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Nicholas S.

Burbank, CA

$49/hour

Retaking the MCAT? I can help.

10+ Hours
Background check passed as of 8/23/16
5.0 average from 12 ratings

$49/Hour


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University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Chemistry

Education

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Chemistry)

About Nicholas

I retook the MCAT - twice. The first time I took it, my heart wasn't in it. I didn't know why I was taking it. I felt like I was taking it because it was expected of me. My frustration with the exam bled into my relationships, resulting in a stressful loop of discouragement. As a result, my first scored exam back in August 2014 was pretty bad. Below 50th percentile. Below average. I don't know anyone who could give me a straight face and say "Great job, Nicholas! That's a great score!" I was NOT satisfied.

Fast-forward a year, I finished my undergraduate studies, claimed my degree in Chemistry and certificate in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and went back home to Phoenix, AZ. My father took me out to lunch the next day that summer, where I expressed to him my doubts about medical school. He calmly looked at me and asked "Would we be having this conversation if you got a perfect score on the MCAT?" I didn't know how to answer him. In my heart, I felt "yes," but there was only one way to know for sure - I had to retake it. This time, I needed to give the effort I knew I could give - not for my father or anyone else, but purely for the freedom that comes with knowing I did my best. I wanted options. If I didn't go to medical school, I didn't want it to be because of some test. I felt imprisoned by the exam, and, more than anything, I wanted the freedom to choose my path, not have it chosen for me.

I worked as an analytical chemist during my first year out of college, so I signed up to take the MCAT in the winter of 2016. I thought I could balance a full-time work schedule with MCAT studying and other relationships and activities. Again, I was making the same prideful mistake. I was chasing some idealized path instead of walking the path based upon my own capability. So, the second time I took the test, I still wasn't ready. I took it anyways, didn't feel good about it at all, and ended up voiding the scores. I was humbled, frustrated, but determined.

Test #3 - August 2016 - two years after the first MCAT. I quit my job in June and studied 10 weeks straight. I knew I was free the morning I walked into the testing center for the third time. I knew I put in the work. I knew I did my best, but that day was where I proved myself. I ended up improving my score so much that my percentile group increased by roughly 50 percentile points. As an example, my CARS score increased from 52% to 98%. Now I was satisfied.

What changed? I got out of my own way. I stopped rationalizing. I stopped biting off more than I could chew. I started enjoying the process of learning and growing as an independent thinker.

I found the edge I needed to get over the hump of 495-505. And now, I intend to share it with you.

I founded my own company SecondChance MCAT Prep back in September 2016, and since then I've already had the privilege of tutoring several amazing students. I have been recruited by MCAT preparation companies such as NextStep TestPrep, but because they wanted me to file a non-compete agreement I had to turn down their offers. If I didn't, that would mean losing my students.

I felt like being a private tutor was such a privilege that I had to run my own tutoring service. I love being able to work 1-on-1 with students or in the context of local Meetup groups. This allows me to listen to students' stories in order to get a gauge of where they've been, where they're at, and where they want to go.

This is where my tutoring shines: individually tailored, creative strategies and study skills for both the MCAT and lifelong learning.

The two years I spent facing the MCAT was difficult, but it was not without reward. Looking back, those last 10 weeks during the summer of 2016 were among the most enjoyable, life-changing moments of my life.

Whether you're a parent wishing to set your child up for success or a Master's degree student looking to retake the MCAT and boost your shot of getting into medical school, I know I can help. But just to be sure, I offer the first lesson for FREE to see if we're a good fit. Send me a brief message with your wants and needs, and I'll be sure to respond within 24 hours. Good luck!
I retook the MCAT - twice. The first time I took it, my heart wasn't in it. I didn't know why I was taking it. I felt like I was taking it because it was expected of me. My frustration with the exam bled into my relationships, resulting in a stressful loop of discouragement. As a result, my first scored exam back in August 2014 was pretty bad. Read more

Policies
Cancellation
12 hours notice required

***ATTENTION*** If you can commit to 20 hours of tutoring, I'm willing to reduce my rate!!:-) Contact me for details!!

Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Burbank, CA 91501
Background Check: Passed
Science:
Biochemistry
Test Preparation:
MCAT
Elementary Education:
Study Skills

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

MCAT

Having been tutored myself, I'm well aware of the importance of unique and personal lesson plans. I'm qualified as a tutor, because I have taken the most recent MCAT 2015 version. Apart from that, I have a degree in chemistry as well as philosophy, so I can approach the new MCAT with a unique perspective on critical thinking - which is absolutely the most important feature tested by the exam. My strategy will focus on key principles: 1) Practice questions from day 1 2) reviewing every concept as quickly as possible so that no terminology is foreign 3) saving as much money as possible on resources to get the most value. I recommend purchasing AAMC section banks, as well as NextStep Test Prep full length test packages. For reviewing concepts, Khan Academy provides a suitable amount of information for free. I have strategies for every time table from 2 weeks all the way up to 6 months. Personally, I prefer a 12 week strategy to allow the student to achieve the best score possible.

Study Skills

My tutoring philosophy is deeply rooted in establishing broad study skills. Education is about problem solving. It doesn't matter which subject it is, I teach every student during every lesson how to develop the fundamentals of problem solving. For example, I was able to raise a Desert Mountain High School student's calculus grade from an F on his first exam to a B+ on his second exam by emphasizing study skills in each lesson. In fact, my lessons included time going through each chapter of his book in order to have him see how I would approach understanding and taking notes and managing my time before moving on to homework problems. I also teach a "cheat sheet" method of organizing notes, whereby I write on a few pages of my notebook everything I do NOT know and study until what I don't know can be written on only one side of one piece of paper. That way, by the time I take my exam or quiz, I do not need my textbooks or notebooks, I simply use the "cheat sheet." I have employed creative strategies like these in my own education, allowing for a 3.7 scientific GPA during my time as a chemistry undergraduate student. I am eager to share these and many other study skills with children, teens and adults.

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Chemistry

Education

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill (Chemistry)

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $49.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

***ATTENTION*** If you can commit to 20 hours of tutoring, I'm willing to reduce my rate!!:-) Contact me for details!!

Travel policy

Nicholas will travel within 40 miles of Burbank, CA 91501.