If your math test was NFL Game Day, which quarterback would you be?

Football is finally here, which means hours of watching the television when you could (and probably should) be studying for the week ahead. As you enter weeks one and two of the school year, your productivity in the classroom directly correlates to the quality of preparation you put in. The same goes for the pro athletes who play on Sunday.

The same pro athletes went to high school and college, too. We’ve analyzed the personality/performance traits of the top QB’s in the league and matched them with the most common types of students that emerge on the dreaded Exam Day.

Why? Because this is America, where the line between sports, pop culture and real life becomes more blurred with every viral end zone dance.

Are you a Fitzpatrick or a Kaepernick? Find out below.

downloadRyan Fitzpatrick

This is routine. You read the lesson once last week and once again while walking to class this morning… but you’ve understood the material since last year. Performing well on the test isn’t on your mind as much as scoring perfect on your next try at the SAT.

Unlike our friend Cam Newton, you’re not much for showboating your scores. You keep your smarts under the radar and hope nobody  This doesn’t mean your classmates like you very much, though.

200w.gifCam Newton

You were born for test day. You walk in with a fresh pair of Nikes just because it’s test day, sitting at the front of the classroom because you’re going to be first to finish anyway.

You make a spectacle of an entrance because that’s what winners do. Let your classmates groan at your enthusiasm. They’ll groan even louder when you mess up the grading curve and hit a celebration dance.

leepre8Jimmy Garoppolo

Everybody knows your big brother Tom, who graduated a long time ago and was notorious for getting caught cheating on a number of tests. Tom was a legendary math-lete. He wasn’t the quickest, but he could graph out parabolas with pinpoint accuracy – no TI-89 needed. He would even stay after school to tutor kids on homework, just because he was an old veteran.

… and you’re just Jimmy. All the teachers and kids in the hallway want to know: what are you made of?

Jameis Winston

You made a big name for yourself in early geometry – in fact, you knew angles and shapes like the back of your hand.

But that was last year. You’Jameis-Winston-Squint.jpg
re in the big leagues now – Calculus is known to swallow up rookies if they don’t study their playbooks. True, you came in hot d
uring week one and blew the first exam out of the water. But it’s week two and you forgot that tests are cumulative now.

Colin Kaepernick

You’ll ScreenShot2013-12-09at9.14.06AM_crop_exact.pngtake the test, all right – but not until the teacher answers some deep, existential questions first.

Why is testing in your school district so frequent? Why do we say the Pledge of Allegiance? Suddenly the entire classroom is up in arms. Desks start flying. Oh well. You finish the test, put your Beats headphones on and walk out in silence.

Also, you scored higher than Cam Newton on last year’s final exam, and he is PISSED.

Oh, the places you shouldn’t go: 5 mistakes freshmen can avoid

Welcome to the big leagues, kid. As you walk the halls of the jungle that is high school, know that nap time’s over. You’ve got calculus to master! Proms to attend! Clubs to join and sports to play. With these landmarks come moments of crippling embarrassment, eye-opening lessons, and rare but incredible victories along the way. Oh, the places you’ll go. 

Four years down the road, you’ll look back and laugh at how monumental such insignificant moments seemed. But you’re living in a present reality that includes heckling in hallways and unjamming rusty lockers. You need help. Usually, we’re just here as tutors on your smartphone app helping you through math and science problems. But for the freshmen, we have an even higher calling.

We can help you foresee and maybe even cushion the blow some of the inevitable “freshman mistakes” that have earned you the most vulnerable spot on the high school totem pole.

All those who wander are probably lost

Whether it’s figuring out the temperature on a new shower faucet or navigating the hallways, one must always have a game plan when venturing into unchartered territory. If your strategy is to simply “wing it” between classes, think again.


If you’re late to class, you risk getting off on the wrong foot with your math teacher. Worse yet, think of the one type of student most likely to be purposefully late on the first week of school: seniors. You’re lucky if you walk by a benevolent one; but just remember that they know the ins and outs of the building, so there’s no hiding.

Everybody love everybody

Herd mentality is a grim reality of life, which becomes pretty apparent when hordes of students shuffle to class at the sound of a bell. Therefore, you will realize that cliques do exist, and that people don’t always believe in embracing differences in others.


Don’t automatically assume that social cliques are as cliché as in the movies – if you assume that everyone fits into a category of jock, nerd, or freak, then you’re missing out on a lot of potential connections. The most interesting kids I knew in high school didn’t care about what group you were in or project some stereotype onto others.

Respect the bus hierarchy

Unless you have the luxury of riding to school with a pal or older sibling, you must endure the plight of unlicensed minors across the nation: the school bus.


Navigating the artificially-constructed seating chart of the bus can be confusing, but in a nutshell: seniority rules, from front to back. That means sitting on top of an overheating rear engine and cramping your awkward legs over the back wheel hump underneath.

You have four whole years!

We’re not here to sugar coat anything; freshman year really can suck at times. General education courses have the tendency to cause premature gray hairs. However, you should still try to cherish the freedom of being the new guy/girl. It’s important to learn what you can, while you can – before college applications and challenging courses take over your schedule.

