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How to Prepare for Online Instruction

Currently, the world is facing some daunting, unpredictable times. World issues and the pandemic are affecting everything, especially the education sector. As schools prepare for online instruction in the fall, here are a few tips to help prepare and settle into the flow of learning at home!

  1. Try to limit technical difficulties.

Some people may be fortunate to purchase a new computer during this time and some may use one they already owned. Either way, it’s crucial that parents ensure that the internet is stable and that the computer can process video conferencing platforms and websites. Students will be heavily dependent on their computers, so this is probably the most important matter to take care of before school begins!

  1. Improve your sleeping schedule.

Some students may have lost a sense of time ever since the quarantine began. When fall comes, try to manage your sleep schedule and wake up earlier than when your class starts. You will have time to plan out your schedule, and this will help you mentally feel like you’re in a classroom instead of your own bedroom. 

  1. Practice video conferencing etiquette.

Teachers will greatly appreciate it when you are polite in the online classroom. Try not to eat during class, as it could distract you and other members of the call, just like in real life. Turn your camera on for your teachers to see, but your microphone off so that the sound is clear for everybody. Looking attentive will help your teachers gauge your understanding of the concepts. These mannerisms will also help you in a professional setting later on.

  1. Take breaks after classes/school.

It may feel frustrating and cramped, sitting in your room for the whole day. Feel free to rest in other living spaces of your home, go on a walk (safely with social distancing measures), eat your favorite snack — anything to help you rest and relax. 

Though online instruction isn’t ideal, it serves to protect students, teachers, and families. We also have online tutoring resources at Acclaim, so check those out for additional academic instruction. We at Acclaim hope that our students can stay safe during these trying times.

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Scientific Facts for High School Students

High school science becomes extremely complex and thus, challenging for students. There are different fields such as biology, chemistry, and physics, to learn within a span of four years. In this blog, our brilliant tutor Edson gives his insight on scientific facts you should know about. This broad overview will set a foundation for developing your knowledge in the realm of sciences!

  1. Basic physics formulas

You should know what and how to understand position, speed, velocity, and acceleration. Additionally, you should know the relationships between these factors. This will help you figure out a way to calculate a missing variable. Knowing the importance of these four factors will help you with learning more difficult concepts in physics.

  1. Newton’s Laws

These laws are crucial to having a strong base in physics as well. You should know the definitions of the three laws, as well as their practical applications. Newton’s Laws are very important, as it explains how objects are in motion or static and are applicable to everyday life.

  1. Cell Structures

Biology only gets easier after understanding cell structures and their functions. This way, you’ll be able to differentiate the features in cells. You should also know about eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, as well as the core difference between the two. 

  1. 3 Domains of Life

With cell structures, you should also learn about the bigger picture. You should easily be able to name the three domains of life: Archaea, Eukarya, and Bacteria. Additionally, it is key for you to know the similarities and differences.

  1. Scientific Method

Possibly the most important of them all, it is absolutely essential that you know the Scientific Method by heart. Know the steps involved in the process, how to apply it effectively in an experiment, and create a testable hypothesis. Mastering this will help you perform well in laboratory settings, and enhance your grades in science.

Our tutor, Edson, says that a good grasp of all five of these concepts will cement your foundation in the sciences. Once you have the basics down, difficult lectures will become more coherent and understandable. To hear more tips and tricks from our wonderful tutors, read about improving your SAT Math and Writing scores!

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Historical Events Your Child Should Know

In elementary schools, children learn the basics of history and social studies. There are a few notable events that young students should understand. History is extremely valuable for elementary students, as they will learn about past events and how to develop their own opinions. Adam Swanson, our terrific tutor, gives his input on specific historical events that children should know:

  1. American Revolution (1775 – 1783)

The American Revolution dramatically shaped our country into what we are today. Starting with the Stamp Act, Americans fought for their freedom from Britain. Students should also be aware of the Boston Tea Party and who Paul Revere is. 

  1. Renaissance (the 1300s – 1600s)

The Renaissance, or “rebirth,” was a period of embracing the arts and culture. Some of the most unique, masterful art pieces derived from this period, which students should see examples of. Additionally, many philosophers shined during this era, writing great literature classics that are still read in higher-level classrooms today.

  1. Ancient Greece (700 – 480 B.C.)

Learning about Ancient Greece is definitely a favorite among young children. Children will wholeheartedly enjoy learning about the Greek gods and goddesses, along with the myths that come with them. 

  1. World War II (1939 – 1945)

One of the more recent, devastating wars, World War II is important for students to learn about. They should learn about the rise and fall of Hitler, the Nazi Party’s ideologies, and tragedies involved with the warfare. Additionally, they should understand the basic relationships between different countries.

