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Over 20 tutoring hours

Clark Z.

Oakland, CA

$120/hour

Stanford medical student passionate humanities and sci enrichment

In-person lessons
Background check passed as of 1/25/11
4.9 average from 9 ratings
Great MCAT Tutor!
— Carolyn, Wellesley Hills, MA on 8/22/12

$120/Hour


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Columbia University
Stanford University School of Medicine
MD

Education

Columbia University

Stanford University School of Medicine (MD)

About Clark

UPDATE: Due to my busy school schedule this year, I've decided to tutor only the humanities subjects (English, writing) I don't get enough of in medical school!

I'm a third-year medical student at Stanford School of Medicine; I graduated magna cum laude and with election to Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University. I'm interested in tutoring middle-school, high-school, and college students in a variety of subjects including English, history, languages (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese), math, and science (including physics, chemistry, and biology). I'm also interested in helping students develop study skills. I will first discuss my qualifications for tutoring the subjects I mentioned above. Please see my subject description for study skills to learn more about my qualifications and approach for helping students develop study skills.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR SPECIFIC SUBJECTS

(1) I have over 300 hours of experience tutoring. I've tutored middle-school, high-school, college, and post-college students in most of the subjects for which I'm listed as well for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). I've helped these students raise their class grades by one letter grade or more and their MCAT scores by one standard deviation or more (e.g., 18 to 30, or 30 to 36).

(2) I'm also qualified to tutor the natural sciences at both the college and pre-college levels because I excelled in physics, chemistry, and biology in both high school and college, where I studied these subjects as pre-medical biology major.

I'm qualified to tutor history at the high-school level and economics at the introductory college level for two reasons. First, I excelled in my world and US history classes at my high school, which was very intellectually rigorous. My high school was Hunter College High School, a New York City public high school that's one of the top in the country, with 30-40% admission to Ivy League and other top schools like Stanford, MIT, Amherst, and Swarthmore. Second, in college I maintained a straight A average in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics, the core requirements for an economics major, which I considered getting.

Lastly, I'm qualified to tutor humanities subjects like literature, art history, music history, and Spanish at the high-school level because I excelled at these subjects in high school and in a few classes I took at college for edification. I've read a large amount of Spanish literature, used to listen to Spanish national radio, used to write political analyses based on Spanish dailies for political science classes, and once considered going into the foreign service.

(3) Besides being qualified with experience, mastery of the subjects, and a love of knowledge, I'm skilled and interested in teaching. Personality-wise, I think I'm a sensitive and empathetic person. By ‘sensitive', I mean that I appreciate the nuances of language, which helps me be a good communicator. I also mean that I'm good at imagining other peoples' thought processes, which helps me help others to overcome the stumbling blocks to their understanding. I'm also good at detecting confusion and worry in students, which helps me know when my students don't understand and also provide my students with emotional support. Finally, I mean that I deeply care about my students' well-being and am very patient. These personality traits helped me an effective tutor for middle-school and high-school kids from a low-income neighborhood while I was in college and are a main reason for which I've decided to pursue a career in medicine, a career for which these traits are very valuable.

(4) Finally, though I've done well at school, I have a balanced view of life. I view happiness as the goal of life, and getting an education that's right for you as one of the things that helps one be happy. I very much believe that activities outside of school and character are important, not only as additional factors in the application process, but also essential components of happiness. I don't think one should ever study so hard as to give up the extracurricular activities one loves, even if they aren't especially useful for college or medical school. In college and medical school, I've sang in a choir; performed with a Shakespeare troupe; went to lots of performances and exhibitions in New York and San Francisco; spent a lot of time hanging out with friends. So if you're looking for a dedicated tutor who wants to help you excel academically but who respects and supports you or your child's setting limits on how much work you or your child does, I'm your tutor. I think it's valuable having a tutor with a balanced view of life, especially for high-school kids, who are under a lot of unbalanced pressure to excel academically and get into the most prestigious college.

QUALIFICATIONS AND APPROACH FOR STUDY-SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
Please see my subject description for study skills.

DISCUSSION OF MY RATES
In comparison to tutors at local companies like Stutors and Cardinal tutors, I think my resume is considerably stronger, and my discounted rates for students who meet with me frequently and regularly--$55/hr for college students, $45/hr for high-school students, and $40/hr for middle-school students--are lower than the rates of $90-110/hour and $70/hour that these companies charge.

