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They say you "can't study for standardized tests." That may be true, but you can hone the skills needed to do well on them, and I have the experience to help you do just that.

As a high schooler, I aced the SAT and took 9 AP classes; as a student at the University of Chicago, I developed exemplary writing and critical reading skills; and as a tutor, I learned how to convey those skills to students of all ages, from many different backgrounds, in both one-on-one and group settings.

Need to raise those scores? Having trouble telling a participle from a predicate? Want to make your college essay the best it can be? I'm here to help.

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Allegra’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: CUNY Bernard M Baruch College - Current Undergrad, Religious Studies

Test Scores

SAT Composite (1600 scale): 1550

SAT Verbal: 800

SAT Writing: 800


I solve & construct crossword puzzles, sing in a choir, and love to cook new foods (with varying success)!

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My role as a teacher is to help the student not just learn, but understand. I don't give students the answers; instead, I ask questions and engage their prior knowledge to lead them there themselves. Learning is an active process, never a passive one.

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

It's important that I get to know the student, so we may just chat casually. And I may also have them do some diagnostic work so I can gauge the student's ability and comfort level on the subject. It's also important for me to communicate expectations and let the student know what a typical session will be like. I encourage them to ask questions of me and let me know their preferences about the way the session is structured, the type of work we do, etc.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

A big part of tutoring to me is never telling the student the answer outright, if possible. Instead, I ask questions to lead them to the answer. Afterwards, if a student is struggling with a certain skill or topic, I help him or her think along the same lines: what questions can I ask myself to lead to the answer? I try to model a process for them to follow.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Enthusiasm for learning is so important in a successful tutoring session. Whenever I can, I point out things that I find cool or interesting about the topic, even if it's something small or silly. I try to remind the student how what they are studying fits into a larger base of knowledge.

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

Often, the best thing to do is just give them lots of practice on the topic. Having them practice, make mistakes, and then learn from them is far more valuable than being lectured at.

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

For reading comprehension, I find it is helpful to break passages down and go slowly and thoroughly through each part, sometimes line by line. I also like to give students strategies to use: for example, certain types of questions indicate that you have to look at a certain part of the passage for an answer.

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

Tutoring sessions usually work best if you establish a relaxed and comfortable environment. I let the student know I'm there to help them first and foremost, and that I'm not there to talk at them, but to work with them collaboratively on whatever they need most help with.

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

I believe that every subject is exciting if you look at it from the correct perspective. As a kid, I used to think math was the most boring thing ever until my older brother, a math-lover, took me aside and completely changed my perspective by sharing his enthusiasm with me. I have enthusiasm to spare for all the subjects I teach, and I try to spread that enthusiasm by pointing out how the things we're learning relate to different real-world or even fictional situations. Building confidence is also key - the more confident a student gets in a subject, the more he or she will want to engage with it.

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

It is never enough to simply ask if the student understands - they have to demonstrate that they understand. I employ a Socratic-style teaching method (sounds fancy, but it's really not, I promise!) to ensure that students are always reaching the answers themselves, with my guidance and support, as opposed to being given the answers. Once a student can figure out how to reach an answer themselves, then we can replicate the process on other questions.

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

The best way to build confidence is to practice, practice, practice! If a student is struggling with a specific topic, I will give them more practice in that topic until they are more comfortable in it. I also make sure to emphasize the positive. Often, a student knows more than they think they do. If I remind a student how a problem they are struggling with is not so different from a problem they have solved in the past, then they can approach it from a place of more confidence.

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