I’ve been working in the test prep tutoring industry since 2015. I’ve mastered the exams and have written test-prep curriculum. I have a master’s degree from The New School and I tutor grades 5-College.
My approach to tutoring is defined by two features: diagnosis and drill. By diagnosis I mean identifying student weaknesses, strengths, goals, and even unconscious habits to develop custom curriculum and personalized lesson plans. By drill I mean constant formative assessment in the form of periodic practice tests, timed assignments, and subject-targeted homework to measure progress and ensure student success.
One girl I was working with had a 1070 when I started working with her. Over 18 months, I was able to get her score up to a 1420. We did work on the fundamentals, but a big issue that she had to overcome was a lack of confidence and test anxiety. She had a lot of negative self-talk about how she was going to “blow it” and how she “messes it up all the time.” So we explored a couple of unorthodox strategies. I asked her to journal about her feelings about the exam. There's some really good data showing that just talking, journaling and writing about traumatic experiences can help and for her, this was a type of trauma. And so she wrote about it and then it kind of demystifies whatever is hanging over your head. So we did that. We also did some breathing techniques, similar to what Navy SEALs do, which kicks in your parasympathetic nervous system. Anxiety is a lot of adrenaline coming in. So what you want to do is just kick that back down. So we did some real-time approaches. We did a mix of skill training, building of her confidence, and then addressing some of the internal, personal psychological issues that got her into the 96th percentile.
There was a girl I was working with who I was able to help from a 1320 to a 1520 in 3 months. She was plateauing and could not get the gains she was looking for. She said her last tutor could not help her. When we would go over her mistakes, she would always seem to understand how to do the problem. When I would ask her to do the problem in front of me, she would do it easily. I kept seeing this repeat itself over and over. So I asked her how long she was taking to complete the exam. She said she was finishing each section 20 minutes early. I let her know that there are people who literally pay to get themselves certified with ADHD so that they will get extra time and she was finishing early. I decided to try an exercise with her. I pulled out the stopwatch on my phone and asked her to tell me when a minute had passed. She asked me to stop at 27 seconds. So we realized her body clock was operating at a much faster rate than reality. So you need to get it to slow down to match it. Getting her to realize she had more time than she did was a performance hack for her. We taught her breathing exercises and she stopped rushing and making careless errors and significantly increased her score
I’ve been an avid surfer my entire life, I’ve published essays for various literary magazines, and I currently host a podcast addressing topics of education, inequality, and labor.
Elementary Math, Middle School Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Honors Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, College Algebra, College Geometry
SAT Math, SAT Writing, ACT Math, ACT Science, ACT Reading, ACT English, ACT Writing, SSAT, PSAT, HSPT, SAT - All Sections, ACT - All Sections
ELA (Language Arts):
Reading, Reading Comprehension, Grammar, Literature, Composition, Creative Writing, Essay Writing, College Essay Writing