Gruber, Gary R. 1940-

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GRUBER, Gary R. 1940-

PERSONAL: Born November 19, 1940, in New York, NY; married; children: two. Education: City College of the City University of New York, B.S. (with honors), 1962; Columbia University, M.A., 1964; Yeshiva University, Ph.D., 1969.

ADDRESSES: Home—P.O. Box 657, Mill Valley, CA 94942. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Developer and producer of research, learning, and testing programs. Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, chief editor in physics and mathematics, 1969; Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and director of astronomy and mathematical physics, 1969-73, senior research scientist, 1973-74; New York Academy of Sciences, director of public affairs and the public understanding of science, 1973-74; Center for the Study of Instruction, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc., senior projects director, 1976-77. Consultant to publishers Prentice-Hall, John Wiley & Sons, and Oxford University Press, 1969—. Developer of software Score Builder for the SAT and PSAT, 1995.

MEMBER: American Physical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Mathematical Society, American Astronomical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers, American Association of University Professors, National Association of Science Writers.

AWARDS, HONORS: University of Glasgow research fellowship, 1966-68; National Aeronautics and Space Administration fellow, 1966-69; National Science Foundation grant, 1971-72; grants from American Telephone & Telegraph, 3M Corporation, Mobil Oil Corporation, and various research foundations; citation from Family PC magazine for computer software program, Score Builder for the SAT.


Physics, Monarch (New York, NY), 1971.

High School Equivalency Examination Test: General Review for the Exam, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971, 3rd edition, 1976.

General Mathematical Ability, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971.

Correctness and Effectiveness of Expression, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971.

Reading Interpretation in the Natural Sciences and Literature, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971.

(With Edward C. Gruber) Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test: A Complete Review for the Verbal and Math Parts of the Test, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1971, 3rd edition, 1976.

(With Edward C. Gruber) Test of English as a Foreign Language, Monarch (New York, NY), 1973, 6th edition, 1982.

Gruber's Preparation for the College-level Examination Program, Monarch (New York, NY), 1973, 2nd edition, 1979.

Standard Written English Test, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1974.

Gruber's Preparation for the American College Testing Programs for College Entrance, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1974.

Gruber's Preparation for the Graduate Management Admissions Test, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1975.

Gruber's Preparation for the Graduate Record Examination, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1975.

Gruber's Preparation for the Professional and Administrative Career Program for the Federal Government, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1976.

Gruber's Preparation for the Law School Admission Test, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1976.

Gruber's Preparation for the New Medical College Admission Test, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1977.

(With Edward C. Gruber and Barry S. Willdorf) Law School Admission Test, Monarch (New York, NY), 1977, 2nd edition, 1979.

Gruber's Preparation for the Scholastic Aptitude Test, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1978.

Math Review for the Graduate Management Admission Test, Monarch (New York, NY), 1982.

Gruber's Shortcuts and Strategies for the Graduate Management Admission Test, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982.

Gruber's Shortcuts and Strategies for the Graduate Record Examination, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1982.

Inside Strategies for the SAT, Educational Design (New York, NY), 1982.

The Gruber SAT Self-Instruction Course, Addison Wesley (Reading, MA), 1984.

Gruber's Complete Preparation for the SAT, Harper (New York, NY), 1985.

Dr. Gruber's Essential Test-taking Guide for Kids Grades 3-5, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.

Dr. Gruber's Essential Test-taking Guide for Kids Grades 6-9, Morrow (New York, NY), 1986.

Gruber's Super Diagnostic Test for the SAT: Programmed to Critical-Thinking Strategies, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 1988.

(With William N. Wingerd) Understanding and Enjoying Adolescence, Longman (New York, NY), 1988.

Gruber's Complete Preparation for the New SAT, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.

Also author of audio tapes, including Add up to 300 Points to Your SAT, Great American Audio, 1986; How to Choose the Right College, Great American Audio, 1988; and Score High on Your ACT, Great American Audio, 1988. Author of video tapes, including Thinking Your Way to Better SAT Scores (with workbook), PBS Video, 1989; and Up Your Grades (with workbook), Cal Image Video, 1993, revised edition, 2001.

Also author/creator of calendars. Contributor of articles to journals, including Foundations of Physics, Grolier's Encyclopedia, Physics Today, and Today's Catholic Teacher; contributor of syndicated articles to newspapers and magazines, including Washington Post, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, Detroit News, Seattle Post Intelligencer, and Sacramento Bee.

WORK IN PROGRESS: An interactive learning and SAT software program for grades 9-12.

