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Videos on how to study with the techniques W. S. Emara used through high school and refined at Columbia University.

Time Management

by W. Sam Emara

How you can make large loads of work manageable and tips on finding time in your daily transitions.

We’ve all seen the disorganized student that’s always fumbling around complaining about having too much work and never actually doing any of it; not very effective.  Today’s student really does have a lot to juggle: between soccer practice, internship, state-wide exams, and that English paper it can easily become stressful and overwhelming.  But, by learning to manage your time and putting into practice certain techniques you can become a much more effective student.

Instead of trying to face large intimidating walls of work not knowing where to start, break it down into smaller achievable goals and pick one to concentrate on. For example, don’t get stuck thinking about how you have to study for tomorrow’s physics test.  Make a list of broken-down objectives that can be made into a manageable schedule for a smaller timeframe; it’s a lot like making an outline.  So, first on the study plan would be to read through the list of topics that your teacher says will be tested and, beginning with the ones that will likely account for the most points, turn to the respective chapters in your textbook and begin working the practice problems embedded in the text.  For those that you are unable to solve, turn to your class notes and read the relevant section of the textbook for an explanation.  Afterwards, plan on applying what you’ve absorbed to some of the problems at the end of the chapter.  By looking at this layout you’ll be better equipped to prioritize and focus on the specific goals you need to accomplish.  To help distribute your assignments within your schedule giving an adequate block of time to each of them, that more general list of tasks will be useful.  The more hectic your agenda the fewer days you should forecast, about three or four days ahead for the busiest of students.

As a side note: when following through with your study plan make sure to cross off tasks once you’ve completed them.  For a number of reasons the mere act of crossing out what you’ve finished is gratifying and plays a role in maintaining your momentum.  I’ve found that it serves as a subconscious incentive for even the most math-averse students to solve simplification and algebra problems.

Learning to effectively manage your time is a small investment with large returns in increased productivity and reduced stress.  Part of this management is learning to set boundaries.  Particularly, when regulating the amount of time spent on transition activities; like during the time it takes to ease yourself back home once arriving from school.  This transition is often spent watching TV, on the phone, facebook, and IMing.  These media are all good for this transition, but they also make it easy to keep using them for longer than you should.  As social media becomes more personal and integrated into our lives, it becomes more important to set limits on their use.  Using a timer can help set these boundaries, discouraging you from watching more than one episode and encouraging you to continue reading until your scheduled reading block is up.  I prefer an analog timer as opposed to a digital one, and recommend it to more visually-inclined learners so that you can see the remaining amount of time.  Don’t think of it as being controlled by the clock, so much as it is managing a resource: your time.

Another reason to follow honest boundaries is that by compartmentalizing tasks you can focus more clearly on what you’re doing, getting the most out of more.  Adhering to my schedule and not taking a break prematurely means that not only is my allotted study time more productive but my time away from work is a higher quality, as I can fully enjoy going out with friends without a cloud of guilt hanging over me for not having completed an assignment or knowing I’m behind schedule.

All of this may seem like a less organic way to study, but compartmentalizing your time is the most efficient way to maximize the value of each time slot.


NYC Lab School
Chosen by his High School teachers to tutor peers.
W. S. Emara tutors New York City students from K–12 in-person, and online via skype video calls for those outside NYC.
New York University Medical Center Microbiology Research Laboratory
Design and perform experiments in infectious disease as a member of the lab group of Department of Medicine Chairman Martin J. Blaser, MD.
Recieved email:
Accepted into Columbia University
Continued to tutor students and conduct research as a premed biology major.
Publishes article on microbiology research
click to read
Emara Academic Solutions™
Returned to NYC to continue his tutoring practice.
Friedrich-Engels Gymnasium Senftenberg, Deutschland
Taught English to students from grades 9 to 12 in German High School.

Revitalized English department, streamlining the ambitions of the students and the requirements of standardized testing into a contemporary curriculum.
Internship in Building Community
Facilitated the livelihood of students enrolled in Columbia University’s High School Summer Program as a Resident Advisor.

Coordinated and supervised extracurricular activities for students throughout NYC.


Larisa F.
(tutored regularly from September ’05 to June ’08 in Math and Chemistry)
"I walk into a session not even knowing how to start a type of problem, and I leave able to solve any version of it."
Dan B.
(a Writing client in January’09)
"He’s just so good at it… he’s like a machine, you give him a writing prompt and out comes an A paper."
Ben T.
(tutored regularly from August ’06 to June ’07 in Math and then College Admissions Essay Writing)
"[W. S. Emara] was involved and interested in my success. While other tutors I’ve had were impersonal time-watchers, my Emara Academic Solutions sessions wouldn’t even start until after some time talking with the family."
Ina R.
(mother of two students tutored in English in ’07)
“Besides the immediate results of higher English grades, the more striking results were long-term. Both of my children became more engaged students that take pride in their work raising scores in more than just English class.”