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Over 1500 tutoring hours

Randy B.

Van Nuys, CA

$140/hour

Perfect ACT 36 - Top SAT-ISEE-Calculus-IB Maths HL Tutor - 10+ Yrs Exp

Background check passed as of 11/9/14
5.0 average from 398 ratings
Worth every penny! Great tutor!
— Stacey, West Hills, CA on 7/11/15

$140/Hour


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UCLA
Computer Science and Engineering

Education

UCLA (Computer Science and Engineering)

About Randy

Are you looking for an expert math & standardized test tutor with 10+ years of experience? Someone who doesn't just teach the subject, but also the psychology of elite test-takers? Someone who doesn't just teach for one test, but also the process that allows for repeatable & continued success?

My name is Randy, and I have been a tutor for over a decade, including 8 years as a top ACT & SAT tutor for Kaplan and 3 years as the designated SAT prep teacher for the Education Unlimited College Prep Intensive Summer Camp at UCLA. While I tutor in all academic subjects, I specialize in standardized testing (ACT, SAT, ISEE, CHSPE, etc.) & all levels of high school and early college math (Prealgebra, Algebra 1 & 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Math Analysis, Precalculus, Calculus AB/BC, & IB Maths SL/HL).

I constantly refine my methods to ensure the best results: a test run of my ACT strategy on the Official April 2016 test scored a perfect 36.

MY PHILOSOPHY: YOU ARE NOT JUST A TEST SCORE.
I focus on making learning a rewarding experience, and it starts with the understanding that grades & test scores, while important, are not a judgment of a student's worth. They don't reflect how smart a student is, how hard a student works, or how successful a student can be. Once we realize that one bad grade or one poor test score is not a reflection of who that student truly is, we can then start objectively reviewing and critiquing the process that lead to that poor result, eventually creating a strategy that addresses those weaknesses while preparing the student for success.

MY STRATEGY: REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
When I first meet a student, often that student has already invested many hours of practice. But the test came & that student got a poor grade. In response, that student thought the poor grade was due to a lack of hard work, so the student is determined to work even HARDER for the next test. That test comes and... another poor grade. So the student thinks that putting even MORE work is required...

You've seen this vicious cycle before; maybe you're in the middle of this cycle right now. You've heard “practice makes perfect,” yet no amount of practice seems to yield any improvement. What that truism failed to convey was that it's not just any practice that leads to perfection; it's reflective practice.

Foremost experts on learning, from Anders Ericsson of “10,000 hours” fame to Henry Roediger III & Mark McDaniel (“Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning”), agree that practice is most valuable when accompanied by proper reflection & feedback. Without such feedback, practice yields only stats quo results, blindly reinforcing old habits, regardless of their value (or lack thereof).

My value as a tutor comes not just as an expert on the subject matter, but also on providing good feedback that replaces confusing, convoluted strategies with simpler, more effective ones. I help students break down their entire problem-solving approach into its essential components (e.g. inputs, formulas, calculations, etc.), reinforcing where they made solid progress while identifying where their process was compromised. We acknowledge the roots of such flaws (ex: “I missed the negative sign because I was focused on the more difficult calculation”) while developing strategies to address them (ex: “Because negative signs are easy to overlook, I will process negatives first”).

MY GUARANTEE: YOU ONLY PAY IF I'M WORTH IT
People spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on tutors, and I feel very strongly that hard-earned money deserves to be well invested. So I make this promise: if by the end of any session you are not satisfied & wish to stop, that session is free. Period. My students earn their scores, so it's only fitting that I earn my pay.

MY GOAL: HELP STUDENTS DISCOVER EXPLORATION OF LEARNING
My intention is to help students break away from the superficiality of rote memorization and discover the value of learning through trial, error, and examination. I believe mistakes are not blights to be avoided; they are simply the byproducts of difficult acts. If you or your child are attempting such an act and want the tools to extract as much value from that journey as possible, then send me a message. I would be happy to give those tools to someone with such audacity.
Are you looking for an expert math & standardized test tutor with 10+ years of experience? Someone who doesn't just teach the subject, but also the psychology of elite test-takers? Someone who doesn't just teach for one test, but Read more

Policies
Cancellation
20 hours notice required

1.5-hour lesson minimum. Cancellation Fees: 20 hrs - 3 hrs notice: 1/2 lesson charge. Within 3 hrs notice: Full lesson charge.

Travel Radius
Travels within 15 miles of Van Nuys, CA 91406
Background Check: Passed

"Worth every penny! Great tutor!"

- Stacey, West Hills, CA on 7/11/15

"Extremely knowledgable and clear"

- Katie, Calabasas, CA on 11/10/16

"Awesome tutor!"

