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Over 300 tutoring hours

Monica B.

Newton Center, MA

$125/hour

Harvard BA - Exper. NEW SAT, all ACT, Writing, College Apps

Background check passed as of 7/21/14
4.8 average from 77 ratings
Excellent--she is patient, sensitive to the individual child
— Suzanna, Brookline, MA on 1/27/16

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Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
Psychology
Boston College Law School
J.D.

Education

Harvard College, Cambridge, MA (Psychology)

Boston College Law School (J.D.)

About Monica

I am an enthusiastic, experienced tutor with great reviews; as my students know, I am warm, flexible, and efficient, making the most of the short time we work together. The typical SAT student gains up to 150 points on the SAT. I provide test prep advice, and targeted, critical skills and tricks for taking the SAT, ACT, and SAT II tests (or the GRE or LSAT). I also teach essay writing and tutor for college courses, such as psychology, history and English.

I have a Harvard BA in psychology, and business training experience, plus a law degree from Boston College. These days, I prefer tutoring to law practice, although I still maintain a home office for both law and tutoring. I love working with teens, helping them to overcome obstacles and find their way to doing their best on standardized tests as well as school subjects. I am especially strong in helping students with their writing.

I teach at homes, libraries, or my home, in the Greater Boston area. I can help with essay-writing or college application advising, Also, I provide study skill training and subject tutoring in high school and college subjects. The lessons are always creative and lively. I prefer to teach for 90 minute sessions, with a break.

My students enjoy the lessons, while developing strong test taking and study skills. Almost universally, we can develop a good rapport, working as a team. I am constantly trying new material to improve on the latest required preparation; for example for the revised AP US History exam, I have worked with a high school junior in analysis and essays, writing very complex material. Recently, I have also tutored college students in a variety of courses: psychology, history, English, marketing and sociology. My strengths include customizing my lessons to each student's needs, while making the lessons pleasant and productive.

Over the past several years, parents and students have been thrilled with the results of my lessons. I have helped raise test scores and confidence for dozens of students. We often meet twice a week, if possible. We can meet in a local library, cafe, or your home (or mine). My clients come with a wide range of backgrounds and skills, including many immigrants, and I love working with teenagers, from 8th grade through college seniors.

My preferred approach is to present customized lessons, tailored to each student's strengths and weaknesses. Plus I love to teach! I have developed special techniques raising student scores by up to 200 points on average for the SAT, and similar results on other standardized tests. Frequently, I have had success with many types of needs, from underachieving students facing anxiety, and top students who need practice with tips and tricks. My students find my advice about test-taking helpful in addressing focus, motivation, techniques, and of course detailed technical problems.

I love tutoring and motivating students to do their best. At minimum, a student preparing for a specific exam can make progress in six to ten sessions, with outside homework time. I prefer twice a week lessons of 90 minutes to 2 hours in length. I provide feedback to parents by email or by phone. In my lessons, I make sure to get students to participate and I test their progress.

A critical part of being a successful tutor is establishing clear and honest, open communication, and knowing how to motivate each student. You will find me reliable and easy to work with.
ONLINE STUDENTS: please note that I offer at 40% discount for Skype lessons ($75 per hour).

I hope to hear from you and answer any questions you might have.
Best,
Monica
I am an enthusiastic, experienced tutor with great reviews; as my students know, I am warm, flexible, and efficient, making the most of the short time we work together. The typical SAT student gains up to 150 points on the SAT. I provide test prep advice, and targeted, critical skills and tricks Read more

Policies
Cancellation
24 hours notice required

Cancellations - with <24 hours notice, 1 hr. charge. Special: ONLINE rate is $90/hr now. Also special rate: college counseling, essay writing.

Travel Radius
Travels within 24 miles of Newton Center, MA 02459
Background Check: Passed

"Excellent--she is patient, sensitive to the individual child"

- Suzanna, Brookline, MA on 1/27/16

"Confidence Builder"

- Judy, Auburndale, MA on 5/24/16

"Determined and resourceful"

- Kelly, Lincoln, MA on 4/22/16

"Great Tutor"

- Jon, Cambridge, MA on 12/22/15

"Thorough and Flexible"

- R, Lexington, MA on 11/10/15

"First Session went very well"

- Katie, Medway, MA on 11/6/15
Monica replied on 11/8/2015

Thank you Katie - I think your son has really strong intuitive intelligence, and we just have to harness that. How can we get him interested in reading, any ideas?

