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As a student, I always excelled in standardized testing and developed a number of strategies that I enjoy sharing with students studying for the SAT, ACT, and GRE. My favorite subjects to tutor are Spanish, writing, history, and math for all levels. I love helping students see their own potential for success and discover their strengths. Through patience and hard work, they can improve in areas they don't feel as comfortable and eventually gain the confidence to take any test with ease and certainty. I am lucky to help students grow and flourish in many subjects and I enjoy working both with students who just need a little extra practice to students who are struggling in classes. Practice makes perfect and I utilize a mix of explaining difficult concepts and working through practice problems to help my students understand the material deeply and feel prepared and confident in class or during a test.

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Helen’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Princeton University - Bachelor in Arts, Comparative Literature

Test Scores

ACT Composite: 35

ACT English: 36

ACT Math: 36

ACT Reading: 36

ACT Science: 33

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1560

SAT Math: 700

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 800

GRE Verbal: 170


Dance, reading, knitting, movies, photography

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I believe that my students can succeed in any subject and on any test, and I try to help them see that they can do even the hardest problems. My teaching style helps them feel confident in their ability to succeed, turning despair or frustration to determination and accomplishment.

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

I always start with an assessment of where they are right now in that subject, so I can get a better sense of what they find difficult and what we need to work on most. I also try to get to know my students to be a better and more fun tutor, and to understand their learning styles and personalities.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

The key to learning, especially in college, is to be able to teach yourself and study on your own. I help students determine how they learn best and use their strengths to understand the material, giving them studying strategies they can use on their own in the future and providing them with the tools to think and learn independently.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

If a student loses motivation or patience, I try to change my approach or the topic of study to help them see things from another perspective. When students feel discouraged, I help them see that they can improve and conquer any subject or test by reminding them of their strengths.

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

I always try to explain difficult concepts in several ways, as each student thinks differently. Approaching the same subject or skill from many directions or paths of thought can help students who are struggling to understand it. There often are multiple ways to conceptualize even basic math problems, and my job is to find the way that is best for my student.

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

The ability to focus on the meaning of sentences while reading passages can be difficult to learn. I offer my students strategies for staying focused and finding key information in the text quickly to help them in reading comprehension exams.

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

Each student is different, and I like to discover their strengths and study skills when I first meet a student. Then, I can use these strengths to improve areas where they find difficulty, through a mix of practice problems, explanation of concepts, and encouraging them to ask questions whenever they are confused about something.

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

Often students who are struggling in a subject lose confidence and patience. I help them regain their self-confidence and try to approach the subject in many different ways to see how the student responds. Instead of giving up, they learn to try a new approach when faced with problems and difficulty, a skill that is useful in daily life as well.

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

Practice problems are my best friend. After helping the student understand the material, I always watch them work through problems on their own to see how they think through the problem. Since they will be ultimately taking the test on their own, I believe practice tests are the best way to prepare. Then, we can go through the answers together and discuss the questions they got wrong so they get them right the next time.

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

Confidence is built slowly over time. If a student loses confidence, I give them questions they know how to solve and encourage them to work closer and closer to the more difficult problems. Once they see they can do the easy problems quickly, they can move on to harder and harder problems without feeling overwhelmed in the subject.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

At the beginning of my tutoring, I always start with a quick assessment of their current skills and weaknesses. In addition to assigning practice problems, I ask the student which concepts or questions they don't understand and start from there.

How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?

I am a very creative tutor, and I think on my feet based on the needs of each student to decide what approach is best to explain a difficult concept or help them memorize and retain information for a test.

What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?

Depending on the student and the subject, I use practice problems, flashcards, funny metaphors, worksheets, and anything else I can think of that would help the student understand the subject.

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