I cover ALL areas of test prep (including SAT/ACT) and Physics using my amazing talent to customize my lessons to match each student's needs. Work with a Ph.D., who understands how to pass concepts on to you, is patient but persistent, and explains things until you tell me you get it. I have 18 years' experience tutoring including close to 900 hours with WyzAnt. With WyzAnt I have worked with about 100 different students including 50+ in all areas of ACT/SAT prep. I am able to customize sess... [more]

Algebra 2

Algebra 2 is a state college and university requirement. So it's very important to get a good grade in this class. It introduces trigonometry. Topics include equations and functions, factoring, graphing, conics (including quadratics), matrices, polynomials, and logarithms. I have helped in tutoring a number of students in Algebra 2. And have used it as a way to prepare for trigonometry and calculus.

Grammar

I have improved the grammar of students over a wide range of ages from third and fourth graders to high school students needing to know the 15-20 rules tested on the ACT and SAT tests to adults who have ESL background and want to improve their grammar as they write memos and reports in the business world. In my tutoring library I have a collection of books covering grammar topics so I can match these to the level of each student. One of my favorite areas is working with students in the 4th-9th grades since learning the fundamentals of grammar here serves them well the rest of their lives. Two of my favorite books are Under the Grammar Hammer Hammer (D. Cazort) and Grammar in 15 Minutes a Day (Learning Express.) Helpful is taking pretests so that in tutoring we can cover the areas that are shaky and not spend time in tutoring the areas that are known. The last book mentioned works well with tutoring by being broken down to 30 lessons that can easily be covered as part of a tutor session. Very helpful is having multiple examples of incorrect and correct usages in sentences and having a review quiz for each grammar area. Grammar is also tied into writing: poor grammar leaves the reader confused and lessens understanding of what the author is trying to say in their writing. Good grammar is so familiar to me now that I collect signs posted by businesses that have passed through knowledgeable people and still have glaring grammar errors. Typical areas covered range from wrong verb tense, fused or run-on sentences, subject-verb agreement, missing or unnecessary commas, etc. So if you would like a tutor to improve your overall grammar knowledge, I would be a good choice for you.

Geometry

Geometry is really fun to learn and I like it as a tutor. A good grounding in geometry is very useful in everyday life. It is a stepping stone to taking higher level math classes like calculus. It is also a high school graduation requirement in California schools so it is important to pass this class. I took geometry in high school and have been using it ever since. I have successfully tutored geometry for the last six years. I am very passionate about tutoring and my students. If you are struggling to make it through a geometry class, then I have the tools and experience to help you. Geometry is second nature to me and I can show you how. My tutoring will include help with homework as well as preparation for tests. Geometry is the study of objects and its measures. One of the keys to this class is memorizing all of geometry's vocabulary. Proofs are one of the main focuses of this class, aside from learning the actual properties of geometrical figures. Extensive use of practice problems helps with understanding concepts and committing formulas to memory. With caring guidance, reworking of the school lessons, and finding the point of confusion, I can help the student to truly understand the concepts and solve problems with much more confidence. My educational background is in math and physics. My most rewarding experience is when a student says "I get it!" after my third explanation of a concept.

Physics

In terms of education, my physics Ph.D. and 25 years as principal engineer and manager in the high tech business world qualify me to know the subject in depth. As for the ability to explain concepts, equation choice, and problem solutions, I have 15 years tutoring well over 100 students as well as logging over 900 hours in my 5 years with Wyzant. So I pick up quickly the individual needs of each student and customize lessons for covering their needs and increasing their confidence. I explain concepts in multiple ways until the student grasps the concepts and methods of problem solving. In physics I have tutored students from middle school through college, including AP and SAT subject tests. A high percent of students searching Wyzant for physics are college level confused by the physics concepts or how they are presented by the professor. My library of physics texts is extensive so I can always give you extra problem examples to practice what you are learning in your class. I am quite confident that wherever you are in physics, I can help smooth the way with my patience, passion for tutoring, and intimate understanding of the subject. With me, I also hope you will discover how much fun physics can be.