Humankind has shaped history in progressive and tragic ways. With students learning these crucial events at a young age, they will succeed in high school because of their strong fundamentals. Though there are many significant events in history, these are Adam’s recommendations for setting a strong base in history. Read more about Adam here, and sign up with us to learn with fantastic tutors like him!

Adam Swanson is our English, History, and Current Events teacher. His students enjoy his energetic teaching style. Adam is known for his preparedness and consistency in checking on his students’ progress.
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What Makes Acclaim Stand Out?

There are tons of tutoring centers around the world — what makes us any different? Acclaim goes above and beyond for our students with our highly talented tutors and caring staff. We have various specialized programs for each student and put great emphasis on tailoring our curriculum.

We value all of our students’ and parents’ schedules. To make matters convenient for our students, we offer both in-person tutoring and online tutoring! This way, students learn from the comfort of their homes. In addition to our in-person services, we can also come to you! Online tutoring can be better than a classroom experience because the students are used to their home environment for studying. We provide convenience, as well as a fine educational experience!

Another wonderful aspect of Acclaim is that we offer tutoring services for everyone. We have classes for elementary, junior high, and high school students. Furthermore, we have test preparation courses for graduate schools, such as the MCAT, GRE, and much more! Acclaim also provides foreign language courses for people of all levels! We have such a wide variety of services to help set one’s educational foundation and nurture it.

Additionally, Acclaim has academic experts available for high school students to help them prepare for college. Our advisors are active in our students’ academic careers — from crafting a portfolio for one’s college application to planning one’s extracurricular activities according to their interests. We like to provide a customized plan for each student and can help answer difficult questions such as how to decide on a major. We have a 100% college acceptance rate for our students, showing how diligently and meticulously our students and staff work together!

Acclaim has test preparation courses for every exam one can think of! For one, we have a high school entrance exam prep to ensure that our students can receive the best education possible. Moreover, we have language classes to prep for the TOEFL exam. Of course, we also have classes on Advanced Placement courses and SAT prep. Acclaim has a tutoring program catered to every student.

We are different from other tutoring centers in that we prioritize a student’s educational experience by providing convenience. With all of our courses and expert staff, we hope to give our students the personalized materials they need to flourish in their academic lives. Sign up with us today to learn something new!

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How to Improve Your SAT Writing Score

Now that we’ve learned ways to improve on the SAT Math Section, we’ll now review tips for the SAT Writing section. The SAT comprises of two sections devoted to examining English abilities: reading comprehension and writing. The Writing section tests on high-level grammar and essay writing. Steve, one of Acclaim’s multi-faceted, talented teachers, provides his insight to help boost your score! 

  1. Review test-taking strategies for SAT Writing.

On each section testing for grammar, Steve says that there is an average of two correct “no error” answers. To ensure the most accurate answers, Steve advises, “Focus on the big three concepts: the consistency in verb tenses, appropriate comma usage, and subject-verb pronoun agreement.” Once you develop a keen eye that can effortlessly spot any errors in these areas, your score will rise considerably.

  1. Maintain conciseness.

Whether it’s regarding your essay or selecting a multiple-choice answer, remember to reduce wordiness. Steve suggests that you remove any repetition throughout your essay. When selecting your answers in the grammar section, it is likely that the shortest phrase is the correct choice. Additionally, shorten overly long sentences in a grammatically precise way that does not change your overall meaning.

  1. Delete cliches in your writing.

Steve recommends that while writing the essay, delete cliches or idiomatic sayings in your paper. “These signify informal language,” Steve says. If you want your grader to know that you’re taking this test seriously, then eliminate casual elements in your writing. Plus, cliches only convey unoriginality, so come up with organic phrasing that amplifies your thesis.

Steve addressed many useful points that are paramount to improving one’s score in the Writing section. If you want more in-depth tips and guidance with this section with tutors like Steve, register today to quickly improve your score! 

Steve Ayala is an AP History, AP Psychology, and SAT English tutor at Acclaim. He is knowledgable on various subjects and is an extremely experienced teacher. 


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School

Why a College Preparatory School is Important

For parents, it can be a tough decision to select a school for their children to attend. This process becomes even trickier when it comes to choosing high schools. Some high schools are marketed as college preparatory schools. Most of these programs require passing an exam before receiving an offer to join. These schools will be valuable for the academically ambitious student, and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Prestigious school reputation.

When looking at college applications, admission counselors can do a double-take because of the name of the high school. These admissions officers know which high schools provide a reputable, college preparatory education. The names of the high school carry a heavyweight on the application, as it reveals how academically disciplined these students are. Additionally, admission counselors view these students as well-prepared for the rigors of university.

