Sophia Glisch

Co-CEO and Co-Founder


Sophia Glisch is our Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, and an instructor with over seven years of teaching and content development experience across the sciences and the humanities, having worked with a range of organizations including the University of Toronto, Prep101, Next Step Test Prep, Barron's, Oxford Learning, SOS Tutoring, and OneClass. As an education entrepreneur, Sophia also creates non-profit educational ventures which help high schoolers and undergraduates explore their potential: in this vein, she has founded Teach Me Free, an amalgamation of several smaller tutoring, professional development, mentorship, and advising services cumulatively serving 7000+ students internationally since 2009.

Along with Humayun, she is Co-Founder at 99point9, and created, runs, and owns a novel graduate admissions division at Oxford Learning Don Valley that may soon be standardized across 130+ learning centers internationally. She has contributed to and written two GMAT and MCAT books and teaching manuals for Barron's and Prep101, and has scored in the 99th percentile on official SAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE, and GMAT qualifiers.

 

General Information

 

Sophia Glisch is our Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director, and an instructor with over seven years of teaching and content development experience across the sciences and the humanities, having worked with a range of organizations including the University of Toronto, Prep101, Next Step Test Prep, Barron's, Oxford Learning, SOS Tutoring, and OneClass. As an education entrepreneur, Sophia also creates non-profit educational ventures which help high schoolers and undergraduates explore their potential: in this vein, she has founded Teach Me Free, an amalgamation of several smaller tutoring, professional development, mentorship, and advising services cumulatively serving 7000+ students internationally since 2009.

Along with Humayun, she is Co-Founder at 99point9, and created, runs, and owns a novel graduate admissions division at Oxford Learning Don Valley that may soon be standardized across 130+ learning centers internationally. She has contributed to and written two GMAT and MCAT books and teaching manuals for Barron's and Prep101, and has scored in the 99th percentile on official SAT, LSAT, MCAT, GRE, and GMAT qualifiers.

Sophia is known for her wild gesturing, unfortunate humor, mnemonics, constant in-class questions, etymological explanations, and penchant for simplifying complex material while maintaining its integrity. Though she teaches almost every undergraduate and MCAT subject, Sophia most enjoys relaying the nuances of standardized test verbal reasoning sections (e.g., Critical and Analytical Reasoning Skills for the MCAT, Critical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension for the LSAT, Verbal for the GMAT, Verbal Reasoning for the GRE). As an ESL student, she especially loves working with people for whom English may present a bit of a challenge at first, and hopes to take all those having a difficult time with verbal to new heights via close reading and formal logic strategies. She also loves systematizing people’s understanding of MCAT physiology. Finally, since 2012, Sophia has been assisting students with the undergraduate, graduate, and professional school admissions process (i.e., through editing and advising on university, scholarship, and internship applications); her mentees have made it into a range of USA and Canadian institutions (including the Ivies), and have attained scholarships and awards like the Loran, the Top 20 Under 20, and the University of Toronto National Scholarship, so feel free to contact her if you're in need of some direction.

Outside of teaching, Sophia loves research and academia: she's currently studying Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, English, and Physics at the University of Toronto, and has been involved in research in some shape or form since 2009, when she published her first history of astronomy paper. Sophia is also interested in curriculum development, education-, technology-, and life-science-related entrepreneurship, management consulting, critical literary theory, non-profit organization management, law, programming, editing, foreign language-learning, investment analysis, compliance analysis, animal conservation, and public speaking, so feel free to reach out regarding those areas!

 

Teaching & Learning Philosophy

 

Objective, self-critical analysis. Never allowing yourself to insufficiently reason through your answers. On-the-spot problem-solving. Boosting your score by building translatable skills. Aiming for perfection, not a “just-decent” score. Confidence in the fact that any and all material is learnable. Willingness to shatter traditional educational stereotypes and power dynamics. Learning by association and profound immersion. ​

 

"A lot of students start off answering MCAT questions without first committing to fluid memory all the content that they need to know; they then answer questions in a manner that emphasizes speed and general understanding, neglecting accuracy and thorough, close reading. They try their best to learn what they feel is only the most generally applicable information, and to learn not by analyzing questions, but by crunching through as many practice tests as possible. In my MCAT classes, we’ll do things differently. I’ll push you to justify why every answer you give me is correct, and why every other answer choice in a given question is not – answering “Why did you pick A?” with “Because it sounded good” will never be good enough! ;) I’ll try to get you to predict how a sentence will end before you even read the whole of it; you’ll be surprised to find that, after some time, you’ll be able to decipher where it’s going with ease. I’ll ask you to be able to instantly point to the place in the passage whence you got your information, and to keep key “bookmark” words – a skeletal outline of the passage – in your head. I’ll teach you formal logic, and ask you to use it to understand the structure of arguments. I will want you to consider every word, every comma, every sentence, every paragraph in a passage, and how they all fit together. I’ll want you to boost your vocabulary not by rote-memorizing a dictionary, but by learning about Greek and Latin roots, and etymology as a whole. I’ll show you how to answer questions without every reading a passage, how to understand graphs and other figures, and how to beat the crap out of a sentence that you don’t at first understand, reading it aloud with differing emphases and analyzing its structure until you grasp what it’s saying. I won’t let you avoid learning all your physics because it’s only nine percent of the new test: instead, I’ll try to make physics seem compelling, and will have you memorize (if not derive) every relevant equation, understanding its context and its common MCAT applications. Where biology is concerned, I’ll shower you with terrible puns and other odd mnemonics, ask you to draw out flowcharts, and emphasize thorough, systematic understanding just as much as memorization.

