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Blakely S.

Scotch Plains, NJ

$120/hour

SAT/ACT/College Admissions Consulting Expert

In-person lessons
5.0 average from 1 ratings
Tremendous Help!
— Olivia, Watchung, NJ on 11/3/16

$120/Hour


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New York University
Journalism English
New York University School of Continuing & Professional Studies
Other
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE (UC IRVINE, UCI)
Other

Education

New York University (Journalism English)

New York University School of Continuing & Professional Studies (Other)

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE (UC IRVINE, UCI) (Other)

About Blakely

Nice to e-meet you! As an avid reader with a passion for education, I am devoted to helping students shape more successful education stories by preparing them for the critical junctures of the high school careers: standardizing testing and college applications.

My experience assisting students began when I headed the peer tutoring program at my high school, and continued throughout college when I worked as an SAT tutor. Upon graduating magna cum laude from NYU with a double major in English and Journalism, I became the Program Coordinator for a boutique tutoring agency in New York City. This role exposed me to the art of creating comprehensive plans for improvement, and provided further training in coaching students to establish effective study systems, prepare for the SAT and ACT, and complete better college applications.

Since leaving this role in 2014, I have worked independently with dozens of students on ACT and SAT preparation, as well as college admissions consulting. My test preparation services include helping students and families choose between the ACT and SAT and determining the best fit test dates in addition to teaching them the content and strategies they will need to master in order to improve their scores. All of my students complete at least one full practice test before sitting for the real thing, and receive a detailed score analysis that helps us hone our focus in sessions to the areas that need the most improvement.

In this time, I've also assisted six students per year with their college application processes. In addition to essay assistance, I also provide research and advice on best fit schools and EA/ED vs. regular decision, and work with students to develop timelines that will ensure they fulfill all application requirements in a timely manner. As a dedicated college consultant, I tour colleges and universities nationwide to speak with admissions officers and explore campuses, all in the interest of coming to my students armed with as much information and as many insights as possible.
Nice to e-meet you! As an avid reader with a passion for education, I am devoted to helping students shape more successful education stories by preparing them for the critical junctures of the high school careers: standardizing testing and college applications.

My experience assisting students began when I headed the peer tutoring
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Policies
Cancellation
3 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 40 miles of Scotch Plains, NJ 07076
In-person lessons

"Tremendous Help!"

- Olivia, Watchung, NJ on 11/3/16
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math,
Elementary Science, Grammar,
Reading,
Spelling,
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.

ACT English

In previous positions, I have been responsible for assisting tutors in designing and implementing effective ACT preparation sessions. Through this work, I became extensively familiar with all sections of the ACT, as well as the tips and strategies that students can implement to achieve their top score.

In addition to this formal experience directly with the ACT, I also have a strong background in English, writing and editing, which are all of course essential to this portion of the test. My experience with copyediting, including time spent at InStyle magazine, helps me to explain grammar, sentence structure, and usage to students drawing upon real world examples beyond the strict confines of standardized test practice problems.

ACT Math

I am well-studied in the algebra, geometry, and trigonometry concepts covered on the math section of the ACT. My deep and thorough knowledge of mathematics enables me to dissect problems with students and guide them through the steps of effective problem solving. Beyond this, as the Program Coordinator at Intelligentsia Tutoring, I was also responsible for helping to design preparation plans and create practice worksheets for tutors to use with students.

ACT Reading

My love of the written word, even as presented in the sometimes difficult passages of the ACT, inspires me to coax students into tackling this section with gusto. Although students can find the large chunks of text on the ACT to be intimidating, and at times nearly indecipherable, I strive to help them understand that they need not understand every single word to answer the questions correctly. With coaching, students can learn how to quickly spot main ideas and key concepts in order to prepare to answer questions as they are reading.

Furthermore, in previous positions, I have been responsible for assisting tutors in designing and implementing effective ACT preparation sessions. Through this work, I became extensively familiar with all sections of the ACT, as well as the tips and strategies that students can implement to achieve their top score.

