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Standardized tests are unlike nearly all other exams that you or your child will encounter.
They are not intelligence tests.
They are not knowledge tests.
They are GAMES.
Just as many superior students with excellent grades are shocked and dismayed by disappointing scores, so too are talented writers frequently underwhelmed by their essay evaluations. These surprises, both common and predictable, result from a bizarre truth: the right approach for other academic pursuits is often the wrong approach for standardized tests.
Standardized tests demand techniques that are tailored to the peculiarities of the exams. Just as a great golf swing won't guarantee success as a fastball hitter, so too a flautist cannot automatically play the sax.
Because they are games, preparation for standardized tests requires solid coaching and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. To my knowledge there are no effective ways to cram for chess, golf, poker, basketball or standardized tests.
I provide both strategies and tactics. If your goal is to optimize performance, both must be practiced until each becomes habitual.
Note: All sessions are two (2) hours.
Most students (SAT, GMAT, LSAT) require one or two lessons per week + 4-8 hours of weekly homework/self-study for a period of 10-16 weeks.
--> PS: I have two Ivy League degrees - Columbia BA and Wharton MBA - and have been an instructor for the SAT, GMAT and LSAT for the Princeton Review. Personally, I missed 5 questions on the SAT, 3 questions on the GMAT, received a perfect score on the LSAT and scored in the 99th percentile on every standardized test I can recall since early childhood.
--> PPS: Details for admissions services are available by appointment. Admissions counseling is a more complicated subject than test prep, but a few key points to note:
- 1. Admissions decisions are not random
- 2. Like standardized testing, the application process is also a game, with its own rules
- 3. Fewer people understand this game than do the testing game. I was one of the youngest students in my Wharton MBA class. My grades weren't the best, nor was my work experience, but I do know how to play games. :-)
Although I assist students with college selection, my primary focus is ensuring that my clients produce applications that maximize their chances of earning admission to the school(s) of their choice.
Sadly most of the first draft applications that I see are simply awful. Truly, absolutely, terrible. Especially the essays.
This isn't surprising (to me at least).
After they get past the initial shock, I ask my clients a few simple questions. If you don't know where (or even what) your goal is, how then can you possibly expect to hit your target? Do you know WHY you are writing an essay? Or what EXACTLY your essay must accomplish in order to strengthen your application?
Because they fail to understand the goal, many students unknowingly craft uninspiring (BORING!!) college essays that merely list their wants and rehash their accomplishments. Such essays accomplish almost NOTHING.
Sometimes they are actually worse than blank paper.
My college application essays helped get me into Columbia, and my graduate application essays helped me to become one of the youngest students in my MBA class (I was admitted to Wharton at age 22, and graduated on my 25th birthday).
Why am I certain that my essays were critical? Simple. Although my test scores were exceptional, my grades were merely very good. I wasn't a straight A student, or even close.
But, I know how to tell a story. ;-)
The key to successful application essays is that your essays MUST tell a story. And not just any old story. The story of YOU.
Use your essays to your advantage: reveal your passions, goals, intentions and actions. Let me help you craft essays that satisfy what admissions officers truly seek. I can almost guarantee that your story is better than you think.
Note: Initial essay prep lessons are two (2) hours; subsequent lessons are usually one (1) hour. You should allow 3-4 weeks to develop, craft and refine application essays.
Brilliant Tutor — When I took a practice SAT for the first time in September, I did not do well; I scored in the low 600s on average in each section. Over the past several months, thanks to Mason, I have seen my scores increase to the mid 700s, on average in each section. Mason is a brilliant reading, math, and writing tutor for the SAT who teaches you everything you need to know for the test. Before I tutored wit ...
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