- Kyla, Los Angeles, CA on 10/4/16

"Made My Son Smile"

- Lauri, Woodland Hills, CA on 5/5/16

"An Extremely great tutor"

- Regina, Studio City, CA on 3/13/16

"Great Tutor!"

- Patricia, Burbank, CA on 2/29/16

"Good tutor!"

- Grace, Valley Village, CA on 1/15/16

"Very helpful"

- Kiyoshi, Los Angeles, CA on 11/7/15

"knowledgeable, clear and concise and right down to business!"

- Karen, Los Angeles, CA on 10/23/15

"Best tutor by far!"

- Taylor, Carson, CA on 10/22/15

"Patient tutor"

- Marika, Glendale, CA on 10/20/15

"Randy is above and beyond amazing!"

- Isabella, Studio City, CA on 8/17/15

"A+ Tutoring!"

- Winie, Granada Hills, CA on 8/10/15

"Great SAT/ACT Tutor"

- Meike, Woodland Hills, CA on 6/16/15

"Patient and encouraging."

- Jane, Los Angeles, CA on 3/21/15

"Great Tutor"

- Ashley, Northridge, CA on 12/5/14

"Excellent Tutor"

- MImi, Granada Hills, CA on 11/4/14

"Most professional and effective tutor I've ever met!"

- Tae Kyu, Reseda, CA on 10/21/14

"Really dedicated and capable tutor!"

- Elaine, Los Angeles, CA on 10/16/14

"Great Tutor"

- Austin, Sherman Oaks, CA on 10/11/14
Math:
ACT Math,
Algebra 1,
Algebra 2,
Calculus,
Differential Equations, Elementary Math, Finite Math, Geometry,
Linear Algebra, Logic, Prealgebra,
Precalculus,
Probability,
SAT Math,
Trigonometry
Science:
ACT Science,
Biology, Chemistry, Physics
Test Preparation:
ACT English,
ACT Math,
ACT Reading,
ACT Science,
CBEST,
GED, ISEE, PSAT, SAT Math,
SAT Reading,
SAT Writing,
SSAT
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math, 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.

ACT English

Having tested these strategies in the January 2016 ACT and scoring a perfect 36, I know that the key to excelling in ACT English is to test for objectively correct choices by plugging in and noting specific mechanics, including subject-verb agreement, proper verb tense, proper adjective/adverb usage, pronoun/antecedent matching, etc.

ACT Math

Having tested these strategies in the January 2016 ACT and scoring a perfect 36, I know that the key to excelling in ACT Math is being able to efficiently & accurately model details within each problem. Proper modeling & organization are the key to answering early questions quickly without losing accuracy. Students who manage to efficiently answer early questions will have a time advantage when attempting the more difficult questions in the latter half of the section.

ACT Reading

With 8+ years as an ACT Tutor, I have plenty of experience tutoring students to excellent scores, including some students to the 95%+ percentile.

The key to excelling in ACT Reading is to understand how passages are structured as to highlight and identify key information quickly, accurately matching clues from the questions with evidence in the passage, and quickly eliminating answer choices that are clearly out-of-scope or opposite of what is mentioned in the passage.

ACT Reading (like ACT Science) is a section where students often feel time pressure, having to read 4 long passages & answer 40 questions within 35 minutes.

ACT Science

Having tested these strategies in the January 2016 ACT and scoring a perfect 36, I know that excelling in ACT Science means learning how to quickly identify and highlight key information in both in passages and graphs, uncovering the relationship between variables (i.e. when one variable increases, does the other variable increase or decrease), and logically eliminating wrong answer choices.

Algebra 1

Algebra I provides all the foundations for future Math courses: solving equations, isolating variables, understanding functions, etc.

Because the subject is so fundamental, I focus on building good Math habits that will serve the student in throughout high school, including properly copying a problem, clearly listing each step of the solution, and good organization and legibility.

Algebra 2

Algebra 2 focuses on learning advanced functions like advanced quadratic, higher degree polynomial, exponential, & logarithmic functions. The key to mastering Algebra 2 is becoming familiar with the shapes of graphs, and knowing how the graphs evolve as we tinker with the different aspects of each function.

Calculus

Calculus is a challenging subject, even for experts. The key to mastering Calculus is to properly "clean up" problems with the appropriate substitutions and cancellations. I scored 5's on both the AP Calculus AB & BC tests, and excelled in my engineering math courses at UCLA.

CBEST

I took the CBEST in 2007 with no prep and scored a 222 (123 is passing): 74 Reading, 73 Mathematics, 75 Writing, with highest performance indicators in all skill areas. The test focuses on high school topics in a standardized setting, so as with any standardized test, the key to excelling at the CBEST is understanding how each question is constructed to maximize your time & energies.