Algebra 1

In my experience, an algebra course is typically the first true challenge for many students. Not only do many students encounter this in their first or second year of high school, which is already a stressful time, but the required increase in logical reasoning required by this subject is often a hard leap for many students. I help students through this transition by encouraging them to visualize and conceptualize the topics they are learning, rather than simply memorize information their teachers have presented. Only by striving towards a true understanding of the concepts, rules, and approaches of algebra can students guarantee that they will be able to tackle a range of problems in various formats.

College Counseling

When working for Intelligentsia, Inc. for two years, I frequently assisted the director in guiding his students through college applications. This included researching statistics of potential fits and determining probability of acceptance, leading students through brainstorming exercises for their personal statements and supplemental essays, reviewing and editing prose drafts, and preparing students for interviews when necessary. We coached upwards of twenty students through this process, helping them earn acceptance to prestigious institutions such as Brown, Wesleyan, Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Northwestern, Cornell, etc. From this experience, I became intimately familiar with the necessary steps all students should take to complete applications efficiently and effectively, as well as the particular personalities and preferences of individual schools.

Elementary Math

With the influence of Common Core and new state testing, elementary school students' math assignments now look startlingly different from the worksheets their parents encountered when they were young. From previewing student work while I was the Program Coordinator at Intelligentsia, and from working informally with friends, relatives, and neighbors, I am familiar with many of the math assignments students are now faced with completing.

Beyond this, I also believe that incorporating study and organizational skills into tutoring, especially in math, helps students to better tackle their work and clarify their thinking at a young age. I encourage students to complete their work neatly and carefully, while helping them to understand the importance of planning for longer projects and preparing for tests.

English

I graduated magna cum laude from New York University in 2012 with a bachelor's in English and American Literature and Journalism. Prior to this, I completed two years of AP English study, scoring a 5 on the AP exam. Since graduating, I have assisted students and peers with assignments and essays, ensuring that I've stayed up to speed in my knowledge of grammar, literature, and writing,

Geometry

Through tutoring the SAT math section, I have retained the knowledge of geometry that I acquired in my high school honors class. Academic and standardized test students alike struggle with this more visual math form, but I help them to memorize rules, dissect shapes into manageable forms, and use deductive reasoning to reach solutions. Geometry was personally one of my favorite subjects in school, thanks in no small part to my enthusiastic teacher, and I strive to pass along this same energy and passion in my own teaching.

Grammar

In 2012, I graduated magna cum laude from NYU with a double major in Journalism and English, In my last two years as an undergraduate, I was also enrolled in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, earning a Certificate in Editing alongside my bachelor's degree. I could have never achieved success in these courses without a deep knowledge of proper grammar, which I carried with me from my AP English courses in high school and my studies of the AP Stylebook. Because of my journalism background, I still consult the AP Stylebook regularly to ensure I am keeping up with the accepted rules of grammar.

While grammar is perhaps not the most thrilling of studies, I work to add fun to the work by employing games, activities, and online tools to help students improve their grammar. When tutoring students in this area, I focus on both speech and writing to ensure that they are communicating properly in all forums.

Literature

Having completed four years of English study at NYU, covering both American and British literature, as well as two years of AP English in high school, I am confident that I am familiar with a majority of the texts students encounter in their literature courses. Whether they are tasked with reading the material, memorizing characters and quotes, or producing in-depth analytical essays, I not only help students to excel in their work, but also strive to encourage them to appreciate the classics. Because I have read many of the pieces in the standard canon multiple times, I've developed multiple interpretations and discovered many of the works' intricacies, which enables me to help students through their own analysis, regardless of their literary preferences or learning styles.

Proofreading

While enrolled in NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies Editing and Publishing Certificate program, I completed several courses that covered proofreading. With professionals in the field of writing as my teachers, I learned how to quickly spot errors and offer suggestions that simultaneously corrected the mistakes and provided the reasoning behind the alteration. Beyond the classroom, I also handled proofreading tasks in my time as an intern at InStyle and the Herald News, and as the Program Coordinator at Intelligentsia Tutoring.

Reading

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." (Dr. Seuss)

Reading is my passion, my escape, and my greatest source of pleasure. With a desire to pass this love along as inspiration, I help students to improve their speed, comprehension, and retention when reading. I do so by encouraging active reading, including annotating and thematic note taking. Rather than rush through material, or skim over difficult passages, I require students to slow down and prove their understanding as they work through material.