Prealgebra

Prealgebra is the stepping stone to the world of math, the basis of algebra 1 and following courses. It is necessary for a technical career. I understand that it is uncomfortable for many students. I'd like to make it flow as easily for you as it does for me. If your child has some holes in their math background, let me help fix them now so that they can move comfortably through prealgebra and on into algebra. In my 6 years of tutoring, I have discovered a very strong passion for tutoring and for my students. Some of the topics covered include evaluating arithmetic expressions, word problems, fractions, decimals, percents, inequalities,exponents, using variables in algebraic expressions and solving them, some geometry, and graphing lines. I have a passion for building self confidence in this pivotal math course. Don't let a math class keep you from achieving your goals.

Precalculus

I have a physics and math background at the college level, experience with multiple students, and the ability to explain difficult problems or concepts several different ways.

Trigonometry

Trigonometry can be a fun class. It links with precalculus. It is crucial that all the techniques we explore here connect directly with the techniques we see in precalculus and then calculus. Trig has many applications in physics and engineering. Approached properly it is relatively easy to learn. I've been a tutor for six years and have had success in raising students' grades and their focus and interest in the subject. I tell my students that this is maybe the easiest and most fun math class they will take. I believe that everyone can pass or get a good grade in this class and move on with that confidence into precalculus and calculus.

Writing

In SAT and ACT test prep I am actually more highly ranked in Critical Reading, Writing, and English than I am in Math. But in all cases I am on the front page, ranked a month ago #1-#4 out of 800-1000 local WyzAnt tutors claiming to teach thosetest prep areas to 10-12th graders. Then seeing what I was doing with older siblings, my tutor parents began requesting me to teach their 4th and 6th graders (all but one boys) to write better. That is a challenge; often 4th grade boys would rather spend their time on video games than sit down and write a 3 page essay for their tutor every week. But that is what I have done. Each student started out writing 1/2 page in BIG letters to fill up the little area they were using. In all cases these students were writing 2 1/2-3 pages for me every week accomplished in each case within 2 months. If you want this for your son or daughter I will do this and if you want, ask one of my tutor parents to talk with you about this progress. Of course, writing 3 pages each week is only the first goal. Then we start the hard work of how do the revising and making their writing better and more interesting for the reader. I use an excellent book (All Write) that lists the required steps in developing good writing habits and styles. Then I get them using a dictionary and thesaurus to increase their vocabulary. As reward for working hard, I leave them a word ladder exercise which is fun and yet increases their vocabulary (without their realizing it because it is fun and a healthy challenge for them. I also use a good grammar book, Under the Grammar Hammer, for learning better grammar for their writing, and the book, 643 Things to Write About, so my students can pick their own topic each week. I also work to improve reading comprehension even as they study better writing methods. My bottom line that seems to be working is to make writing fun for my students.

English

My experience in SAT and ACT grammar rules has prepared me to work with English on any level. This actually goes back to high school, where I was the top student on tests in English class. I have numerous books on English, grammar, critical reading and comprehension for elementary, middle, and high school. In addition I have tutored foreign-raised students in the TOEFL test, a requirement for them to enter colleges and universities in the US. I am comfortable with any age group.

SAT Math

I understand how frustrating math can be for many students, especially those who have been away from math for a few years. I can make the SAT/math test questions easier to attack and often find alternative and quicker paths to the solution. Sat/math tends to be confusing in the way they ask questions, so you need to change your approach from what was successful in high school. I will give you some techniques you may not be currently using. I push hard on reading all math problems twice, doing the calculation, then reading the problem a 3rd time before putting down your answer. This usually adds 2-3 correct answers to your score. It seems simple, but is very effective. The test does go through arithmetic, algebra, geometry and a bit of trig...but no calc. I have taught SAT and ACT math to about 50 different students, so any problems you are having will not surprise me I will individualize your lessons to what you need. We work on increasing your math "tool kit" and study the different techniques needed to increase your score. Typically I take SAT/math scores starting at 400-500 and increase them to 700. Some students are aiming for SAT 800 or ACT 36 and I can handle that with a selection of advanced test prep books. Although I am rated very highly by Wyzant in SAT/math on their listing of tutors, I am also rated just as highly in all the other SAT and ACT test areas.

