’s car is parked in the last space.

Question 1: Who is the secretary?

  1. Erin
  2. Danny
  3. Caitlyn
  4. Brett
  5. Andrew

Questions 2: Who is the CEO?

  1. Andrew
  2. Brett
  3. Caitlyn
  4. Danny
  5. Erin

Question 3: What color is the vice president’s car?

  1. Orange
  2. White
  3. Blue
  4. Red
  5. Black








  1. E – Caitlyn cannot be the secretary, since she is the CEO, nor can Erin, because she drives a orange car (and the secretary drives a white car). Danny’s, the red car, is in the last space. Andrew is the secretary, because his car is parked next to Danny’s, which is where the secretary’s car is parked.


  1. C – The CEO drives a black car and parks in the first space. Erin drives a orange car; Brett’s car is not in the first space; Danny’s is not in the first space, but the last. Andrew’s car is parked next to Danny’s, so Caitlyn is the CEO.


  1. A – The vice president’s car cannot be black, because that is the CEO’s car, which is in the first space. Nor can it be red, because that is the treasurer’s car, which is in the last space, or white, because that is the secretary’s. The president’s car must be blue, because it is parked between a black car (in the first space) and a orange car, which must be the vice president’s.