Study Skills

Welcome this is your Defining Wizard Experience

Defining Wizard offers a plethora of resources available to its students.  With the intent of remaining excellent in its tutorial services, all of our tutors are selected based on their successful completion of certain Math classes and English, their ability to communicate Math and English effectively to their peers, and upon recommendation of outstanding instructors.  Within Defining Wizard, the atmosphere is relaxing and inviting to everyone.  We believe that these subjects shouldn’t be stressful, and everyone has the capacity to find their peace with the subjects.

Defining Wizard …we’ll help define the wizard in you…

  • Rules – Follow the strategies of Defining Wizard, to maintain excellent work ethics.
  • When To Seek a Tutor – Know when to seek help
  • What You Can Expect From Your Tutor – Know what kind of help to expect, so there shouldn’t be any surprises.
  • Tutors Will Not… – Please get to know what your Tutor Will Not Do! True our tutors within Defining Wizard are great, however, they are not Magicians! 😉
  • What To Bring To Your Session – You do not want to be caught unprepared during your tutoring session. Your appointment may end up being cancelled! 🙁
  • Student Study Skills – This is what separates the Good & the Bad. Learn what it takes to develop great Study Skill. This is a good read 🙂

Time Management

It is a fact that most of us suffer from some degree of procrastination. However, as most successful people will tell you, there is a nice formula to their procrastination. If there is work to be done with a deadline attached to it, then it is wise to (1) make a list of things that need to be done by the end of the day, and stick to it. Even if it takes you all day, the rule of successful procrastination is: don’t procrastinate if you don’t know how. (2) Do the most difficult stuff first. Once the hard stuff is done first, then you free up the amount of energy you will apply to finish up your project/homework. (3) Have fun! Obviously if you are procrastinating it’s because you have something better to do (keyword is ‘think’). Every time getting your work done crosses your mind, you have to be honest with yourself, and put some effort in to getting your work done, but if the hard stuff is already done, then you shouldn’t have any problem. (4) Make sure you stick to your list. If you have to, you must be able to pull an all-nighter. If this is hard for you to do, don’t procrastinate! Successful procrastinators (yes they do exist), in the end are able to say that they finished all their work.

Let’s make it clear, by no means is it a good idea to remain a procrastinator, because procrastinators are just getting by. You want to do better than, ‘just getting by’. If you have a plan then that is always better than procrastination. Planning involves, setting goals for yourself, and constructing a timeline anticipating when these goals are to be accomplished. Setting up times to study and completing your work ahead of time is essential to maximum learning and reduced stress. Planning is the way to go.

Remember, the key to time management is understanding, Time is Money.


Textbook Marking

“I don’t want to mark in my new text, I want to sell it afterwards!”

Well I think I can speak for all students, when I say that NO ONE wants to pay HIGH PRICES for textbooks! However, this valuable resource is expensive for a reason. Use your textbooks wisely to make reading a textbook easy. Every book contains important information thus it is called “a TEXT book“. This is like buying a gun for a war, and not wanting to shoot with it?! Let’s look at some guidelines that we can use to utilize our textbook:


  • Highlight to ONLY locate important information.
  • Underline main points to easily recognize.
  • How many subheadings does the section you are reading have?
  • How many vocabulary words from the section are there for you to remember?
  • Paraphrase in the margins to organized condense information.
  • However, if you still don’t feel comfortable marking in your texts, use colorful sticky pads ;-).


  • Don’t Highlight Everything.
  • Don’t Overdo Paraphrasing.


Study Environment

Do you have a great study environment? Meaning, studying in front of the TV is ok, only if you can get some work done. There’s nothing wrong studying in your car, at a restaurant, on vacation, in the laundry room, or on the train just as long as you get some work done. It is just a well known fact that if you study in remote places like the library, a desk in your room, or even with light classical music you seem to perform better while getting your work done.

Let’s face it, even when we get older we won’t be able to find our way to the library all the time whenever we need to study for something because our lives get busier. However, if we just perfect the bare essential of ‘studying’ then we can ultimately study anywhere, creating a study environment anywhere we go:

  1. Make sure you bring all necessary material for at least one (1) of your subjects (i.e. math textbook, notebook, calculator, sharpener, pencils, and solution manuals) whenever you got to your activity/event.
  2. Wherever you go, place your bag in a location so that no one can steal it from you. (If you can’t find a remote location to place your backpack, at the bare minimum, your back pack should remain on your back. For best results, one should have an open mind about this. For creative people this won’t be a problem.).
  3. While participating in your activity/event put out those guilty urges to do your homework by going to that remote location where your backpack is at, and do a little bit of homework. (Obviously it’s better if the backpack is not on your back, right? So hopefully, we have used our creativity and ran into some luck in the step).
  4. Get back to your activity/event that you were apart of and repeat steps 2-4 whenever those urges to study occur again….ok, this sounds kind of drawn out, but one could speculate it to work, assuming step-1 happens ;-).



No one enjoys taking a test. The word ‘test’ itself has become a word to set ‘fear’ in the hearts in a lot of us. However, this anxiety that we feel should be combated by prevention rather than compliance.

  • Cramming is not good. Study for your test in advance.
  • Ask questions about the test (i.e. multiple choice written response, true false, etc).
  • Review by taking practice tests (i.e. made up tests, old tests, etc.).
  • Practice reading direction to make sure you know what questions will be asked of you.
  • Out of all the type of questions you may asked, make a list, and practice answering specific type of questions. (i.e. definition questions, simplification questions, following-example questions, logarithmic questions, etc.).
  • Arrive to test early.
  • Come Prepared.
  • Stay relaxed. “If you know you know it before the test, you can then beat test-anxiety.”