"Intelligent insights, knowledgeable, efficient"

- Erin, Watertown, MA on 10/19/15

"Went Well"

- Jill, Sharon, MA on 9/25/15

"Capable and Versatile!"

- Lynn, Bedford, MA on 9/2/15

"SAT tutoring"

- Karen, Needham Heights, MA on 4/14/15

"Patient and Dedicated Tutor"

- Susan, Boston, MA on 12/19/14

"Great Tutor!"

- Ilve, Milton, MA on 8/11/13

"Great tutor"

- Leslie, Wellesley Hills, MA on 9/17/12
Math:
ACT Math,
Algebra 1,
Elementary Math,
Geometry,
Prealgebra, Precalculus, SAT Math,
Trigonometry
Music:
Guitar
Computer:
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word
Language:
Chinese, ESL/ESOL,
Hebrew,
TOEFL
History:
American History,
European History, Government & Politics, Social Studies,
World History
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math,
Grammar,
Reading,
Spelling, Study Skills,
Vocabulary
Business:
Career Development,
GMAT, GRE,
Law,
Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word

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

Many students find the ACT English section challenging. I have found several skill-building techniques that I share with my students, and they are happy to see their scores go up quite significantly. I would be happy to share my philosophy of ACT test prep with you, if you hire me.

ACT Math

The Math portion of the ACT is a perfect subject for tutoring. I enjoy preparing high school students for the ACT. In my experience, good students make tremendous progress when I can give them drills, strategies, and specific areas to work on, according to their own strengths and weaknesses.

You are welcome to contact some of my references to hear success stories from previous students, who have improved their standardized scores dramatically after a few months of lessons. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

ACT Reading

ACT reading requires concentration and good vocabulary. Because there is limited time, the pressure to read quickly is very clear. However, in addition, each student must realize that the details of the questions as well as the exact wording of the answers are very important. Learning to master the Critical Reading is a challenging task, but with my tips and strategies, my students find they gain confidence, skill, and many points as well.

ACT Science

For most students, once we work together on understanding the question structure for the ACT Science section, they find that this is a fun part of the test and their scores really go up a lot.

Algebra 1

I love teaching math, because there are significant building blocks that sometimes have been overlooked or skipped in prior lessons. So once I can teach the students how to approach class preparation, homework, test reviews and specific calculation methods, there usually is a really dramatic improvement. Especially for young women, gaining confidence in quantitative skills is so important and enhances their self-image and skills.

American History

In Fall of 2014, I have spent many hours tutoring the new curriculum in AP US History with a high school junior who has been improving substantially. Having studied US History and also being a history fan, I have a lot of knowledge of the subject area. My experience has included tutoring college level, AP level and high school level courses. US History can be a fascinating subject that leads to an understanding of current events as well as theories of how democracy functions. It is a good course to use to develop memorization skills as well as strong writing skills.

Bar Exam

I am both an attorney and an experienced tutor. I graduated law school and passed the bar on my first try, in 1992. I attended BC Law School and took the BAR/BRI bar exam prep class and in fact acted as a BAR/BRI representative. The bar exam is a difficult hurdle to overcome, and it requires a different strategy than many of the exams a law student encounters in law school. I find that studying with the right approach makes the exam much more manageable.

Career Development

I have been tutoring for 3 years, and in my career path I have engaged in several different professions, from computers to consulting to teaching to non-profit work to a law practice. Most relevant, I worked for 3 years at Winter Wyman, a well-known headhunting firm, and I was consistently a top performer in that time. I am very good at cover letters, resumes, and career exploration leadership.

College Counseling

I have been tutoring many students for the SAT and ACT, as well as assisting them with their college essays, for the past four years. Helping edit the essays is one of my favorite tasks. In all, I have tutored about 40 students, and have always included goal-setting and college targets as part of the test preparation process. My knowledge of the college application process is extensive, as I have worked with several students from start-to-finish on acceptance, including the financial aid application process. I use college search directories, both online and in books, as well as aptitude evaluations and student profiles. My experience includes contact with high school and college admission counselors, who are very helpful to me and to my students.

