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Studying, particularly for a high stakes test like the GRE, can be stressful. A tutor can give you peace of mind about your progress, your study methods, and your ability to succeed. I strive to give my students that peace of mind by working closely with them to create a plan to accomplish their academic goals that they can have confidence in right up through the test day.

Tutoring, in order to be a useful and enriching experience, needs to be personalized to the student's needs. That's the key to my tutoring philosophy, and it informs everything about how I teach. Before we begin, I'll sit down and talk with you not just about what you want to improve on in your studies but how you learn best and what you find most challenging about the course or test you're studying for. Once we have a strategy we both agree with, then it's full speed ahead to get you prepared for whatever your next academic challenge is.

The most important thing anyone told me when I was preparing to take the GRE is that the GRE, like any other standardized test, is a game, and you can win a game so long as you know all the rules. The rules, in this case, have less to do with equations and vocabulary (although those are certainly important) than with the way the test is structured and how that structure reveals clues to answers hidden in each question. I prepared for the GRE by studying my math and vocabulary skills, but I beat the test by learning its structure, and I can help you do the same.

In my day job, when I'm not tutoring, I'm a research assistant at Harvard's leading international relations think tank. I study modern politics and conflict there, but my background in social science and history is deep and broad. In college, I majored in history and political science, and since graduation I've worked in both domestic political campaigns and foreign policy studies. The GRE is my main focus as a tutor, but I have a passion for history and social science. If you have questions about how to tell the story of how we got to where we are, I'd be thrilled to answer them for you.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve success in your studies!

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Sam’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Boston College - Bachelors, History

Test Scores

GRE Quantitative: 166

GRE Verbal: 170

GRE Analytical Writing: 5


I enjoy researching, reading, and watching soccer.

Tutoring Subjects

African-American History

College English

College Essays

College World History


Essay Editing

European History

Graduate Test Prep


GRE Analytical Writing

GRE Quantitative

GRE Verbal

High School English

High School World History

Political Science

Quantitative Reasoning

Social Sciences

Social studies

US History

World History


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

Students are the experts on what they need to learn and how they learn best. I work to give individual students the personalized help they need.

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

The first thing is to talk about where the student is in their studies. What do they want to work on? What are their favorite study methods? How high is their stress level about the test or paper, and how can we lower it? The answers to these questions drive all the subsequent work I do with students.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

Teaching (and particularly test prep) is more about communicating strategies than about communicating content. If I can work with a motivated student to build good studying and test-taking strategies, their own natural curiosity and ability will get them the results they're looking for.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

Sometimes studying can be a deflating experience. It's frustrating to have trouble learning a subject. In my experience, though, students want to be successful, and small victories are often enough to improve a student's morale. To get those small victories, I like to break the frustrating topics up into smaller pieces, so that success in learning each piece is motivation to continue to the next one.

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

To borrow a sports metaphor, you should train the way you play. The best way to make sure that a student is comfortable with the material is to evaluate their work on a practice assignment that mirrors the assignment they are preparing for. That way, they can be confident that they understand both the material and the way that they are going to be assessed on it.

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