Brooke’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Brooke’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
The ACT English section tests students on many rules of grammar--most of which are very teachable. Likewise the structure of the test presents many "pitfalls" that students sometimes struggle with. I point these out to students and help then guard against these types of inadvertent errors.
At Stanford, I majored in American Studies, so have a strong foundation in American History, as well as interdisciplinary work that deals in part with American History. I've helped multiple students with their course work in American History, including teaching effective techniques for developing research papers and preparing for the AP exam.
I've worked with multiple education companies over the last 8 years as a college essay and admissions consultant and lead instructor, guiding students to write essays that give them an edge in the admissions process. One example of a success story: I've had a student in the mid 1500's on her SAT who got into UCLA -- in part, I believe, because she wrote one of the most compelling admissions essays I've ever read (note students in this range or below make up less than 16% of admitted students to UCLA). I've also served as a Stanford admissions volunteer, working info sessions and college fairs, so understand the process from an admissions perspective as well. I have a strong background in writing (BA in American Studies from Stanford).
College Consulting services include:
-helping students develop a list of colleges they wish to apply to
-organizing a student's college application "to do" list
-helping students tailor their application to make the best impression possible to each school
-planning student application essays, discussing what makes a memorable essay and individually consulting students about what topics would best fulfill essay requirements
-discussing which teachers to request recommendation letters from
-editing and one on one revision of student's application essay
Along with teaching the SSAT and ISEE, I have helped several students applying to Catholic high schools with the HSPT exam. Like the ISEE and SSAT, the HSPT exam tests students' knowledge of both math and reading. Overall, it is typically an "easier" test than the ISEE or SSAT, but students can still use problem solving techniques that I teach for standardized tests in general, and I can also target and address individual student weaknesses. With over 10 years teaching standardized tests, I have helped students reach their goals and gain admission to private Catholic schools.
I've worked with children and adults who speak English as a foreign language, from beginners, to advanced students. I've also worked with several students using workbooks and targeted practice to reduce accents--focusing on proper vowel pronunciation--the primary source of accents (even in different regional dialects of American English). I've also taught grammar and sentence construction, whether basic grammar, idiomatic use of prepositions, or phrasal verbs (another very pesky subject for ESL students). Additionally, I have helped students preparing for the TOEFL.
As a graduate of USC School of Cinema Television's MFA program, I'm qualified to teach all aspects of independent film making, including producing, editing (Final Cut Pro, Adobe After Effects), directing, and digital cinematography. I can also review screenplays and write coverage (former script reader for Lakeshore Entertainment).
My greatest experience with the GRE is with teaching the Math section. Oftentimes adult students haven't seen a right triangle in ten years, and may need a brush up on basic math skills. I use drills and worksheets to help students regain their prior proficiency in these basic skills, as well as learn a few new ones necessary for this particular test. I also have experience teaching the verbal (as well as writing) section, though now that the test has been revised, there are unfortunately fewer typical multiple choice tricks one can use (namely-- process of elimination). However, I can guide students in general principles of reading comprehension and vocabulary to help them grapple with the test, regardless of the fact that the new format is more challenging than the prior iteration of the test.
I've worked for three different education companies in Los Angeles teaching ISEE (at every level!) to students. I've helped students reach their score goals and gain admission to schools such as Marlborough and Harvard Westlake. ISEE is the 2nd most popular subject I've tutored in the past year (behind SAT prep and just ahead of ACT prep.) As I have extensive experience teaching middle school math, and have scored perfectly on the SAT (recent test 2400), I also can apply my standardized test knowledge to the ISEE test.
The ISEE is a standardized test used for admission to private school. The test comes in three levels -- lower, middle and upper. It tests math achievement, reading comprehension, verbal skills (vocabulary), and quantitative reasoning, and also includes an essay which is not scored, but sent to prospective schools. In my experience many students struggle on the ISEE because it is a multi-level test, meaning that 6th graders are confronting a test that includes topics they have never even seen in math class, or words they haven't learned! In the competitive private school admissions world, even though the test makers may claim that these younger students are not expected to know the upper level material, students who have private tutoring and can learn these skills despite their grade level carry a distinct advantage. Teaching students math and vocabulary beyond their grade level is usually a critical component of ISEE prep-- particularly for 4th, 6th, and 8th grade test takers.
Of course, ISEE scores are only one component of private school admissions-- students are also judged according to their grades, interview, essays, and other factors. In any case, I have always seen students I've worked with improve their scores.
I've gotten a perfect score on the SAT Math section twice! Once in high school on the old format test, and again as an adult on the revised SAT.
The problem a lot of students have with SAT math is that they look at a problem and they don't know where to begin. Rather than ask questions in a straight forward manner, the test is constantly asking students to dive in and use what they know -- and figure out the problem as they go. I help teach this problem solving method to students who are more used to math from school-- which requires them to look at and example problem and then do more problems exactly like the example. The SAT is different-- but that doesn't mean it can't be taught! It can! I break down strategies and "go to" ways of dealing with problems that may look impossible-- but actually use skills that many students already have.
I also collate types of problems and drill skills in math-- so that students can conquer types of problems they may not have learned at school (probability, statistics, and sequencing -- or other areas that typically get neglected in schools that haven't gotten through the whole book by the end of the year).
I've been teaching SAT reading for 8 years.
The reading test is standardized-- meaning that there are particular trends and preferences of the test. I help teach these to students, and also help them tease out questions to eliminate wrong answer choices.
Much of doing well in reading comprehension has to do with precision and clarity-- I teach techniques so that students can better understand the intent of the author and silence their own opinion to become better readers and "listeners" in a metaphoric sense.
Depending on the student, I also on occasion teach techniques for reading faster.
I've had several of my students score in the 99th percentile on this section.
The SAT Writing section is the most teachable portion of the SAT -- I've had several students score perfectly on this section in the last couple of years, and several more break 700.
This section is straightforward in the sense that you either know the rule or you don't-- with the exception of the essay and idiomatic usage questions. I help teach students these rules and generally see good results-- and occasionally, dramatic score increases.
For the tougher idiomatic questions-- I have idiom lists and techniques students can use to increase their chances of doing well on these tough questions. I also have specific strategies that I teach for students to maximize their essay score depending on their individual writing strengths and weaknesses.