I have been a tutor for years, and have taught three languages and seven standardized tests. In particular, I am an expert in the SAT Verbal sections: not only have I taught them dozens of times, but I've also written the questions and graded the essays for it. I have worked as an SAT Verbal Master Tutor, training newly-hired tutors for two different companies, one in Cambridge, and one in China. I have taught French and Chinese, from the rank beginner level to the AP, as well as the GRE, GMAT, SAT II, and standardized high school entrance exams. I am also a passionate writing tutor, having helped everyone from elementary schoolchildren to Harvard students become more comfortable with grammar, fluency, and organization. I am also a teacher of study skills, especially to high school and college students. This summer my main employment was in Beijing, teaching a high school girl English and European history seven hours per day--almost entirely in Chinese.
My students generally experience a bump of approximately 50-100 points per exam, on an 800-point scale.
In test prep, my methods are effective because I focus first on giving the student as much information as possible about the test itself. How long does the average essay-grader read your essay for? When should you guess at an answer? Why does it sometimes feel like there are five right answers, and you have to choose the "most right?" Once the student is familiar and comfortable with the axioms of the test itself, I zero in on the specific trouble areas, be they grammar, vocabulary, or reading comprehension, and drill them. I have a number of methods that have been proven to work, and if I believe they will help, I encourage these strongly--but if I don't think they're appropriate, I never force a student to apply them; rather I work with the student to find a method that better suits his or her thinking habits. I also work constantly on relaxation strategies, because in the testing room, half the battle is with anxiety.
In my other life, I am a novelist, so I have a great love for teaching writing, whether it be academic or creative. My SAT scores were 800 on the Verbal (without, I feel compelled to say, studying), and 630 on the Math (with, sadly, studying; one of many reasons I do not teach math at any level). I scored 800 on the French SAT II, 730 on the US History. I scored 5 on the French AP and passed through 5th-year equivalency in Mandarin Chinese in college.
back to top