  1. Teachers expect more from students.

As part of a college preparatory school, teachers know that the students are held to a higher standard. As such, they adjust the curriculum accordingly. These teachers come from great academic backgrounds and will push their students to do well. They tend to give a classroom experience similar to a university with lectures and expectations for students to take notes.

  1. Friendly competition among peers.

Students of college preparatory schools want to give their all and do the best that they can in their academics. With this, the competitive nature of the school will push students to work hard and learn advanced subject matters. More so than a cutthroat environment, these schools promote healthy ambition and motivation to do well in academia. 

  1. Diverse portfolio of programs available.

College preparatory schools are more likely to offer different programs such as Advanced Placement classes and the International Baccalaureate. Other examples are elective classes specifically focused on STEM material, or programs to help students determine a career pathway. These schools have programs designed to help students have a successful, educated future, making college preparatory schools a desirable choice for students.

College preparatory school can be a huge stepping stone in a student’s academic career. Students will definitely feel wholly prepared for university life and beyond. Fortunately, Acclaim has many top college preparatory schools near our locations in Southern California. Our services include test prep material catered for each prestigious high school to ensure your child admission to these fantastic schools! Register with us to develop your child’s passion for learning.

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Subjects

Which SAT Subject Test is for You?

Certain universities require students to take SAT Subject Tests along with the normal SATs. This is a way for colleges to further gauge what kind of person you are and how you will fit in on campus. However, there are twenty different tests for you to choose from. Here is a list of Acclaim’s trusted advice on narrowing down the selection!

  1. Choose the subjects you’re interested in.

If you take the SAT Subject Test based on topics you enjoy learning about, the exam will be a less stressful process. Brainstorm ideas on your favorite subjects in school, because you will most likely score better on these subjects than others. Additionally, try taking various sample tests to see which one suits you the most. Scoring well on these exams is fairly important for your college application, so choose the tests that you feel that you’ll perform best in!

  1. Take a test in a language you’re confident in.

College Board offers a few SAT Subject Tests on different languages. If you are bilingual and can comfortably speak the languages that are tested on, use your knowledge to take the test! Moreover, if you ever took a language class that you’re enthusiastic about, definitely consider taking that Subject Test. Your fluency in different languages will illustrate to universities that you are passionate about foreign cultures outside of your comfortable domain.

  1. Prepare for an exam within your career pathway.

If you are decided on your major or certain about the career pathway you’d like to pursue, choose the Subject Tests accordingly. For example, if you intend on being in the medical field, take a Biology exam. College admissions counselors will see that you are fervent about the field you are entering and have advanced knowledge regarding the concepts within your desired field. 

  1. Talk to an academic advisor. 

An academic counselor will be able to help you choose which SAT Subject Test would be best for your college application. Acclaim, for one, provides a premier college consulting service. Our staff will be able to guide you with a step-by-step process to shape your portfolio and help you get into your dream college! 

The suite of SAT tests that are required for students to take may overwhelm you. Regardless, following these steps will help you navigate the college application process in a simplistic manner. For even more special guidance catered to your educational needs, sign up with us at Acclaim to receive full benefits and services!

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School

4 Ways to Have a Productive Summer

Summer’s coming, which means that students will have plenty of time after the school year comes to a close. Summer is the perfect time for students to replenish their energy from stressful homework assignments and exams. We at Acclaim have a few ideas of how students of all grade levels can spend their summer so that they can feel productive and revitalized.

  1. Read a lot of books.

Many students can’t seem to find time to read for pleasure because of school. Get back into a wonderful hobby of reading during this upcoming break. Whether one reads a canonical piece of literature or a book from a school’s curated reading list, reading of any kind will improve reading comprehension abilities. In fact, Acclaim has released a top 5 ranking of literature books, which are excellent reads and able to keep students’ minds sharp!

  1. Learn a different language.

Students have the next two or three months to themselves — they might as well use this time to become a more worldly individual. Learning a new language will not only help one’s conversation skills, but they will also understand the historical contexts of that language’s culture. Learning how to speak in different languages come with many benefits, and will enrich one’s summer break.

  1. Sign up for a tutoring program.

In the span of summer break, it’s completely possible to forget how to write an essay or not know which formulas to use to solve specific math problems. Eliminate any need to dust away the cobwebs of the mind by signing up with a tutoring center. This way, students will be kept accountable for maintaining and improving their academics. Acclaim also has a plethora of programs available for students to help them get ahead and learn some new material!

  1. Keep track of your goals with a journal. 

In a journal, write a list of short-term and long-term goals to achieve. Summertime is a perfect opportunity for students to learn more about themselves and what they’re looking for in life. These goals can range from learning new scientific concepts to planning for college and deciding on a major. Our academic experts at Acclaim also provide excellent college consulting services, Students should clear their minds from the previous school year by journaling and defining how they want to advance their educational lives.

