It’s good to know about the typical corporately-trained GRE prep instructor of the expensive, packaged online, or live classroom, courses. They are trained for one of the myriad GRE, MCAT, GMAT, or SAT tests a large company offers everywhere. This instructor is usually someone with some form of classroom experience – a company criterion. Perhaps he/she was an English teacher, or even a special education instructor who never had seen a GRE test curriculum before. This person is run through a series of trainings, often online, from company documents and videos, in specific test strategies, specific questions and their answers, and specific examples organized in a specific way. Often the trainee is trained well enough to get a high score on the GRE or perhaps got one some time ago, but sometimes even this is not a criterion for being hired. The training makes sure the teacher’s explanations are “by the corporate book” and must be more or less delivered the way the company approaches the test. Does all this training make that person a skilled online or in-person test prep teacher? The answer is no. Mark hears often from his current students about the corporately-appointed teacher of a course they had paid big bucks for that was a disappointment – too boring, linear, unimaginative to keep student interest. And too limited to crack through and troubleshoot mistakes in an insightful, growthful way.
Mark Wahl is an original expert, having been a math learning specialist (authoring four books for teachers about math and trained hundreds of teachers in math methods). He has also had a large vocabulary since he was an adolescent and he used to correct his grammar teachers in eighth grade!
Mark has enjoyed cracking and writing tests for years, and he scores in the high percentiles on the GRE, GMAT and SAT tests. This gives him natural gifts to bring to a test preparation course with its math, verbal and writing sections. He can answer almost every question every student has and can explain information in a wide variety of ways. The online format is designed to be personally engaging, easy to ask questions live and face-to-face and to see Mark’s answers diagrammed in color. No single approach serves all, In fact one of Mark’s books for math teachers is entitled Math for Humans: Teaching Math Through 8 Intelligences. He has designed the course, not absorbed it from some trainer. Thus, no two of his classes are exactly the same, since he carefully adjusts to individual and group needs and questions. Of course all the key ideas are hit every time.
Mark uses humor, diagrammatic sketches in color, quizzical questions, striking metaphors, word twists, and much more to engage minds in his online setting. He locks in techniques, and stimulates thought beneath the surface of a question. He evokes the universal lesson in each question and example rather than just showing how to answer that particular question as many lesser-skilled teachers do.
Summary: Mark is not a “company man.” He developed his won online gre prep course and distinguishes that from many corporately-trained prep teachers who may not know the GRE test in depth and may not have dealt at length and personally with many students’ learning needs, both off line and online. Mark’s other unique techniques and skills are are outlined also.