GRE

The GRE is use is to compare students from different colleges so admissions has a better idea what your GPA means. A major difference from most other tests is that this test is done on a computer, so all your scratch work needs to be done on the 6 pages of scratch paper you are provided. (It you need more, it may take a while before the administrators get to you.) The big difference is that the computer looks at what you do on the first section of a test to determine whether in the second section you will be given easy, medium, or hard questions. So the first part is very important in determining whether you can increase your score with the second section. There are two analytical writing essays. I will work that with you if you need the help. The 2 sections are an issue essay and an argument essay. They are graded 0-6. So I work with my students until they are confident of getting a 5 (at least). I don't consider getting a 6 worth the extra time and effort--if you are already good at writing essays, you should be able to get a 6 grade. The math in the Quantitative Reasoning section is very basic only going through geometry (no trig, no calculus). So a basic review is all that most of my students require. The math on the GRE is clearly easier than that found on the SAT. But then how does the GRE differentiate between students on the math? Easy--they word the questions in a tricky manner so that you must be very careful you have answered what the problem is asking you to do. The first 7 or 8 questions in each of the two sections are quantitative comparisons which may require some work to be comfortable with answering this slightly different kind of question. For the verbal session, there are no longer analogies or antonyms as was the case on earlier versions. For sentence equivalence you need to choose the two best answer choices...no credit for only putting down 1 answer. I consider the reading comprehension questions (about half the verbal questions) to often need the most work. The questions often do not hinge on finding the correct detail, but determining the authors point of view or their tone, or their assumptions and premises they base their writing on. These are all things that I'm sure you can do. But it will help you to have a tutor evaluate what you are doing and provide you with personalized practice work to improve your GRE score. I can and will do that for you. My normal plan is to do weekly sessions in which I leave for your homework things that we should not spend time on during the tutoring hour. Then you come back with any confusion or questions on the quiz or test that you did during the week and we will explore your thought process to get to the correct answer. There is a huge advantage in this and I have found that most of the private test prep classes lose much of this learning opportunity. They normally just tell you which questions you missed and what the correct answer was. I do not let you correct your own tests. Then we can go back and if I tell you one of your answers was wrong, you then will need to examine it and tell me why you now think your answer choice was wrong. Then, eliminating that answer, can you now tell me which answer you think is the best answer.

GED

The GED allows you to get the equivalent of a High School diploma when you were not able earlier to finish that work. I can cover all the areas of the test. But most frequent is the math part. I am patient and take you step-by-step through what you need to know until your confidence grows and you are ready to take the test. My favorite book is Princeton Review/Cracking the GED. And my approach is to spend our session time looking at the questions/problems you missed on practice tests you take as homework. Often there will be a number of years since you covered this kind of material. So you will get review on each area and practice to you rediscover how to get the right answers.

SAT Reading

I consider the SAT/Reading test the most difficult SAT test. The best students can pick 2 answers that are correct and eliminate the rest Such students can also see why both answers are correct. But the SAT will have clues to show which one is the better answer. I have tutored over 40 student at WyzAnt in SAT and ACT test prep. And I am highly rated by WyzAnt in their listings of WyzAnt tutors within 40 miles of me. I am on the first page of each listing, often at #1-#3. The total number of questions a student can finish on SAT tests will normally be severely limited by the time allowed. Areas I incorporate in my SAT tutoring: cutting a minute spent off each passage in the reading section; purposely choosing the order in which you do the questions to benefit you and reduce time stress; only spending 60 seconds or less reading through each passage; reading each question twice; eliminating 2 or more of the answers, then going deeper in your analysis of the remaining answers to find the best and most logical answer. I prefer using the Princeton Review/Cracking the SAT book. Most test prep companies need to have the maximum number of students. So they are not set up to get students to the higher scores, usually getting SAT students to 500-600. If you want to score higher, I have available, and have used, advanced books designed to bring you up the last 50-200 difficult points. A major portion of my tutoring time is taken analyzing the problems students missed on their tests, but without letting the student know which was the right answer. So we talk through why their wrong answer was wrong and which answer they now think is correct--and why. My background is in physics and math. But I have taught useful SAT/ACT techniques to over 40 students. And I have had success with students learning Critical Reading techniques. I have been tutoring for 15 years. In that time I have discovered that I have a strong passion for tutoring and for my students. And I am currently having more fun than I had as engineer and manager in high tech.

