Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Tutoring position

  1. Aug 6, 2011 #1
    I'm applying for a tutoring position at my school. I already passed the pre-interview and took the test (basic algebra). I did not pass the algebra test, because it was all stuff I haven't done in a few years.

    However I have a retest Monday, and this weekend to study. She wouldn't let me look at my test to see what I did wrong, but I do have an algebra book.

    It's weird because in my calculus class, I was getting 100%s on my tests. Then go back to algebra, and there's just SO much you simply don't use again.

    Does anyone have any things I really should review for it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

  4. Aug 6, 2011 #3
    Try to remember which topics were on that test that you had trouble with. Research them.
  5. Aug 6, 2011 #4
    Dividing polynomials.
    Go to the library and get an algebra book, look through it and learn/review anything you can't do. There shouldn't be that much, but it's the stuff you don't remember doing that you won't think of to study.
  6. Aug 6, 2011 #5
    You probably want to brush up on some Conics because atleast in our school, most people had trouble with them.
  7. Aug 6, 2011 #6
    The person lent me a book, and I'm doing the "final" and I'm having no problems (checking the answers, everything is right). I wonder what I did wrong...

    The only problem I really had a problem with on the test was an optimization one. I don't know how you do optimization without calculus. I guess guess and check, but I miss my calculus lol
  8. Aug 6, 2011 #7
    Can you use a graphing calculator? In my previous Alg II class, I remember using it (unless somehow your optimization was in 2 dimensions:devil:).
  9. Aug 6, 2011 #8
    No graphing calculator. It's just guess and check.
  10. Aug 6, 2011 #9
    Well, if it is multiple choice, you could just look for all pairs of coordinates with a positive x-value and then find the one with the greatest y-value, but other than that...it's most likely guess and check
  11. Aug 6, 2011 #10
    Nope, no multiple choice. It IS guess and check lol

    The thing that's screwing with me the most is I'm going over everything, and I can't find anything I'm really doing wrong. I'm getting the right answers most of the time. I have no clue why I did poorly on the exam. I guess I must have been careless...
  12. Aug 6, 2011 #11
    Double check, Triple check, Quadruple check! :tongue2:

    I'm assuming your tutoring AlgII, but make sure you factor right.


    Factor 2x2-5x-3

    Make sure to factor into (2x+1)(x-3), not (2x-3)(x+1)!:wink:
  13. Aug 6, 2011 #12
    Haha, thanks for the advice.

    I'm going to be so careful this time. I'm going to check everything 4 times like you said hahaha
  14. Aug 6, 2011 #13
    If the function you're working with is just a quadratic, that doesn't require calculus, just completing the square :wink:

    BTW I'm not sure how you did so well in calculus without remembering much algebra; calculus is where you learn algebra, according to my calc teacher!
  15. Aug 6, 2011 #14
    I might just have been careless. I'm going to make sure I am much more careful. Because reviewing more, there's nothing I don't know really and while doing the problems, I'm doing well.

    However she did say "this test is not like other tests, it tests to see how much you've reviewed". Which probably means all trick questions/nuances.
  16. Aug 7, 2011 #15
    Please do not tutor other students. They need to learn algebra.
  17. Aug 11, 2011 #16
    What was frustrating me is when I was doing the chapter end problems, I was getting the answers all right.

    I retook the test and didn't pass again. I learned why I was doing so poorly, though. They graded heavily on approach. It wasn't enough to just get the answer right, I had to get the approach right. I never took algebra at college, I took it in high school. So it's been awhile and I just learned how to do things kind of the short-hand way. She wanted every single step written out and a ton of explanation, which I wasn't really giving.

    I won't be able to get the position, but I'm glad it's not because I don't know what I'm doing. However it DOES make sense that for a tutoring position you should learn to do things very methodically and with a lot of explanation.
  18. Aug 11, 2011 #17
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook