Verbified nouns: Engaging with cultural cliché[é?]s through language study

Posted by Emma C. on 1/20/17 4:13 PM


A Confounding Caption

While meandering through a shopping mall last week, waiting for my husband to emerge from the battlefield that is the men’s dressing room, I stumbled upon a most curiously named store. To avoid incurring undue amounts of commercial ire and for the sheer purpose of explaining the flurry of ensuing reflections, let’s simply say that the store was called Beautéé. The French-inclined portion of my brain immediately seized upon this title. Granted, part of the store’s name is a cognate that most English speakers would grasp without too much prodding or hinting. On a purely visual level, Beautéé is indeed very close to beauty – and therefore in the eye of the beholder after all! The central cluster of letters b-e-a-u that is common to both words provides a strong foothold for our divining minds to clamber between one conclusion and the next.

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Tags: language learning, ESL

Tips and Mnemonics for Memorizing Amino Acid Structures

Posted by Eden on 1/18/17 6:31 PM

Learning amino acid structures is a challenging part of biology and biochemistry coursework. Many students feel totally overwhelmed by the task. The best way to master this skill is lots of repetition (here is a link to a Sporcle quiz that may help you with the repetition part) but it can be helpful to have tricks and mnemonics to get you started. Below is a chart with some mnemonics and tricks that I have collected over the years-hopefully this will be a good jumping off point for your amino acid mastery!

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Tags: biology, chemistry

When should I guess on the GMAT?

Posted by Nick S on 1/13/17 6:04 PM

If you’re thinking about taking the GMAT and going to business school, chances are you’ve already taken hundreds of written tests throughout your career. Some of them were probably standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, and others might have been in your high school and college classes. Most likely, those tests involved sitting down and answering a set list of questions that your teacher or professor created beforehand; everyone in the class got the same set of questions, and scores were determined based on the share of questions each student answered correctly.

The GMAT is different. Not only is it on a computer, but also it’s adaptive, meaning it adapts the questions you receive based on how it perceives your ability. If you are answering easy questions correctly, for example, the computer will start feeding you harder questions to see if you can handle them. Conversely, if you’re answering very hard questions incorrectly, you may start to see easier questions come up. 

Beating the adaptive system requires building a strategy that fits your strengths and weaknesses. It also means figuring out when to guess.  

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Tags: GMAT

7 Key Strategies to Boost your Score on the GRE from a Master

Posted by Greg on 1/11/17 6:31 PM

There are many opportunities to make mistakes on the GRE, and our Master tutor Greg has witnessed all of them.  With over 500 hours of experience teaching with Cambridge Coaching, he is one of the most well-qualified GRE tutors out there.  What are the most common problems he addresses?  Some of the answers may surprise you.  Greg shares his candid feedback below!

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Tags: study skills, GRE

How to Help Your Child with Math Homework: 5 Easy Questions You Can Ask

Posted by Meghan on 1/9/17 6:22 PM

If you’re the parent of a teenager, chances are good that a few years have passed since you had to graph a polynomial or find a derivative. Since high school math covers topics that people working outside of STEM don’t come across very often, many parents don’t feel like they can give much help to their teenage children with their math homework. But you’re an adult who solves problems every day! You have a lot to offer your teenage student about how to approach problems productively, utilize resources, and access their own abilities. 

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Tags: high school, math

Revolving Curves to Make Solids

Posted by Abu on 1/6/17 5:28 PM

Have you ever wondered where the formulas for volumes that you studied way back in geometry come from? It’s not too surprising that the volume of a cube is , but why is the volume of a cone ?

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Tags: math

The #1 Question Strategy for the MCAT: Total Justification

Posted by Henry on 1/4/17 5:40 PM

What is Total Justification?

Most students pick the correct answer on a multiple choice practice problem, and think they have gotten the most they can out of the problem; they are wrong. Answering a question on the MCAT is essentially the task of appraising answer choices to see if they fit certain criteria, such as being factually correct or logical in the context of the passage. Appraising answer choices in the context of certain criteria is the meat of the MCAT, and practicing it just once per question is a massive waste. For this reason, I recommend that students explicitly justify why every correct answer is correct, but also, why every incorrect answer is incorrect: Total Justification.  

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Tags: study skills, MCAT

The  Five Most Essential Tips for AP Chemistry Review, Ranked by an AP Teacher

Posted by Marilyn on 12/30/16 2:32 PM

You really want to ace your AP Chemistry final, so you are planning this month’s study sessions closely. Here are 5 Tips -- you can begin right now!

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How do I Succeed as an ESL International Student? 8 Essential Solutions

Posted by Andrew on 12/28/16 4:10 PM

The Problem

You find yourself entering your first semester as a graduate student in New York City. For all the hard work reading, writing, and taking entrance exams, you still feel anxious and alienated from your native English speaking peers. Social mixers loom large. Prospects for networking with faculty appear out of reach. It’s as if you gained VIP access to your favorite play only to discover the actors cancelled the show….

Sound familiar? You’re not alone! According to the Journal of Counseling and Development, you and your fellow international students not only experience language barriers, you also contend with “culture shock, social adjustment, and homesickness.” And how can you not? It’s one thing to simply study and keep your head in your books until you cross the graduation “finish line.” It’s quite a different thing to expand your social networks, earn recognition from faculty, and expose yourself to enriching experiences within and beyond classroom walls.

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Tags: English

What is the subjunctive tense in English?

Posted by Alison on 12/24/16 9:52 AM

One grammar category that seems to be widely untaught is the names and functions of various verb tenses. For those who have studied a foreign language, the existence of these constructions is not so foreign, but native English speakers rarely learn what the subjunctive – in English – even is, let alone how to use it correctly. The same goes for past perfect and conditional or hypothetical phrases. If you knew what these tenses were called, maybe you would better understand the rules for combining them. If you had known these rules earlier, perhaps you could have used them more often. 

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Tags: English