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Most of my students want to raise their scores on standardized tests like the LSAT, GRE, GMAT, SAT, and ASVAB, but I tutor other subjects such as math, history, and reading and writing skills.
Why I should be your tutor
The experiences of my most successful students can help you determine whether I am the best tutor for you. A good number confess that they had not previously done particularly well in school. Almost all, however, started out with fairly specific goals, such as achieving the minimum test score required for admission to a university or branch of the military.
Without exception they also entered our partnership totally determined to meet those goals, and made time to do the requisite work. Also without exception they exceeded their own expectations, typically with dramatic results. I can't work miracles if you don't put in the necessary hours of study; no tutor can. But if you are a serious-minded person who will put in four honest hours of homework for every two-hour meeting, then I'm your best choice to help achieve your goals as efficiently as possible.
My background ...
... is mixed. I have a B.S. in engineering, and for several years I worked as a design engineer. When I entered graduate school to earn a Ph.D. in history, I got a part-time job as an instructor for one of the big test-prep companies (You get two guesses which one!). I started out teaching the GRE, but soon branched out to other tests, including the LSAT and GMAT. My association with that company lasted more than a decade, during which I was named Regional Teacher of the Year. I also spent three years as a teacher trainer and teacher supervisor.
I've taught dozens of courses, mostly about history, at major universities as well. Altogether, my former students number in the thousands, of whom I've tutored nearly two hundred. I've published several articles and a book, and have guested on radio and television programs as an authority on the history of radio. I served four years in the U.S. Navy. Finally, some of my students suggest that I should mention that I am a Jeopardy! champion.
What should you know about test-prep courses and tutoring?
You've probably been considering a course offered by one of the test-prep corporations. And indeed, that option works well for many people; but not everyone, which explains why the “average” student who takes a test-prep course raises his or her score by no more than ten percentile points.
But average students don't take these courses; real people do, and each brings his or her strengths and weaknesses to the classroom. If you have forgotten everything you learned in high school algebra, a test-prep course will likely overwhelm you because you'll have to re-learn several years of math in just a few weeks. Conversely, if you already are scoring well in math, you'd still have to pay for lessons that can scarcely alter your overall score. Furthermore, test-prep corporations impose limits on the maximum time a teacher may hold “office hours,” so don't expect more than an hour or so of personal attention per week. Finally, as John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” Students often realize—after they've paid their tuition—that other important obligations conflict with the classroom schedule.
By contrast, I will adjust to your unique situation. After assessing your strengths and weaknesses, I'll focus on only what you need to learn. If your target school, for example, has pronounced your math skills adequate to guarantee admission, but only if you beef up your verbal skills, then we'll work almost exclusively on verbal skills. And while I'll strive to help you achieve your goals as efficiently and quickly as possible, we will take as much time as required (and not a bit more) to do the job. I'll also continually monitor your progress and adjust your study program as necessary.
Also, I will conform as much as possible to your schedule; usually I can meet with students almost any time of the day or during any day of the week. Finally, if, say, a family or work emergency takes you away from your studies, or you just can't avoid taking a long-planned vacation, we'll strategize how best to minimize the negative effects of such an event. You'll never have to worry about what you missed in class during an absence.
My students continually teach me to be optimistic. Of course, if I think that you can't meet your goals, I'll tell you why as kindly as possible. But students far more often underestimate rather than overestimate themselves. They misunderstand how the test is designed and what the test is supposed to evaluate, and thus they aim only a little higher than what they have been scoring recently. That's where I come in. Using knowledge about the ins and outs of standardized tests, and a careful assessment of your intellectual and psychological strengths and weaknesses, I'll set you to working efficiently towards the score you actually deserve, not the excessively modest one you would otherwise have settled for.
What can you expect?
My former students would say that actual work determines success far more than any other factor. One LSAT student, for example, began at the 40th percentile and hoped only to end up around the 60th or 70th. After a few months, though, she was scoring above the 90th percentile and applying to top-tier law schools. I recently tutored an ACT student who made comparable progress in less than three months. Two of my best GRE students initially could not explain negative numbers. Indeed, one could not even add two-digit numbers. Both are now attending prestigious graduate schools. Students who follow my guidance rarely fail to exceed their original target scores, and they almost always exceed those targets spectacularly.
The English section of the ACT contains some tough passages, and it asks students to identify and correct a number of common writing errors. Although good writing is partly a matter of art, the ACT almost entirely ignores that fact and focuses instead on the “mechanical” skills of writing, such as spotting dangling modifiers or pronouns with an ambiguous antecedents. Whether you want to raise your score dramatically, or just figure out how to eke out a few more points, I'll help. Not only have I taught these skills to hundreds of high-school and adult students, I've also published a book and several articles.
I have a BS in engineering, and took five years of calculus coursework (which is well above the level of the ACT) in college. I have also taught mathematics to students preparing for standardized tests since the mid-1990s. I have always scored in the upper 90s percentile ever since I first took the ACT in high school.
