Category Archives: How To


  As the owner of a tutoring center that specializes in ACT/SAT and College Prep, I have learned from years of experience that writing personal college essays isn’t every student’s strongest attribute. The process of organizing and writing a college essay can be a very stressful and sensitive time for students. They often struggle with […]

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Structure Your Summer for Success

by Zena Smith Each year students rejoice as the last school bell rings and summer vacation sets in. Their excitement about summer seems so natural that we rarely think twice about it. But it pays to consider, from time to time, just what it is about this time of year that gets students so jazzed. Of course, the sun […]

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6 Simple Steps to Neutralize Test Anxiety

by Zena Smith When you’ve spent enough time in the classroom, as many of our tutors have, you begin to get the sense that things in education aren’t always as they appear, nor does everything always go as planned. This is especially true in the world of test-taking. On one hand, we have the test-makers […]

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Successful ACT Prep Starts With a Plan

by Zena Smith With the holidays behind us, test prep season is here once again. Year in and year out, the months leading up to the ACT test day prove to be some of the most uncertain, stressful, and confusing for our parents and students alike. With so much on the line, it’s no wonder that our […]

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Boost Your Grade By Forming an Academic Alliance

by Zena Smith When it comes to our children’s educations and futures, it goes without saying that good grades are always in season. The desire to improve in the classroom is perhaps as old as the classroom itself, but our understanding of how to make it happen continues to change. While traditional determiners such as note-taking skills, […]

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A Tutoring Game Plan for First-Time Tutees

by Zena Smith At MASTERs Plus we are well aware that the students we tutor—particularly those who are seeing a tutor for the first time—face more challenges than the ones that have tripped them up in the textbooks. In addition to academic difficulties, first-time tutees may feel overwhelmed by the task of catching up the class, […]

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5 Simple Habits to Ease Your Student’s Report Card Panic

By Zena Smith You speak from experience when you tell your students to put away the procrastination, be proactive, and plan ahead. But try as you may, they often take your good advice with a grain of salt, coasting through the early parts of the grading period—at least until they’re met with report card panic. […]

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Making Your Personal Statement Count: Defeat the Clichés

by Zena Smith While most of us are busy getting acclimated to the rhythms and routines of a new school year, one group of students—college bound seniors—are already a year ahead of us. For graduating seniors, fall is synonymous with college application season, which means these next few months will likely be daunting, hectic, and uncertain. […]

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6 Things Every Parent Should Be Doing to Ease the Back-to-School Transition

by Zena Smith Fall may be just around the corner, but the back-to-school transition is fully upon us. These initial days and weeks can present a tough transition for many parents and students. While your students grapple with relinquishing the freedoms of summer and gaining the additional responsibilities of the school year, you’re charged with […]

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Start Motivating Your Student Now

by Zena Smith Every student has the ability to excel academically, but getting there often means overcoming barriers in motivation. As a parent, there is a lot you can do to help motivate your child to perform better at school. Most often, it’s as easy as spending some time together, discovering more about their personality, and learning […]

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