Why did you start coming to BrainBoost?
I started coming last year in January. I was already doing math once a week at home with a tutor. My friend, Georgia, told me about BrainBoost and how it made a huge difference for her and I was really struggling with math. So, my parents said ‘Let’s try it out and see what happens!’
What was your experience with math like at school?
At school, in grade 7 and stuff it was pretty easy. Then, in grade 8 it was so different from elementary school and I wasn’t really doing well at all. I was at a low mark and stuff. It was the teacher who was really tough. My math teacher would speak for like an hour and give us ten pages for homework and no time in class to do it. I really don’t learn well that way!
What do you do here, at BrainBoost?
Now, I’m doing science because I have my math tutor at home. Math, this year, has gone way better! I went from having a C- last year, and now I have an A! Crazy difference! I think a lot of it had to do with BrainBoost and some of it had to do with my teacher this year because she is amazing! Now, I’m doing half math when I need it and half science.
Last year, with that big change, what were you doing to improve?
It was tutoring and Study Space once in a while, and at the end of the year I did the Math Boost before my finals – which got cancelled because of the strike, but I felt pretty prepared because of the Math Boost.
What is the Math Boost like?
Going into it, I was like ‘Oh man! This is like 3 hours of sitting in a room with a bunch of random people learning about math that I’ve already learned about?’ and I was very not excited about it! But then, I went there and I ended up knowing a lot of people who were doing it and I didn’t know they were which was cool because I was like ‘Okay, I’m not the only one doing this!’ It was really good because they divided it up. They had snacks and let us go outside and take breaks and it was actually really good!
What is study space like?
I use it about once a week now. Study Space is when studying at home can get really distracting and you need to come here. It’s not like you have a tutor next to you – asking you how to do things or babying you and making you do certain questions. You have your own spot and no one is annoying you because everyone is doing the exact same thing. It’s like the perfect situation because if you’re swamped you can raise your hand and there’s a tutor right next to you! It works out all the time! It’s also like they’re not giving you the answer so you figure out how to do it by yourself. You do a ton of questions and if you want them to check it, they will, but if you don’t then they don?t need to. I think it’s really good!
What do you like most about study space?
Feeling like I’m studying at home and I don’t really procrastinate there. It helps with my productivity a lot! Having a tutor there is really good and works out really well because if I’m stumped on something I can easily get the answer.
What are the people and atmosphere in Study Space like?
They’re really good! The tutors are awesome – they know everything! Caitlin speaks in French so she really helps me with my French. That’s really helpful to have a tutor who knows Math, French, Science, and she can do everything. She can do things with me in French and I don’t have to go through the effort of translating it! Then, Michaela’s really really good. She breaks things down really well and stuff like that. All the students are really good too because everyone is there for the same thing.
The atmosphere is very focussed. Everyone is there to get their own thing done! Everyone else is so focused so I’m like – I have to be focused!
Also, I’ve been there so many times where at tutor says – ‘Okay, you’re freaking out! Go out and do something and get away from your book!’ That’s really cool to hear because usually you wouldn’t hear that from educated people. They want you to just push through, but here they want you to take a break and do your own thing.
Describe the math preview program at BrainBoost.
This summer I did two weeks of math preview with Rachelle. That, honestly, I think did one of the biggest differences this year. Rachelle was so great about it because I’d be there for two hours in the summer and not really want to be there. But every half an hour we’d go for a walk. That made a huge difference for this year because I knew things coming into the year so I wasn’t as surprised. Like last year I was super surprised because I didn’t know anything. I think it’s really worth it because it made one of the biggest differences in my whole math mark this year!
Why do you think places like BrainBoost are important?
I think it’s good because normally at home – since I’ve had it both ways with a tutor coming to my house – there’s just a lot more distractions. If I’m sitting there and really comfortable and not want to do anything and my math tutor comes over, I’m just like ‘Ugh!’ But here I have a whole different mode because I have to get up and come here and do my Science and I think it’s a lot better than at home because I’m less distracted.
And the tutors here are special. They’re like, different than other tutors. They really understand what you need to do. My friend, actually, I told her about BrainBoost because her tutor at her house would get really frustrated with her and if she wasn’t doing it a certain way he’d want to do it another way. Then, she came here and she was like, ‘Oh my gosh! these tutors are really different! They don’t get frustrated with me and they give me three different ways to do something and I get to pick!’ I just think that the tutors are really cool here and really good at what they do!
Three words to describe BrainBoost
Oh man. That’s more than three!