Tutor profile: Gayathri K.
What's the best way to study for standardized tests like the SAT?
Practice. There are few things more important than pattern-recognition when it comes to standardized tests like this, which is why having access to and completing many, many practice exams will be the most helpful. Most of the actual exam content will be covered by your classes at school, and you can reach out to tutors if you have questions about specific topics. Once you have all the content down, the most important part is to be able to look at a question, see what topic or skill it wants you to exhibit, and then answer accordingly. Students who go to test prep do not do better on exams because they are "smarter" - they simply do more practice problems, and therefore are more prepared for the types of questions they see on their actual exam.
What makes a good thesis statement in an essay?
A thesis statement is one of the most important and powerful parts of your essay, and should explicitly provide your reader with two key pieces of information: what you already know, and what you have discovered. This structure is important for almost any piece of academic writing, whether discussing literature or physics or mathematics or history. Providing context, or the "given," tells the reader what information is already available and known. This may be the events occurring in a novel, for an English essay, or the previous research you read about in a textbook, for a lab report. Once the context is established, your reader is prepared to understand your "discovery." Whether you are uncovering the author's intent, or analyzing the results of your experiments, or explaining how one historical event directly caused another, your reader should find out what you have concluded, so they know what to expect from the rest of your writing. In essence, your thesis is a one-sentence of your entire paper: the first half is the introduction and all your evidence in the body paragraphs, and the second half is the findings from the evidence and your overall conclusions.
Describe the "structure-function" relationship often observed in biology, and explain how evolution is tied to this relationship.
The "structure-function" relationship, in the context of biology, describes how the shape and design of a biological structure determine what that structure does. For example, the neck of a giraffe is long because it has evolved specifically for reaching the leaves at the tops of tall trees. Similarly, the evolution of the rotating flagella on bacteria enables bacteria to become motile, or move, and the hummingbird's long beak allows it to collect nectar from narrow flowers. Evolution itself is simply a change in a population's gene pool. When the genes of a population are changed (often randomly, due to mutations, genetic shift & drift, etc.), new biological structures may develop in the population. Various selective pressures will always be acting on the biological structures of a species, so the structures that are best suited for a particular and important function will be selected for, and will be passed on to the next generation. After billions of rounds of evolution, today, we can see many highly-specialized structures that went through many iterations and have become extremely well-suited for their niche functions.
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