Test-Prep Advice Post
Over the decades, many have asked me why I made the conscious decision to start posting my test-prep techniques and materials on the web for free. "Aren't you afraid your students won't need you anymore?” they say. Well, no, actually, I'm not!
First, I post these techniques for the benefit of students who are bright and motivated but perhaps cannot afford to pay for a private tutor. As a product of the public school system myself (kindergarten through senior year of high school), I am proud to know that my advice is helping those who need it most. Secondly, I know that no service will ever replace the benefits of having one's own private tutor. For me, the beauty of one-on-one tutoring is that I "custom fit" each lesson to reflect each student's particular needs and personality, and I don't have to waste time repeating things that the student already understands. Those of you who have taken a class, only to become dissatisfied and start working with a private tutor instead (many of my students are in this category) know exactly what I am talking about.
My website, books, subreddits, and free, self-published guides to the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and ISEE also aid my private students greatly. For example, instead of having to waste valuable lesson time by reciting a list of math formulas to my high school students, I can simply refer them to my "10 Essential SAT Math Formulas" or "The Top 10 ACT Math Formulas You've Never Heard Of (and 55 more)" articles. Instead of wasting too much time on general strategy advice for my adult students who are talking the GMAT, GRE, or LSAT, we can focus on the question at hand, knowing that they have will access to a wealth of original and curated GMAT materials to guide them in-between lessons.
This is why most of my test-prep students only have to work with me for around 15 hours (as opposed to the 30 hours that most tutoring companies will quote you). I know that my services are not cheap, so I pride myself on being a very efficient tutor. These materials allow me to be even more efficient, and to help you the very best I can.
Another concern that my friends and family have expressed is that other tutors will "steal" my techniques. Well, I'm not worried about that either. In fact, I don't mind if it happens, so long as they give me the credit (Other tutors nationwide: feel free to refer your students to this site!) After two decades spend studying these exams from every angle, I am convinced that I understand them as well as anyone else in the country, and I know that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
I am also aware that certain unethical tutors will simply copy my advice, and start passing it off as their own to gain credibility. Hey, plagiarism has existed since the dawn of time, and I'm not going to let that prevent me from posting. Besides, if your tutor isn't smart enough to write any of his/her own materials, what does that say about the tutor's capabilities?
Not too long ago, for example, I discovered that a well-known North County SAT tutor had plagiarized an entire section of his website from another tutoring company's site. Would you trust your student's SAT essay scores to a tutor who can't even write his own copy?
Some of you do make a good point about my giving up some future monetary profit by publishing these tips for free on the web. I could probably compile all of these SAT tips into book format, then write a SAT prep book of my own, and maybe even make some big bucks if the book sells well. However, I'd rather give this advice away for free on the web, because I enjoy sharing my knowledge and experiences with others, and I appreciate the immediacy of the internet. Plus, I'm active in politics and philanthropic causes, so I love the fact that sharing my expertise freely allows me to help students of all backgrounds reach their full potential.
Of course, the beefed-up google results we receive from the attention of our millions of annual online readers isn't bad for business, either!
Good luck on your next big exam and beyond,