Elementary Math

Teaching elementary math is a fun process for me. Most topics require reaching the student on their level - and there are multiple methods of communicating the basics. Demonstrating with physical blocks and illustrations, using video-based games and exercises, and making sure that the student reads the problems carefully are all techniques that I have used. Please contact me for more details.

English

Working with a student to improve their English is one of my favorite areas of tutoring. From grammar, spelling, sentence structure and critical reading skills, their basic communication improves. Also, working to develop the ability to read critically, and to analyze different types of literature are areas that my students enjoy learning.

ESL/ESOL

I have been tutoring ESL students in Newton for the past four years, as part of my general tutoring lessons. In the beginning, I was trained in Newton by the public library to join their team of volunteers, and since then I have had worked successfully with several students. Learning English reading, pronunciation and grammar are all very challenging, and I find that working one-on-one produces significant improvement. There are many good books available, but the best practice is speaking with a tutor. Please contact me and we can discuss more details.

Geometry

Often students need reinforcement to truly master Geometry. I find that working one-on-one with a tutor makes learning Geometry fun, and can uncover the specific weaknesses that need correcting. Usually, a student makes terrific progress in Geometry if you work with them slowly and clearly, making sure they understand the building blocks. Geometry is one of my favorite subjects, and my students find it fun to study it with me.

Grammar

I have always liked English grammar. It is an area that schools have neglected in the new middle school and high school curricula that I see, and I find my students are really happy to learn what I have to share. Each student finds that their reading, writing and general ability to express themselves really improves.

GRE

For the math, here is how I would approach it - we can review the types of problems, give you strategies to solve them, and practice, analyzing your mistakes so you can improve. Please let me know if you'd like to meet. For the verbal sections, we work on vocabulary, grammar, reading with strategic approaches, and various other necessary skills. I enjoy the challenge of helping talented students overcome the test barrier to be able to attend graduate school. And the analytic sections require specialized focus on the test itself.

Hebrew

I have almost fluent reading Hebrew skills, and strong speaking and writing skills. I have tutored for Bar and Bat Mitzvah for years as well.

ISEE

I have become acquainted with the ISEE and with its unique features. I have a Harvard BA, strong math and English skills, and 4 years tutoring through Wyzant and other services. My strengths include creative strategies for learning vocabulary, math tips, writing skill development, and more. I have investigated the ISEE and developed some specific strategies for that exam. I require students to work hard and practice, while I offer them support and encouragement. Preparing students for standardized tests requires patience, skilled listening as well as teaching, and the ability to motivate students and overcome their nervousness. In addition, I cultivate good relationships with both the parents and the young students, and they have been very satisfied with my help in all areas.

Law

I am an attorney who has passed the bar and practiced for several years and would be glad to help any student prepare for law school, etc.

LSAT

I am an experienced tutor as well as an attorney. The LSAT presents many challenges in analysis and logic, and working with a skilled tutor will help maximize your score.

Proofreading

One of my favorite tutoring tasks is assisting students with their college essays. The essay is the best opportunity for each student to distinguish themselves, for the admissions officer. While there is no simple approach to writing the 'best' essay, I know some tips that are quite useful. I am careful to preserve the style and personality of each writer. While the essay writing process has potential to cause stress to parents and students, this is a task ideally suited to tutoring. Why hire me? I have read many essays and quickly assess what is important to include (and remove), as a professional emotions do not cloud my judgment, and most importantly, I have a good sense of humor and a positive attitude toward helping students do their best and reduce their anxiety (and yours, as a parent).

Psychology

I majored in Psychology in college, and have followed developments since that time with great interest. The new developments in psychology have a significant neurological and biological basis, which sometimes makes it more difficult than other social science courses. I enjoy tutoring for college level and AP courses, and I have a lot of experience with high school and university tutoring.