SAT Writing

The Language Art/Writing section of the SAT is combined with the Reading section. Each part has a maximum of 400 points to give the 800 point maximum for this test. The "Writing" part covers both grammar rules (about 15) and rhetoric (ordering sentences and paragraphs, adding or eliminating sentences). The grammar-type questions are mostly straightforward once you have relearned all the grammar rules. The rhetoric-type questions tend to be more subtle and more difficult to track down the best answer.

Physical Science

TOEFL

GMAT

The quantitative portion of GMAT involves math (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and word problems. If it has been a while since you learned this material, it only requires review of the covered areas. I am an expert at this and have the needed material at hand. This same review is done for CBEST (as well as ACT and SAT if required.) The geometry is very basic plus no trig or calculus is required. The data sufficiency portion is found in no other test, so I teach the approaches and techniques needed, along with giving you quizzes and tests until you have the confidence to do well here. Because of my extensive tutoring backgound in test prep (all different types, even including TOEFL, CBEST, GRE, as well as lots of ACT/SAT) you should feel very confident that with me behind you, you will easily pass the GMAT. And that includes the Verbal as well as the Analytic Writing and Integrated Reasoning graded portions of the test.

PSAT

I did well enough when I took the PSAT to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship semi finals. I have worked successfully with a number of students preparing for the PSAT. I also have several books giving practice tests and reviewing the knowledge areas needed to do well on the test. Taking a practice pre-test and another one at the end of tutoring helps to see what areas need the most work and progress made during the tutoring. It helps to advance confidence and reduce the stress level when taking the actual exam.

SSAT

I have tutored several students to increased SSAT scores, mainly the UL test (G8-12). I am quite familiar with the test and have some novel approaches to this test prep, especially the verbal test, that you will not see with other tutors. The more competitive the private school, the more importance this test score has for admission. Additionally, my top rating from Wyzant and experience in all areas of SAT and ACT test prep give me additional perspectives and techniques that I can apply to the SSAT. I also help with writing applications.

ACT Reading

I am experienced working ACT test prep. And with 45 past students for these test preps, I know the materials well and how to increase your scores and confidence in the minimum of time. There are several techniques that I can show you that will minimize your time and organize you so you take the questions in the order best for you. I have found that the Reading test may be the hardest for many of my students. They can reduce the answers to 2 and then are intelligent enough to see ways both answers are true. It is necessary to learn how to discover the clues the test maker must leave in words or phrases. It often takes several weeks (2-5) after learning the best approach before this results in higher test scores. Students often say, "Oh,it makes sense now." after increasing their reading score by 2-4 points. Some of these techniques and approaches can be a difficult transition for students to make. But once made and mastered, there is a clear, large difference. If the way I approach and tutor the ACT/Reading test interests you, try contacting me so we can look more closely at what I offer and what you are looking for. My students often start at 28, but want scores to be 33-36. I usually get them there. Homework is assigned so we cover in tutoring sessions the problem areas leading to faster score increases instead of reviewing areas where the student already is confident and knowledgeable. I use the missed problems on tests taken as homework to analyze the weaker areas and practice the techniques to improve. The ACT Reading section lasts 35 minutes with 40 questions. There are four reading passages of about 800 words each: one section each of prose fiction, social science, humanities, and natural science. After reading each passage, about 10 questions to answer follow. I have observed some consistently difficult questions types: inference, author's purpose, author's tone, and even vocabulary in context. If what I say interests you, feel free to contact me and we can talk it over.

ACT English

With about 40 past students for these test preps, I know the materials well, practically by heart. And I have learned what you need to master to increase your scores and your confidence and can do it in the minimum of time. I help prepare students for all sections of the ACT and SAT tests. I teach not only the subjects, but provide you with and train you on the best techniques to upgrade your score. You will find that these techniques may be different from those you are good at in school classes and tests. It may need a paradigm shift from you if you are willing. Both the ACT and SAT test making companies have agreed that their tests do not measure how much you learned in school or know about the subjects. Or that they are even tests that measure how well you will do in college in college-level classes. No, these are tests to see how well you do on the ACT or SAT. After seeing the results of a practice test, weaker areas are noticed and focused on with basic review and additional practicing of solution techniques. Then I follow up with assigning additional test questions or entire practice tests. Students in silicon valley are looking for 30-34+ to get admitted to their colleges of choice. I can get you there while most of the private test prep companies will not. (They concentrate on the average student to get as many paying customers as possible.) The grammar section is about 15-18 rules. So just like math, it is clear cut. Review and learn these rules and see correct and incorrect sentences and you are fine. The rhetoric part often is the more difficult. It looks at word usage, picking a transition sentence between paragraphs, ordering sentences or paragraphs for the passage unity. For approximately 20% of the questions, NO CHANGE is correct. Don't assume you have to find an error. Often these tests will be limited by the allowed time. So it requires keeping focused and using the techniques you have been taught. Please contact me to answer any questions or concerns you have in particular.