Memory and Concentration

If studying a subject like mathematics, you want to refrain from memorizing too much anyways; it’s just not that kind of subject where if you were to memorize everything, you might as well just admit that you know it all because it’s so much information. Moreover, the method that you would undergo to memorize anything mathematical involves a lot of practice.


The Reason

Memorizing a formula means nothing if you don’t know how to use it. When you take your test, they don’t ask you to regurgitate formulas or definitions. The exams you will be taking more or less, test your comprehension and your ability to use the formulas when necessary. So just to keep it simple, don’t get in a habit of, (or think you can get away with), just memorizing formulas. You have to practice utilizing them, that you may remember when it’s appropriate to use them (this is what you truly memorize). Thus doing your homework is a method you could you use to memorize formulas and steps to solve problems, and is the recommended method.



Moreover, memorizing key formulas, definitions, or steps is important in mathematics. A very common method of memorizing is to create a mnemonic. A mnemonic is a phrase that is invented (usually from the first letters of the steps) just to assist in memorizing something important. For example, P.E.M.D.A.S. which stands for Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, and Subtraction. Or a more catchy phrase, Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. Whatever the phrase my be, we are able to remember all the steps of the Order of Operations without struggling because the first letters of each word in the phrase gives us a hint as to which operation to perform first.

There other methods people chose to help them memorize key concepts or definitions. Some people make up songs. Can you think of other ways creative ways to help you memorize concepts?

When To Seek A Tutor

“Good idea to not wait too long.  Good idea to know the signs to see a tutor.” — BamBam

If you are having, difficulty understanding lectures.

If you are, falling behind in class.

If you, perform poorly on tests.

If you, need help with your study skills.

If you, need help preparing for tests.

Next – What you can expect from your Tutor

If you are having, difficulty doing homework.


Next – What You Can Expect From Your Tutor

What You Can Expect From Your Tutor

“The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.” — Confucius




Help With Study Skills.

Knowledge About Subject(s) Being Tutored

Identify Learning Obstacles.

Good Communication Skills.

Model Good Student Behavior.

Concerted Effort In Aiding Your Understanding.

Next – Tutors Will Not…

Tutors Will Not

“The Smurfs are little blue people who live in magic mushrooms. Think about it.”

Do Your Homework!

Rescue You!

Take Responsibility For Your Learning!

Have All The Answers To Your Questions!

Next – What To Bring To Your Session

What To Bring To Your Session

I didn’t do so well today. The heat kind of got to me. There’s just so much thrown at us at one time. I didn’t have much time to study, so I didn’t prepare myself mentally as well as I have in the past.”

Text Book.

Past Tests.

In-Class Assignments.

Past Assignments.


Date Planner.

Homework Assignments With A List Of Concepts Difficult To Understand.

Good Attitude.

Next – Student Study Skill

Student Study Skills

Study skills are hard to come by. Those who were trained early have a good foundation of the skills necessary to study effectively. Here are some guidelines (not rules) to follow to help develop good study skills.


Let’s be honest, taking notes is somewhat like an art! Students marvel at the student who is able to take good notes they receive from lecture. However, most of us are stuck scribbling everything down the teacher has written on the board, and we swear that the teacher is moving too fast! Here are a few guidelines to give your students to take great notes in class:

  • Write Neatly. (You want to be able to read your notes later on).
  • Develop a format to write your notes. (Notes usually contain: definitions, theorems, examples, and formulas).
  • If you are a visual learner, develop a color scheme for your notes. (i.e. red = definitions).
  • Write notes with the intention of comprehending the material. (Everything the teacher writes down must be assumed to be important).
  • Ask questions while taking notes.
  • Make side notes. (Maybe you want to ask a question later on about a particular topic in the notes, or write the answer to a question you just
  • asked the instructor).
  • Listen to the point the teacher is trying to make before you copy the notes from the board. (You’ll be able to ask better questions if you listen).
  • Rewrite notes later to help reinforce instructors lecture topic and ideas.

Tricks to Good Note-Taking

  • To slow down the instructor, ask them to:
  • Repeat what they just said.
  • Give you an example problem.
  • Tell the instructor you don’t understand.
  • Apologize for not understanding so quickly, and ask them to repeat what they said differently.

Slowing down the instructor will give you the time that you need to write neatly, and process some additional information.

Important Details About Note-Taking

Taking good notes demands:

  • Neatness. So much information is captured if you take neat notes. Messy notes convey confusion.
  • Detailed editing, where you go through and make comments about the things you understand and don’t understand. These are the questions we ask the instructor in class, or a tutor.

Use Notes

Notes should be reviewed regularly to preserve concepts just learned. In addition, the notes the tutees have taken should be used to aid the student in following the instructors way of thinking, and solving problems. Introducing new methods and concepts will eventually confuse the student. Therefore, as a tutor, it is wise to use their notes so that you are helping the tutee as supposed to hindering them.

Listening Skills

“We are given two ears and one mouth, because God knew that it was going to be twice as hard to listen as it would be to speak”

During your tutoring sessions, make sure that your tutee is practicing active listening skills. Actively listening takes time to learn and it does take practice. Make sure the student practices active listening skill during your session. You are able to check if your tutee has understood anything by frequently asking challenging questions.