Reading

The opportunity to help a student improve their reading skills is a wonderful experience. I find that when students read more fluently and easily, all of their schoolwork benefits. It is necessary to read in order to write well, which is a skill that is badly needed for college level work. I enjoy teaching high school students the 'tricks' for the ACT and SAT Reading sections, as well.

SAT Math

I teach SAT math in two stages: first, reviewing the basic concept areas (and usually students need to review at least one topic in depth). Then, once the basic skills are reinforced, there are lots of tips and tricks that I teach to help in raising a student's SAT math score. I've had great success showing improvement in the total score, and the students have fun as well.

SAT Reading

The SAT Critical Reading section is one of the most challenging innovations that the SAT testers have developed. My approach includes working with the students to improve their vocabulary, reading and analytical skills. Many of the questions involve the application of inference, logic and careful reading of each word in a sentence. There have been several students who have used the skills that I teach them to not only improve their test scores, but also improve their classroom work. There are great resources to improve specific skills, although there is no substitute for the student doing some voluntary reading!

I very much enjoy seeing my students improve and respond to my tips and tricks, so don't hesitate to give me a chance to share them with your student.

SAT Writing

In my experience with students, I have found that the writing section on the SAT is very challenging, and there is a huge advantage to working one-on-one with a mature, qualified teacher. The need to master the complex question structure, as well as tips and tricks that I can share, combine to make my tutoring for this section very successful!

Social Studies

I have a BA from Harvard and a law degree from BC. I also have worked in the social change arena for over 5 years, with a specialty in the Middle East. I am very well-versed in current events, and an excellent teacher of essays, advocacy pieces, and general analytic papers. Also, I have tutored about 30 students in the past 3 years and some of them have needed help with history, current events, etc.

SSAT

SSAT scores depend upon a thorough review of the questions, and the basic topics being covered. This is like a 'junior SAT' exam, and most students who invest time in private lessons are very happy to see the improvement they can achieve in their score. At the same time, my lessons give students basic skills that they can use for all future test-taking and learning.

Study Skills

I have been tutoring almost full-time for the past 3 years. I have a BA in Psychology from Harvard and a law degree from BC. My methods include teaching students how to plan, breaking down assignments into small parts, using a calendar system, using behavior mod 'rewards', creating a functional study environment, self-testing, and more. I have had great success with students gaining insight into how to study better and becoming better self-monitors and more independent.

Vocabulary

Vocabulary is a basic building block for reading, writing and spoken communication. I teach vocabulary to every student who is preparing for a standardized SAT or ACT exam, and the students are thrilled to see the impact it has on their performance.

World History

World history is a broad subject, and many students find that the amount of material is challenging. The methods I use include getting students to create a basic study method, to take notes, to use memorization strategies, and to develop confidence that they can learn history with success. Historical analysis involves both reading and learning to summarize the key points, and these skills are fundamental. Once a student masters the method of learning and making history into storytelling, then the lessons become fun and memorable.

Writing

As an experienced tutor and with several years working as a lawyer, I take great pleasure in helping students improve their writing skills. Editing is a collaborative process, and I make sure that each student's authentic voice shines through in the final product. I believe that essays and other written materials should be the result of the student's own work, not that of the editor or tutor. I would be delighted to help with whatever writing or editing assistance you may need.We can work in person, or have remote lessons. The minimum lesson time is one hour per session. Multiple sessions can get a discount.

Harvard College, Cambridge, MA
Psychology
Boston College Law School
J.D.

Education

Harvard College, Cambridge, MA (Psychology)

Boston College Law School (J.D.)

Excellent--she is patient, sensitive to the individual child — We decided at the last minute to pursue the ISEE-We were lucky to find Monica. She was flexible, available, responsive. She jumped right in with clear experience and expertise- She made our child feel comfortable and engaged immediately. Monica is mature and understanding and has a warm, supportive style.She was able to quickly figure out an intensive but non-threatening plan focused on consolidat ...

— Suzanna, Brookline, MA on 1/27/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $125.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Cancellations - with <24 hours notice, 1 hr. charge. Special: ONLINE rate is $90/hr now. Also special rate: college counseling, essay writing.

Travel policy

Monica will travel within 24 miles of Newton Center, MA 02459.