Mac Staben

Recent Posts

The GRE Tutor: Mac and his Tutoring Approaches

Posted by Mac Staben on 8/26/15 11:00 AM


Meet Mac Staben!  GRE Tutor at Cambridge Coaching since 2012.
Thanks to Mac's wide range of interests, Mac has had a variety of teaching experiences ranging from history to the sciences, and exams like the SAT, the MCAT, and of course, the GRE.  He's great at using memorable analogies to make dificult topics accessible, and he loves getting feedback from his students.  Check out what he has to say about being a GRE tutor! Read More

Tags: academic tutor, GRE, Tutors

The GRE/SAT Tutor: A Secret Weapon for Learning Vocab

Posted by Mac Staben on 3/13/15 11:00 AM

Let us tell you about our new weapon of choice.

As an SAT and GRE verbal tutor in Boston, one of the hardest parts of my job has been to help my students improve on the vocabulary section of the GRE or the SAT. We can talk through how to solve a math problem or figure out the main point of a passage, but I’ve always thought of Vocabulary as a skill that has to be acquired by reading books and using hard words. Because you mostly find challenging words in challenging books, it’s my hunch that organizations like the College Board and the ETS use vocabulary as a proxy for asking “Does this person read lots of books?” If the answer for any student was no, (either because she didn’t read much or because English wasn’t her first language) then the student was out of luck.

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Tags: SAT, GRE

The MCAT Tutor: The Vital Importance of a Study Buddy

Posted by Mac Staben on 2/9/15 11:30 AM

Everyone needs a buddy

The start of the spring semester can be a great time for students hoping to do well on the MCAT this summer to start studying for the test. At the beginning of a semester, you can start to set the habits that will prepare you to maximize your performance on the test. While I’m not doing private MCAT tutoring in Boston, as a medical student I’m always trying to work efficiently to master complex material. So, in this blog post, I’m going to try to convince you to adopt one of the study habits that I’ve found most useful in helping me academically: Finding a study partner. 

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Tags: MCAT

The MCAT Tutor: What You Need to Know About the 2015 MCAT

Posted by Mac Staben on 1/14/15 6:55 PM

Let's celebrate the New Year / New MCAT together! 

So you’ve heard that starting in April 2015, the MCAT will change dramatically. Here at Cambridge Coaching (based in Boston and New York,) we MCAT test prep tutors are getting prepared. In this blog post, I’ll outline some of the most important differences between the 2014 MCAT and the new MCAT. Rather than providing fine-grained comparisons, I’ll talk about broader changes in the focus of the MCAT, and what it means for you in terms of preparation. (Caveat: If you’ve already taken the old one, the AAMC says that medical schools will accept your score until 2018) 

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Tags: MCAT

MCAT Tutor: Memorization, the Dark Side of the MCAT

Posted by Mac Staben on 12/19/14 2:35 PM

And milk, too? 

When used correctly, memorization can be one of the most powerful tools available to increase the power of your MCAT preparation. Building a solid foundation of information which you call on so often that it becomes second nature will increase your speed and accuracy on the MCAT. But memorization is a difficult thing; it takes time and effort to learn how to learn. Even super skilled MCAT biology tutors in New York have had to spend precious months and brain cells honing this skill. So in this blog post, I’m going to discuss the best ways that I’ve found to get facts into my brain. I’ll also talk about some examples of information which are probably important.

Up until a few months ago, like any good liberal arts college student, I hated memorization. It always seemed like a huge waste of time to cram information into your head when the formula, date, or fact were available in a book or on the internet. When I took the MCAT, and during my first years doing private MCAT biology tutoring in New York, I felt the same way. But, after my first semester of medical school, I’ve come to realize that having a number of facts (formulas, relationships of information) in your back pocket is absolutely necessary. While it’s never enough on its own, memorization is nonetheless an important component of MCAT success. So, what’s the best way to get this kind of material into your head?

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Tags: MCAT

The GRE Tutor: How To Keep Test Strategy Fresh in Your Head

Posted by Mac Staben on 8/15/14 9:51 AM

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Tags: GRE

SAT Tutor: The importance of finding the right practice materials

Posted by Mac Staben on 7/7/14 8:07 AM

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Tags: SAT

The SAT and GRE Tutor: What a Long Strange Trip It Is

Posted by Mac Staben on 5/23/14 9:51 AM

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Tags: SAT, GRE

The SAT/GRE Tutor: How to Learn by Teaching

Posted by Mac Staben on 5/2/14 9:24 AM

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Tags: SAT, GRE

The SAT/GRE Tutor: What Can Shark Week Teach Us About Test Prep?

Posted by Mac Staben on 4/11/14 10:02 AM

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