kcernak

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Hi, I read on the Kaplan website that you need at least the 90th percentile to be elligible to teach for them, and I am assuming that it is similar for TPR. I read online that the 90th percentile is approximately a 33 - can anyone verify this for me? Thanks.
 

nishi

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kcernak said:
Hi, I read on the Kaplan website that you need at least the 90th percentile to be elligible to teach for them, and I am assuming that it is similar for TPR. I read online that the 90th percentile is approximately a 33 - can anyone verify this for me? Thanks.
TPR does not require you to have even taken the MCAT to teach for them. You do have to take a 45min subject test though and score a certain percent correct in order to undergo training to be a teacher. I don't know about Kaplan policies.
 

gujuDoc

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nishi said:
TPR does not require you to have even taken the MCAT to teach for them. You do have to take a 45min subject test though and score a certain percent correct in order to undergo training to be a teacher. I don't know about Kaplan policies.

This is not true of my TPR center

If anything, they require that you have a 34 or above. with a 12 in a given section to be able to teach for them. They prefer people in the 95% percentile though.
 
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Yosh

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When I taught for Kaplan...in '98-'99...for MCAT they required 11's or better in each category that you were interested in teaching...with no exceptions being made..

I am not sure how policies may have changed since then....but that is how it was when I was a Kaplan MCAT instructor...
 

tigress

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I'm in TPR now and my verbal teacher is in no way related to medicine; I highly doubt he has taken the MCAT. Also I don't think the chemistry teacher has either. Bio and physics are both medical students so of course they have. So from my own experience I'd say you don't need to take the MCAT to teach for TPR. There are people around on this forum who have taught both and ought to be able to give you better info
 

QofQuimica

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Kaplan does require at least an 11 on the MCAT in any section that you want to teach. Most instructors are medical students (or pre-meds who are about to start medical school) and have taken the MCAT, scoring 33 or better, and the rest of us are graduate students. Some of the grad students have also taken the MCAT, and others only teach in their own field and take the Kaplan diagnostic test to prove competency in that field.

To all of you who are considering whether you want to teach for a test-prep company like Kaplan or TPR: while it's important that you know the science well, and score well on the MCAT yourself, please consider that there is more to being a good teacher than having good test-taking skills. We have all had experiences with professors who were brilliant people, but who were not particularly good at teaching. You should evaluate whether you have the interest in teaching MCAT skills to other people, which is very different than studying them for yourself.

Here is a sample of skills that would be helpful if you want to be a successful instructor:

1. You need to be comfortable speaking in front of groups of strangers, some of whom might be older than you are. You must be able to think on your feet and follow a lesson plan with people constantly interrupting you and asking you questions. You will have notes to jog your memory, but you should not read to the students, which is boring for them. The best teachers have a dialogue with their classes, asking questions, moving around the room to help students, and otherwise interacting with their classes rather than just standing there like a lump at the podium.

2. Ideally, you should enjoy working with other people and helping them set goals and work toward them. Many of your students will come into your class having different backgrounds, levels of preparation, and learning styles than yours. You need to be creative and work to help students who learn things differently than you do find ways to solve problems. You need to be patient and understanding with students who may not grasp concepts quickly. And you need to handle irritating or disruptive students maturely and professionally; you must be able to keep your temper in check and never belittle a student, regardless of the provocation. These things are all examples of how you should show respect for your students and treat them with consideration.

3. You must be responsible about preparing for your classes properly and showing up on time to teach them. It is inexcusable to ever stand up a class due to "forgetting" that you were supposed to teach that day. As the instructor, you are the face representing your test prep company in your students' eyes, and your level of effort can make their classroom experience terrific or horrific. You should be open to receiving fair criticism of your teaching style and abilities, and accept other people's suggestions with a positive attitude. You should also evaluate your own teaching, and work to improve it as much as you can.

