MyEdMaster

MyEdMaster Second location in Ashburn! 44075 Pipeline Plaza, Suite 110 Ashburn VA 20147 Hours: Wed. 6:30-8:30pm Thurs. 4-9pm Sat. 8:45am - 3:45pm

We take a whole-student approach to insure each student’s success. We recognize that there is more to success than getting a good grade or test score. A student must have a solid foundation of concepts and skills that go beyond just giving the right answer to a question. A student needs advanced comprehension, analysis, problem solving, critical thinking, and communication skills to succeed. We use scientifically-validated teaching methods to insure that students master the material they are taught and use regular assessment to diagnose additional learning needs. Because many of our teaching methods have been developed by Dr. Leddo and are not used in other centers, we regularly create our own curricula. We also recognize that getting into top colleges and programs such as TJ and AOS involve more than just good grades and good test scores. These highly selective programs look for students who stand out. Our “whole-student approach” means that we work with each student individually to build strong credentials that increase the student’s chances of selections. To the best of our knowledge, our “secret weapons of success” are not used by any other tutoring center.

How to Succeed at CollegeBy Dr. John Leddograduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale Universityowner of MyEdMaster, a ...
03/13/2020
MyEdMaster | Home

How to Succeed at College
By Dr. John Leddo
graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University
owner of MyEdMaster, a tutoring company

This is the time of year when students hear from the colleges they apply to. Hopefully, they’re hearing yes instead of no. Undoubtedly, students put a great deal of effort into gaining those acceptance letters and will also put give some serious thought as to what college to attend. But getting into college isn’t an endpoint. It is a transition to the next phase of your life. When you graduate four years later, one of two things will happen: you will either get a job or apply to a graduate program such as a medical, law, business or other graduate school for an advanced degree. Since the purpose of college is to prepare you for that next phase, you need to give some thought as to how to use your college experience wisely. My suggestions can be broken down into three categories: courses, connections, experience.

Obviously, the most important part of college is getting your degree and to do that, you have to take courses. For those of you who don’t know what you want to major in, colleges offer a wide range of majors. I suggest you follow the strategy that the mother of a former student of mine used to help her daughter. She told her daughter, “I enrolled you in lots of different things, so you could find out what you liked and what you were good at.” Take a range of courses and see what you like. Talk to the professors and see what kinds of work people who major in those fields do. Do research on job opportunities, salaries, etc. to see what you might like to pursue. For those of you who already know what you want to major in, you have a good head start. However, generally speaking, courses in your major make up less than half the total courses you need to take in order to graduate. This gives you a wide range of options for your additional courses.

There are two strategies you can take to help you decide what other courses to take. The first is to pick subjects that interest you or help you become a well-rounded person. After all, college is designed to help you develop intellectually and broaden your horizons. Developing a breadth of knowledge can also provide inspiration to your later career. Steve Jobs famously used what he learned from a Chinese calligraphy course to help him design Apple computers. I use the AI knowledge I acquired from my professor at Yale to help me create educational software with the students I work with. The second strategy is to think about what supplemental knowledge you’ll need to excel at your profession. Reading and writing skills, for example, are always critical. All successful people need to be good communicators. Since careers are always done in some sort of context such as a business, it could be highly useful to take courses that supplement the knowledge you need to have to succeed in your chosen field. Business classes may be highly useful in most any career. Psychology classes may help in careers that involve dealing with people like sales, law or even medicine. When I left Yale and took my first professional job at a research company, I felt very well prepared to conduct educational and training research. However, I was working in a business where people were expected to win research grants and manage projects. I knew nothing about these things. Taking more courses in sales, marketing and project management in college would have been an enormous help. Instead, I had to first learn these things on the job.