Though students may have an empty schedule during the summertime, they can always advance their academic careers. This will also help a student become more self-sufficient, allowing them to take charge of making decisions regarding their education. We at Acclaim hope that everyone has a happy, fulfilling summer!

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How to Improve Your SAT Math Score

Countless students struggle with math throughout their academic careers. Regardless, math is a huge aspect of the SAT that can add or harm one’s score. Fortunately, the math problems on the SAT are often similar to past tests, displaying the same types of problems. For this article, our fantastic math tutor, Timothy, will be giving you some advice on improving your SAT Math score!

  1. Get familiar with the testing topics

Timothy asserts that “The first step in improving your SAT math score is to ensure that you’re familiar with the common topics that the test covers.” An example of a frequently observed topic is linear equations. According to Tim, you will see a quick increase in your scores once you have a better understanding of quadratics and SOH CAH TOA. The SAT Math sections are formulaic in their design. Once you are exposed to more of these problems, you will see that most of the problems ask the same questions but with different numbers. 

  1. Practice test-taking skills

After you learned the core topics tested in the SAT Math section, Tim recommends that you improve on your test-taking ability. He says, “Before answering a question, challenge yourself to eliminate answers you know cannot be right.” Furthermore, he suggests that you look for patterns in answer choices to develop guessing strategies. Along with your arithmetical capabilities, you will be able to score well if you can navigate through the pressures of the SAT.

  1. Figure out which answers serve as a “decoy”

Some SAT multiple-choice answers are designed to deceive you. Whoever sees past these tricks are the ones who will score well. Tim defines these deceptive choices as “decoys.” He gives an example of four choices:

a) 1

b) 5/2

c) 0

d) 2/5

With these choices in mind, Tim would lean towards choices B or D. Why? “If B were the right answer, then D would be a great “decoy” answer. A “decoy” answer is an answer choice that is purposely meant to be similar to the correct answer.” As you can see, the pattern is that B and D are both fractions, but the numbers are reversed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the answer will be either B or D, but the probability of B or D would be higher than A or C. 

The SATs are a critical moment for a high school student, as it is highly considered by admissions counselors at universities. We at Acclaim understand the significance of these tests, which is why we offer an array of services pertaining to the SATs, including the Subject Tests. For more helpful tips from our wonderful tutors like Tim, sign up to arrange a lesson with them. If you’ve been preparing to apply for colleges, read about how to decide on your major and how to achieve a perfect GPA!

Tim is one of our phenomenal math tutors. He is greatly experienced and very passionate about teaching his students. Get in touch with tutors like Tim here.


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Top 5 High School Literature Books to Read

High school students in America face similar English curricula, where they read the same books written by the same authors. At Acclaim, we selected five of the greatest books included in high school classrooms. Though all of these books are well known and loved, we decided not to include any of the canonical novels for originality’s sake. All of these books are renowned for their literary merits and are excellent for furthering your analytical abilities.

  1. Persuasion, Jane Austen. 

Similar to Austen’s acclaimed Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion is a classic Austenian romance with the archetypal characters. It is an excellent novel that highlights themes and symbols regarding social hierarchies and decisions. 

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Harper Lee’s famous To Kill A Mockingbird is a sweet novel that also seamlessly portrays darker themes such as racism. The narrative form of the writing is critically acclaimed and certainly an aspect for students to analyze. Every character has their idiosyncrasies that one can critically think about.

  1. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

As Flaubert’s infamous novel, Madame Bovary is a masterfully written French romance. Madame Bovary, the titular character, is a woman who lives in the moment and romanticizes all facets of life. Her constant romanticization and superficiality lead her to empty disappointment and tragedy. Her eyes, along with Flaubert’s specific usage of color, are interesting aspects to observe.

  1. Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare

What’s a high school English class without Shakespeare? Instead of the stereotypical recommendations of Macbeth and Hamlet, we at Acclaim ranked Taming of the Shrew quite highly. This is a play about two wealthy individuals romancing each other with themes about hierarchies and gender roles. There are countless academic debates and theories regarding the feminism (or lack thereof) within the play, so read it and form an opinion yourself!

  1. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

Wilde’s wildly controversial novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray artfully defines hedonism through a myriad of symbols. This novel is paradigmatic for students learning about identifying symbolism. It’s a hauntingly enticing book that will have you continuously turning pages!

All of these books are phenomenal and recognized by experts in academia. Acclaim also provides English tutoring resources, along with book club sessions, to help with comprehension and analytical skills. Furthermore, these books will also help you write better essays and raise your English grade. Happy reading!