Tampa AP European History Student Crushes Test

Posted on 21st July 2010 in AP European History Tutoring

She wanted to write better DBQs. I just got some wonderful news. She rocked a 5 on the exam!

I’m proud of her and grateful that her parents found me when they typed in “Tampa AP European History tutor” into the InterGoogle!

If these are your dogs, or you need help preparing for the European AP History Exam in Tampa, call Eric at 813.787.8959.

Image from the photostream of Anulla, creator of the blog Blather from Brooklyn. Image licensed under Creative Commons and completely safe for children.

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New Tampa History Tutor

Posted on 9th September 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

Today I tutored one of my favorite IB American History students. Although history isn’t her favorite subject, she put in the effort to learn the part of the chapter we studied today.

Mom asked, “How did you do on the last history quiz?”

This image is the work of Erin (Misserion on Flickr). Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only. See more of Erin's images in her photostream.

“Eight out of ten. The best in the class,” said the student.

The student was content to measure her performance by how other IB students had done, but her mother pressed her to set a higher standard for herself.

As a recovering perfectionist, this New Tampa History Tutor can appreciate both points of view.

The best score in the class is an achievement.

Nevertheless, I see the parent’s point. So much of how we do in a class is determined by where we draw the “good enough” line. With the rigors of the IB course of study, finite study time may be needed for some other subject. But I admire those students whose standards of excellence don’t depend upon how well others perform.

Where are you drawing the “good enough” line? What do you expect of yourself? What are you willing to accept?
I just finished reading A Message from Garcia. The author challenges readers to push themselves beyond what they believe they can do.

One of the most successful students I ever met told me about surviving a class in high school that featured pop tests. When I hear students grousing about how hard it is to prepare for scheduled tests, I think of his story.

Confronted with an unorthodox instructor, this student dug in, studied like a madman, and succeeded in mastering the material.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 9/29/2009 11:15 PM


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Tampa IB History Tutoring Success Story

Posted on 19th July 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

I recently spoke to the parents of one of my Tampa, FL history IB tutoring students.

I started tutoring her late in the last school year because she was struggling in the ancient history class that all freshmen in the IB program take at King High School.

For some students, the level of reading required to master the textbook for the course is a challenge.

(Photo of Roman Colleseum by Foodriver and licensed under Creative Commons Share Alike 2.0 license. See more of Foodriver's photos in his Flickr photostream.)

At any rate, I heard this week that she did very well in the course. I’m pleased and very proud of her. She is one of the hardest working and most dedicated students that I have ever tutored.

Her results are a reflection of the daily work that she did.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 7/19/2009 9:05 AM



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Tampa IB History Tutoring Success Story

Posted on 30th April 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

One of my students made a dramatic improvement in her freshman IB history class! Her mom found me on the Internet and I worked with her over Spring Break.

Yeah, I know.

I felt for her. It takes some dedication to spend an hour a day reading about the Romans and the High Middle Ages when the rest of the world is tanning poolside and catching up on Facebook.

Anyway, she gradually has improved her grade to a solid B. It was very gratifying to hear her say that “It feels good to be a chapter ahead in history.” From performing somewhat erratically on tests, she has become a consistent high B performer and has a shot at an A in the class!

(Photo taken Woofgang Strautd. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only. See more of Woofgang's beautiful photos of Crete in his Flickr photostream. Below this photo is a good history lesson on Crete.)

One of may mantras is to get ahead and stay ahead. The IB program is tough for entering freshman because the history textbook is above the ninth grade level. It takes reading it with dictionary.com open for some students to decode the material.

And decoding is only the first step toward understanding and internalizing the material….

Because history is the course that requires the most reading in the freshman IB line up, it is one many students find hard. However, making the effort to get ahead and put yourself in a position to hear the lecture with a good basic grasp of the material makes getting a good grade a world easier.

It also takes the pressure off. I’m overjoyed that IB history tutoring in Tampa has worked so well for this student!

If your student is not doing well in IB history or regular American, European, or World History, please give me a call at 813.787.8959. I’d love to be sharing a student success story about your son or daughter in this space.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 4/30/2009 12:14 AM

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Tampa, FL AP History Tutor Gives Basic Advice on Writing Better History DBQs

Posted on 26th February 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

This week I took on a new Tampa, FL AP History Tutoring client. He wanted help writing better History DBQs.

For those looking to practice DBQ writing, The College Board has been kind enough to publish a list of DBQs from recent AP European History exams.

For a student wishing to improve DBQ writing, what could be better than working actual previous AP exam DBQs?

It’s a basic tip, but worth any student’s time to examine the AP scoring rubric that is included in the PDFs on the College Board website.

Photo by William Murphy and licensed under Creative Commons attribution only. See more of William's photos in his Flickr photostream.

You ought to take a minute to review the DBQ scoring rubric if you are studying for the AP exam and can’t answer these questions:

  • What is the minimum number of documents that a student must use to get credit?
  • How many documents may a student misinterpret and still score on the basic rubric?
  • What types of bias should a DBQ writer look for in analyzing the point of view of sample documents?
  • How are the points awarded for a DBQ?
  • Must the thesis appear in the first paragraph of a DBQ?
  • Assuming a student gets all of the basic points on a DBQ, what are the requirements for earning extra points?

The DBQs from the College Board website include answers written by students. Studying the best DBQ answer essays and knowing the DBQ scoring rubric are good place to start if you want to improve your chances of writing an effective AP History DBQ. Need more help in AP European or American History? Call 813.787.8959 to reach Eric, the Tampa AP History Tutor.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 2/26/2009 12:50 AM


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