We're professors, tutors, and teachers, and our mission is to provide you with the best test prep materials out there so you can own the test.
There are a million test-prep resources. But when we took a look at them, we found a lot of flash without much substance. You need more than test-taking hacks (although we have a few of those) and random practice questions to earn your best score on these tests. You need to know the content on the test really, really well.
The Olive Book's courses help you do just that. Good courses come from good teachers, and we've researched what you need to know and built our course around the best way to teach it to you. There are three ways we try and help you own the content:
1) We teach you the hard stuff first so that you can tackle anything on the test.
2) We focus on building understanding, not memorizing facts, because you need a true understanding of the content to take on any question the test throws your way.
3) We believe everyone is a visual learner, so we provide professionally-animated, graphic explanation to many of our practice questions.
The bottom line: we're all teachers at heart and are here to help you learn.
For more information about us, or for any questions or concerns,
send us an email here.
Michael Ermann is the founder of The Olive Book and develops math content for the course (he also voices many of the videos!).
He is a tenured full professor at Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design, where he has taught since 2001 and served as architecture program chairman from 2007 to 2011.
Professor Ermann has a math degree from Tulane University and a master’s in architecture from the University of Florida. His lifelong love of math has never waned, having tutored students in the subject for more than 30 years. He enjoys devising a way to teach math in the graphic language of architecture through The Olive Book.
If you are thinking about attending Virginia Tech, feel free to reach out to Professor Ermann for a tour of campus.
Kristi Flack creates Science and Math content for The Olive Book.
Before joining The Olive Book, Kristi taught math in public schools in Florida and in Virginia for over 10 years. She also tutored high school students in math and in SAT prep. Kristi worked with the VISTA (Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement) grant, both as a coach for teachers and as a coordinator of science lessons taught at camps for teachers and students.
In her free time she likes to exercise, garden, hike, and generally be outside (weather permitting). When the weather is not permitting, she likes to read, listen to, and watch crime mysteries. Oh, and she likes good music. Kristi has undergraduate degrees in both economics and psychology as well as a master’s degree in teaching, all from the University of Virginia.
Cristina Moyer is our resident SAT/ACT guru and creates Math and English content for The Olive Book course (she’s also the voice behind many of the Grammar and Reading videos!).
A former high school and middle school math teacher, Cristina has worked with students in and out of the classroom for over 20 years. She always knew that she wanted to be a teacher and loves teaching math because she understands the struggle some students face.Since leaving the classroom, she has focused her private tutoring practice on students with learning differences and anxiety issues. Cristina also prepares students for college entrance exams.
Cristina has a bachelor's degree in math and a master's degree in teaching from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Ben Orlin develops math content for The Olive Book. A math teacher and author, he tells a lot of jokes (a few of which are actually decent) in the hope of helping those who feel alienated from mathematics.
His books Math with Bad Drawings (2018) and Change is the Only Constant (2019) explore mathematics through cartoons and storytelling. His blog Math with Bad Drawings has attracted millions of visitors since 2013, with approving mentions from Vox founder Ezra Klein, poker champion Annie Duke, and mathematician and former NFL player John Urschel, among many others.
His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Slate, The Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere. He has taught middle and high school math in the U.S. and the U.K. He now considers writing his day job and teaching his passion project.