Hear from DavidWhat is your favorite quote?
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. - Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I'll admit that I first encountered this quote on reddit as opposed to in some scholarly text, but it's very much the way I feel about math. If math were a boat.
What subject did you struggle with the most in school, and how did you overcome it?
The state of Massachusetts forced me to take a class in 9th grade called Applied Tech, in which we had to build things like boxes and bridges out of magnets, toothpicks, wood, etc. I was terrible at every skill necessary at doing well in this class. I grew frustrated when I realized I couldn't out-study the rest of my class; I simply had to become good at a skill I did not possess. My only path to success came from going half-speed, something that did not come naturally to someone who loved to whiz through more traditional homework assignments. Doing one thing at half-speed correctly is far more effective than frenetically failing at three things.
That class was where I developed my lifelong admiration of people who make things with their hands. Seriously, the next time you walk past a construction site, watch the guy smoothing out sidewalk concrete or building a perfect fence. It's fascinating.
The class also sparked my love of assembling Ikea furniture.
Real reviewsDavid is truly a great instructor!
David’s teaching methodology makes you feel confident and keeps you motivated. His classes are not only fun but also very productive; they are very dynamic, interactive and different all the time. David is truly a great instructor!
Thanks David for helping to push me to see the possible in what seemed impossible: understanding the GMAT!
Hear from MattWhat 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.
BS, Virginia Tech
MBA, William & Mary
Hear from JosephWhat is your favorite Veritas Prep success story?
I had a student who was sharp and focused and definitely capable of delivering a great score. Then came test day: he’d underperformed by almost 100 points. Definitely a disappointing result, but it can happen. We got together and assessed what went wrong – it turned out that in studying he’d blown through hundreds of problems without making sure he fully understood how they worked. Lesson: quantity is no substitute for quality! With a renewed focus on studying for 100% comprehension, he came back with a score above his goal, a more than 100 point jump. I couldn’t have been prouder.
Which movie/tv character would do best on the GMAT?
Patrick Jane from The Mentalist. As a master mind reader, almost nothing gets by Patrick Jane, though he always works with limited information: no criminal will ever tell the whole story, and there are of course always several wily suspects who hide their agendas too. Kind of like those crafty GMAT test makers. But with a cup of tea and a knowing smile, he mentally jujitsus everyone involved. Knowing their limited capacity to deceive, he exploits all the info available to corner the right suspects – just as he would the right answer choices on the GMAT.
What is your favorite lesson to teach?
Reading Comprehension. As it is for many, this was by far my worst skill set back before I took the SAT; the questions felt arbitrary! Is the tone cautiously optimistic or more like hesitatingly hopeful? The author’s purpose? How am I supposed to know?? But – no kidding – with only a few slight mental adjustments it quickly became my biggest strength. So it’s a personal mission for me. There may be a little bit less going on in terms of traps and shortcuts, but it’s a skill that, once developed, has immediate impact for a better understanding of nearly everything you’ll encounter in life.
Real reviewsWent above and beyond the lesson text
My instructor, Joseph, was genuinely invested in helping students understand the material and went above and beyond the lesson text, offering time-saving strategies and giving thoughtful context throughout the lessons. He made himself available and offered relevant insights that extended beyond the GMAT.
Best GMAT instructor I have ever had
Joseph Dise by far is the best GMAT instructor/tutor I have ever had. I myself worked as a SAT tutor in the past for Princeton review and I can honestly say that they have no one on their staff as knowledgeable and passionate about beating the GMAT. I have already recommended him specifically to pretty much anyone who is willing to hear.
Joseph Dise is a class act.
Joseph Dise is a class act. He's a genuine instructor who promptly starts class on time, every-time. As a bright young man, he is clearly able to think on his feet in fielding questions from classmates while thoroughly walking through problems step by step for the audience to follow along. Unassumingly, he takes the time to SHOW us how to approach problem sets and expand one's own thinking to gain awareness of the situation by accurately and methodically teaching us solutions.