Hey all, my name is JiMin K. I am a graduate of Columbia University, with a BA in Biology, and a soon-to-be medical student. If Med School is a fairytale castle, then the MCAT is the nasty looking dragon sitting at the gate. I want to help you kick that dragon's butt, and have a good time doing it. See below for qualifications.
I have been a teaching assistant for the infamous Columbia Mowshowitz Introductory Biology course, described as the most theoretically rigorous introductory biology course in the country by the Journal of Global Health. I have both lectured and worked one on one with students, with a focus on really nailing down a deep conceptual understanding of the concepts that underlie all the crazy stuff that goes on in our bodies. Much of the instruction also consisted of test-taking approaches, such as scanning complicated passages for relevant information and understanding which concepts a question is trying to pull - as you probably have already realized, the hardest part of many questions is figuring out what exactly it's asking.
I received a 526 (100th percentile) on the MCAT in January 2019, on the first try and without the assistance of any of the big prep classes. I credit this not to any secret knowledge or inborn memorization ability, but to the ability to create and apply effective conceptual framworks to the vast amount of material. The MCAT is a daunting test, for sure, but it's a mountain that anyone can climb given enough effort in the right direction. I have experience teaching for a Biology course created and taught by an ex-MCAT writer, so my experience dealing with the kinds of multi-concept, passage-based questions you will encounter goes far beyond anyone else's bank of prep materials. As stated above, much of the instruction consisted of test-taking approaches, such as scanning complicated passages for relevant information and understanding which concepts a question is trying to pull - as you probably have already realized, the hardest part of many questions is figuring out what exactly it's asking. Finally, I created and used a test preparation program that does not require any non-AAMC practice tests or question packs, which can be applied over a summer or even in as little as 4 weeks.
When I started as a teaching assistant, I didn't realize how rewarding it was when the person you're teaching has one of those "a-ha" moments where everything clicks into place. I tutor to create more of those moments.
JinMin is an exceptional tutor for MCAT, he is extremely comfortable with the all the sections/material. He helped me design an effective and efficient schedule. Not only is he able to help with specific questions but he will fill in extra content gaps with every question. Additionally, he understand all the concept with great depth- this has made mastering difficult concepts easier because he makes sure I understand them thoroughly. He patiently allows you to fully explain things back to him to make sure you have a sold understanding. I highly recommend him as a tutor!
JiMin has been really excellent in helping me review for my MCAT. I didn't have much time to bring my score up but we sat down together and created a schedule tailored to my needs. It wasn't easy, but by the time the test came around I felt very prepared. He was always willing to help me work through any questions I had, at any hour of the day, and was very patient with me as well.
I think that the traditional method of lecture-style teaching is ineffective in a 1 on 1 setting. Optimally, a student should be teaching me the material by the end of the session. Thus, the most important task for teaching is understanding how a student thinks and learns, preferably by working through some problems together. After this is established, it is just a matter of tweaking their conceptual framework and applying it to enough situations that they can confidently use it with new questions on the day of the test.