For many people around the world, including those in developed countries, tutoring is typically not the first option for a profession. My story has been quite the opposite. I was a science student for 9 years, and then a researcher in genetics for a few as I tutored part time. Following very positive reviews and numerous recommendations from previous students, I decided to dedicate my life to tutoring for the standardized tests.
People such as myself who are passionate about teaching usually end up in academic settings. Very few qualified educators are left to serve those who desperately need help preparing for the GMAT, GRE and SAT, tests that will have a huge impact in their future education and career.
Every day, I work hard in order to come up with new ideas and tips that facilitate test preparation and to update my teaching methods and content, and my love and dedication for my work directly shows in my students’ results.
Preparing for a standardized test is not a fun journey. I am here to make your journey as easy and stress free as possible.
My name is Tara B, and I am the founder of The Star Tutor. I have a Master of Science in Genetics from The University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology from Northeastern University and was a research assistant before I decided to tutor full time.
My coaching experience dates back much further than my 15+ professional years. I used to attend a boarding school in which a class of 40 of my fellow students gathered around me for help a few days before every major exam. This experience was invaluable and helped me realize that I have the genuine motivation of a professional educator.
In the last 15 years, 2000+ students have worked with me both one-on-one and in small groups worldwide. My online tutoring has served 13 times zones via modern online platforms and tools, and the digital mode of tutoring has become increasingly popular since 2017/18.
The Star Tutor page ranks #1 on Yelp Chicago (search for GMAT tutor, GRE tutor, or SAT tutor), and I have also enjoyed the #1 ranking as a private tutor among more than 60,000 worldwide tutors for 5 consecutive years on another platform. So far, my services have been rated exclusively 5 stars on Yelp, Facebook and Google (please check the “Reviews” section for details).
The Star Tutor has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Voyage magazine, and CNN Chicago once reached out to me seeking my expert opinion on standardized tests.
As I have stated before, my love for teaching and an overwhelmingly positive feedback from my previous students and their parents motivated me to pursue professional coaching full-time. Now, professional tutoring is much more than just work for me — I plan to continue providing services as a trainer and educator and aspire to one day establish a non-profit organization devoted to helping underprivileged children both in the U.S. and worldwide.
You will probably understand a lot more on this topic from student reviews than my own writing, so please do check the “Reviews” section at the top right.
GMAT Tutoring: On the GMAT, my students have scored up to a 770 and improved by as much as 240 points. More than two dozen have achieved a 100+ point increase over their previous tests.
GRE Tutoring: My students have scored up to a perfect score of 800 on the old GRE Quantitative section, and improved by up to 19 points on the new GRE, including a 14-point improvement on the quant section alone.
ACT/SAT Tutoring: Quinn from Chicago scored a perfect 36 on the ACT and Talia scored 2310 out of 2400 on the SAT. They were admitted to Yale and MIT respectively.
Many of my previous SAT/ACT students have gained admissions to Ivy League schools, MIT, The University of Chicago, Northwestern University and other top ranked universities, and more than 150 of my GMAT/GRE clients have been admitted to the Harvard, Booth, Kellogg, and other M7 business schools and top 15 graduate programs.
My students consider me a mentor/coach first, then a tutor. My responsibilities are not limited to teaching you the math and verbal content necessary for the test. My goal is to help you achieve your target score, and I do everything it will take to get you there, including exploring new teaching methods and writing custom material and new problems that guide you to a more stable grasp of the material, based on your learning style.
A vast majority of students struggle applying what they learn from a specific problem into similar problems on the same topic. I train you to solve any problem that the test may throw at you. I also write or select problems that will exercise your critical thinking and logical skills, which are the skills that the GMAT and GRE exams actually test. I believe in the Socratic Method of Teaching and like to help students gain confidence and independence by asking them a series of questions, leading them to realize the solutions.
At The Star Tutor, a client’s goal is treated as a serious project. I design and employ techniques that address your weaknesses, but I also make sure to fine-tune your strengths. Effective standardized test training involves several other important, but often neglected, aspects such as learning shortcuts, guessing skills, and identifying traps and pitfalls and ways to avoid them.
A huge part of success on standardized tests depends on the test taker’s efficiency with time. I specialize in teaching intuitive methods of solving problems, which benefit not only the students who struggle with finishing the test on time, but also students with very high target scores necessary for top-ranked programs.
While my strategies are best suited for students who aim for high scores (above 75th percentile), I have worked with students with a wide variety of experiences, target scores, as well as different amounts of prior preparation. Therefore, whether you significantly lack the content knowledge or cannot finish the test due to poor time management, whether you have test-anxiety, dislike math, or have adopted bad habits from ineffective classes or tutoring, I design the most efficient lessons tailored to your needs, learning style, and personality.
For some students, another great obstacle is a lack of interest in the subject matter. I do my best to make math as fun and interesting as I can, so that my students become motivated. I also provide consultation on the emotional aspect of test-taking when students have fear and anxiety of certain topics or test taking in general. I have been referred to as “a secret therapist” on more than one occasion.