What sets me apart
Tutoring relates to more than just knowing content and test-taking strategies. Here are the four key qualities that differentiate me from the vast majority of other tutors:
A Track Record of Huge Score Improvements That Are Honestly Measured
Large tutoring companies often guarantee sizable score improvements, but they do so by presenting figures that are very misleading. These companies, for example, love to promise a large improvement if you sign up for their SAT instruction. What they don't tell you is that they compare students' test-day performances to how they did on practice exams that are harder than the actual SAT. These practice exams are made by the companies themselves and don't accurately reflect the material students find on the real test.
In very stark contrast, when I say that my students for the SAT earn an average, overall improvement of 100 points per section and that my students for the ACT earn an average improvement of almost eight points on their overall scores, I mean that in the most straightforward way possible. I only measure SAT improvements based on how well a student did on the PSAT or how well that student did on a practice test out of The Official SAT Study Guide. Similarly, I only look at how a student did on the PLAN or a practice test out of The Real ACT Prep Guide when measuring his or her improvement per section on the ACT.
In terms of measuring succcess, an average, overall improvement for the SAT refers to a student's progress after taking the actual test no more than twice under my guidance. This progress sometimes comes in the form of superscoring (taking a student's best score from each section after he or she takes the test more than once and adding together those best scores), but I have worked with numerous SAT students who prepared with the intention of taking the test only once and still improved by well over 100 points per section.
In terms of the ACT, an average improvement of almost eight points refers to a student's improvement after taking the actual test no more than twice.
I Use Great Materials and Have Plenty of Them
One of the biggest differences between a good tutor and an excellent tutor is that an excellent one provides stellar materials and enough of them that students do as well as they possibly can. A good tutor communicates clearly and is familiar with some helpful materials, but he or she will also turn to ones that suffer from at least one of the following problems:
Presenting too many concepts in each lesson
Not offering nearly enough homework questions
Presenting questions that don't replicate what is found on the actual test
Understanding the vital importance of avoiding these errors, I have assembled collections of materials that allow students to learn concepts in managable pieces, complete a thorough amount of homework, and become well acquainted with questions that reflect what they will see on test-day.
A Talent for Interacting With Students
A tutor may know the material inside-out, but if he or she doesn't know how to interact with students, those students will not do nearly as well as they otherwise would. When it comes to styles of interaction, there are two types of tutors, in particular, to watch out for. The first type consists of tutors who are impatient and, sometimes, downright arrogant in the way they talk to students. These tutors understand the subject matter, but they don't have the interpersonal skills needed to appreciate what it's like to be a stressed-out teenager applying to college or a child looking to improve on an area of schoolwork. The second type consists of tutors who are nice but put on a fake, hyper-enthusiastic personality that literally makes students want to run away. Watching these tutors go over a lesson, you would practically think they were trying to be the MC of a party. They really are trying too hard.
Unlike other people, I bring a pleasant, relaxed approach that keeps students feeling good about themselves and engaged with the material. As a result, their anxiety-levels plummet, usually during the very first session. I know that preparing for a standardized test or trying to improve on schoolwork is no one's favorite way to spend time, but all my students do have fun. It's not uncommon for parents to note how they heard their son or daughter laughing at my jokes during a lesson - even while we were focused like a laser beam on the material.
I Give Tutoring 110%
There are a lot of bright people out there who provide assistance with standardized tests and schoolwork but don't take what they do very seriously. For these people, tutoring is mostly a way to supplement income from their full-time jobs or provide some extra money as they attend graduate school. I'm not one of those people. My professional life is devoted to helping students get into the schools they want to go to and improve on their schoolwork. If a student needs me to stay five or ten extra minutes so that he or she will be ready for the quiz on the following day or be ready to do all the test-prep homework, I will happily stay longer if need be. If a student needs to speak to me over the phone to go over any last-minute questions before a test, he or she is more than welcome to do so. Similarly, I am attentive to the questions and concerns of parents, always leaving time after sessions to discuss with them anything they need to converse about.