Do you offer one-on-one assistance or an hourly rate instead of a course?
I do not offer one-on-one help because I do not think it is as effective. In the course, students get to hear other students' questions and how other students think. It's also a very fun way to learn. I also do not offer an hourly rate because students need around 14 hours of teaching time/ reinforcement to master CARS. Each student in a course receives over 40 hours of teaching time.
How much independent study time do you require outside of course sessions?
I require 2-3 hours of independent study time outside of the course every day for 6 weeks. For the homework I assign every week, you will be reading, going over practice passages, and studying notes from the course. All of this takes two to three hours a day each week.
I am working, taking college courses, or studying the other sections of the exam while I am taking your course. I'm worried I won't have 2-3 hours a day to study. What do you recommend?
The 2-3 hours of daily studying is necessary to master CARS in six weeks. But you can still benefit greatly by attending course sessions alone. At the very least, you must do an hour of independent study time every other day to keep up with the course material. The closer your schedule resembles what I recommend, the better your chances are of mastering CARS in six weeks. If you can't commit to 2-3 hours of independent study time every day you can still improve but you may need more time to master CARS (6 weeks or more).
I am a slow learner and I'm concerned the course will be too fast-paced for me.
I go at a pace that is just right for every student. Everything I teach is really easy to understand but I still repeat myself over and over again throughout the course. (Many of my students tell me that my voice is in their heads on test day). If you want further clarification on anything I discuss or assign as homework, I have office hours after each session. I also have a Universal Office Hours session you can attend weekly.
Can your students email you questions about the material whenever they have any?
Write down your questions on a piece of paper and ask me during the course or office hours. I prefer answering any questions in-session rather than email because I can better explain myself. I can also ask you follow-up questions to your specific questions to make sure your questions are completely answered.
I'm scoring very low on my practice CARS exams or I took the exam and scored low on the CARS section. Are you sure you can help me in 6 weeks?
Some students may need more time to master CARS simply due to lacking reading comprehension ability. 95% of my students have the necessary reading comprehension ability to master CARS in six weeks. But if you fall in the category that I believe needs additional time, I will let you know during the free trial session or throughout the course. If your reading comprehension level is low, you can still master CARS. You just need to give yourself more time to prepare. I will be teaching you how to improve your reading comprehension. I always recommend giving yourself ample amounts of time to do well on this exam.
I just found out about you and my exam date is near. Can I join an existing course?
If the first session date of a course has passed, you cannot enroll.
My exam is in a couple of weeks and I don't have six weeks to complete your course, should I sign up anyways and attend only the first couple of weeks?
I always recommend completing the entire course before taking the exam (which means giving yourself six weeks). But even if you only attend and participate in the first two weeks/ sessions, you can fundamentally change how you approach the CARS section. You can sign up and it will help you but it won't help as much as completing the entire course. I do not give discounts for this and if you miss the remaining course sessions you cannot make them up in the future. If you do not attend the sessions for the course you enrolled in, you forfeit those sessions. You can sign up for a future course again but you must pay for the entire course.
Is it true that I can retake the entire course at no additional cost if I do not feel like I mastered CARS?
I only give a course-retake to students on a case-by-base basis. To be considered for a course-retake, you must have attended all six sessions, have done all the required homework (based on my judgment) and have shown commitment to improvement. If I believe you will benefit from taking the course again, I will offer it to you after the sixth session.
What kind of strategy do you teach?
I teach students how to analyze MCAT passages the correct way. This includes exactly how to read the passages and answer the questions.
What do you mean by the correct way?
If you don't know what you read or lose focus while you read, you are most likely not approaching the exam the right way. This causes panic and anxiety which decreases your confidence and thus lowers your scoring potential. I will show you, step by step, how to read and answer the questions for this exam. This means how to actively read for the big ideas of each paragraph - without getting lost, frustrated, or confused. This also includes understanding why certain answer choices are wrong and why the correct answer is the best answer.
What makes your services different from MCAT preparation companies?
I only teach the strategy portion of the exam- not the content portion. The MCAT is a critical thinking exam. Content makes up roughly 30% of the exam while critical thinking accounts for around 70%. While knowing content is necessary in order to succeed, without a proper method of approaching passages, you will not be efficient and most likely not finish the exam on time. Every section of this exam has passages to read and corresponding questions. I teach passage-based deduction. This means how to analyze an MCAT passage the way AAMC (the MCAT developers) wants you to. You will learn how to finish the exam right on time without sacrificing accuracy. You will also learn to control your frustration and anxiety. Overall, the exam will become simpler and more do-able.
Is your method different from other methods?
I cannot speak for test-prep companies but I am confident that I can teach you the right way to take the exam. I don't even like calling it a "strategy" because what I am going to show you is how to naturally think through the exam like a top-scorer. In the beginning it will seem like a step by step process because it is. But you will find yourself naturally thinking the right way without being aware of the steps involved.
I am a very mathematical/ methodological / systematic type of learner. Are you saying there are steps that can help me master CARS?
