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Javier d.
Full-time Professional Tutor, Former Teacher at NYC Dept of Education
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Study Skills
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Question:

You have a math test in five days and have five chapters of material that you haven't studied for. Each chapter takes about 2 hours to go through. Which is a better way to tackle this challenge? a) Start studying immediately in order to finish before the end of the five days b) Set aside 5 hours on the last two days before the test to ensure that the material is freshest on your mind c) Create a goal to study one chapter per day for the next five days d) Make a schedule and set aside two hours for each chapter after school with one hour of practice problems after dinner from now until the exam

Javier d.
Answer:

(A) is a good intention, but it's not likely to happen on its own without more specific planning. (B) is more specific, but it is essentially cramming! This is risky because it leaves no time for leeway. What if a chapter takes longer than two hours? What if an emergency comes up on one of your two planned study days. There's no time to make up the studying. (C) is commendable because it creates a specific and easily trackable goal that doesn't leave things to the last minute. However, (D) is the best answer because it is also specific, also has a trackable and timely goal, but it explicitly includes time for practice! Practice really does make perfect, especially when it comes to math! Reading the chapters may not be enough, and practice lets you know which chapters you need more work on and which you can relax on. This helps you prepare better and build confidence for the test, which makes a difference on performance!

Spanish
TutorMe
Question:

Lees un anuncio sobre un repertorio local y te interesa adquirir más información. Ya que dispones de la dirección de correo electrónico del repertorio, decides enviar un mensaje. ¿Cuál de las siguientes preguntas sería más apropiada para formular? (A) ¿Qué tal? Oye, para el programa del 7 de mayo, mi mujer no oye bien, ¿cómo la puedes ayudar? (B) ¿Puede uster tener la bondad de quitarme de la lista de correos del próximo año? (C) ¡Vivo frente al teatro! ¡Allí estaré sin falta! ¿Me esperas? (D) Me gustaría reservar 15 boletos para el 20 de octobre para un grupo de estudiantes. ¿Sería posible?

Javier d.
Answer:

Read the question and look for cognates (words that look similar to their English versions). It's okay if you don't know what a "repertorio" is, do what you can with the rest of the words. You're interested* in acquiring* more information*. You have an electronic* mail (email) address, you decide* to send a message* (cognates starred). Which question is more appropriate? (FYI: A "repertorio" is a repertoire: a type of performance art theatre.) (A) is incorrect because it's too casual. It can be assumed you don't know this person and aren't on casual terms because you found out about the "repertorio" by reading an announcement*. Writing an inquiry with "¿Qué tal?" (What's up?), "Oye," (Listen,) and referring to your wife as "mi mujer" (my woman) is just as inappropriate in Spanish as it is in English. Also, everything is in "Tú" form, when it should be in usted form, which is the norm for all inquiries or when speaking to someone you don't know. (B) is appropriate in tone, but in this choice you're asking to be removed from the mailing list (Translated literally: Could you have the kindness to remove me from the mail list for next year?) . Since the question says you're looking for more information, this choice is probably the opposite of what you want to do. (C) In this choice, no more information is being requested. The only question asked is "¿Me esperas?" (Will you wait for me?). Remember, you don't know the person you're contacting. Why would you ask them to wait for you? If that's not enough, the question is asked in "tú" form, which has no place in an inquiry. (D) By elimination this is the answer. But reading it shows that the tone is appropriate (everything is in usted form) and the question it asks is about reserving 15 tickets for a group of students, which falls right in line with what the question wanted. This is the best choice.

Biology
TutorMe
Question:

Rank the following cell junctions from weakest to strongest cellular adhesion: (1) desmosomes, (2) gap junctions, (3) tight junctions

Javier d.
Answer:

From weakest to strongest: gap junctions, tight junctions, desmosomes Gap junctions form a "tunnel" between two cells, allowing their interiors (cytoplasm) to come in contact. Gap junctions are weakest because the "tunnel" is made of cell membrane. You can remember gap junctions are weaker because of the word "gap" -- if something has a gap, it's not fully joined! Tight junctions are stronger because they leave no room between the two cells' membranes. Tight junctions are "watertight" -- nothing gets through without the cell's 'permission'. Think of a gap junction as sticking your tongue on an icy metal pole. There's no space between your tongue and the pole, and if you try to pull them apart you'll feel how tight that junction is! Desmosomes are the strongest cell junction, they're formed when the cytoskeletons of neighboring cells join together across the cells' membranes. You can remember this by relating it to your own bones--they hold your arms, legs, and whole body together. No matter how tightly your tongue may be stuck to the pole, it's still going to be easier to remove than an arm!

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