ACT Math

I usually have 1-2 students for most ACT and SAT test dates. With 50+ past students for these test preps, I know the materials well and what it takes to increase a student's scores and confidence using a minimum of time. In fact, I am an expert at showing students how to increase their score the last few points where one missed answer results in a drop of their score by one point. Most of the private test companies do not even attempt to focus on increasing scores above 29-30. I help prepare students for all sections of ACT and SAT and am highly rated by WyzAnt in their local (within 40 miles) listing. The test makers themselves admit that a student can increase their score by preparing for the test. They also have stated in the past that these are not tests to measure how much you know or have learned in high school, or even to see how well you will do in college. Instead, they are tests to see how well each student takes the ACT or SAT tests. To increase scores substantially, requires focused dedication and practice time to become fluent with different techniques than you have been using in school. Working with an experienced tutor will streamline this transition. There are often easier ways of solving problems than the normal straightforward way you have been using in school I am an experienced tutor with the ACT testing. Typically I get students starting at 24-27 and increase their scoring to 32-33 or higher in less than 2 months. I would be pleased to help you reach your goal for test scores and increase your confidence and comfort when test day comes. I have even worked with students on ACT/math only looking for a 36 score. My confidence is such that no matter where you are starting, you will make more score improvement than you would taking classes or individual tutoring (more expensive) from Excel Test Prep, Princeton Review, or Kaplan. And I have proved that to my satisfaction over the past five years with WyzAnt with over 50 ACT/SAT students among them. I mostly work with an hour session each week with homework. In the tutoring session we go over any missed problems and zero in on where a student is missing the correct answer or where they do not fully understand/comprehend. As you can see, I am an experienced tutor with the SAT and ACT tests. I would be pleased to help you reach your goal for test scores and increase your confidence and comfort when test day comes. I have worked with enough different students so that I can personalize lessons based on the particulars the student needs. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

ACT Science

The ACT Science Reasoning Test requires NO specific scientific knowledge beyond 1 year of high school science. You will be asked to understand and make sense of six sets of scientific information that will be presented in graphs, charts, tables, and research summaries. Also you will have to make sense of one disagreement between a couple of scientists. These are qualities or techniques that will be useful the rest of your life because as an informed reader you will have to analyze scientific articles written in newspaper or on the web. Taking this test normally will be limited by the time allowed. (I always wanted more time.) So it requires judgment skills of the approach and techniques to use. There are easily learned techniques and approaches that lets you do the passages and questions in the order that is best for you, not for the test maker. I help prepare students for all sections of ACT. I will train you to chose the best techniques and increase your score. My background is in science (physics, Ph.D.) and math where I have all through my life used these skills. This test does require extensive practice, hard work, and commitment to become fluent with these techniques.

Elementary Math

Struggling in math? I have 6 years of experience helping students being successful at it. In math all too often students find themselves falling behind in grasping important concepts even while the teacher needs to move on to topics which build upon the earlier concepts. I work to fill in those gaps so that students' continued success is assured. I have found that I am very passionate about tutoring and the students. I always try to give the parents more than they expect. I take pride in my ability to inspire and motivate young minds to get the best out of their school years. I employ a fun but firm approach and am caring yet very persistent in my contacts with my students. Elementary math is like a game; once you learn the basic rules you can have fun learning. I operate either with work from school, helping with homework and reviewing what was covered in class (with more care taken to answer the student's questions than is possible in the classroom), or I have a small library of different grade-level books covering the math for that grade or workbooks to work on different examples of what was done in class. And if I don't have a grade-specific book, I can get one. I had an eye-opening experience with a second grade girl who was struggling with math. In 30 sessions I was able to advance her 2 1/2 grades as measured by standardized testing. And I had her giggling at my outrageous approach as I drilled her in exercises. I am a patient and caring as well as persistent tutor. I explain things carefully taking into account the grade level. I work hard to explain concepts covered in class until I am sure the student really understands and there are no holes in their math understanding. As students move into "word problems", I make certain they learn some tricks and techniques for this crucial translation form words to math statements. In my experience every student has trouble with this topic. I am an expert in study habits and am able to instill some of the principles into students even at a young age--principles and tactics that will serve them well even through high school and into college.