The second category of my recommendation is connections. There are many people you will meet in your educational and professional careers who are very much worth staying in contact with, not only for personal, but also for professional reasons. It is never too early to start. This was a lesson I didn’t appreciate until much later in life and, as a result, I wasted a lot of opportunities. When I was at Phillips Exeter Academy, I ran track with the grandson of the emperor of Thailand. My 10th grade English classmate turned out to become the valedictorian of my class and was a recent candidate for president of the United States. I was friends with the son of the UN ambassador, but I failed to keep in touch with him. Imagine the professional benefits of knowing these people might have brought me if I only stayed in touch. Early on in my career, I managed a project to study training methods used by the US Army. I visited one of the Army’s schools, which was used to groom officers for future leadership positions. Since my expertise was in education and not military doctrine, I hired a retired general to be my consultant and guide me through the military protocols. At the school was a lone officer on assignment from Saudi Arabia. I noticed that the US officers generally ignored him. I asked the retired general about that and he replied, “These guys are making a huge mistake. The only reason why this officer is here is that his family is well connected with the Saudi royal family. He is being groomed for a high position in the Saudi military. In the future, when our guys are generals, they will have to deal with people just like him. They are wasting the chance to build a relationship.” My advice to all students is to be on the lookout for people who will be potential mentors and future success stories and build relationships with them. As the old saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

The third category is experience. Taking classes provides foundational knowledge for a career, but success in a career and even in finding a job depends on experience. The first task of a student entering college is to find a mentor and start an internship in a lab. Really, the mentor should be identified as part of the college application process or at least before picking which college to attend. But if you haven’t done so already, find a mentor and start gaining experience. The right mentor is one who will nurture you as my Yale mentor did and will help you gain the knowledge and credentials you need to succeed in life. Avoid people who just want to exploit you for their own gain. Often, you can tell the difference between the two by looking at the other students who work with the professor. Are the students excited and motivated? Are they achieving? Or do they look unhappy and stressed out? I can’t stress the importance of the right mentor enough. The projects you work on should be exciting and cutting edge. See what the trends are in your field and make sure you are working on the future and not on the past. Make sure your work leads to publications with your name on them as this is a credential that stays with you for life. If possible, try to get your work presented at conferences to increase your exposure and become known in the field. This is a good way to make contacts as well. If you have a good mentor, he or she is likely to be consulting with organizations outside the college. See if you can get involved in those to further increase your exposure. Your professor is likely highly involved in grant writing (otherwise, he or she wouldn’t have a job at your college). See if you can get involved as well. Anyone that learns how to bring money into an organization is highly sought after. You can also ask if you can be included in the grant’s budget, so that you can get your tuition paid for and receive a small salary for your work on the project. In the summer, look for internship opportunities outside the school to increase your experience, build your resume and possibly identify potential future employers.

The bottom line is that by the time you graduate college, you should have both foundational and practical knowledge in your field. You should know a range of people who can help you in your career. You should be as widely known as possible, so that graduate programs and employers consider you to be a hot prospect. And, of course, continue these strategies throughout your career. I am happy to work with your kids as their success mentor. You can visit www.myedmaster.com, contact me at [email protected] or 571-242-6986. Let’s build a success story together.

How to Get into a Top CollegeBy Dr. John Leddograduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale UniversityMany students dream...
02/21/2020
MyEdMaster | Home

How to Get into a Top College
By Dr. John Leddo
graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University

Many students dream of getting into top colleges or selective high schools. As owner of MyEdMaster, a tutoring company, and a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy (the #1 private high school in the US) and Yale University, I have more than 30 years professional experience, helping countless students get into top colleges (and high schools). I know what works in getting students admitted to the best schools.

Over the years, top schools have become more selective. Years ago, if you had an A average, high SAT scores, good teacher recommendations and solid extra-curricular activities, that was all you needed. Now, tutors are readily available to help students get good grades and SAT scores. You still can’t get into top schools without them, but they are not enough. Let’s put this in perspective. There are over 36,000 high schools in the US. The top 11 colleges have a combined freshman class of just over 18,000. This means that if you are the top student in your school, you still have only a 50% chance of attending a top 11 college. You might be thinking, “What more can I do than to be the top student in my school?” or “What if I’m not the top student in my school? Is there hope for me?”

To answer these questions, let’s look at the admissions process from the colleges’ point of view. Top colleges like Ivy League schools were set up at times when most people didn’t go to college. These schools were set up to educate the future leaders of society. This is still part of their culture. They view themselves as educating top students from around the world to become future leaders of society. Your job is to convince them that you are one of those people. So, how do you do that? The best indicator of what you will accomplish is what you have accomplished so far. So, what are they looking for?

Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of students. The students who made the most selective schools had three things in common: top grades (with lots of AP or IB classes), high SAT or ACT scores, and, above all, outstanding extra-curricular accomplishments. High grades and test scores are very important. Top colleges won’t even consider you without them. That’s why my tutoring company, MyEdMaster, provides high quality instruction in academic subjects and SAT/ACT preparation. We routinely see students get As in their classes and many students get high 1400s, 1500s and even perfect scores in their SATs or 35s and 36s in their ACTs.

But if all you have is high grades and test scores, you’re probably not going to go to a top 11 school. What distinguishes the students who do go to the top is their extracurricular achievements. Since so many students have As in their classes and high test scores, top colleges want to know, “Since we are going to accept only about 5% of the students who apply, what sets you apart from the other 95%?”. The key is to find a way to accomplish something that most high schoolers don’t. You must be able to explain on your college application, “Why you?”. This is an important question since it carries over into the rest of your life. When you apply for jobs, there will be other highly qualified applicants for the same position. The company will want to know, “Why you?”. Some students have a natural answer. When I attended Yale, there were two well-known movie stars attending. That was their answer to the question “Why you?”. I played for the Yale chess team and our number 1 player was ranked number 2 in the country. That was his answer. Other students may be nationally-ranked musicians or athletes.
But such students are rare. Statistically, only a few students are going to be at the top of their fields of interest. What about the rest? Most students need a way to stand out that is still within reach of what they can do. Over the years, I’ve seen students do the following to stand out and get into top schools: start their own companies, start non-profits, get internships at selective programs, publish scientific papers in professional journals, compete in science fairs and other competitions. Perhaps my greatest success story involves a 9th grader who came to me for SAT preparation. He got a perfect SAT score on his first try. I told him that he was definitely top-school material, but he’d need something more. I talked to him about getting an internship and how to do it. He followed my advice and landed a summer internship at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. That internship continued over the years to the point where he was able to submit the research he was doing to the Intel Science Fair, which won a national prize and $150,000 in college scholarship money. He’s now a Stanford University student and he was invited to present his work at the Nobel Prize awards ceremony. A less dramatic, but perhaps more noteworthy, example involved a young lady who had good (but not perfect) GPA and SAT scores. However, she was the master of getting competitive internships, including at the Smithsonian, the US State Department and the World Bank. She also started a non-profit for which she got a Disney grant and built a national workforce of student volunteers. She recently graduated Cornell University.

I realized that while these students’ accomplishments were exceptional, not everyone is lucky enough to find a professor at a prestigious university who is willing to mentor him or her. Not everyone can be the applicant selected to work at the World Bank for a summer. To help my students, I wanted to create something that was available to all students and could lead to extraordinary accomplishments, while giving students the chance to grow and improve. Therefore, I started two new programs at MyEdMaster: a scientific research program and an education technology company. Over the years, I had seen students who published scientific papers get into top colleges, but it was tough for them to find willing mentors. So I became the mentor. We’ve had over 100 students successfully publish scientific papers in professional journals. Some have published as many as 5 papers. These have been serious research efforts. For example, one paper shows that a theory that helped two professors win a Nobel Prize in economics is wrong and what the corrected theory should be. Other papers show scientifically-validated ways to improve SAT scores—one paper even shows our methods work with students in China. Another paper shows that playing videogames cooperatively actually boosts middle schoolers’ teamwork skills, but playing them competitively reduces teamwork skills. Our papers are not only published in journals but are also posted on Research Gate, a free research clearinghouse, where they have been read by over 25,000 scientists from around the world. Our students are being heard.

Our second extra-curricular activity is a technology company called A-list Empire. We develop educational software that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language process and voice technology to emulate a human tutor teaching kids math and reading. To date, we’ve compared the effectiveness of our software to those of Khan Academy and Pearson (the world’s largest textbook publisher). We had students doing a part-time extracurricular activity going against industry leaders staffed by full time professionals and backed by billions of dollars in resources. The results have been decisive. Students using our software scored on post-tests 80% higher than those using Khan Academy’s and 300% high than those using Pearson’s. Our results have been published in seven scientific papers.

