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Ruchi R.
Math and Science Tutor for Middle-Schoolers
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SAT
TutorMe
Question:

What are some ways to get better at reading quickly and efficiently?

Ruchi R.
Answer:

The trick that works best for me is to look at the questions before I start reading the passage. This way I have an understanding of what lines and ideas I need to look out for.

SAT
TutorMe
Question:

If -9/5 < -3t + 1 < -7/4, what is one possible value of 9t - 3 ?

Ruchi R.
Answer:

Step 1: Break the equation into two parts: -9/5 < -3t + 1 and 3t + 1 < -7/4 Step 2: Solve the first part by subtracting 1 from both sides (1) and then dividing both sides by 3 (2). => (-9/5) - 1 < 3t +1 - 1 (1) => -9/5 - 5/5 < 3t (1) => -14/5 < 3t (1) => (-14/5)/3 < (3t)/3 (2) [Note that the sign does not change because you are dividing both sides with a +ve number] => -14/15 < t (2) Step 3: Solve the second part by subtracting 1 from both sides (3) and then dividing both sides by 3 (4). => 3t + 1 - 1 < (-7/4) - 1 (3) => 3t < -7/4 - 4/4 (3) => 3t < -11/4 (3) => 3t/3 < (-11/4)/3 => t < -11/12 Step 4: Consolidate the result: -14/15 < t < -11/12. Since the denominators are not equal, it may be difficult to think of a number in between. This issue can be resolved by thinking about a multiple of both 12 and 15. The easiest way to arrive at this number is by multiplying (-14/15) and (12/12) and multiplying (-11/12) and (15/15). You will arrive at the following result: -168/180 and -165/180. Thus, t lies between -168/180 and -165/180. A possible value of t could be either -167/180 or -166/180.

College Admissions
TutorMe
Question:

"I've heard that colleges want to see the 'real you' in your essays. Is that true? If it is, how do I do that?"

Ruchi R.
Answer:

Fantastic question! The idea of 'real you' can be scary, especially as a high-school student. When I was in high school, I couldn't even figure out what cereal I wanted at the supermarket. How was I going to figure out this mythical figure, this 'real me'? The amount of information on the internet was overwhelming and mostly contradictory. "Make sure you don't repeat what is in your resume.." "Don't talk about any vacations or personal things.." "Let your voice and personality come through.." "Don't talk about your beliefs because your reader may not share them.." I thought, 'Well...I should probably just draw a rainbow-riding unicorn and hope it conveys the idea of me.' I figured if I closed my eyes, an idea might occur to me. I pictured a scenario like this: I am going to meet someone really cool tomorrow. I've heard a lot of really interesting stories about this person and all these stories make me want to befriend this person, leave them* with a good impression of myself. The catch is: a) they have looked through the yearbook and know what I am involved with; b) have asked some of my friends and so have some idea of my personality too; and c) they have a very good lie spotter so I can't make-up stories. What would be some good stories to tell them? My struggle with opening jam jars or that time when I wanted to be Miss Universe after reading Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries? Why were these stories important to me? Why did I remember them? Perhaps because it showed that I had a sense of humor to go along with those grades on my transcript. I wanted this person to know that even though reading and breathing the Princess Diaries series was a phase, the act of reading itself wasn't - something you couldn't tell from my Math-&-Science heavy resume. It was important for me to let this person know that I read because reading was a huge part of my childhood. And I could convey all of this in an essay without saying it in these words. To go back to your original question, thinking about 'real me' is a lot of pressure for anyone. Break it down into smaller constituents. What would you like someone to know about yourself - greatest fear, accomplishment, failure, moment of joy? Next, ask yourself how this memory or story makes you feel - competent, embarrassed, happy, motivated? Your feelings will reveal why this memory is important to you and consequently some aspect of yourself that you really value. Final step: weave these elements in the fabric of your essay and you'll have a heartfelt essay about the authentic you. *Note: Them is used as a gender-neutral pronoun in this context. I am still referring to a single individual.

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