Elementary Science

My educational background is in physics and math. I love helping my students understand and grow to love science. I have found that I have am strongly passionate about tutoring and my students. Starting with homework assignments, I check how well they understand and can recite back to me what they have gone over in class. My driving goal is to make learning both informative and fun. A student having fun in their work is going to learn much faster than one plodding through the same work.

Elementary (K-6th)

In my 6 years of tutoring I have helped numerous students in G1-6. I have helped a 2nd grader in math to progress 2 1/2 years in 30 sessions. (As measured by pre- and post-testing.) One of my specialties is study skills which often helps students get organized when they are having trouble in several subjects at one time. This usually helps raise confidence once the student gets in control. I have found that I am extremely passionate about tutoring and my students. I am experienced working with students in many areas, including math, science, history, geography, English/grammar and reading. My approach is often the same independent of the subject. I explain the problem or concept carefully and then explain it a 2nd and 3rd way until the student says "I get it!" That is one of the best feeling I have as a tutor. Reviewing the material covered in class and asking directed questions also helps students remember what they have covered. Reviewing and questioning before tests also helps. I am familiar with many of the textbooks being used in elementary grades. I also have an extensive library of additional materials, especially in math, to augment the classroom text including workbooks for additional practice. If I don't have extra materials for your grade, I will get it from the bookstores.

Study Skills

I have had and developed good study skills as a tutor, but especially as a grad student getting my Ph.D. Study skills are methods to increase a student's ability to study smarter and retain information over a longer period of time. I would put it that I am experienced in correcting a students disorganization. Some of the areas are time management, organization, note taking skills, test taking strategies, establishing study habits,keeping motivation high, and removing any negative mindsets, attitudes, and beliefs. It boils down to organize and prioritize. This requires help in finding and strengthening the most effective note taking, memorization techniques, sorting papers in binders with tab dividers, keeping track of assignments with personal calendar, high lighting or color coding of readings/notes, studying before "the night before", creating and using mnemonics and flashcards, and other approaches. I am beholden to the book SOAR study skills by Susan Kruger. (See her web site at StudySkills.com) I also use some of the approaches from the AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination). The difficult part is to find which strategies work best for any particular student. And of course it requires constant monitoring, support, and correction to check progress for accountability. I have been tutoring for 6 years. I currently have one student working on better organization to facilitate having more free time of his own. His father is highly complimentary on the progress seen at school. I have tutored half-time for 6 years. I have discovered that I am strongly passionate about tutoring and my students. The greatest joy I get is when I hear "I get it!" after I have just explained an area in the 3rd different way.

CBEST

I quickly bring students up to speed, especially in maths they have not used for years. My students normally take the CBEST after 5-8 sessions, once they have the increased confidence I give them. This includes poor test takers or students paralyzed by math. I will know with confidence before you do that you are ready. But you will take the test after you have the confidence that you will pass. I have become an effective coach and tutor. I will review with you the full set of basic skills required to pass the test on your first try. Testing strategies and techniques will be covered. For example, I will give you several approaches to different types of math problems that don't require you to do the algebraic equations in the problem, only arithmetic. And I have 2 visual methods of setting up math problems so that you keep things clear and don't have to think about it. I am familiar with all areas of the CBEST and have had students that passed any of the areas they were having trouble with even though they had little confidence on the test when they started. If interested, I can connect you with former students to see how much I helped them. I love it if you show me your passion to teach and help students--that is all I need to make you successful. Why not try me out? I am patient and can explain concepts and problems in a way that you will understand and remember. I have put together practice drills and explanations of small areas of each test that help you review and gain confidence. Think how it will feel when you successfully pass the CBEST. Just contact me so we can talk about your particular situation.