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 do you love about teaching?
As a child, I was always fascinated with jigsaw puzzles. I would scramble to find and put the numerous interrelated pieces together. While frustrating, it was satisfying to finally see the jumbled parts come together as one cohesive picture. It is this skill of analysis and synthesis, push and pull that I have always brought to my teaching. My aim is for student’s to realize that no matter how confusing the steps may initially appear, with focus and effort, the final big picture will eventually come to life. When I see the light bulb finally illuminate with students, I know that I succeeded in doing my job. This is what makes teaching so rewarding.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Certainly significant was the breakthrough I made with standardized tests. In fact, the first time I sat for the GMAT, I scored in the low 600’s. Like many, I enrolled in a prep course, hoping to raise my score. During the sessions, I listened to the insights shared by my instructor and fellow classmates. I was open to different ways of viewing a scenario and attacking questions. In time, I became more fluid and began getting more questions right. When I missed a question, I viewed my error not as a failure but as an area that I needed to improve. With continued practice and diligence, I became adept in this test, eventually scoring a 750. Moral: The GMAT is trainable. Don’t fight the process, be receptive to alternative avenues of approach, and enjoy the challenge.
Real reviewsJohn proved to be an upmost excellent GMAT prep instructor.
By bringing his own extensive MBA prep experience, a true concern for every students progress and profile, along with a refreshing common sense approach to unnecessary complexity, John proved to be an upmost excellent GMAT prep instructor.
He really cared about my improvement
I have found John to be very helpful with my GMAT preparation. During the course, he explained the concept very well and also gave us lots of practice question from outside the book. What amazed me is that he really cared about my improvement in the score and he has been a great help with my GMAT preparation even after the class.
John Chismody is an incredible instructor
John Chismody is an incredible instructor - I feel prepared and confident that I will do well on this test. I would definitely recommend him and this course to other people.