 

When I can, I will also try to install within you the right MCAT mentality. For one, in order to crack this test, I think that one has to possess confidence in the human mind’s relatively consistent ability to learn. To explain, whenever I’ve thought about a professional or academic opportunity, I haven’t necessarily considered whether or not I myself, in my current state, am sufficient for a given opportunity – instead, I’ve considered whether or not it would be possible for a generic individual in my position to participate, with sufficient work. By doing this, I’ve liberated myself from my self-perception and associated insecurities, and have been able to focus on the work I need to do to move forward; this has helped me gain opportunities – e.g., authoring a segment of a book, owning part of a franchise, and teaching graduate-level science – that most other students feel they couldn’t obtain, given age and experience level. Similarly, when you’re approaching the MCAT, try to see it as something that anyone could get a 528 on, given adequate time and work – don’t think about your poor undergrad. GPA, your aversion to physics, the fact that you haven’t ever been that great at passage-based reading… Don’t let the past control you. Instead, see all the challenges that face you as functions of the fact that you haven’t yet worked to fix your problem areas, and convince yourself that, with the right amount of effort and coaching, you’ll get where you want to be. Think about it: the MCAT is testing content taught at an undergraduate level – at a relatively rudimentary point in academia. There’s no reason that an average person shouldn’t be “smart” enough to master this exam! The minute you realize that self-development (however difficult) is a choice, and the moment you decide you’re willing to oppose the “acing-the-MCAT-is-so-totally-impossible”-status quo, you’ll find that this test isn’t anything too daunting.

 

In brief, I won’t just teach you how to score a 528 on the MCAT: I’ll teach you how to better your thinking."

 

Summary of Teaching Experience:

 
  1. MCAT Instructor, Prep101 (Summer 2016)

  2. Undergraduate Instructor (BIO120, PSL300, PSL301, BIO220), Prep101 (September 2014 - present)

  3. MCAT Instructor (Biochemistry/Biology, CARS, & Psych/Soc), Prep101 (May 2015 – July 2015)

  4. MCAT Classroom Course Curriculum Developer & Teaching Manual Author, Prep101 (March 2015 – June 2015)

  5. Co-President, Supporting Education, Empowerment, and Development, through Science (S.E.E.D.S.) (July 2014 – May 2015)

  6. MCAT Instructor (Verbal Reasoning), Prep101 (May 2014 – July 2014)

  7. Business Partner & Divisional Co-Founder, Oxford Learning Centres Inc. (April 2014 – present)

  8. MCAT Instructor (Physics, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biology, & Verbal Reasoning), Next Step Test Preparation LLC (March 2014 – July 2014)

  9. Course Coordinator (General & Human Genetics (HMB265)), SOS Tutoring (November 2013 – January 2014)

  10. Book Author: Barron’s GMAT with CD-ROM, Barron’s (October 2013)

  11. Undergraduate Instructor (Molecular Biology, Physical Chemistry, & Human Physiology), OneClass (October 2013 – January 2014)

  12. Volunteered to TA Introductory Swahili (NEW280Y) at the University of Toronto after scoring 93% in the course; later repealed due to lack of departmental funding and unionization

  13. Co-Founder, University of Toronto MCAT & LSAT Preparatory Club (May 2013 – present)

  14. Co-Founder & Director, Teach Me Free (August 2009 – present)

  15. Freelance Tutor, Interview & Public Speaking Coach, & Career Advisor (August 2009 – present)


     

Student Testimonials About Sophia

MCAT
513
Nov 2017
Testimonial coming soon!
M.P.
MCAT
514
Nov 2017
Testimonial to come!
B.G.
MCAT
512
Oct 2017
Testimonial to come!
A.B.
Jan 2013
You don't usually expect someone so accomplished to take so much time out of her busy schedule to work with ot... Read More
J.W.
MCAT
512
Dec 1969
Thank you all for your help and support along the way! Thank you times a million.
C.G. (129 CARS)
Dec 1969
It's easier listening to six hours of Sophia than going to one hour of lecture ☺
Anonymous