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Andy

I am a student at Amherst College working on a bachelor degree. I am double majoring in neuroscience and economics. Since high school, I have tutored peers, friends’ younger students, and students all over Southern California and Northern California. For high school, I attended a boarding school in Northern California. During that time, I engaged in many different activities where I taught, mentored, and guided students with various subjects. As the president of the Model United Nations club, I acted as the student coach for the new and current members. As the co-president and co-founder of Peer Tutoring Club, I worked to create a system of students to work as peer tutors to help their fellow classmates. The club was such a success that the club has been integrated in the school’s Counseling Resource Center, going from an independent club to a school program. However, my favorite subject to tutor is test prep, such as the SAT, PSAT, SAT Subject Test (Biology, Math I/II, Chemistry), SSAT. Test prep is my favorite subject because I love to see the growth of my student. With standardized tests, their biggest weakness is their predictability. With strategies that I have used and taught, students are able to spot triggers in the most obscure question so they can have a logical approach to the problem. In addition to test prep, I also teach elementary, middle school, and high school math all the way up to Calculus. Also, biology has proven to continue to be one of my favorite subjects personally. My tutoring style is based on adaptability. Each student is different with his or her learning style and comprehension of a subject. I make an effort to keep an open approach in the beginning to find what the student likes best. Besides tutoring, I swim competitively, paint, travel, and explore different cuisines.

Undergraduate Degree:

 Amherst College - Current Undergrad, Undecided

SAT Composite: 2320

SAT Math: 780

SAT Verbal: 770

SAT Writing: 770

SAT Mathematics Level 2: 790

SAT Subject Test in Biology E/M: 790

SAT Subject Test in Chemistry: 790

Competitive Swimming, Painting, Volunteering, Road Trips, Travel+Eating

What is your teaching philosophy?

My teaching philosophy is to always adapt to the student's needs. Through my years of tutoring and teaching, not only are there different styles of learning, but also different goals for each student. I love to teach test prep especially the SATs. With the SATs, some students wish to prioritize the conceptual learning, while others like to focus on strategy. As a tutor, my job is to hone in on the specific learning curve and match the student's needs with how I teach.

What might you do in a typical first session with a student?

The first session is where the student and I would go beyond the online descriptions that Varsity Tutors provides and truly learn the student's academic interests and learning styles. Previous knowledge and skills would be properly assessed, while keeping a mental note on how to structure the lesson plan to match the student's needs.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The success of independent learning is dependent on a solid foundation structured by the tutor and student. As a tutor, I would provide the building blocks, skills, and tools, in order for the student to go explore and study the subject beyond the specified learning time. Also, I would ask students to have a separate piece of paper to write all questions and curiosities he or she may come to, in order to ask during the next lesson or even through email.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Motivation lies on a balance of risk and reward. As a tutor, I am not only teaching the material, but challenging the student to apply it and making his or her own. With constant but consistent challenges, students can find themselves to see the course in palatable manner, without draining all motivation and energy.

If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?

If a student has a difficulty with a concept, we go back to what the student knows and understands and use that as a stepping stone to find a new approach for the material. For example, math can be approached in countless methods. By going back to a concept a student understands, it will be easier to simply extend their knowledge in that subject to apply for the new concept, rather than to learn a whole new concept with a blank slate.

How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?

The key to reading comprehension is visualizing the passage or text. Admittedly, passages can be long and boring, but when approached with an open mind to not just recall, but to understand the passage as a whole, would relieve the stress of comprehension questions. Also, for the SATs, most questions are asking about specific sections of the passage, so taking a step by step approach would be key as well.