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Hello, my name is Keith Cordner and have a Bachelors in biochemistry and a masters in pharmacology, both from Michigan State University. I scored in the 95th percentile on the MCAT: 517 ( 127, 130, 129, 131). I tutored my friends and class mates as an undergraduate, and continued that work by tutoring MCAT, ACT, and STEM fields for 3 years in New York City while I studied leukemia at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
For each of my students, whether it is their first time taking it or they are hoping to increase their score, I am to develop a personalized study plan based on their time constraints, goals, and extracurricular obligations. I provide resources and mentoring to help master content as well as develop study strategies, since a fair part of success is knowing "how to take the MCAT". Afterwards, we typically go through applications, revise essays, and I help fine tune personal statements based on the students strengths and how they align with the schools they are applying to. My additional experience with ACT and SAT tutoring has helped me give students tools and strategies for success on standardized tests, which they can carry beyond the MCAT and into STEP 1.

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Keith’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Michigan State University - Bachelors, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Graduate Degree: Michigan State University - Masters, Pharmacology and Toxicology

Test Scores

MCAT: 517

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: 129

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 130

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 131


Guitar, hunting, football

Tutoring Subjects


Anatomy & Physiology

AP Environmental Science




College Biology

MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Finite Mathematics


Graduate Test Prep

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

Life Sciences



MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior



Molecular Biology

NBME - National Board of Medical Examiners





Physical Chemistry


Professional Certifications

MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

SAT Subject Test in Chemistry

SAT Subject Tests Prep


Study Skills

Study Skills and Organization

Test Prep


USMLE Step 1

Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

I strive to help the student understand the core concepts as well as the big picture of any topic they desire. I want them to be able to not just take the information at face value, but to comprehend why the correct answer is correct.

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

I would introduce myself to them and hope to learn a little bit about the student as well. I would share my hobbies and career aspirations in order to find some common footing. This would establish a firm foundation to build the tutoring relationship.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I can instruct them on more efficient ways to educate themselves, and also, work with them to see what methods work best for data retention. Whether it is helping make flashcards, a study schedule, or anything else, my goal would be to make them self-sufficient.

How would you help a student stay motivated?

While studying can often be monotonous and intimidating, setting realistic goals and benchmarks for the student may help to increase motivation. Also, helping them understand why the current topics are important for future success will serve to motivate their studying.

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

I would talk with them to gain a better understanding of what they are having trouble with, and then work to develop mnemonic tricks or establish other neural connections to help the concepts stick. I would also help to develop practice problems and work with them at the ground level, building up to the difficult material.

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

I would talk with them about the passage and help them to attack each chunk of the information one at a time. Whether it is understanding information out of a lecture book or following the developments of a story, it can be quite difficult to attempt to assess everything at once.

How do you evaluate a student's needs?

I would follow their progress throughout homework, exams, etc. and see what areas need to be improved upon.

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

If the student has a preferred method of learning, (hands on, flashcards, exam review, etc.) I will adjust my lesson plan to better suit them.

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

During a tutoring session, I will usually use a notebook, (along with a log of the student's progress throughout our sessions) flashcards, and review sheets with need-to-know information on the given topic.

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

When starting to work with a new student, I will attempt to get to know them and find some common ground to help establish the relationship. I will then analyze what methods and techniques are most effective to help them learn.

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

I would talk to them about their hobbies and career aspirations, and then integrate the subject into those interest areas, making them more enjoyable and relatable.

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

I would ask them to explain the material to me as if I was the student and they were the tutor.

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

I would start with easier concepts, introducing the subject and making sure that they are successful before proceeding to a more advanced level.

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