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Clark Zhang Tutoring

Palo Alto, CA (map)

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About Clark Zhang Tutoring

I'm a second-year medical student at Stanford School of Medicine. I graduated magna cum laude and with election to Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University.

I'm interested in tutoring middle school, high school, and college students in a variety of subjects, including English, history, languages (Spanish and Mandarin Chinese), math, and science (including physics, chemistry, and biology). I'm also interested in helping students develop study skills.

I will first discuss my qualifications for tutoring the subjects I mentioned above. Please see my subject description for study skills to learn more about my qualifications and approach for helping students develop study skills.

Qualifications for specific subjects:

(1) I have over 300 hours of tutoring experience. I've tutored middle school, high school, college, and post-college students in most of the subjects for which I'm listed, as well for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

I've helped students raise their class grades by one letter grade or more and their MCAT scores by one standard deviation or more (e.g., 18 to 30 or 30 to 36).

(2) I'm also qualified to tutor natural sciences at both the college and pre-college levels because I excelled in physics, chemistry, and biology in both high school and college, where I studied these subjects as pre-medical biology major (I will also be teaching classes on the MCAT for Princeton Review later this year).

I'm qualified to tutor history at the high school level and economics at the introductory college level for two reasons. First, I excelled in my world and US history classes at my high school, which was very intellectually rigorous.

My high school was Hunter College High School, a New York City public high school that's one of the top schools in the country, with 30-40% admission to Ivy League and other top schools like Stanford, MIT, Amherst, and Swarthmore.

Second, in college I maintained a straight A average in macroeconomics, microeconomics, and econometrics, the core requirements for an economics major, which I considered getting.

Lastly, I'm qualified to tutor humanities subjects like literature, art history, music history, and Spanish at the high school level because I excelled at these subjects in high school and in a few classes I took at college for edification.

I've read a large amount of Spanish literature, used to listen to Spanish national radio, used to write political analyses based on Spanish dailies for political science classes, and once considered going into the foreign service.

(3) Aside from being qualified with experience, mastery of the subjects, and a love of knowledge, I'm skilled and interested in teaching. Personality-wise, I think I'm a sensitive and empathetic person.

By 'sensitive' I mean that I appreciate the nuances of language, which helps me be a good communicator. I also mean that I'm good at imagining other peoples' thought processes, which helps me help others to overcome the stumbling blocks to their understanding.

I'm also good at detecting confusion and worry in students, which helps me know when my students don't understand, and also provide my students with emotional support.

Finally, I mean that I deeply care about my students' well-being and am very patient. These personality traits helped me become an effective tutor for middle school and high school kids from a low-income neighborhood while I was in college, and are a main reason for which I've decided to pursue a career in medicine, a career for which these traits are very valuable.

(4) Finally, though I've done well at school, I have balanced view of life. I view happiness as the goal of life, and getting an education that's right for you as one of the things that helps one be happy.

I very much believe that activities outside of school and character are important, not only as additional factors in the application process, but also essential components of happiness.

I don't think one should ever study so hard as to give up the extracurricular activities one loves, even if they aren't especially useful for college or medical school.

In college and medical school, I've sang in a choir, performed with a Shakespeare troupe, went to lots of performances and exhibitions in New York and San Francisco, and spent a lot of time hanging out with friends.

So, if you're looking for a dedicated tutor who wants to help you excel academically and respects and supports you or your child's setting limits on how much work you or your child does, I'm your tutor.

I think it's valuable having a tutor with a balanced view of life, especially for high school kids who are under a lot of unbalanced pressure to excel academically and get into the most prestigious college.

Qualifications and Approach for Study Skills Development

I think I have excellent study skills and do a good job of sharing them with my students. Iíve developed my study skills by experience and conceptual study.

For experience, I have my experience from studying at some of the most rigorous schools in the country. For example, my high school, Hunter College High School in New York City, is ranked as the best public high school in the country by the Wall Street Journal.

Similarly, my college, Columbia University, is ranked as the 4th best college in the country by US News and World Report, and my medical school, Stanford Medical School, is ranked as 5th best in the country by US News and World Report.