4. You need to be able to do all of the above QUICKLY. Test prep classes cover a semester's worth of material in just a few hours, and you also have to have time to do practice passages. The Kaplan classes last 3 hours each, which can seem like a very long time for the people who are sitting there listening to you. You should keep in mind that your students are busy and have other obligations. Running over time is a big no-no for this reason. So you need to be able to follow a strict time limit and not allow the class to get bogged down over minutiae of science or questions. You need to be able and willing to be the leader, the person who is in control of the class.

If still feel that you'd love to be an MCAT teacher after reading this post, then you should contact the company of your choice for an interview and audition. Also, feel free to PM me with any further questions about teaching MCAT classes.
 

Shrike

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First: if you are considering teaching for us (TPR), or them (Kaplan), or anybody else, reread Q's post above. Really.

Second, re non-medical backgrounds: in my experience (and I know a whole lot of MCAT teachers at TPR), essentially all the biology and chemistry teachers are going to, in, or done with medical school. Well over half of physics teachers, too. Verbal is different, understandably; many verbal instructors are converted LSAT (usually) or GMAT teachers. This makes sense, I hope. Still, teachers are encouraged to take the MCAT at least once; most don't if they don't need to, but some (such as, say, me) do. It is clear to me that in order to teach the MCAT as well as possible one needs to have taken the test, but also that a good teacher need not have taken it in order to be effective. (If that sounds self-contradictory, reread it.) I considered my MCATs to be a critical part of my development, but not all teachers feel that way.

One reason that most physics teachers have taken the MCAT is that that makes it easier for us to establish that a candidate is qualified in the subject matter, but there are other ways, as has been noted above. There is therefore no absolute standard score that you need to achieve. What matters is that you know the underlying material cold (and be able to demonstrate that), that you be capable of learning our methods, and that you have all of the other qualities that make one good teacher material. Again, reread Q's post.

Shrike
TPR physics, verbal, bio
 

KosmoKramer

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When I worked for TPR, you had to bring in your official MCAT score in hand showing you had 34+, with 12's in the subject you were allowed to teach. That was at U of M. Even the people who were "professional" teachers for PR that did not go on to medical school had to have registered MCAT scores. Even the physics professor that taught at Michigan was required to have a posted MCAT score to teach for PR. This was the case at least in Ann Arbor, I don't know about Kaplan or any where else. However, for OTHER tests such as the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, SAT, etc, you were allowed to take a timed exam from PR in order to teach those classes if you were already an MCAT or LSAT teacher with appropriate official scores for the MCAT/LSAT. Check with the office to see what the official policy is at your particular location. TPR will at least tell you the policy, and if the teacher has a registered score above whatever cut off. However, I don't think they will say, Johnny got a 13 in verbal, 12 in physics, and 15 in bio with an S in writing, as that is confidential information. Good luck.

KosmoKramer
 

gujuDoc

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Just wanted to say that I agree with QoQuimica and Shrike.
 

bgreet

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Just curious, I got a 30 on my mcat (10,10,10) and a Kaplan representative was at my school the other day. I asked about teaching, and she asked about my score. When I told her she said I could definantly teach for kaplan, and she asked for my contact information. They just asked me to audition, will I find out at a later point in time (aka after this audition) that indeed I can't teach because I did not score 11's?

Also curious about how long the training period is for kaplan.
 

QofQuimica

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bgreet said:
Just curious, I got a 30 on my mcat (10,10,10) and a Kaplan representative was at my school the other day. I asked about teaching, and she asked about my score. When I told her she said I could definantly teach for kaplan, and she asked for my contact information. They just asked me to audition, will I find out at a later point in time (aka after this audition) that indeed I can't teach because I did not score 11's?

Also curious about how long the training period is for kaplan.
I don't know the answer to that. I haven't heard of anyone being allowed to teach with less than an 11. What they will do sometimes if they are desperate for an instructor is let someone take a diagnostic exam and count that instead. I did that to teach GMAT and DAT, two tests that I never actually took for real. So perhaps they will have you do it for the MCAT since you were just below the 11 on every section. But I'm guessing here. You'll have to ask your center's manager.

The length of the training period seems to be a few months. Again, you should ask the center manager. I haven't ever done it myself, because I started teaching for them before they offered training. :laugh:
 
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