Abdul Wadood Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Dubai: Imagine receiving a top SAT score. Or 750 plus on the GMAT. It may have been possible if you had been under the guidance of ‘The Math Guru.’ Abdul Wadood’s aim is to prepare students for the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test), the GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) and in math while making learning a pleasure — which he sees as the biggest challenge students face towards math.

“I believe the biggest challenge in students are the build-up fears, inhibitions and ‘I’m not good at math and I hate math’ attitude. Math anxiety is not an intellectual disability but an emotional reaction to math,” he said.

“A state of mind can either diminish or increase your ability to succeed in math. If a student is avoiding math, there is a greater chance that they have math anxiety. This behaviour is rooted in the belief that math is an innate ability and cannot be learned,” he said.

Wadood didn’t set out to change the world when he started teaching. He was simply trying to help students excel in math and hard-core intensive exams such as the SAT, GRE and GMAT.

Wadood says learning math is like learning a foreign language. It requires daily practice. If you do not practise a foreign language, you lose it. The same holds true for math, if you do not practise it, you are likely to forget it.

“Honestly, math is all a game of numbers. Many students fear the SAT more than any other subject. But there is absolutely no need to feel that way,” said Wadood.

“Just like the other subjects, there are proven strategies for approaching the different kinds of SAT questions. I have always taught my students the best way of interpretation of the question is to work it out.”

With a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 4.0 in his math master’s degree and with more than 13 years’ experience in teaching and training thousands of students, Dubai-based math guru has changed the lives of students by making their dreams come true by helping them enter universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Northeastern and the London School of Economics.

Neha Tahir, a student who has just graduated from Stanford University in California, told Gulf News that she never settles for second best.

“I just graduated from the university. My 2,240 on the SAT — with an almost perfect score in the Math section — was the reason why this was possible. I owe a major part of where I am today to The Math Guru, who not only gave me his expert coaching in navigating and succeeding through the standardised testing process, but also rendered me his mantra of never settling for anything less than perfect. He is a true perfectionist and a teacher par excellence.”

- Amna Rahman is an intern at Gulf News