My expertise is "the big three" graduate admission exams: GMAT, GRE, and LSAT. I've been teaching them full-time for the past three years. And prior to that, I was an Official Question Writer for a similar test (BAT) which gives me a unique insight for helping someone learn to master these exams.
I have a BA in Math & Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Masters in Logic & Philosophy of Science from UC Irvine, where I specialized in the foundations of mathematics and logic. I also spent a year in law school, and in a few months I'll be starting yet another graduate program, this time in Mathematical Finance.
I have 8 years of teaching/tutoring experience, during which time I've taught an abnormally broad spectrum of subjects ranging all the way from Statistics and Mathematical Logic, to Moral Philosophy and Jurisprudence.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh - Bachelors, Philosophy/Math
Graduate Degree: University of California-Irvine - Masters, Logic and Philosophy of Science
GRE Verbal Reasoning: 168
Philosophy, psychology, mathematics, and finance
AP US Government
GMAT Analytical Writing Assessment
GMAT Integrated Reasoning
Q & A
What is your teaching philosophy?
I believe the best kind of teaching is teaching that is highly customized to the individual student. Such customization requires two very different sets of abilities on the part of the tutor. First, a good tutor must possess cognitive empathy: the ability to "see" what a given topic/problem "looks like" to an individual student. To be able to do this effectively requires several different skills on the part of the tutor: targeted questioning, patience, and careful listening. Second, a good tutor must have an especially deep understanding of the subject matter being taught, so that he has a deep reservoir of alternative ways to explain a given problem. For example, there may be ten equally valid ways to explain a single geometry problem.
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
This partly depends on the subject matter being taught, as well as the age/grade-level of the student. That said, in every first session I do at least two things: 1. I ask the student to self-identify his or her strengths and weaknesses. 2. I give the student sample problems and ask how he or she would solve them.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
In addition to the specifics of the subject I'm teaching, I also aim to instill a more general set of cognitive/meta-cognitive skills that are transferable across a wide variety of intellectual endeavors.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By making the process as fun as possible.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
In these cases, I often employ "analogical reasoning." That is, I think of an altogether different conceptual context with which the student is already very familiar, and then I explain how the new concept can be grasped by referring it to something the student already knows.