I'm a PhD candidate in Political Science at NYU. I specialize in helping students who haven't looked at an equation since high school and need to relearn math for the GRE or for undergraduate classes in political science, game theory and statistics. I have learned how to quickly identify where a student is getting stuck with a problem and how to explain a concept from an alternative direction so that it "clicks". I'm also happy to help with the verbal and analytic writing sections of the GRE. I have a lot of experience teaching students how to improve their essay writing skills. I've graded hundreds of undergraduate essays, so I understand what a grader is looking for when reading a student's paper.
I achieved a 335 combined GRE score (99th percentile) and I want to show you how to do the same. It requires a good understanding of the basic math concepts and a strong vocabulary, but it also requires understanding how to answer the particular types of questions you find on the GRE. My approach is to spend as much time reviewing the basics as required and then I can coach you through strategies for answering particular question types and how to improve your question answering speed.
I am currently working towards a PhD in political science. I taught undergraduate political science subjects in the fields of American Politics, Political Theory, Game Theory and Statistics. I'm happy to host, come to you, or to meet at a convenient location.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Flinders University of South Australia - Bachelors, Politics
Graduate Degree: New York University - PHD, Political Science and Government
GRE Quantitative: 165
GRE Verbal: 170
sports, politics, cooking (and eating)
Q & A
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
I watch the student as they work through a variety of practice problems. This allows me to see how comfortable a student is with the type of questions that will appear on the test, and to evaluate the speed at which they are able to answer those questions. Often it is simply a lack of knowledge or confidence in one particular part of a problem that is holding a student back. I will also discuss with the student their future goals and their educational background in order to tailor a study plan specifically to their needs.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
The two biggest advantages in using a private tutor for test prep are; 1) You have the exclusive use of the tutor's time for the length of the lesson 2) The lessons can be tailored to meet the needs of the particular student. Any tutor who is not adjusting to the needs of a particular student is not worth hiring. I utilize careful initial evaluations and ask for ongoing feedback from students in order to make sure the material is being covered and the lessons are structured in a way that most benefits the student. While there is often common ground between what different students are looking for, there is no one size fits all approach. I aim to not just adjust how I present the material to fit with how a student learns it best, but also to allow my students to gain a greater understanding of their own learning style.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
For GRE prep, I utilize the prep guides, along with practice questions (quant and verbal) from various sources. In order to gauge their progress and be fully prepared, I ask my students to take full-length practice tests at least 2-3 times during their preparation. I am happy to recommend further resources that students can use to study outside of their tutoring sessions.
What is your teaching philosophy?
My role is to make sure that my students achieve their highest possible score on the GRE. I have found that in order to do this well I need to be friendly and approachable, but I also need to avoid handholding. It is of no benefit to the student if I am not honest about the areas where they are struggling and need to improve. However, it is also of little benefit if I am excessively critical. Being a good teacher is about finding the right balance between making a student feel comfortable and pushing a student to be their best.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
In a first session I will usually ask a student questions about their educational background, their future goals and their plans for taking the GRE. I will also try and ascertain what led them to seek out the help of a tutor, so I can make sure that I am able to fulfill their needs. I will generally ask a student to attempt a variety of practice questions, so I can evaluate their current knowledge and see how they approach different question types. This allows me to set up an initial study plan in consultation with the student.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
Allowing a student to become an independent learner requires letting them make mistakes. I want to give my students the tools to attempt practice questions and to see if they can reason their way out of trouble, rather than relying on me to step in and explain where they went wrong. I also find it to be extremely important to assist students to develop an understanding of how they learn. This can often be something that is hard to ascertain on one's own, as it is difficult to take an objective view about ourselves.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
There are often many different directions that a particular concept can be approached from. I often find that when I explain a concept using a different example or context it will 'click' for a student who was having difficulty with it. A good tutor is able to quickly learn the types of approaches to explaining concepts that work for their student. This is one of the major advantages of utilizing the services of a tutor for test-prep over taking class.