Tutoring for standardized tests (SAT, GRE, MCAT) – Easy for me

All of these tests are basically easy for me.
So I can tutor them with no problems.
This is especially the case when I tutor using one of the review books, as I normally do.  The student and I would both own the review book we’d be using, so we can literally “be on the same page”.

Problems:  I occasionally find errors in the analyses or answers.
Also some of the explanations of how the problems should be done do not solve the problems with the requisite amount of skill. I often find clearer ways to explain the strategies, or suggest different and better ones. (They probably can’t afford to hire knowledgeable people with PhD-level skills and experience.)  Thirty-five years of teaching has taught me a lot about how to develop and explain clear solutions.

When I’m not tutoring for a standardized test, the review books may still be appropriate. Otherwise, I’d work with the student’s own textbook or another I choose that I think would be maximally helpful.

The review books have answers and explanations. But they are not textbooks, so they have some obvious limitations as teaching tools.  But parents and students often like teachers and tutors to “teach to the test”. I certainly try to give a broader view than just teaching how to plod through the problems.

Certain tests are specialized and detailed about particular subjects.
I could do some of these without any difficulty.
Others I wouldn’t try to handle – not ready to go back to school because I’m doing my own research that requires a lot of time and effort.

The GRE (Graduate Admissions Exam) is a case in point.
Since it applies to a wide variety of graduate programs, it has no specialized material.  So it’s little different from the SAT, testing math and verbal skills, though at a higher level.

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About heartandmindandme

Husband and father. Wise and droll wife and three wonderful kids. Scientist all my long life - Physics, Biology, Computer Science, and more. Washington, DC and Leesburg, VA public schools. MIT bachelor's and PhD. Faculty member of U. of Illinois and Northeastern U. for 25 years until recent retirement. Member of Marine Biological Lab, Woods Hole, MA. Like: Classical music plus instrumental folk and old jazz, or just sit and watch the sky, trees, birds, rain, wind, and snow.
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