Everyone who makes it to high school knows how read, but few people understand that standardized tests like the ACT assess skills beyond what one learns in school. My students become outstanding ACT readers (including natural science passages) because I teach them two things: First, reading matter on the test contains signals that help us take control of the text, rather than just react to it. Second, the ACT has predictably asked the same kinds of questions for several decades. I'm a great reader myself, but I take special pride in my many students who learned how to read as well as I do.
My own ACT science passage score, when I was in high school, was nearly perfect. I have a BS in engineering, and a Ph.D. in the history of science of technology, so I am considerably familiar with how to navigate science-oriented writing.
20% discount from normal hourly rate (i.e., $40 per hour)
Everyone who desires to enlist in the U.S. armed forces must earn a minimum score on the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). I teach the following sections of the test:
* Word Knowledge (WK)
* Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
* Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
* Electronics Information (EI)
* Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
* General Science (GS)
* Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
* Verbal Expression (VE)
Please note, however, that recruiters use about half of the ASVAB's sections only to assess specialized areas of knowledge such as automotive mechanics or electronics. So your scores on those sections don't really matter if you aren't already an expert.
Far more important is your "general knowledge" performance. After you complete basic training, your scores in the following four sections will essentially determine whether you qualify for certain schools and other training:
* Word Knowledge (WK)
* Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
* Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
* Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
If you are struggling with the ASVAB, please write me. I'm a veteran myself, and can help.
I've been teaching and tutoring the GMAT for more than fifteen years and know that most students tend to sell themselves short. They see themselves as "bad at tests." But most need only to brush up on verbal or math skills, and learn a few new test-taking methods to master the GMAT. I don't promise overnight miracles; I'll figure out what you need to know, and if you follow my guidance and put in the time and work, you'll achieve almost any score you want.
I've been teaching and tutoring the GRE for more than fifteen years and know that most students tend to sell themselves short. They see themselves as "bad at tests." But most need only to brush up on verbal or math skills, and learn a few new test-taking methods to master the GRE. I don't promise overnight miracles; I'll figure out what you need to know, and if you follow my guidance and put in the time and work, you'll achieve almost any score you want.
Online and live tutoring available!
Nothing determines the start of your law career more than your law school. And nothing determines which law school you get into more than your LSAT score. I've been an professional LSAT specialist for more than a decade, and know the test inside out. No matter what you have scored before, I can help. My students typically improve their scores by AT LEAST 30 PERCENTILE POINTS.
The LSAT lends itself especially well to online tutoring. In fact, for many students--perhaps even most--online tutoring is by far the best way to go!
Please write me if you have any questions.
I have more than twenty years of proofreading experience, primarily with scholarly texts, but also with articles targeted for the general public. I've taught writing classes, and have edited everything from personal statements to master's theses to book manuscripts. I have degrees in both engineering and the humanities, so I am comfortable with almost any subject matter. Much of what I know as a proofreader I learned from the talented editors who have proofread the book and many articles I've published myself, so I know what writers want.
Try me out! I'll not only improve your writing, I'll also help you become a clearer and better organized writer.
Here are a few under-appreciated facts about reading: First, it ranks among the important skills in life. Indeed, it's perhaps THE most important determinant of success in school or one's career. Second, a surprisingly large number of people—of all ages—do not read nearly as well as they should or could. Third, contrary to common belief, the ability to read well isn't something one is born with; it's entirely learned. There's no “reading gene” in our DNA, any more than there's one for operating a computer or driving a car.
Teaching students how to beef up their reading skills is one of the most gratifying parts of my work. I have a long track record of helping motivated persons to improve their reading skills in as little time as a few weeks. I'm disciplined, but patient, and I'll show you the secrets of how to process quickly even the most difficult text. I'm proud of the fact that most of my students end up reading as well as I do.
Everyone who makes it to high school knows how read, but few people understand that standardized tests like the SAT assess skills beyond what one learns in school. My students become outstanding SAT readers because I teach them two things: First, reading matter on the test contains signals that help us take control of the text, rather than just react to it. Second, the SAT has predictably asked the same kinds of questions for several decades. I'm a great reader myself, but I am proud of my many students who learned how to read as well as I do.
I have taught writing at the college level for more than twenty years, and I am intimately familiar with the expectations of SAT graders. I have published a book and several articles, and I have edited a considerable amount of writing by students and colleagues.
I am a published author, with a book and several articles to my credit. Moreover, I've tutored and taught college-level writing for more than fifteen years.
It's important to understand that while great writing is an art, clear writing is almost entirely only a craft. If you lack confidence in your writing, I'll teach you the nuts-and-bolts practical knowledge you need to transform yourself.
Have you a specific project, such as an application essay or master's thesis? Contact me, and we'll work together to show your best work!
Wealth of Knowledge — My experience with Gary has been a positive one. I would recommend Gary for help with any standardized test. Gary has a wealth of standardized testing knowledge. He shows up on time and is understanding and personable. I am still working with Gary to reach my target goal and have full confidence together it will be achieved. ...
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