Of course, school rankings have serious flaws, among them the fact that they tend to exaggerate differences between schools. Nonetheless, thereís no doubt that Iíve been through some of the most rigorous schooling in the country and have developed strong study skills as a result.

For conceptual study, I studied the psychology of learning in college and have a firm understanding of the psychology underlying effective learning.

Let me describe how I help my students develop study skills before I describe why itís an effective approach and why I implement it well. I believe in integrating work on subject-specific content (that is, the specific subject like algebra or biology or English Iím tutoring) with planning together with my student to choose study strategies (like doing practice problems or breaking down the writing process into multiple drafts) and make study schedules.

I think there are general study skills that are somewhat transferable between subjects, but I also think that for each subject, each student needs a personalized set of study strategies, and that itís my job -- to help the student identify those strategies and become more capable of identifying similar strategies for future subjects and classes.

Some of the study skills I try to develop in my students include time management and planning, pre-reading for class, being willing to ask questions in class, making notes for active review (e.g. flashcards), analyzing test results to identify knowledge and technique gaps and to devise test-taking strategies, and strategically approaching a composition, focusing on the main ideas before grammar and style.

I think my approach to developing study skills is effective because it allows students to see that study skills are not merely things that a tutor can discuss with them, but are tools that can greatly improve learning.

I think I implement well my approach to developing study skills because Iíve a good general knowledge of study skills, as discussed above, and for two more reasons.

First, I have studied and mastered the specific subjects I tutor, so I have figured out study techniques that worked for me for these subjects.

Second, I have tutored most of the subjects multiple times by now, so I have experience sharing my techniques with students and have learned techniques that work for students with different personalities as learners from me.

Discussion of My Rates

In comparison to tutors at local companies, like Stutors and Cardinal Tutors, I think my resume is considerably stronger, and my basic rates of $70/hour for college students, $60/hour for high school students, and $55/hour for middle school students are lower than the rates of $90-110/hour at Stutors and $70/hour at Cardinal Tutors.

My basic rates are also lower than the average rate of $75/hour for Kaplan and Princeton Review. Once you apply my discounts for more frequent and regular sessions, my rates become even lower.

Please visit my website for more information about me, including testimony from past students, or message me if you're interested, and we can discuss scheduling and such issues by phone or e-mail.

Best,

Clark

Location

2252 Louis Rd.
Palo Alto, CA 94303

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Reviews

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  • 5/5 stars August 22, 2012

    I am a recent Wellesley College graduate who was looking for a tutor
    to tighten up my physical science section on the MCAT.

    The first time I met with Clark, I was impressed that he took time to
    understand my strengths and weaknesses before delving into subjects I
    wanted to work on. He asked me questions about subjects I thought I
    knew well only to find room for improvement. During our meetings, he
    focussed on how I learn and pushed me to understand details I
    previously neglected. He had the intuition to know whether I truly
    understood the material. Most importantly, he pushed to see if I had
    the knowledge required to answer MCAT style questions. His quizzing
    ensured that I could quickly answer questions I struggled with in the
    past.

    Not only was Clark well-tuned to the MCAT and the details one must
    know to get a good score, but he had numerous resources that were
    extremely helpful. He has very extensive and very helpful notes on
    practically every subject in physics and chemistry. These notes were
    of particular use when I was out of town working an internship in
    Chicago. While I was out of town, I still wanted to work with Clark.
    He was flexible and agreed to tutor me over Skype. We used google
    documents to draw diagrams in order to discuss problems.

    After working with Clark for two months, I already sense an improvement, not only in
    how much I understand the material we have reviewed, but also on the
    way I approach the typical MCAT-type problem. When I recently took the
    MCAT, I felt prepared. I cannot stress how important it is to feel
    prepared on your test day. Having a tutor like Clark can make a world
    of difference when you sit down to take the test and you realize you
    know the answers to the questions you are being tested on.

Question and answer

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. I think a good tutor should be knowledgable, experienced, and patient.

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