Not making many friends? You have plenty of time to reach out. Your crush chose another someone? Freshmen go through relationships like juniors go through college apps: lots of crying, then on to the next one. You have time, so trust the process more and your hormones less! But on the other hand…

…You only have four years…

Before you know it, you’ll walk across a stage, shake your principal’s clammy hand, and walk off into the unknown sunset with a diploma. You’ll think back on these times now and wonder what could have been.

So don’t waste time. If you’re suffering in class, get help now. Scared to talk to the cutie in calculus? You’ll be scared tomorrow too, so might as well pony up today. So often, college freshmen talk about how miserable they were in high school compared to college. If you bring some of the same open-mindedness that college kids do now, your experience will be much more enjoyable.

Good luck, class of 2020!

Managing your child’s budget: Movie theater hacks, Money-saving apps, and more

Every day across the country, a student runs out of monthly mobile data. With a part-time job and/or full-time school on the schedule, the young adult must make a crucial decision: purchase more data or be able to afford more fro-yo this weekend?

These financial decisions seem insignificant to parents (who shoulder essential family expenses). But student activity on weekends can be boiled down to just a few predictable expenses, i.e. shopping, going to the movies, driving around with friends. Yes, just driving. The rising cost of these relatively cheap pastimes make life difficult for students who aren’t able to directly outsource these costs to their parents’ credit card.

Our schools aren’t exactly making life easier, either. Data shows that in 31 states, local government spending on schools fell even after the recession ended from 2008-2014. Adjusted for inflation, students are still getting duped out of funding.

While counties divert money away from schools, families have had to scrape harder to find alternative methods of tutoring, and in some cases, having the students find jobs to make ends meet.

However, students are evolving when it comes to making money and having fun. In the age of information and technological innovation, parents are also finding new ways to save money and track their youngsters’ spending habits. We might be a bunch of online math tutors, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show you a few more budget hacks we’ve picked up as poor millennials:

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Olympic Student-Athletes: Life After Rio

In regards to all olympic sports, we can take a guess on the average athlete’s preparation regimen: thousands of hours of practice, laser-like focus on diet, lighting glass cups on fire and suctioning your shoulder (OK, maybe that’s just Michael Phelps). Don’t forget missing out on social life and carrying the pressure of representing your country.

Imagine shouldering that kind of responsibility, plus making a 9 AM lecture.

This year, the NCAA sent 168 student-athletes to Rio to compete in 15 sports and represent various countries. We’re featuring student-olympians in pursuit of STEM degrees to show how they manage their busy lifestyles with mathematical precision. Much like their coursework, their productivity is down to a science.

After reading the amazing stories below, we hope you feel encouraged to add more efficiency to your studying habits this semester. Try a mobile tutoring app like Yup, so you can understand your math/physics/chemistry homework and free up time to get active like an olympian.

Sovijja Pou, Brown University

Sport: Swimming

Major: Biology/applied math concentration, liberal medical education program



Representing Cambodia, Sovijja is dedicated to maintaining a healthy balance between school and swimming. According to his feature in the student newspaper, Sovijja still spends 20 hours a week in the pool during the academic year.

“At Brown, I’m not known as just ‘the swimmer’ or just ‘the student,’ ” Pou says. “I can have an intellectual conversation with anyone here — or I can choose not to. When I was younger, I would get wrapped up in overthinking things. When I got to Brown … the openness here made me feel a lot less stressed than I was before. This has improved my mental health, improved my grades and improved my swimming by just allowing me to let go and let things happen.”

Weinreich says that Pou’s work in the lab is defined by a quiet but confident and persistent work ethic: “He’s really unburdened by an ego. He feels there is a lot to learn and is keen to ask questions. He is prepared to work hard, and he just wants to get better.”

Pou swam the 100m freestyle to kick off the 2016 events.

Virginia Thrasher, West Virginia University

Sport: Shooting

Major: Engineering

Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jeremy Lee

The 19-year-old from Virginia blew the competition away at the first finals in Rio: the women’s 10-meter air rifle. Her gold medal would be the first of many for the USA. What does a teen do after out-shooting her older competitors? According to USA Today:

She’ll go back to West Virginia, where she will be a sophomore. “I get home 20 hours before the first class. So I’ll be in physics at 8:30 a.m.”

Hold on… from Brazil to West Virginia with a gold medal and you still find time to calculate the acceleration of mass? Respect, Ginny.

Simone Manuel, Stanford University

Sport: Swimming

Major: Undecided, considering communications or science, tech, and society


RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Simone Manuel of the United States celebrates after winning gold in the Women’s 100m Freestyle Final on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

The 20-year-old made history by securing a gold medal in the women’s 100-meter freestyle, becoming the first African American to win an individual swimming event in the olympics. She has shattered other records while at Stanford and is feared by her competition.

To compete at the highest level, she opted to take time off her freshman year:

“I wanted to put 100 percent of my effort into Olympic trials and not separating my, I guess, uh, … man, being out of school has, like, fried my brain,” said the 19-year-old, with a laugh. “I didn’t want to separate my priorities.”