My rates are also lower than the average rate of $75/hour for Kaplan and Princeton Review.

Once you apply my discounts for more frequent and regular sessions, my rates become even lower.

Please message me if you're interested and we can discuss scheduling and such issues by phone or e-mail.

Best,
Clark
UPDATE: Due to my busy school schedule this year, I've decided to tutor only the humanities subjects (English, writing) I don't get enough of in medical school!

I'm a third-year medical student at Stanford School of Medicine; I graduated magna cum laude and with election to Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University. I'm interested in
Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required

$140/hr for high-school students $120/hr for middle-school students I take $20 off my rate for students who meet with me over many weeks for two hours a week

Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Oakland, CA 94610
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Great MCAT Tutor!"

- Carolyn, Wellesley Hills, MA on 8/22/12

"Very prepared, patient, and thorough"

- Christine, San Jose, CA on 8/20/11

"Very patient"

- Jacquie, Menlo Park, CA on 1/28/11
Math:
Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Prealgebra, Precalculus
Science:
Anatomy, Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Physical Science, Physics, Physiology
English:
English,
Grammar,
Literature, Proofreading, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing,
Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
SAT Reading, SAT Writing
History:
American History, World History
Elementary Education:
Grammar,
Reading, Study Skills,
Vocabulary

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.

English

I’m qualified to tutor English my standardized test scores, grades, extracurriculars, and tutoring experience. I scored perfectly on SAT critical reading and writing sections (800’s) and on my AP English language or composition test (5). I maintained very high GPA’s in both high school and college (about 3.9 without 4.3 A+’s or about 4.1 with 4.3 A+’s). In high school, I was the editor in chief of a magazine and a successful debator in New York City, winning several Manhattan-wide tournaments (to be a successful debator, one has to write good arguments). I have over 400 hours of experience tutoring and over 50 hours of experience tutoring English.

My approach to tutoring English is to develop each of my student’s vocabulary, other interpretive and critical reading skills, and writing skills. To develop the student’s vocabulary, I will typically first assess his or her vocabulary. I do this by two ways. First, I discuss with him or her words from a vocabulary books like the Wordly Wise series of books. This series has books for each grade level, each with several hundred suggested words to be learned during that grade level. My second technique is to administer vocabulary-testing parts of standardized exams like the Secondary School Admission Test (for selective high shcools) and the SAT. These two techniques allow me to accurately assess my student’s current vocabulary level. Afterward, I will select vocabulary books appropriate to my student’s vocabulary level. I will assign to the student a certain number of words and exercises (e.g., write sample sentences with the words or fill in the blanks in pre-made sentences) to learn and do each week. At weekly meetings, I will take some time to clarify the definitions of difficult words and to check some exercises, but I also rely on my student to learn the words by doing daily exercises outside of meetings with me.

I think of reading skills as falling into two types. There are those that are utilized for understanding or thinking critically about a sentence or a paragraph or a passage of several paragraphs on say a standardized test like the SAT. These skills involve appreciating and responding on a word-by-word level to a story or an argument. And there are the skills that are utilized for responding to a much longer piece of writing, like a chapter in an academic book, or a whole book. These skills involve following and keeping notes on a story or an argument on a much higher level. The former type of skills are foundational for developing the latter type of skills. However, the latter type of skills in combination with the former type of skills is really what real life requires (e.g., working in a company and having to read lots of reports). It’s unfortunate that the latter type of skills can’t be directly tested on standardized tests. I develop the former type of reading skills (passage level and lower) by doing reading-comprehension passages of an appropriate level for the student. I take the passages from books for tests like the SSAT and the SAT. I’m familiar with many of these books and so can find passages of appropriate difficulty for my student. To develop reading skills on the level of articles and books, I will help my student with research projects like history papers. I will help my student find sources like books and journal articles, evaluate them, read them, and take notes on them, as well as help him or her make schedules and plans for the whole process.

Just as I think there are two types of writing skills, I think there are two types of writing skills. First, there are writing skills on the level of the sentence, the paragraph, and the essay of a few paragraph, like the essay that students have to write for the SAT writing section. Second, there are writing skills on the level of longer writing assignments like a 6-page paper. I develop the first type of writing skills by going over grammar and style as discussed in books like Little Brown Handbook for Writers, Strunk and White’s Elements of style, the Fowlers’ and Joseph Williams’s books on writing. Now, the first two books I’ve listed are high-school level books, and the later two are college-level; therefore, I’m careful to simplify the material from the book to a level appropriate for my student. I will sometimes address the same point of grammar or style several times in a year, each at an appropriate level for the student at that time in the year. I also develop sentence and paragraph-level writing skills by going over grammar questions from the SAT writing section. To develop the writing skills on the level of larger papers, I will help my student with longer papers he or she has to write. Specifically, I will help my student plan the writing process, breaking it down into mutliple drafts, and help my student focus on the ideas before grammar and style. Thus, as you can see, I have extensive qualifications and an effective strategy for tutoring English.

