My specialist subjects are the English, SATs and ACTs and I also teach the GMAT, most humanities A-levels and most GCSEs. I have been tutoring and home schooling for 8 years and have developed a knack for finding bespoke solutions to a particular students learning challenges, of which I have encountered an enormous range of types. Whether a student is aiming to get into the Ivy League on an academic scholarship, or battling with the difficulties posed by special educational needs, or struggling to maintain the balance between a job at a bulge bracket bank and preparation for a higher education exam, I have been able to find ways to help all of them achieve their academic targets.
2011- : MA Filmmaking (London Film School)
2006-7: MRes Humanities (U of London) Distinction
2002-5: BA (Hons) English, 2:1 Cambridge University. Downing College.
1999-2001: 4 As at A level (English, French, History, Maths), 2 distinctions at S level (English, French)
1997-1999: 13 A*s at GCSE (English Lit and Lang, Maths, Statistics, Double Science, Geography, History, French, German, Latin, IT, RS)
I teach a wide range of students, both in GCSEs and A Levels and in SATs and other American standardized tests. Ive included a couple of case studies of recent work below (names have been changed).
1. Joseph and Kyle (A level and GCSE respectively) - Joseph and Kyle are brothers whom their mother wanted taught in alternating blocs of time during a semi-residential engagement. (Since the family lived an hour from London, it was agreed that I would teach residential hours, i.e. 4-6 hours per day, but that I would commute to and from their house each day rather than stay over, which was mutually convenient.)
Kyle is a self-starting, hardworking boy, but Joseph is easily distracted. The lions share of my work, of course, involved prepping Joseph for his A2 exams (for which he was quite unready), but a portion of it involved limiting the extent to which he distracted his brother. In order to ensure the most direct progress on the academic front, we drew up a hit list of the ten topics that worried him most in his French, English, History and Geography A2s. We then made sure to give the most time to these during what ended up being three and a half solid weeks work together, spread over three months.
This direct approach helped Joseph feel that he was really putting in the hours where it counts. The fact that wed set out a clear plan at the outset also made it easy for me to have a couple of state of the union chats with him when his mother and I agreed that he hadnt been applying himself as strenuously as could be expected. These chats shook him a little, but had immediate effects: the morning after one of them, he got up at 7:30am and did two hours work before I arrived, a habit that (to my knowledge) he stuck to. By degrees, he changed into a different boy, academically speaking. Where previously he was sloppy and contented with doing the bare minimum, thereafter he started to work for an edge, often by taking on extra work that would have been unthinkable from him only a short time before. He also stopped bothering Kyle quite so much, leaving him to prep for his GCSEs in peace.
2. Arthur (standard level SAT student) - Arthur is a young player with a Premier League football club. The club decided to help him in his aim of going to University in the USA, getting me involved to assist with the exam preparation side. Arthur was fortunate in that his sporting prowess meant having to hit a lower target composite score, but unfortunate in that he had a very limited amount of time in which to prepare and also had to deal with unpredictable nature of match scheduling at his level.
I aimed to give Arthur stability and continuity through the use of my bespoke preparation materials. These allowed us always to pick up where we left off in Critical Reading, Writing and Maths, regardless of whether our previous lesson had been two days or two weeks previously. They also allowed us to work together remotely on the occasions that he was up North or on the continent.
I also introduced Arthur and his Head of Education, Chris, to a very distinguished applications advisor with whom I work on occasion. Bertha helped them to understand the unfamiliar territory of US applications and negotiate the best deal for him when it came to his scholarship.
Arthur got great news in May 2013 when his results confirmed that he would be able to take up his fully funded place at a leading Midwestern university. As a result of my work with Arthur, I have now made contacts with other Premier League clubs and will be tutoring further young players in the 2014-15 season.
3. Dola (ACT student) - Dola had spent several months with another tutor preparing for the SAT before deciding that the exam just wasnt for her. I was brought in to help her make a fairly last minute change of tack, teaching her at her public school outside London twice per week. I started by showing her the similarities between the SAT and ACT (which are overwhelming) - this put her at ease. I proceeded to teach her the differences (a bit more math, a different type of comprehension section in the form of the Science) and practiced these with her.
Despite everyones doubts, Dola impressed enormously in the ACT exam, getting an overall score of 34 and entry to her prestigious Ivy League school.
4. Fay (GMAT/GRE) - Fay is a recent graduate from the University of Bristol and wanted to do a Masters Degree at the LSE, which requires GMAT/GRE scores for certain courses. She started off aiming for the GMAT. I helped her with this by drilling her in exercises drawn from the OG, enhancing these teaching offerings with bespoke materials of my own. In the Quant, I put together worksheets focusing on particularly tough question types. In the Verbal, I helped her grow her vocabulary and feel for idiom (she is a non-native English speaker) through exercises based around articles I selected from the London Review of Books and The Economist.
At a certain point, Fay decided that the GMAT was not for her and went for the GRE instead. I stayed with her through this change and, as above with the SAT and ACT, began by showing her that lots of GRE questions (esp on the quant) are identical to GMAT questions. We then focused on the differences and other issues such as exam technique and timing.
Fay worked very hard and got her target score. She is due to begin her Masters at the LSE this October.
Hobbies and Interests
When I am not tutoring I am a filmmaker, making commercials and music videos and developing a web series and several feature film projects.