Yes. There are steps you need to learn in order to understand how simple this exam is. Many of my students are brilliant, highly motivated individuals but they struggle with this exam. They struggle because they are too smart and overthink the exam. If you follow the steps and advice I outline in the course, the exam will become simpler.
Can I apply the strategy you teach me to the other sections of the MCAT?
Yes. The MCAT changed in 2015 to become an even more critical thinking exam. Content has become less and less important over the past ten years. The entire exam is passage-based which means you can apply what you learn for CARS to the other sections. Students who learn to use the strategy the right way have reported higher scores in the other sections of the exam. Although my course is classified as a CARS course, my goal is to teach you how to approach the entire exam. I devote time in the last session (session #6) to applying what you have learned to the other sections of the exam (Physical, Biological, and Behavioral).
How did you learn how to teach this way?
I have been teaching only the MCAT Verbal / CARS section for over five years. In this time, I completed thousands of hours of teaching time and I have taught over a thousand students. This experience has taught me how to best guide students into understanding basic principles and reinforcing the foundation necessary to think like a top-scorer. In addition to this, I also studied for this exam when I was a pre-medicial student. I understand first-hand how difficult and daunting this exam can be. My number one goal is to show you how simple the MCAT really is and to show you common pitfalls the MCAT presents. I believe this will help improve your confidence and your overall score on the exam.
My biggest concern is timing. I never finish on time. Do you help with this?
Yes. I help with every aspect of CARS and the strategy portion of the entire exam. My students who studied and took the time to prepare finish every section right on time or with up to five minutes to spare.
I get anxious when I study or practice. Will you help me on a psychological level as well?
The MCAT is a very easy exam. What makes it difficult is the intimidation factor. If you get anxious it's because the MCAT is designed to make you doubt yourself. My course is all about understanding how the MCAT asks questions. Once you realize what their motives are and you see a pattern to their questions, you will feel a lot better about this exam. I also give you advice on how to approach this test without getting emotional.
You said you took the old MCAT and taught the Verbal Reasoning Section, but does that qualify you to teach the new, MCAT CARS Section?
Yes, the old MCAT Verbal Reasoning Section is nearly identical to the new, MCAT CARS Section. There are two differences: (1) CARS does not have natural science passages while the old Verbal Reasoning Section did. (2) CARS is a longer exam (more passages and more questions).
Do you have any SDN Reviews or reviews from prior students that I can read?
Yes, if you click on the Reviews
tab at the bottom of the page you will see reviews from my prior and current students. Students can leave their honest reviews on SDN (StudentDoctor.net), the most popular pre-medical website on the internet. I have no control or access to what my students write on this site. I cannot edit or delete the reviews since it's ran by a non-profit organization- not me. Anyone with an SDN Login can post on this thread.
What software do you use to teach online? Is there something I need to download before my course starts? What kind of computer or mobile device do I need?
I use Adobe Connect, a professional online classroom. You can use any device that connects to the internet (desktop, laptop, iPhone, or iPad) to enter the classroom. The voice quality is perfect and you will be able to communicate via your microphone. Adobe Connect classrooms are a flash webpage. This means you do not need to download anything if you use your laptop or desktop computer. All you have to do is click on the link I provide and you will automatically be able to participate. If you plan to use your iPhone or iPad, you will need to download the "Adobe Connect Mobile" application for free through your device's app store. Once downloaded, input in the link I give you into the app to participate. (An iPad is preferred over iPhone). If you want to see how Adobe Connect works, you can join a Free Trial Session.
What is a Free Trial Session?
I offer a free session to pre-medical students who are interested to see how I teach. There are no obligations to sign up after the session. In this session you will see the structure of my course and the fundamentals of what I teach. You can sign up for a free trial session on the home or course page.
You don't have a trial session date that works with my schedule. When are your other trial session times?
I post new trial session times weekly on the trial page. Please check the trial session page again to find my next available times. Please do not contact me for future dates.
Do I have to take the Free Trial Session in order to enroll in the course?
No, it is not necessary. A majority of students enroll without attending a trial session.
Do you guarantee a high score or major improvement after taking your course?
I cannot guarantee a high score or major improvement. There are many factors that contribute to a good score (independent study time, the correct way to study, sleep, exercise, controlling personal stresses, test day anxiety, and other personal matters). I can never fully control these factors.
If I take your course and I don't do well, can I get a refund of any kind?
I have a no refund policy for all of my services. If you do not perform to a level you are satisfied with, please email me and I can help you understand what went wrong and how to proceed. I am willing to help you until you are completely done with this exam. As long as you don't give up on yourself, I will always be your coach and mentor. You can also attend Universal Office Hours every week even after your course is complete.
What material do we use in the course? Do I need to buy or have any material before my course begins?
I specifically use AAMC Official MCAT CARS Question Packs Volume 1 and Volume 2. As well as AAMC Official MCAT2015 Sample Test. You must purchase all three before your course begins.
I have already gone through those passages many times before or they seem familiar to me. Will I be at a disadvantage?
