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Dan

I am a lifelong learner with an academic background in language and literature, and, before that, in mathematics. I pride myself on having strong problem-solving skills, a can-do attitude, and the ability to share what I know with others.

Beyond being just a good test-taker, a tutor must also be able to articulate robust reasons for favoring a specific approach to finding the answer or solution to a problem. A good instructor can make these reasons intelligible and abstract from them lessons that students can then apply independently. Since there are usually at least two ways of finding the right answer to a multiple-choice problem, it is important to be able to provide in-depth, theoretical solutions for those who want to go into the nitty-gritty, but also to solve problems using surface strategies for excluding wrong answers — for students who, for instance, are more interested in ‘surviving’ the quantitative section rather than ‘acing’ it. Different students are likely to want different outcomes from their tests, and these goals and expectations should be determined in advance.

As a tutor, I want to share my passion for problem-solving with others and foster an open, positive attitude about standardized tests. Attitude is very important — a student who is open and confident about being able to solve the problem, even if not initially exactly sure how, might be closer to the right answer than one who actually knows how, but who has to first overcome a threshold of intimidation before being able to start thinking about the question itself. Part of the tutor’s job is to make the tests less daunting and more approachable. I will give students not just the information they need to solve a problem, but also the confidence that they can dependably answer others like it in the future. Minimizing students’ bafflement in encounters with math or complicated verbal reasoning questions, and replacing it with a spirit of ‘you got this’ is part of a successful tutoring experience.

I see no better tool for intellectual exploration than guided conversation. Learning is best framed as dialogue, not as a one way-communication. A conversation can help students identify their strengths and weaknesses, and find out how to direct their efforts to improve. Self-knowledge equates with self-reliance, and a proficient test-taker is ultimately an independent thinker who can recognize the applicability of strategies that she has learned beforehand, and apply them without needing input or confirmation from a tutor.

Like the teachers who have inspired me to internalize the critical mindset and quick response needed to become a proficient test-taker, I am confident that I have a good body of knowledge to impart, and welcome the opportunity to provide others with the kind of guidance which I myself have benefitted from.

Undergraduate Degree:

 University of Bucharest - Bachelors, Comparative Literature

Graduate Degree:

 University of Chicago - Masters, Comparative Literature

GRE Quantitative: 770

GRE Verbal: 720

Playing guitar, reading, creative writing, listening to podcasts, playing chess