In our first episode, we learn more about our podcast host and GRE expert Orion, who is the founder of StellarGRE #1 GRE tutor business in the SF Bay Area. We go over the methodology that he created after getting a perfect GRE score and over 16 years of GRE tutoring.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive course to maximize your score on the GRE exam, check out Achievable’s GRE course that was authored by Orion.
0.0s Welcome to GRE snacks short approachable and insightful episodes about GRE exam and graduate school admissions. I'm Tyler found her with you, Orion author of Achievable's GRE course. All right, let's get started. So first so their first episode here, we felt like it probably makes sense for you guys to know a little bit more about Orion. Who is Orion and how did he start? What is the, the number one GRE tutoring business in the San Francisco Bay Area what you could call a pretty big Market? Yeah, right. If you want to be great. I get asked this all the time by my students. I'll give you kind of my my 3 minutes story about how I came to be one of the foremost experts the GRE to very strange thing to be an expert in but you know, 48.5s Take what I can get the story kind of starts back when I was an undergrad in college. I actually got a BFN drama from NYU. I was living in New York City as a struggling actor anyone's tried to live that lifestyle before is it actually very difficult. It doesn't pay a lot of bills. So I got a day job and my day job was I worked for one of these big major test prep, So that's how I got into the field begin with I work for one of these big companies for a year or two and decided I could do a better job on my own frankly. So I quit and founded my own and mostly I did subject tutoring and test tutoring to middle schoolers high schoolers and college kids all up and down Manhattan. 93.8s End up for a while begin to focus more and more on. 100.6s Eventually became a math professor at the City University of New York despite having no academic mathematics experience that was really odd. It was actually a Craigslist ad that I responded to looking for it with the University. 114.8s Well, it's on my resume. The it said I was unqualified I agree with them, but I gave them my song and dance. 125.4s Decided that in my late twenties. I didn't want to be a struggling actor in my middle ages. So I re-evaluate my life and decided. Hey, I've helped all these people get into grad school. Maybe I can do the same myself. So I took the GRE. I got a perfect score and you kind of want to hear that because you know at that point I had been preparing for that test for probably five years and it's after that much prep a person can't get a perfect square. I don't know if possible but it is possible. My score moved out to San Francisco to start a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. And we moved out here. I focus exclusively on the GRE basically the way to pay through grad school when I moved out here. I became the global Master teacher be quantitative section for another major test prep company that sells online self-study program. You can still see me in those videos to this day and I began teaching in-person classes. I've taught over 30 in the last 4 years. 185.1s And I've now worked with tens of thousands of students in person and averaged even more through my online materials last year. I partner with Achievable to create a self study GRE program based on the Stellar system and we spent the better part of the last year greeting at the best product available on the market that obviously I'm a little biased and that's how I became who I am today. I've helped thousands of people get into grad school people to get perfect scores routinely top percentile scores in the system. I teach people the same system. I use myself in something that is basically been beta test done ten thousand people. That's how I know it works. 238.0s Well, that was what I was going to say go into next. So thank you for the good lead in there. But you talk about the Stellar GRE system. What what do you think? It's either? What is the system like what are the cornerstones of the system algorithm in my head? It exists as just one big flowchart. And basically it's like a computer program that if you know what you're dealing with that any part of that flow chart, there is an optimal move that you should make on every step of every question for the entire test. And if you just make that up and it'll be your best possible chance of getting a top percent. Of course, it's not like a faith-based exercise. You can try it out for yourself and see if it works and it's basically a decision based on this in put what kind of question my dealing with what's the subject matter what strategies and techniques have worked in the past and then you just execute on the training that is worked on. 298.3s And all the other questions you can counter. 