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I am a Harvard University graduate (cum laude) with almost 13 years of tutoring experience. I have achieved perfect scores on the GRE, GMAT, SAT, and ACT, and scored in the 99th percentile on my LSAT exam prior to law school. While in law school, I was a faculty lecturer for the University of San Diego's Test Prep Program, specializing in GRE, LSAT, SAT, GMAT, and college and graduate school application essay writing.
During my time at Harvard, where I was a joint-concentrator in Comparative Religion and Philosophy (with an emphasis on Literature in my Senior Honors Thesis), I worked on a pro bono basis with Boston's Refugee Youth Enrichment Program, tutoring and mentoring ESL elementary school students of Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Cape Verdean descent. Additionally, I have tutored and coached cross-country and track and field at St. Augustine High School, Our Lady of Peace Academy, and Patrick Henry High School (in San Diego, CA) for almost 10 combined years. Furthermore, in the time between my college graduation and my matriculation to law school, I tutored full-time (approximately 70 hrs/wk!) in most high school subjects, with an expertise in and emphasis on Math (Pre-Algebra through Calculus AB), English (AP Literature and Language, British and World Literature, College Application Essays, Writing and Composition, SAT Verbal, SAT Grammar & Essay, ACT Reading & English), History (AP U.S. and European History), and Social Science (AP Government & Economics).
A number of my former students have attended and graduated from preeminent colleges and universities, including Harvard, Yale, Penn, Brown, Notre Dame, Stanford, Berkeley, Duke, Georgetown, and more. While I have worked with exceptionally naturally gifted students, I have also worked with a number of students with learning disabilities, assisting them in their individualized academic goals.
Ultimately, whatever the grade level or current aptitude of the student, I am focused on the specific needs of my students. I take a rigorously individualized approach to tutoring, tailoring my lessons to the precise, personal abilities and objectives of my students. I believe in setting long-term and short-term goals, and I believe in constructing an initial plan of study to help keep both parties (i.e., teacher and student) focused on our shared objectives.
The success of the individual student is my primary objective, and to that end I make myself endlessly available for discussion and communication outside of regularly scheduled sessions. I have routinely worked through the night to edit students' college application essays as deadlines fast-approached, and I have frequently talked to and assuaged nerve-racked students in the early morning hours before their various standardized tests (e.g., SAT, ACT, SAT-2).
If nothing else, I am patient. I'm on your side, and I'm here to assist you. I understand that you've sought out tutoring because a particular subject is difficult and/or daunting for you. I can sympathize with that. I have been academically intimidated, and occasionally over-matched, having attended very competitive undergraduate and graduate schools myself. I also recognize which advisors were able to help me and which ones were not. In turn, I've learned how to be patient while remaining resolute in jointly pursuing a scholastic goal.
Lastly, I am in a perfect position to sympathize with the challenges facing students, as I myself am about to become one again! I am currently preparing applications to Ph.D. programs in English Literature which I will submit this fall (2013) in hopes of matriculating in Fall 2014. Though I am trained as a lawyer and occasionally assist my fiancee with her litigation work at her law firm, teaching, coaching, and mentoring remain central to who I am and what I care about. That will never change.
I took and passed the CA Bar Exam in February 2011, my first and only attempt. What's more, I passed the exam without taking a standard prep course (e.g., BarBri, Kaplan, etc.), but utilizing certain BarBri prep materials. I devised and fastidiously followed a rigorous study plan that canvassed all material and contoured my mastery of the subject matter to the precise dimensions of the test. In my test simulations prior to the test, I routinely scored in the 90-95% range in multiple choice questions (sets of 100), and exceeded the maximum number of issues provided in the sample essays/outlines as provided in the BarBri essay workbook. I have assisted several friends/colleagues/students of mine in passing the July 2011 & 2012 and February 2012 bar exams, and am eager to lend my assistance and expertise to anyone in need of getting by this massive hurdle in their burgeoning legal careers!
I played club and school basketball from age 5 through high school. I was a point guard at each level, with a premium on defense, fundamentals, and passing. I have coached youth leagues and grew up in a basketball household, where my father played collegiately in Worcester, Massachusetts at Holy Cross, shortly after the time of the legendary Celtics: Bob Cousy, Tommy Heinsohn, Togo Palazzi, and Jack Foley.
I have counseled hundreds of students -- including high school, college, and graduate school -- regarding the application procedure to numerous competitive colleges and graduate (e.g., PhD, J.D., and M.A.) programs. I am especially adept at extracting important experiences and adapting them to the contours of a professional, yet truly personal "personal statement." I myself have developed personal statements and application materials sufficient to receive acceptance and full-scholarships to PhD programs at, among other schools, Yale, University of Chicago, Duke, and Boston College. I have additionally assisted students in gaining acceptance to a host of other elite colleges and graduate programs, including Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, Columbia, UPenn, and Brown. I am confident that my thoroughgoing efforts and unwavering patience will allow any applicant to present him/herself in the most memorable and effective way possible.
I have achieved a perfect score on the official GRE, in each the quantitative, verbal, and writing sections. What's more, I have taught numerous classes and individual students in the subject for over 8 years, imparting my methodology, strategy, and substantive knowledge in each of the sub-disciplines. I have helped students improve scores from the lower quartile to the second and third quartiles; likewise, I have helped students from the middle quartiles reach the top quartile, including a handful of students who obtained perfect scores in one of the three subsets!
I have competed in track and cross-country, among other sports, since the age of 5. I have posted nationally leading times and won national championship competitions as an age-group runner, and I have been a decorated high school and collegiate runner, winning several San Diego area championships and competing as a member of the Harvard University track and cross-country teams.
In the time since college, I have coached for eight consecutive seasons, while also competing as a professional middle-distance runner. I have coached elite runners to sub-4 minute miles and coached collegians to all-American status and high schoolers to CA State Championships.
In my own competitions, I have registered personal bests of 1:49.4 in the 800m and 4:00.38 in the Mile. In the name of good fun, I have won two trail marathons, while setting course records in each: Buzz Marathon (San Miguel, CA -- 2010); Run the River Marathon (Folson-Sacramento, CA -- 2009).
I love working with enthusiastic runners, helping them reach their personal goals, and imparting my experiences and strategies (born from years of effort and study) to help them in their self-improvement!
Far exceeded expectations! — Colin worked with my son to to prepare for his SAT. I was hoping for someone who could lend structure to his prep, orient him to test strategies and review forgotten skills. Colin excelled at these and much more. We feel very fortunate to have chosen him, because he showed an incredible ability to see my son as an individual, champion his strengths and relate to him in a kind and personable way ...
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