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Raymond

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I am a senior at Harvard College, who has tutored students in a variety of contexts while here, and back in high school. My area of focus is Chemistry and Chemical Biology, and I am comfortable teaching in most of the "hard" sciences. Plus, with a minor in Government (and my inherent nerdiness, tendency to go on Wikipedia binges, etc.) I am confident in my ability to offer instruction in related areas of the humanities, having done well in these courses as a student.

However, I specialize in standardized test taking, and the skills and tricks that go along with it. I received a perfect score on the ACT in the summer after my sophomore year of high school, and more recently, I scored in the 100th percentile nationally in the new MCAT. So, all of the little lessons and tips and drills I developed and used for myself, I want to share to other aspiring premeds and make an otherwise scary test, a whole lot less scary! This is most aligned with what I want to do (medicine), and is what I feel that I am the most qualified to talk about. In my free time (what's that, who knows) I work in a lab attached to Massachusetts General Hospital, run, live in the gym, and once in a while I do some home brewing with my roommates.

Raymond’s Qualifications

Education & Certification

Undergraduate Degree: Harvard University - Current Undergrad, Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Test Scores

Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems: 130

Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills: 131

Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems: 130

Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior: 131

Hobbies

I work in a lab attached to Massachusetts General, run, live in the gym, and once in a while I do some home brewing with my roommates.

Tutoring Subjects

MCAT Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

Graduate Test Prep

GRE Analytical Writing

MCAT Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

MCAT Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

MCAT Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior


Q & A

What is your teaching philosophy?

My philosophy is one of cognitive empathy, of taking the time before a lesson to put myself in the student's shoes. It doesn't help as much to just repeat notes off of slides - I do my best to avoid this and always will try to figure out where the exact break in knowledge is, and go right to addressing it in the way that is most effective.

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

I will have the section of the test broken down into subjects and sub-fields, and go through each. The goal is to figure out not just how well versed the student is in these, but where the teaching stopped so that 1) I am not reviewing things the student doesn't know and 2) I am not teaching things that they already have down.

How can you help a student become an independent learner?

I think the best way is to bring home the idea that there are no shortcuts. Science tells us that information is best retained when recalling it happens several times and in different ways - the methods differ. Some universal ones, however, are hand-writing one's notes and diagrams (and not reading off PowerPoints), condensing the most useful information for an exam onto one or two sheets of paper (by hand, even if on can't bring the 'cheat sheet' into test day), and self-testing with flashcards, practice tests, or even working through one's own examples, step by step, in their notes.