Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Ways to Make Better Grades in Higher Education - College Tutors and More

5 Ways to Make Better Grades in Higher Education - College Tutors and More

A Guest Post By Mark Etinger

Although grades aren't everything, they are the most accurate indicator of your progress in a course. Your grades reflect your level of comprehension for the material you've studied, and if they're low so is your level of understanding. This is extremely problematic in college, as it's a time when you should really be interested in your coursework and be doing all you can to understand it thoroughly. After all, the reason you're in school is so you can apply the material to your prospective career, so it's in your best interest to find the material personally and academically fulfilling.

Here are 5 tips to help you get better grades and find your college courses personally fulfilling.

1) Streamline your note taking. You should think of note taking not so much as detachedly writing down what your hear your professor saying, but actively listening to the lecture so you can easily pinpoint key topics that you can referenced in the future.

2) Bring a unique perspective toward assignments. It's always good to strive for a sense of originality in your work. To really set yourself apart from other students. To do this, you should stay away from recycling old arguments and popular ideas and strive to put a new, imaginative spin on every assignment you complete. As long as you can back up your claims and ideas with solid analysis, then you're sure to make excellent grades.

3) Find someone in every class that you can forge a "study alliance" with. Find someone you find interesting and introduce yourself. Ask about comparing notes/studying, and exchange phone numbers. As they say, sometimes two heads are better than one, so with a study ally you've doubled your intellectual resources for your next exam.

4) Contact college tutors if you need help. There's nothing worse than suffering silently while you fail a course, while college tutors are literally a phone call or few clicks away. College tutors will give your supplemental learning material that's personally tailored to your schedule and academic needs. The golden rule of academics is: if you put in the time, you'll start to see better marks on your exams and assignments. So if you need help putting in the time, college tutors are waiting to help.

5) When registering, choose courses that sincerely interest you. You should be really be excited about the courses you're enrolled in, and intrigued by the material. By taking a course that interests you, doing assignments and studying becomes easier as you are actually eager to learn more about the subject. It's unrealistic to say that every course you take is going to excite you, but you should have a good balance every semester of courses that you have to take, and courses that you actually like.

All in all, hard work, dedication, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge are some of the overarching characteristics that contribute to good grades. If you have those, but need a little extra help molding your study habits and absorbing the material, you should, talk to your professor and look into college tutors.

Newcastle Tutors offers college online tutoring services for university-level math and science courses. Our college tutors provide flexible scheduling and individual attention, ensuring the success of each and every student.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Adult College Student's Don't Do List

The Adult College Student's Don't Do List

A Guest Post By Linda Aragoni

Out-of-school adults are entering college in increasing numbers. If you are one of those students, knowing what not to do can make the difference between between flunking out and graduating.

Here are four tips to help you make the most of your college experience.

1. Don't expect college to be like high school.

Unlike high school teachers, college instructors won't break the work into daily assignments for you. They expect you to read the syllabus and plan your work to meet the class deadlines.

In many classes, your semester grade may depend on one or two assignments. College instructors rarely give a separate grade for homework and class participation, so your course grade will likely be based solely on test grades and papers.

2. Don't expect college to be like your workplace.

Your employer probably hired you because of your aptitude for your job, told you how the job must be done, and trained you to do it. At least for the first week, someone probably checked daily to see how you were getting along and whether you had questions.

In college, your instructors will assume you have skills such as time management, study skills, and academic writing. If you do not have those skills, may find yourself plunged into situations for which you have little or no preparation. You may be a whiz at bookkeeping, for example, but find yourself enrolled in English, history, and sociology.

3. Don't take on too much.

If you have been out of school a few years, you many find it best to ease into a college program by taking just a single course. For starters, take a course in which you have some expertise or interest. That will help learn your way around and gain confidence. Be careful, however, that your grade in the course will not depend heavily on skills you don't have. If your grade in an art course will depend on a term paper and you need remedial writing, don't take the art course until you have dealt with your writing skills deficit.

Then, when you are familiar with the college environment, take a single course in which you expect to have some difficulty. In this way, you will not only have time to adjust to college, but also get one tough class out of the way.

4. Don't hesitate to seek help.

If you see you are having difficulty with an academic subject, make an appointment to see your instructor right away. If you have problems that affect you in more than one class, such as a learning disorder, check the college catalog or ask your advisor to refer you to someone who can help.

If your problem is not academic, you may still be able to get help on campus. Most colleges can direct you to employment services, academic aid, health services, and counseling for personal problems.