SAT Math

I have accumulated approximately four years of experience with the SAT, beginning when I worked as a tutor for TestTakers in New York City. After graduating from NYU, I compiled SAT problem sets and preparation plans for tutors as the Program Coordinator for Intelligentsia Tutoring.

In my experience, it can be quite quick, and painless, to improve SAT math scores. Rather than focus only on the material, I help students to recognize the ways in which the SAT tests certain concepts. By doing this, students can easily identify what type of problem they are facing, and draw upon previous practice to solve. To drive this point home, I have students complete worksheets covering the same subjects through variously phrased questions, ensuring that they won't be caught off guard by any format they may encounter on test day.

SAT Reading

Although reading is, of course, an important part of the SAT CR section, I actually find that students spend far too much time combing through the passages, leaving them to race through the questions. To combat this time suck, I help students skim through the material, using the questions as a preview of the important pieces to look out for. A secondary concern is helping students understand the difference between an acceptable answer, and the BEST answer, a.k.a, the right one.

I have accumulated approximately four years of experience with the SAT, beginning when I worked as a tutor for TestTakers in New York City. After graduating from NYU, I compiled SAT problem sets and preparation plans for tutors as the Program Coordinator for Intelligentsia Tutoring.

SAT Writing

Coaching the students through the essay section of the SAT is similar to helping them formulate a five paragraph essay for an English course. It's important to keep in mind that scorers are looking for students to formulate a decisive point of view, and support this with both literary and historical evidence. While they will not know the question beforehand, it is possible to prepare points about texts and historical moments that students feel most comfortable with, and help them to understand how they can apply this material to a range of potential essay topics.

I have accumulated approximately four years of experience with the SAT, beginning when I worked as a tutor for TestTakers in New York City. After graduating from NYU, I compiled SAT problem sets and preparation plans for tutors as the Program Coordinator for Intelligentsia Tutoring.

Spelling

Although never a contestant in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, I was a proud member of Somerset Middle School's Spelling Team. While it's true that technology has nullified the need for knowing the correct spelling of a word in most capacities, I still believe that knowing when the "i" comes before the "e" can come in handy. Whether to prevent the need to spend 20 minutes correcting all those errors in spell check, or to ensure a handwritten form is error-free, being a strong speller can save you time, and embarrassment.

I can help students of all ages improve their spelling by instilling basic rules, reviewing pronunciation, and employing mnemonic devices. Technology, of course, also comes in handy, as many great resources, games, and tests can be found online.

Vocabulary

In sixth grade I delighted my teacher by identifying a record-breaking number of vocabulary words on a beginning-of-the-year assessment. Since then, my love of the English language has only grown. In a time when an increasing emphasis is being placed on unique presentations and effective communications, I believe it is important for every student to work on improving vocabulary. Using flashcards, digital tools, and games, I help students expand their vocabulary for standardized test and daily usage.

Writing

The five paragraph essay, the opinion piece, the short response, the freeform journal entry, the poem, the research paper: I've covered them all. In 2012, after amassing an impressive number of Microsoft Word documents, I graduated magna cum laude from New York University with a double major in English and Journalism. Writing papers, thankfully, never felt like a chore for me, due to my realization that expressing myself could be cathartic, rather than frustrating. WIth this in mind, I help students embrace the opportunity to put their thoughts onto the page, shaping pieces that present not only their knowledge, but a piece of themselves.

In addition to papers for academic courses, I have also assisted students with their college application essays, including the personal statement and supplements. While acting as the Program Coordinator for Intelligentsia Tutoring, I worked with the Founder and Director to coach students through this far more introspective and personal form of writing, helping them earn acceptance to their top choice schools.

New York University
Journalism English
New York University School of Continuing & Professional Studies
Other
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE (UC IRVINE, UCI)
Other

Education

New York University (Journalism English)

New York University School of Continuing & Professional Studies (Other)

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE (UC IRVINE, UCI) (Other)

Tremendous Help!

Blakely was a tremendous help with my college essay. She in a very short period of time, helped me transform and organize my essay. I would recommend Blakely to anyone.

— Olivia, Watchung, NJ on 11/3/16

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $120.00

Cancellation: 3 hours notice required

Travel policy

Blakely will travel within 40 miles of Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.