These programs have caused the number of MyEdMaster students getting accepted at Ivy League and other top schools skyrocket. It’s a validation of the principles I described earlier. High grades, high SAT/ACT scores and outstanding extracurricular accomplishments are the keys to getting into top colleges. I am happy to help your kids get into top colleges. You can visit www.myedmaster.com, contact me at [email protected] or 571-242-6986. Let’s build a success story together.

The kids at MyEdMaste are working on some state of the art educational software to help early readers. The software uses...
07/18/2019
Little Red Riding Hood Project

The kids at MyEdMaste are working on some state of the art educational software to help early readers. The software uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to find the best way to answer a question a child asks, so that the child will best understand it. We have a survey for kids ages 5-8 to take. They read a version of Little Red Riding Hood and then read potential questions. For each question, there are four ways in which the software could answer and the child has to pick which answer he or she likes best. If you know any children in this age range, please ask them to take the survey using the following link: https://forms.gle/bxfuXwsAvYAR9A6w9
Please share this request with as many people as possible.

Read the question and then pick which answer choice you like best. There is no right answer. This is for children ages 5-8.

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With schools out until April 10 or even longer, parents may be concerned about their kids falling behind with their academic growth. Dr. John Leddo, a Yale PhD with over 30 years’ experience in education, will be holding group classes starting March 23 to ensure that kids will continue with their education. Classes will cover English and mathematics. The classes will follow a standard classroom format with instruction, practice and homework. Classes will be conducted online via Google Hangouts, although kids will be allowed to come to the centers if they prefer. Classes will be divided into three groups: upper elementary school, which will meet on Mondays from 2:30 to 4:30 and Friday from 10 am to 12 noon; middle school, which will meet on Thursdays and Fridays from 12-2pm; and high school, which will meet on Thursdays and Fridays from 2-4 pm. Tuition is based on the number of students attending the class. If only one attends, tuition is $30 per hour or $60 per class. If two attend, tuition is $25 per hour or $50 per class. If three or more attend, tuition is $20 per hour or $40 per class. There is also a group SAT class that meets Sundays from 9am to 12noon, a Thomas Jefferson class that meets Fridays from 5 pm to 8 pm, and an Academies of Loudoun/TJ class that meets Saturdays from 8:45 am to 11:45 am. Tuition for these classes is $58 per class. For more information or to register, please contact Dr. Leddo at [email protected] or 571-242-6986. To register, you will need a gmail account for your child so s/he can access Google Hangouts.
How to Get into a Top College By Dr. John Leddo graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and Yale University Many students dream of getting into top colleges or selective high schools. As owner of MyEdMaster, a tutoring company, and a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy (the #1 private high school in the US) and Yale University, I have more than 30 years professional experience, helping countless students get into top colleges (and high schools). I know what works in getting students admitted to the best schools. Over the years, top schools have become more selective. Years ago, if you had an A average, high SAT scores, good teacher recommendations and solid extra-curricular activities, that was all you needed. Now, tutors are readily available to help students get good grades and SAT scores. You still can’t get into top schools without them, but they are not enough. Let’s put this in perspective. There are over 36,000 high schools in the US. The top 11 colleges have a combined freshman class of just over 18,000. This means that if you are the top student in your school, you still have only a 50% chance of attending a top 11 college. You might be thinking, “What more can I do than to be the top student in my school?” or “What if I’m not the top student in my school? Is there hope for me?” To answer these questions, let’s look at the admissions process from the colleges’ point of view. Top colleges like Ivy League schools were set up at times when most people didn’t go to college. These schools were set up to educate the future leaders of society. This is still part of their culture. They view themselves as educating top students from around the world to become future leaders of society. Your job is to convince them that you are one of those people. So, how do you do that? The best indicator of what you will accomplish is what you have accomplished so far. So, what are they looking for? Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of students. The students who made the most selective schools had three things in common: top grades (with lots of AP or IB classes), high SAT or ACT scores, and, above all, outstanding extra-curricular accomplishments. High grades and test scores are very important. Top colleges won’t even consider you without them. That’s why my tutoring company, MyEdMaster, provides high quality instruction in academic subjects and SAT/ACT preparation. We routinely see students get As in their classes and many students get high 1400s, 1500s and even perfect scores in their SATs or 35s and 36s in their ACTs. But if all you have is high grades and test scores, you’re probably not going to go to a top 11 school. What distinguishes the students who do go to the top is their extracurricular achievements. Since so many students have As in their classes and high test scores, top colleges want to know, “Since we are going to accept only about 5% of the students who apply, what sets you apart from the other 95%?”