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Matthew

Matthew

I am a University Challenge winner, a first-class Oxford graduate, and the recipient of a full Ivy League scholarship. As a specialist A level, IB, and university-level tutor, I have a decade of experience helping my students succeed in History, English, and other humanities. My advice on university applications has consistently helped my students win places at leading international institutions. I have also studied at top universities in the USA and France, and have Master's degrees in History, French literature, and Philosophy.

I am committed to the ideal of learning, deeply value the relationships I've built with my clients, and am dedicated to helping my students achieve their full potential.

ABOUT ME

I was the captain of the Magdalen College, Oxford team which won the 2011 series of University Challenge. I also captained the Oxford team on a quiz show in Japan, Fuji TV's Brain World Cup, winning the show in 2012.

Outside my studies, my main interests are cinema, literature, music, running, singing, and visiting museums and galleries. I am passionate about learning languages: I speak fluent French, proficient Mandarin Chinese and German, and am currently learning Cantonese. My father is Chinese, my mother British, and I grew up between Hong Kong and Warwickshire. I am based in London and have spent time living and working in Paris, Berlin, New York, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai.

QUALIFICATIONS

I am currently working on a doctorate in History at Magdalen College, Oxford, where I was a prize-winning academic scholar as an undergraduate, earning a first-class BA in History and an MSt with distinction in Modern British and European History. As part of my doctorate, I spent two years on exchange at the ENS de Paris, France's leading university, and a year at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).

I was awarded the Fleet fellowship, a full scholarship, for two years of graduate study at Princeton, where I took classes in History, History of Science, and Comparative Literature.

I have an MA in French Literature from Middlebury College, Vermont. During my time there, I studied for a semester as a graduate student in the French department at Columbia. I am currently completing an MA in Modern European Philosophy at the CRMEP, Kingston University.

At school, I was awarded 12 A*s at GCSE (including placing in the top 5 nationally for French and top 10 nationally for History). At A2 level, I gained A grades in English Literature, French, German, and History, with an additional A in AS Latin. I was also awarded three distinctions and a merit in the Advanced Extension Awards.

Tutoring Experience

A LEVEL AND INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE

I have ten years of experience tutoring History, English, French, Art History, and Philosophy across all of the major exam boards. I can also teach other humanities subjects including Religious Studies, Politics, German, and Latin as part of a full A level or IB program.

OXBRIDGE ENTRANCE

I have specialist knowledge of the Oxford Admissions system, especially the requirements of the History faculty, having worked as an examiner for the History Aptitude Test (HAT) and a subject interviewer. I can supervise all aspects of an application from course and college choice, through the writing of an effective UCAS personal statement, to admissions exams and interview practice. I specialise in tutoring Oxford's HAT and Cambridge's HAA, and have also tutored the TSA (for PPE), ELAT (for English), and MLAT (for Modern Languages).

My Oxbridge students have won places on the following courses:
History
History of Art
English & Modern Languages (French)
Modern & Medieval Languages (French & Spanish)
Philosophy, Politics & Economics
Classics

In the 2023/24 admissions round, 4 of my 7 students won offers from Oxford and Cambridge.

US, UK, AND INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE ADMISSIONS

My tutees have won offers from leading world universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Columbia, Duke, and the Sorbonne, as well as top UK universities including UCL, LSE, King's, Warwick, St Andrews, Edinburgh, York, and other members of the Russell Group.

I have also provided guidance and feedback on graduate applications which have helped my clients win places on Master's programs at Oxford, Cambridge, and UCL in disciplines as diverse as Criminology, International and Comparative Education, Bioscience Enterprise, and Human-Computer Interaction.

I am well positioned to oversee the whole US college admissions process. I have a deep familiarity with the higher education field in America, having spent three years studying there, and can provide informed advice on college selection and entrance essay writing.

As someone who has studied and worked in a variety of different international contexts and languages, I am particularly interested in helping students who are transitioning between different national education systems.

UNIVERSITY

I have taught undergraduate tutorials and classes in History at Oxford, and am a qualified higher education teacher (SEDA-PDF). My research specialty is the cultural and intellectual history of Modern Europe, and I have a particular interest in historical method and the philosophy of history. My former undergraduate students have gone on to win places on PhD programs at Yale and Edinburgh.

I have provided support to undergraduate students in History, English, French, and Philosophy, advising on how to research and write coursework essays. I have particular experience helping students maintain or improve their grades to a good 2.1 standard, making sure that they satisfy the entry conditions to graduate programmes.

WHAT SOME CUSTOMERS THOUGHT

"I am very pleased indeed with the wonderful improvement my daughter is making with these lessons, very much indicated by recent exams. Her marks have improved considerably, her enthusiasm for her subjects has flourished, and her confidence has been significantly boosted. It has proved to be a tremendously thoughtful and valuable support to her learning." – Jane, mother (A Level English Literature, History & Art History; successful Cambridge candidate for Art History).