With realistic expectations and a willingness to ask for help you'll be off to a good start on your college degree.

A former college writing instructor who taught adult students in online classes for five years, Linda Aragoni helps teachers do a better job teaching expository writing to students at her website, She continues to support students embarking on college careers with essay help in an on-site forum. Copyright 2010, Linda G. Aragoni. You may reprint this article provided the whole text, the author's name, the links, and this copyright notice remain intact.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

How to Get More Money When You Sell Your Textbook

How to Get More Money When You Sell Your Textbook

A Guest Post By Daniel P Cooper

A college education is one of the most important and expensive endeavors a young person can take. There are many costs and expenses that go into a college degree, not the least of those being textbooks. According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), college textbooks have increased at a rate of 6 percent per year over the past two decades. This is nearly twice the rate of inflation. With increases like this for college textbooks, along with the many other college expenses, students need to find ways to cut back on costs in order to pursue a degree.

Rising textbook costs are one of the most frequent complaints heard by college students. Carlo Checri, a recent graduate from the University of North Texas, stated that "books are always those things you don't think about when you're registering for classes, then when you go to the bookstore, you suddenly realize that you have to spend a lot more money." Mr. Checri's sentiment is felt by a many college students. In fact, numerous community colleges see textbook costs totaling the same amount as semester long classes.

In addition to the high costs of buying books, when asked about reselling them, Checri said, "I've had some luck selling books back, but a lot of the time it wasn't worth the effort since I knew I would be getting back less than half of what I paid anyway." Mr. Checri went on to say that he has tried selling his books back to his library, to friends taking the same classes, and online.

There are several unique ways to try to get more money for selling college textbooks. However, to start, one wants to make sure they are buying their textbooks the cheapest possible way. Finding good deals on textbooks really helps when a student goes to resell them. In a perfect world, students would be able to buy their books, and sell them again for the same price. Several ideas covered here can help move students closer to that "perfect world".


Procrastination is the most costly part of buying textbooks. As many students will notice, college bookstores typically sell books new and used. The used books are typically much cheaper than buying a book new; however, the used books are always the first to go because of this. If a student waits until the last minute to buy his/her books, chances are, all the used books will have already been sold and the student will end up paying the higher cost of buying new.

Another option for purchasing books is to buy online at sites like Amazon or Half. However, when purchasing books online, students can face similar problem as purchasing from the local book store. Other problems can also arise, such as shipping costs and time frames, and the possibility of lost packages. All this can increase the cost of purchasing books, and also add additional frustration and hassle.

A final option for purchasing books would be on sites like Trade My Text, a free site that allows students to buy, sell, and trade textbooks with each other for free. A site like this allows students to buy their books from classmates who may have just taken the class they need the book for. This can cut down on the cost of purchasing the book and also eliminates the dreads of shipping.


So how do you sell a book for more than the half back "guarantee" of the local book store? There are several ways, many of them similar to the above ways to buy a textbook. In a perfect world, a student would buy a used, $100 book for say $75, use it for the semester, and then resell it for right around $75. In the real world, that same student buys the book for $100 and typically resells it for $50 or less. The way to sell a book for more is to try to accomplish the "perfect world" scenario. Getting a good deal on a book allows a student to turn around and quickly resell it at a price of nearly what they paid. Again, the key to selling for more is purchasing at the right price.

The college bookstore is always a last resort option for selling a book. Chances are that a student won't make much of their money back by selling to the bookstore. The best place to start when selling a book is online. Going to places like Amazon, Half, or Trade My Text can save students time and get them more for their books. Amazon and Half allow students to reach a large viewing group to market their book and although there is a fee, it is not terribly high. Also, with Amazon, there is no fee charged unless a student sells their item. Trade My Text is a unique site that acts as an online market place for students to buy, sell, and trade textbooks among each other at their particular college for free. This is also an effective way to sell a book at the end of the semester.

Using online websites to market books is the most effective way to sell a student's book for the most amount of money. Using several sites can be even more effective than using just one. For example, listing a book on Amazon, Half, and Trade My Text opens a student's book up to many more viewers, and since Trade My Text is free and Amazon only charges if the books is sold, there is no loss in doing this.

In summary, textbooks can be a very expensive part of any college education, but with a few unique and untraditional tactics, saving money on books becomes easy. Keep in mind, the first step to saving money on books, is buying them at the right price. When a book is bought at the right price, selling it for more on the back side becomes easy.

Save money on College Textbooks by buying/selling/trading with local students for free at!

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