Grammar

I scored perfectly on the SAT writing test (with a score of 800) and the AP English composition test (with a score of 5) in high school. I've previously tutored students in writing and for the SAT writing test. My strategy is to teach grammar and writing style, to do practice multiple-choice problems from practice tests, and to go over compositions, including essays from English class, essays in response to practice prompts, and college-application essays, with students.

SAT Writing

I scored perfectly on the SAT writing test (with a score of 800) and the AP English composition test (with a score of 5) in high school. I've previously tutored students in writing and for the SAT writing test. My strategy is to teach grammar and writing style; to do practice multiple-choice problems from practice tests; and to go over compositions, including essays from English class, essays in response to practice prompts, and college-application essays, with students.

Study Skills

I think I have excellent study skills and do a good job of sharing them with my students. I’ve developed my study skills by experience and conceptual study. For experience, I have my experience from studying at some of the most rigorous schools in the country. For example, my high school, Hunter College High School in New York City, is ranked as the best public high school in the country by the Wall Street Journal. Similarly, my college, Columbia University is ranked as the 4th best college in the country by US News and World Report, and my medical school, Stanford Medical School, is ranked as 5th best in the country by US News and World Report. Of course, school rankings have serious flaws, among them the fact that they tend to exaggerate differences between schools. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that I’ve been through some of the most rigorous schooling in the country and have developed strong study skills as a result. For conceptual study, I studied the psychology of learning in college and have a firm understanding of the psychology underlying effective learning.

Let me describe how I help my students develop study skills before I describe why it’s an effective approach and why I implement it well. I believe in integrating work on subject-specific content (that is, the specific subject like algebra or biology or English I’m tutoring) with planning together with my student to choose study strategies (like doing practice problems or breaking down the writing process into multiple drafts) and make study study schedules. I think there are general study skills that are somewhat transferable between subjects. But I also think that for each subject each student needs a personalized set of study strategies, and that it’s my job to help the student identify those strategies and become more capable of identifying similar strategies for future subjects and classes.

Some of the study skills I try to develop in my students include time management and planning, pre-reading for class, being willing to ask questions in class, making notes for active review (e.g., flashcards), analyzing test results to identify knowledge and technique gaps and to devise test-taking strategies, and strategically approaching a composition, focusing on the main ideas before grammar and style.

I think my approach to developing study skills is effective because it allows students to see that study skills are not merely things that a tutor can discuss with them but are really tools that can greatly improve learning. I think I implement well my approach to developing study skills because I’ve a good general knowledge of study skills, as discussed above, and for two more reasons. First, I have studied and mastered the specific subjects I tutor, so I have figured out study techniques that worked for me for these subjects. Second, I have tutored most of the subjects multiple times by now, so I have experience sharing my techniques with students and have learned techniques that work for students with different personalities as learners from me.

World History

As a medical student and former biology major, I have extensively studied genetics. I also done experiments in molecular genetics which led to a publication: Crystal structure of 4-hydroxybutyrate CoA-transferase (abfT-2) from Porphyromonas gingivalis. PDB ID: 3d3u. 2009. I have 20 hours of experience tutoring students in genetics.

Columbia University
Stanford University School of Medicine
MD

Education

Columbia University

Stanford University School of Medicine (MD)

Great MCAT Tutor!

I am a recent Wellesley College graduate who was looking for a tutor to tighten up my physical science section on the MCAT. The first time I met with Clark, I was impressed that he took time to understand my strengths and weaknesses before delving into subjects I wanted to work on. He asked me questions about subjects I thought I knew well only to find room for improvement. During our meetings, h

— Carolyn, Wellesley Hills, MA on 8/22/12

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $120.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

$140/hr for high-school students $120/hr for middle-school students I take $20 off my rate for students who meet with me over many weeks for two hours a week

Travel policy

Clark will travel within 20 miles of Oakland, CA 94610.