Geometry

Geometry can be challenging for students because:

A) It introduces proofs, which require more writing than in other Math classes, and

B) It adds shapes and other two-dimensional figures which require spatial thinking that is not exercised as greatly in other Math classes.

The key to Geometry is to understand both how the theorems provide a gateway between Algebra & Geometry, and how to create Algebraic models off of Geometric figures.

Physics

Often considered the most challenging of the science classes, the key to mastering physics is to both create accurate diagrams and properly labeling variables. It's also important to understand the difference between diagrams that describe the "Net action" (which describe the physical result, or what one "sees") vs. those that describe the "Natural forces" (which describes the physical forces that contribute to the action).

Prealgebra

Prealgebra provides the foundation for all high school math: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Calculus. It's important to establish good math habits in this class early: learning how to define variables, writing out general equations, writing out each step when isolating a variable, etc. Mastering Prealgebra gives a student a great head start and the confidence to tackle more advanced Math.

Precalculus

Precalculus provides all the "mechanics" required for calculus. Often this subject is the most difficult for high school students, as it requires them to become familiar with Trigonometric functions, the unit circle, identities, and functions with discontinuities such as asymptotes & holes. While challenging, the students who manage to master the major themes of the subject and stay organized will have a tremendous advantage in navigating the nuances of calculus.

Probability

Mastering Probability requires knowing how to count all possible desired outcomes out of all possible outcomes. Understanding how to utilize the combination & permutation equations (nCr & nPr, respectively) and knowing how to avoid overcounting or undercounting will be valuable.

SAT Math

With more than 8 years as an SAT Tutor, I have tutored many a student to higher math scores, including several to a 98+%ile.

The key to excelling in SAT Math is to properly translate the word problems to math equations, and make sure all the information in a question is accounted for. Many errors in math are caused by simple misinterpretations of the problem or by missing basic calculations (i.e. forgetting a negative), so much of my work involves practicing simple yet effective habits to avoid silly mistakes.

SAT Reading

With more than 8 years as an SAT Tutor, I have plenty of experience tutoring students to excellent scores, including some students to the 95%+ percentile.

The key to excelling in SAT Reading is two-fold:

1) Find evidence in the passages quickly. Learning how to parse a passage, notate it, and bringing the evidence back to the questions is the key to mastering this section.

2) Using clues in the sentence completions to eliminate & eventually select the best answer. Often a student will run into a word that is unknown; the key is using the context that a student does know & using elimination strategies & understanding of roots, prefixes, & suffixes to select the best possible choice.

SAT Writing

With more than 8 years as an SAT Tutor, I have plenty of experience tutoring students to excellent scores, including some students to the 95%+ percentile.

The key to SAT Writing is two-fold:

1) For the multiple choice section, one must understand the mechanics of English. Which words need to match, what rules to understand, knowing relationships are the basis for a strong Writing score.

2) For the essay, one must know construct an argument with strong evidence in a 25 minute period. We will learn how to create a strong thesis, make an effective outline, & finally writing an impactful essay with a clear, thoughtful argument.

Study Skills

A good organizational system will ensure that the most important information (ex: homework assignments, the latest lesson notes, due dates) is easily accessible. So the first step to good organization is to first eliminate any papers that will not be referenced in the near future by putting them in a folder archive (ex: old handouts, graded assignments). We then work creating simple but effective sections where items are to be placed (ex: notes, unfinished assignments, etc.). We also write out all our events/activities into a calendar in order to better account for our time. After all that work, what should remain in the bookbag is only the most absolutely important information relevant to academic & personal excellence.

Trigonometry

Trigonometry requires understanding right triangles, the unit circle, the six trigonometric functions (sin, cos, tan, csc, sec, & tan), and the shape of their graphs. Keys to mastering Trigonometry include accurately identifying how sin & cos provide the foundation for the other four functions, how to read & properly orient right triangles within the unit circle, and understanding the behavior of the sinusoidal curves.

UCLA
Computer Science and Engineering

Education

UCLA (Computer Science and Engineering)

Worth every penny! Great tutor! — We hired Randy to prepare our high school junior to retake the SAT. Armed with good first scores, we wanted help getting the scores even higher. In only 5 sessions, Randy helped us reach and exceed our SAT score goals (from 2080 to 2310). I was impressed with Randy's ability to quickly assess my student's strengths and focus in on the areas of improvement; he then structured the rest of the less ...

— Stacey, West Hills, CA on 7/11/15

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $140.00

Cancellation: 20 hours notice required

1.5-hour lesson minimum. Cancellation Fees: 20 hrs - 3 hrs notice: 1/2 lesson charge. Within 3 hrs notice: Full lesson charge.

Travel policy

Randy will travel within 15 miles of Van Nuys, CA 91406.