But she still encourages her teammates who remained in class:

“I definitely don’t feel guilty,” said Manuel, with another laugh, who is in full support of her teammates at Stanford. “I’m giving them all the encouragement that they need. Asking them, ‘How are finals?’ But that was another reason why I decided to redshirt and take the last quarter off academically. It’s stressful preparing for finals and trying to swim fast at this meet and at trials and move out of your dorm.”

Manuel will return as a sophomore in Stanford this fall, with more time to devote to academics in the off-season.

How to avoid using the Internet to cheat (and still get the answer!)

Everybody knows that on a moral level, cheating isn’t looked favorably upon. If you get caught, the severity of consequences depends on the culture and level of your school.

But have students turned the other cheek due to rising stress levels?

According to a report on ethics in the American Youth, 57 percent of teenagers stated that in order to be successful, people must do whatever it takes. Even cheating. The financial pressures to get ahead (or just to graduate on time) may play a factor. It might also be more convenient than ever to use technology as a means to cheat.

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One tech gadget you need to crush homework this year (hint: it’s not a gadget)

Going back to school in 2016 means equipping yourself with the right tools. YouTubers FungBros recently dropped a video on the best back-to-school tech goodies on the market:


Some of these trinkets are flashy (see the HuaWei smart watch) and some are geared more towards entertainment than homework (Google Chromecast and virtual reality goggles). These gadgets are like the guac on your burrito — you never regret it but you know it’ll cost you extra.

Before you comb through your hardware options, you might want to check out the software available to the devices. What apps will you most immediately need to complete tasks, and which apps are, well, guac?

Earlier we reviewed the best apps for helping you optimize your sleeping patterns so you can stay awake in class. For note-taking (but also word processing), we recommend Evernote. Fried hard drive? No worries. You can store your notes in the cloud and access it from multiple devices.  In addition, make sure to sync your calendar/task manager apps across your devices so no assignment falls through the cracks.

But for all the time management apps out there, none can prepare you for getting stumped on a homework problem. If you’re the type of student who works through math homework at night/on weekends, then your calendar won’t save you; but a tutor might.

Yup is a 1:1 tutoring app that pairs students with a live tutor in a text message interface. These world-class tutors are undergraduates (or higher) at schools like MIT and Stanford or have backgrounds in teaching math, physics and/or chemistry. Instead of other services that provide you with a quick answer (and no explanation), Yup’s tutors create a dialogue with you until you reach a conceptual understanding of the problem.

So before you get frustrated with homework and reach for the virtual reality goggles (while it does seem like a great distraction), swipe on over to Yup, snap a pic of your problem, and  crush the problem set first.

If you like school-related memes, follow us on Instagram. To stay updated on the EdTech world, follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Why aren’t more students meditating?

Meditation Middle School
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 6: Students from the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School take part in a meditation session during class Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (Photo by Damon Dahlen, Huffington Post)

According to a psychological study on American teenagers, 27% reported experiencing “extreme stress” during the school year. 34% of teens expect to feel even more stressed in the coming year.

Many stress management strategists have given suggestions to reduce these rising numbers, ranging from physical relaxation stimulus to sleep efficiency. As online math tutors, we hear from stressed-out students every day. Yup is a unique mobile tutoring app that helps you battle homework anxiety. Technology, combined with healthy studying and lifestyle habits, can all reduce stress. But there’s one often overlooked factor:


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Students: Want to get ahead? Learn to code

Once an elusive skill known only to the computer geeks who residing in Silicon Valley, coding has since become accessible to anyone with access to the internet.

These days, even your grandmother and cousin in elementary school can tap into free (yes, free) resources to begin learning different languages of code. For good reason, too: it teaches problem solving, analytical skills, perseverance and attention to detail. Employers around the country are looking for more young coders, and not just men.

Even supermodels and high schoolers are coding.

The coders who built the Yup app created the chat-based interface so students can connect with a live tutor for help with their math homework. As such, we want to give YOU the resources you need to get started coding your own app (or website, or just coding for fun!)

Coding for youngsters

Code.org provides educators with the tools to teach coding to users of all ages. It uses games targeted at specific age and skill levels — an enjoyable way to immerse students in programming concepts. For inspiration, you can review actual projects students have made.

That one time, at Coding Camp

For working professionals, Northwestern University recently opened doors to its new coding ‘boot camp’, which claims to make a web developer out of you in 24 weeks. This camp is unique in stressing that coding isn’t just for the millennial generation: current professionals can and should add coding to their skills repertoire.

For students, Apple has added coding and robotics sessions to its summer camp


Where are America’s missing students?

We all remember the one or two classmates who were chronically absent from school. Days, sometimes weeks would pass by and you barely even noticed the empty desk at the corner of the room. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there is a concerning number of these classroom phantoms: Over 6 million students nationwide missed 15+ days of school in 2014.


Prolonged absences, even when excused or due to unforeseen causes, can prove to be detrimental to a student’s progress and momentum during the fast-paced school year. It’s not just an epidemic of nationwide high school senioritis; K-6 students are at high risk as well.

With the right data and community initiatives, we can figure out how to get more students back into the classroom. There may be some individual strategies to implement in the meantime:

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