Which is your favorite lesson to teach?
Data Sufficiency, no doubt. I love the hungry looks my students get in their eyes when it suddenly clicks and they realize they can use the GMAT's traps against it. The Princess Bride routine I do as part of it? That helps, I'm sure, but it might just be to keep us all entertained.
What is your favorite problem from the Official Guide and why?
13th Ed, SC #133
I really like teaching Sentence Correction because it's the one place in Verbal where significant strides can be made by learning a few key grammatical concepts. This problem does its best to hide its classic 3/2 verb agreement split by switching up the continuous/non-continuous aspect (not a concept tested on the GMAT) in the verb decision point at the end of the underlining. Once you notice that split, it also does its best to hide the subject behind a raft of modifiers, but again a simple rule (the subject you're looking for won't be found in a modifier unless the verb is part of that same modifier) helps us get rid of tempting plural candidates nets, devices, and laws to find the correct singular subject compliance. From there it's relatively obvious.
So what I like is that this problem is very easy for someone who has mastered two of the key skills we teach: identifying the good decision points and identifying the proper subject for a verb. And yet for someone lacking those two skills it's fairly difficult. I find that while many students want to improve on Verbal, deep down they need to be sold on why they should relearn (or in many cases learn for the first time) basic grammar instead of just relying on their ears. And this problem does a good job of showing them.
Real reviewsEthan turns the cold, pragmatic GMAT into a humorous foe
Ethan took me from a 610 to a 690. I have learned from Ethan both in a group and one-on-one setting, and in both he is phenomenal. If you want an instructor who adjusts based off of your learning style, reinforces both the technical and strategic sides of the GMAT while keeping the material engaging, he's your man. Ethan turns the cold, pragmatic GMAT into a humorous foe by using examples from life and film. After working with Ethan, you won't be able to watch The Princess Bride without thinking of Data Sufficiency... and that's not a bad thing. I went from being nervous and self-questioning on my first test to relaxed, optimistic, and (I didn't expect to say this) EXCITED on my final test day.
Ethan was a phenomenal teacher.
Ethan was a phenomenal teacher. He genuinely cares that you learn, and more importantly, retain the material. Everything was very well structured and easy to follow. I highly recommend this class to anyone looking for GMAT prep.
Ethan was amazing
Ethan was amazing, and made the material very digestible. His strategies are working and I can tell that he has spent a lot of time thinking about incorporating his style with the material (very polished).
What is your favorite lesson to teach?
Arithmetic, and it isn't even close. Learning how numbers are built and where their quirky properties come from is about as wonderful as thinking gets. In the hands of most high school instructors, math feels lukewarm and premade: Here's a theorem some dead guy thought of. We won't tell you why or how this is relevant to anything, just repeat it 700 times. And make it quick. We have another dead guy's theorem to get to. But number theory is all about felicity and improvisation: how do we know that every number that ends in 7 has a multiple that consists entirely of 1's? Why can I square any prime greater than 3, subtract one, and get a multiple of 24? Why on earth does that divisibility test for 11 work? The methods of proof are usually different and nothing is dull and predetermined, so you really get a chance to see what those philosophers meant when they called math the music of reason.
What is your favorite problem from the Official Guide?
My favorite math problem ever is 'Andrey's Broken Calculator', a great bit of whimsy from the old Soviet Union (and who knew they even had mathematical whimsy in the old Soviet Union! I thought all the math problems involved optimizing the output of a tractor). In it, your luckless friend Andrey has nothing but a sheet of paper with three integers on it - 0, m, and n, where m and n are unknown, coprime positive integers - and a calculator that can only perform one operation: taking the average of two even numbers, or the average of two odd numbers.
Andrey has been asked by the party officials to prove that no matter what m and n are, he can eventually produce ANY integer from 0 to n simply by performing computations on his calculator over and over again, and your task is to save him from plonking away miserably on the thing for eternity by coming up with a general proof. Poor Andrey had to wait a while for me to rescue him: considering I didn't even try the problem until 2008, he must've been holed up in some dour grey building for decades fretting over his calculations.
Real reviewsMatt Douglas is the King of Prep courses!
Matt Douglas is the King of Prep courses! If you want to take a GMAT prep course, take it with Matt! He knows his stuff and he keeps it interesting. He genuinely cares and wants you to do well. Its rare to find people that do it for more than a paycheck. Matt does it because he wants you to do well, he wants to help you succeed.
He demonstrated his ability to solve any question
Matt was simply fantastic. He demonstrated his ability to solve any question and answer every question. His knowledge went beyond just learning about the GMAT. He also made the class enjoyable and fun. He proved his willingness to assist each and everyone one of the students based on their ability and understanding of the topic.
I would highly recommend Matt
Matt is a wonderful instructor. He's very engaging and is eager to help you improve your GMAT score. I really enjoyed his style of teaching, working through pieces of the lesson then reinforcing it with homework problems. I really enjoyed his class and never felt intimidated if I didn't understand a concept and had more questions. I get the sense in his eyes there's no such thing as a dumb question. He's happy to help any student that is eager to learn and improve their score. I would highly recommend Matt to anyone in need of a good instructor.