"We are very grateful to have encountered Matthew: he rapidly understood and tackled our son’s weaknesses. He took great care to give me extensive feedback and generously drew from his copious knowledge to assist our son in every way." – Hilaryjane, mother (A level History; successful Cambridge candidate for History).

"Matthew prepared our daughter for the Oxford History admissions test and interview in which she was successful. He is an outstanding and rigorous tutor with high expectations of himself and his students. His lessons focused on developing methodologies for historical analysis, critical thinking and structuring of written ideas. His tutorials are challenging, his feedback robust and the progress your child will make demonstrable. He is a passionate historian with wide ranging and deep knowledge." – Paola, mother (successful Oxford candidate for History).

"My daughter achieved an A* in History and gained application/interview skills for Oxbridge, leading to an offer at her chosen college. Matthew is a great tutor, who is highly intelligent, personable and has the ability to quickly identify gaps in a student’s knowledge and creates tailor-made interactive and in-depth lessons to suit their needs. 100% recommended." – Jackie, mother (A level History; successful Oxford candidate for English & French).

"Matthew is an excellent tutor in every respect. He has carefully guided my son through the Oxford application process. Matthew has worked extremely hard and has provided regular progress reports. Under Matthew's guidance, my son has been offered a place at Oxford. I recommend him without hesitation." – Marianne, mother (successful Oxford candidate for Classics).

"Matthew was extremely helpful with his guidance on postgraduate study and interview prep! His insight into the admissions process was invaluable and constructive. I'm happy to say that I was accepted to do my Masters at Cambridge University, and Matthew was instrumental in this outcome." – Olivia (successful applicant for Cambridge MPhil in Bioscience Enterprise).

"Matthew has been a fantastic tutor! I am extremely grateful for all his support throughout my final year at Oxford University. One of the brightest, most impressive people I've met, and throughout our sessions I've seen a dramatic improvement in my confidence and writing style. Don't get me wrong, he will tell you how it is – not for the faint hearted but I am forever in his debt for the help and guidance." – Hannah (final-year Oxford undergraduate, improved from borderline 2.2 standard to good 2.1 with 1st class dissertation; successful applicant for Oxford MSc in International and Comparative Education, and now the winner of a prestigious international graduate scholarship).

Tutoring Approach

At the heart of any effective tutorial is a good relationship between teacher and student. I hope my students will find me to be approachable, open, and genuinely curious about their enthusiasms and points of view, whilst also being rigorous, insistent upon high standards, and goal-oriented. Good results come from good processes, and my aim is to model the processes of thinking and writing for students to see and learn from.

Parents can trust me to deliver regular and frank feedback on their child's progress, and to raise any concerns in a timely manner.

In practical terms, my priority is to ensure that students have a firm grasp of the core skills needed to satisfy the requirements of their particular discipline and course of study. For History, English, and other essay subjects at all levels, these include:
– a solid understanding of how to argue coherently and use evidence convincingly;
– a good command of grammar and syntax;
– confident use of a diverse and technical vocabulary;
– the ability to research, plan, and write essays that score high marks efficiently.

Often, these writerly skills are either taken for granted or are not taught in an accessible way. This is compounded by the fact that schoolteachers and university lecturers, because of time constraints and other work pressures, often cannot provide detailed feedback on students' writing in addition to the content they must cover. The core of my practice as a tutor consists of providing forensic line-by-line feedback to students on their written work. I have consistently found this to be the best way of enhancing the quality of their thinking and writing.

HISTORY

I have studied British and European history from the fall of Rome until the present day, as well as the modern history of east Asia, at the university level, and am happy to tutor on a wide range of topics. Rather than relying on the rote learning of dates and facts, my approach is focused on ensuring that students have a good conceptual grasp of historical periods and processes. I am particularly keen to help students think in the long-term and comparative dimensions that are required to gain the very top marks.

ENGLISH

I am an avid reader and am comfortable teaching on a wide range of set texts in the school curriculum, whether prose, poetry, or drama (including Shakespeare), across all of the major exam boards. My emphasis is on developing the skill of close formal analysis, together with a sensitivity to historical and literary contexts.

ART HISTORY

I designed and taught a course on modern and contemporary Western art at a summer school in China, and have intensively studied Renaissance art as part of my degree and during a summer in Florence. More recently, I have developed a particular interest in art theory and the philosophy of art. I aim to give students a grasp of the techniques and terminology necessary to describe and analyse the formal qualities of artworks and their historical contexts. Studying Art History is always well served by visiting museums and galleries, and I'd be happy to point students in the direction of relevant exhibitions that will develop their knowledge and understanding.

LanguagesEnglish (British), Chinese, French, German, Latin
AvailabilityWeekends, Weekdays (all times)
References Available On File

Qualifications

Princeton University2013MastersFleet Fellowship, History and History of Science
Magdalen College, Oxford2011MastersMSt, Distinction, Modern British and European History
Magdalen College, Oxford2010BachelorsBA,1st Class, History
Middlebury College2019MastersMA, French Literature & Civilisation (4.0 GPA)

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