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The intellectual basis of my tutoring philosophy rests on a concept from psychology, specifically a dichotomy between types of students. The first type regards intelligence as a fixed trait: something you're either born with, or without. Those with this mindset tend to attribute their mistakes and shortcomings to an innate lack of ability. As one might imagine, adopting this compromising attributional style leads to the avoidance of situations where failure is anything more than a remote possibility. And, over the long term, a persistence in this view leads to mounting dissatisfaction, because most things that are worth doing contain the distinct chance of failure.
From the perspective of the second group, however, intelligence is not a fixed trait, but rather a lifelong project. To them, smart is as smart does. Their setbacks are not due to a genetically ordained lack of ability, but to the lack of a particular skill or effort, shortcomings which can always be improved upon. For those who have assumed this mindset, who have learning for learning's sake as the primary goal, their intellectual frontier is perpetually expanding.

3 Things About Me:
1) I'm currently taking classes and preparing to apply to Ph.D. programs in psychology.
2) I'm originally from New Jersey but I have lived in Los Angeles for 10 years.
3) I played soccer in college and have also done a fair bit of soccer coaching.

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Benjamin’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CSU Northridge - Bachelor in Arts, Urban Planning

Test Scores

SAT Verbal: 740

GRE Verbal: 169

GRE Subject Test in Psychology: 820


Watching soccer, attending concerts, working out, watching documentaries, listening to lectures (from iTunes U, The Great Courses), roasting my own coffee beans

Tutoring Subjects

AP Psychology

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Subject Test in Psychology

GRE Subject Tests


Social Sciences

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Smart is as smart does!

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

Firstly, talk to them! It's important to get an idea of what the student's study habits, what areas they think they are lacking in, and then come up with a plan to improve.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Help develop the student's confidence. Engender new strategies that give the enable the student to believe they can digest and internalize new information.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Show them that they are making progress. Nothing helps motivation like the feeling that one is making progress and improving.

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

I like to use analogies and metaphors. True learning happens when you learn to see one thing in terms of another.

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

Practice is the only way to improve here. The student reads a passage, the student recounts the meaning in their own words. If a student has trouble doing this at a certain level, try easier material and build their confidence.

What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?

Recall practice! Recalling information from your memory and putting it into your own words is the only way to study and the only way to understand.

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