It makes no difference to your improvement. You could have done each passage a hundred times before the course and it still wouldn't affect your improvement. Nearly all of my students have gone through this material prior to enrolling.
When will you post future course dates?
I have at least one new course every month. Check back every month for new dates. I try to post new course dates a couple of months in advance. Please do not contact me for future dates.
When should I take your course?
I recommend enrolling in a CARS Strategy course as soon as possible, especially if you think CARS is going to be your most challenging section on the exam. The best time to take the course is right before you start studying for the MCAT or 2 months before you start studying. However, I have many students who enroll while they study for the exam and that is perfectly fine as well. What I am going to teach you is a skill. It's just like driving a car or typing on your computer. The more time you give yourself to practice "driving" the better you will be at it.
I previously took or am currently taking lessons with a test prep company, how do I go about studying?
Regardless of if you have taken sessions with a prep company before or if you are currently doing so, I strongly advise you to come into my course with a blank slate. Don't try to "mix" strategies or try to use what other companies have told you with what I tell you. You have to completely trust me and pretend you are starting from scratch. If you are currently in a test-prep course, I highly advise you to not listen to their CARS strategy or show up for those specific sessions.
Do you recommend that I don't take a test-prep company course?
I don't think it's necessary. If you listen to what I have to say about studying for the other sections of the exam and if you understand what I teach in the CARS course, you will be totally prepared. Test-prep courses help in one major way: it gives you a structured schedule to follow. But their content is still readily available to purchase without enrollment in a course. In the coming month, I plan to release an MCAT schedule to follow for anyone interested. I will post the link to this here when I do.
Do I have to be a citizen of the U.S. to enroll?
You do not have to be a U.S. citizen. Students from all around the world, especially from Canada, enroll every month. All session times are based on the Eastern Standard Time zone (New York Time). So if you live in a country far from that region of the U.S., you may need to accommodate your schedule.
I'm on a tight budget / I have already signed up for another test prep company- do you offer a discount?
I do not offer discounts. I give every single student my best price.
My friends and I have decided to enroll your course. Can you give us a discount?
See answer for question above.
Do you offer installment payment planning?
Yes. $145 per week for 10 weeks. First installment is charged at enrollment. Students who enroll via installment planning are required to pay for the entire course even if they do not attend all of the sessions. It is a contractual agreement in which they are reserving their spot for the entirety of the course.
How soon do your courses get filled to capacity?
My courses are usually filled a week before the start date. I recommend enrolling early to ensure a spot. Please look for the "Course Status" section of the course you're interested in. If the status is "open" there are still spots available. If the status is "closed" the course has been filled to capacity.
When is the latest time I can enroll in a course?
Enrollment ends exactly 2 hours before the courses' first session date or as soon as the course status reads "closed".
If I miss a session can I make it up later in the week or could I join another course to make it up?
There are no make-up sessions and I cannot place you into another course to make-up the session. However, I can go over everything with you in the weekly office Hours session for that week or in the office hours for the next week.
I can make it to every session except the first one, is that alright?
No. Do not sign up for the course unless you can make the first session. Pick another course date that fits your schedule if you cannot make the first session.
Can I leave a deposit to save my spot?
I do not accept deposits to save spots for students.
I'm worried you will "retire" by the time I'm ready to take your course. What do you recommend?
I plan to teach for many years. Helping future doctors is a humbling experience and I am passionate about doing my best to help you.
Do I need to speak with you in order to enroll or before my first session?
No. Once you enroll, you will be given a syllabus on how to proceed until your first session. All you have to do is show up for our first session.
I'm a parent and I'm looking for someone to help my son / daughter. Can you help him / her? Can you update me on their progress?
Many of my students find me through their parents google searching for help. I am sure I can help your child as long as they listen to what I have to say. If your child gives me your email after they are enrolled, I will contact you if I believe they are struggling with the course.
I have just paid for the CARS Strategy course, are you going to email me with confirmation of my enrollment?
Once you enroll, you will be able to download the syllabus. Please read the syllabus as soon as you can for further directions on how to confirm your enrollment.
I just enrolled or I want to prepare for your course before I enroll. What do you recommend I do before the first session?
To all of my future students: regardless of when you enroll, I recommend that you (1) read everyday and (2) notecard vocabulary words you do not know- everyday.
When you read everyday, try to read for at least an hour. Two hours is ideal but I realize that you may not have this luxury given your hectic schedule. If you can read for 1-2 hours daily for two years before taking the course, you will find the entire exam easier. But if you haven't been reading for a while, you can still do well. Even if you just enrolled a month before your first session, start reading daily.
When it comes to what you should read, I recommend changing it up every week or two. I don't consider textbooks or scientific research articles reading material. Reading material can include a novel you find interesting or anything written at a college level. Make sure it's not so dense where you don't understand a thing it's saying. But it should be on the challenging side.
Some of my recommendations:
- 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (anything by Robert Greene)
- Game of Thrones books
- The Economist Magazine
- The Atlantic Journal
- ALDaily.com (essays and opinions section)