. The key is to find a way to accomplish something that most high schoolers don’t. You must be able to explain on your college application, “Why you?”. This is an important question since it carries over into the rest of your life. When you apply for jobs, there will be other highly qualified applicants for the same position. The company will want to know, “Why you?”. Some students have a natural answer. When I attended Yale, there were two well-known movie stars attending. That was their answer to the question “Why you?”. I played for the Yale chess team and our number 1 player was ranked number 2 in the country. That was his answer. Other students may be nationally-ranked musicians or athletes. But such students are rare. Statistically, only a few students are going to be at the top of their fields of interest. What about the rest? Most students need a way to stand out that is still within reach of what they can do. Over the years, I’ve seen students do the following to stand out and get into top schools: start their own companies, start non-profits, get internships at selective programs, publish scientific papers in professional journals, compete in science fairs and other competitions. Perhaps my greatest success story involves a 9th grader who came to me for SAT preparation. He got a perfect SAT score on his first try. I told him that he was definitely top-school material, but he’d need something more. I talked to him about getting an internship and how to do it. He followed my advice and landed a summer internship at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. That internship continued over the years to the point where he was able to submit the research he was doing to the Intel Science Fair, which won a national prize and $150,000 in college scholarship money. He’s now a Stanford University student and he was invited to present his work at the Nobel Prize awards ceremony. A less dramatic, but perhaps more noteworthy, example involved a young lady who had good (but not perfect) GPA and SAT scores. However, she was the master of getting competitive internships, including at the Smithsonian, the US State Department and the World Bank. She also started a non-profit for which she got a Disney grant and built a national workforce of student volunteers. She recently graduated Cornell University. I realized that while these students’ accomplishments were exceptional, not everyone is lucky enough to find a professor at a prestigious university who is willing to mentor him or her. Not everyone can be the applicant selected to work at the World Bank for a summer. To help my students, I wanted to create something that was available to all students and could lead to extraordinary accomplishments, while giving students the chance to grow and improve. Therefore, I started two new programs at MyEdMaster: a scientific research program and an education technology company. Over the years, I had seen students who published scientific papers get into top colleges, but it was tough for them to find willing mentors. So I became the mentor. We’ve had over 100 students successfully publish scientific papers in professional journals. Some have published as many as 5 papers. These have been serious research efforts. For example, one paper shows that a theory that helped two professors win a Nobel Prize in economics is wrong and what the corrected theory should be. Other papers show scientifically-validated ways to improve SAT scores—one paper even shows our methods work with students in China. Another paper shows that playing videogames cooperatively actually boosts middle schoolers’ teamwork skills, but playing them competitively reduces teamwork skills. Our papers are not only published in journals but are also posted on Research Gate, a free research clearinghouse, where they have been read by over 25,000 scientists from around the world. Our students are being heard. Our second extra-curricular activity is a technology company called A-list Empire. We develop educational software that uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language process and voice technology to emulate a human tutor teaching kids math and reading. To date, we’ve compared the effectiveness of our software to those of Khan Academy and Pearson (the world’s largest textbook publisher). We had students doing a part-time extracurricular activity going against industry leaders staffed by full time professionals and backed by billions of dollars in resources. The results have been decisive. Students using our software scored on post-tests 80% higher than those using Khan Academy’s and 300% high than those using Pearson’s. Our results have been published in seven scientific papers. These programs have caused the number of MyEdMaster students getting accepted at Ivy League and other top schools skyrocket. It’s a validation of the principles I described earlier. High grades, high SAT/ACT scores and outstanding extracurricular accomplishments are the keys to getting into top colleges. I am happy to help your kids get into top colleges. You can visit www.myedmaster.com, contact me at [email protected] or 571-242-6986. Let’s build a success story together.