A photo of Philip, a tutor from Columbia College, Columbia University

Philip

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When it comes to academic achievement and standardized test prep, no two winning strategies are ever exactly alike. Because every student learns in their own unique way, my teaching style is designed to pinpoint each student's individual strengths and weaknesses to develop a customized tutoring experience. My 3+ years of experience as a science teacher in Morningside Heights and beyond have made me appreciate the power of one-on-one instruction and the great advantages that exceptional grades and test scores can provide during the college admissions process.

Philip’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Columbia College, Columbia University - Bachelor in Arts, Neuroscience and Behavior

Test Scores

SAT Math: 800

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 770

Hobbies

Psychology and neuroscience, he was a wrestler up until his sophomore in college, he likes to run, recently completed a half marathon, likes alternative rock, rubics cube, hakee sack,


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

With a strategy customized to address individual strengths and weaknesses, any student can greatly improve their test scores and academic performance.

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

Test-prep students begin with a diagnostic examination, followed by an introduction to the structure of the test and the time-tested repertoire of general strategies developed to exploit it.

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

When students summarize or explain a passage in their own words, they are more likely to understand and remember the content of the text than if they are asked pre-written questions.

What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?

Rephrasing a question in a student's own words is a very useful strategy for math, science, and reading comprehension alike.

How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?

Progress has proven to be an excellent motivator, so I like to close my sessions by summarizing the skills that the student has made headway towards mastering during the previous two hours.

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

Every few sessions will include a timed diagnostic exam that attempts to simulate the exact testing conditions so that every student can perform to the best of their ability on test day.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Students who receive praise and positive reinforcement for their hard work, rather than simply their accomplishments or talents, are more likely to develop good study habits and a positive attitude toward their studies. I try to emphasize that struggling through the problem-solving process is the heart and soul of skill-building.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

My clients are motivated by seeing results. Every few sessions, a timed test will be administered, and its results will be compared to the student's scores on a diagnostic exam. Tracking test scores through time can help to reveal trends (both positive and negative), identify "sticking points," and instill a sense of forward progress.

How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?

Praise is an important component of any tutoring experience, but only when properly applied. I prefer to praise students for their effort and consistent hard work instead of test results and grades. Once good study habits and problem-solving skills are established, the rest will follow.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

On the first day, I ask a few questions to determine which skills and strategies should be prioritized. Among these are: What are your top choices for college? What career(s) are you currently considering? Have you taken the exam before [for test-prep students]? What are your previous relevant scores and grades? How confident do you feel with this subject?

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

If a student were struggling with a skill or concept, I would try to reinterpret the question using an analogy from everyday life.