301.3s You get the results if you're looking for? 303.8s That's pretty cool. 305.6s Yeah, I mean, I know that there's a lot about sort of your approach in in our course, right? And I think that's some of the most interesting stuff is like it's how do you it's not just like how do you find the things that you need to answer the questions? But also how do you add like almost like a meta-level like deal with the test as a whole lot of other test prep companies. They stop it. Just teaching the material. Obviously. The material is important like you need content. I need to know certain formulas to do well in the Kanto sex and you know, it's not sufficient to doing well on this test the knowledge is necessary but insufficient strategy and some of that has to do with really like looking at the test sideways. It's like a Moneyball approach to the GRE a lot of it is 365.5s Yes. Yeah, I know that was that was a good I think volleyball the great analogy for it. It's funny to like that and is there is definitely like the instructor there was like stop trying to actually solve the problems like stuff like you need to start playing Moneyball and figure out like how do I get to the what I think it's the right answer without actually doing the work to get there. I teach them how to answer GRE quantitative questions correctly. They're totally different thing and that's good because it can take years to get good at math, but you can get really good at answering GRE quantitative questions, no matter 414.4s Yeah, yeah. I think that that is also part of this like a good thing or bad thing, but it's part of the part of the thing with the GRE is that like you basically training to beat this test? It's not really for like a real life-like application afterwards. How bad do you want an obstacle that on your way and that's actually good for students because grad school programs that traditionally don't require the GRE generally receive three to five times as many applicants as programs that do and now you're competing against three to five times as many people in already super competitive environment. And when you're just a name and some numbers on a page in a resume you want a phucking against his few other Pages as possible. People that aren't really serious about going to grad school. 465.3s Yeah, and it also I think even against other people that are also seriously give some kind of Benchmark. I mean, yes, like it's not a perfect Benchmark, but it's something and I think that's probably it's you know, you want to do better on that than worse. There's no reason to phone it in to or I mean nobody ever wants to hire Cherry score is better than a lower one, but it really people do have to pour a lot of time energy and sometimes money into getting good at something that really has no other practical purpose in their lives besides proving to another person that they want to visit Mission badly enough. 509.7s Yeah. 513.0s Oh, yeah, I think that's also I mean we have we have a fun episode planned on in the center of the origins of the Gres. I'll be good enjoy digging into that a little bit more of a man in a little bit. I do want to just kind of tie back into your business for this next question, which is you have on your page. You have the results that you have gathered over the years and real data and and that's something that you don't see very often the only GRE prep company in the world that actually publishes its outcome data Moda most prep programs are actually about the very obvious question that customers want to know is how does this work? 565.3s And most programs the best they can offer you is like a five-point score guarantee, which if you understand the way that the test is scored is the smallest significant change possible. So it's not really much of a promise and cheese. I mean we had the same debate right? We are looking at this like they're to me anyways, like you said, they're they're pretty clearly hedged like heads to the point where there's no way you if you did the work that is required to early guarantee in the first place that you would ever not to see you squirm proof by that much ophelie, right if it isn't working out test. 609.0s But I think that when we decided to move forward with square guarantee, we did more than five points my point is that offer I think suggests that there's you're going to see him. We're much more confident that you're going to see significant games. What good is the score of the Yankee? It's like okay, you can take this course that didn't work the first time again for free if you think about it. It doesn't make a lot of sense putting myself in the position of choosing among all these different programs. Like what would make me feel confident is demonstrated success? 652.8s And how did I do that while I think I mentioned a few minutes ago that I've taught now 30 or 40 in person classes now several hundred if not close to a thousand students that I've worked with him in that context and closely mirrors at what I think the Achievable GRE format. I give them a full-length diagnostic testing. We can see the pre post change for each individual and you know after collecting hundreds and hundreds of data points. I can I crunched the numbers and I see wow this program is highly effective and I publish those numbers on my website you're free to check it out and there are four times higher than 712.8s Post score guarantees that's the average Improvement, and I know that if you work this system you can have incredible results. 724.3s Orion's website by the way if you're wondering is stellarGRE.com if you want to think this is a good after I after a short little plug there is a good time to talk about where we going to talk about on the show me our goals that every episode it's between 10 and 15 minutes and we want to be useful information that is like quick hits like I think I don't we looked at all the other GRE podcast and things like that there's a lot out there that is about like memorization of vocab but there's not talking about like just approach and strategy and you know, yes we'll dig into like how to approach vocab but I think it's just like also the holistic stuff right to have the Tylenol and the drill into technical things 784.2s Your programs for that. I don't think that really makes for interesting podcast. I hope that we can have more interesting discussions about the GRE both in terms of what it is currently available. 800.7s Yeah, fantastic. Well, great. I think with that we can wrap up this episode hear. Thank you for listening everybody and we'll see you next time.