SIDELIGHTS: Recognized as an expert in the field of educational testing, Gary R. Gruber is the author of numerous examination-preparation manuals and of special-examination review courses, including for the law school admissions test and the Scholastic Aptitude Test. His books, videos, and software programs have sold an estimated seven million copies.

Gruber inadvertently began his career path in fifth grade when he was given an I.Q. test and scored only 90—a below-average score—on it. He wondered why he was placed in slow-track classes and ignored by his teachers until informed of the I.Q. test results. Gruber was offered another test to take; instead of filling it out he studied it to see why he might have scored so poorly on it in the first place. From this experience grew his interest in standardized testing and problem-solving strategies that are applicable to testing situations and similar areas of endeavor. On his Web site Gruber explained: "I realized that certain thinking skills were being tested and one could actually develop those skills and hone them. I also noticed that there was a generic process to problem solving and thinking. This process was based on extracting something curious from a problem and using that to launch the rest of the solution process."

In his book Inside Strategies for the SAT Gruber writes that the Scholastic Aptitude Test, "which is supposed to measure verbal and math aptitude, is perhaps the most important exam anyone can take: This one test can determine a person's future career and his or her goals for a lifetime. The SAT is supposed to be an indicator of the intelligence and aptitude of the nation's young people, just as the Dow Jones Average is an indicator of the nation's economic health. . . . With colleges now increasing their standards, it is extremely important for a student to do well on this exam."

According to Independent Journal correspondent Mark Whittington, "Gruber gives the students an overview of the tests and teaches them strategies and shortcuts. But the key is practicing those techniques. The kids who improve the most are those who practice at home." The skills developed via Gruber's method include critical thinking and analysis, and the approach is honed for use in academic as well as business situations, thus preparing students to deal with the problems encountered in adult life.

Noting that average SAT scores declined steadily during the late twentieth century, Gruber believes that average scores would be even lower if the Educational Testing Service had not periodically revised the exam to make it simpler. As Gruber told the Pacific Sun: "Actually, I'll bet if you took a ten-year-old exam and used it instead of today's exam, the average score would be 300 instead of 400. . . . The verbal scores are low because kids don't read that much anymore. The math scores are declining because kids have been memorizing the math; then when they take the SAT and haven't had algebra or geometry for two years they're in trouble." Gruber continued: "The ironic thing is I think today's kids are as bright if not brighter than [their parents]. . . . They're more alert, more aware of politics. The kids today seem to want to be entertained more than ever. . . . What kids don't realize—and here is the tragedy—is that work isn't necessarily tedious . . . that the process can be enjoyable. The kids are missing out on the enjoyment of working."

Gruber has also used non-print media to introduce his techniques to a generation of students with access to new technologies. His software program Score Builder for the SAT and PSAT offers new ways to practice test-taking strategies, and his video Up Your Grades is geared to students who react best to verbal instruction. Pat Bender in School Library Journal noted that Gruber's "enthusiasm is catching" in the video, which also demonstrates his "positive personality and excellent teaching skills."

Gruber once told CA: "I am out to bring out the potential of every student in this country. When I was in fifth grade I scored a 90 on an IQ test. I was so upset and my self-esteem became so low that [I]needed to prove that I could show myself that I was not what the IQ test indicated. I became so fascinated with test-taking and thinking that I developed my own strategies and thinking skills enough to increase my IQ to 150. This taught me a lesson. There are so many kids who have potential, and this potential does not come out unless a student is exposed to particular thinking skills. The tests can destroy a kid's self-image if the student doesn't learn how to think critically. I want to show all these kids how smart they really can be.

"'Many a flower is born to blush unseen/ and waste its sweetness on the desert air'—let's not let this happen to America's kids!"



Gruber, Gary R., Inside Strategies for the SAT, Educational Design (New York, NY), 1982.


Chicago Tribune, September 29, 1981.

Curriculum Review, January, 1986, p. 92.

Detroit News, October 3, 1982.

Houston Chronicle, October 3, 1982.

Independent Journal, March 21-22, 1981.

Library Journal, November 15, 1986, p. 92.

Los Angeles Times, November 29, 1981.

Moneysworth, February, 1982, "Advice on Raising an SAT Score," p. 18.

Oregonian, February 17, 1987.

Pacific Sun, August 21-27, 1981.

San Francisco Chronicle, February 21, 1981.

School Library Journal, October, 1992, p. 24; October, 2001, Pat Bender, review of Up Your Grades, p. 88.


Gary Gruber Web site, (November 6, 2003).*