Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the questions I receive most frequently. If you have a question that’s not answered here, please feel free to contact me.
No, I work with students from all over the world via video-conferencing and virtual classroom tools. Over the years, I’ve developed the best tools to use for online tutoring, and I’ve been able to get results as good as, and often better than, in-person tutoring as a result.
In short, every student is different. A student with a lower starting score will need more time. Higher scoring students may only need a few sessions. For a student with an average starting score, I generally recommend 20-30 hours of prep over the course of their testing (from junior through senior year). I tailor every program to each individual student, but the majority of my students do a single 1 to 1.5 hour session with me each week. And I’m still able to get better results than anyone else in the world!
On average, my students increase their ACT scores by 6.5 composite points and their SAT scores by 220 points (on the new 1600 version). I’ve had students increase from a 19 to a 32 on the ACT and have had multiple students achieve perfect scores on both exams. Those increased scores opened the door to colleges that were previously beyond their reach. The average cost of a year of college is well past $50,000….so for about the cost of half a quarter of university tuition, you can increase the chances of your child getting a better score and going to a better school.
If you go to a company that has name recognition from their extensive advertising (such as Kaplan, Princeton Review, etc), you’ll be paying $200/hr or more for the privilege, but did you know that they pay their tutors a starting rate of $35/hr or less? So in essence, you’re paying $200/hour for a $35/hour tutor who has little or no experience. The rest of that money goes into marketing and other overhead costs, and then it’s pure profit for the owners. With me, you’re paying for my expertise and getting one of the premier SAT/ACT tutors in the world. Most companies want to meet with your child for 3 or more hours per week, so even if their rate is a little lower, you’ll end up paying more because they convince you to do more hours than necessary!
No, and I’d be wary of working with anyone who does. Why? Because there are too many factors that go into score increases, and oftentimes the companies offering increases have more fine print attached to their so-called guarantees than you can imagine. That said, what I do guarantee is that I will do everything in my power to help your child achieve success in this process. I provide the tools for a diligent student to understand and master these exams, and if they practice using those tools, they’ll improve their scores. And I’ll be there with you and your child every step of the way. Guaranteed.
I literally helped write the book on how best to prepare for these tests, so I use my own material, which is based on over 15 years of studying every aspect of the SAT and ACT. Along with that, I only use REAL exams from the test makers themselves. The College Board and ACT spend millions of dollars every year on developing these exams using psychometrics, so using any other tests just doesn’t make sense.
Deciding which exam to take is one of the most important factors in test prep. In short, your child should take whichever exam he/she can get a better score on. Before tutoring, I have all students take a diagnostic SAT and ACT using a real past exam. Based on those results, I recommend which test to focus on. I do not recommend trying to prepare for both exams at once.
I currently work with students both online and in-person in Los Angeles. My in-person schedule is almost completely full, which means I am generally unavailable for tutoring Monday-Friday from 4pm-8pm Pacific Standard Time, with some exceptions. I am available outside of those hours for online tutoring and will do my best to find a day and time that works for you.
Absolutely not. Everything is done on an hourly basis, as every student is unique, and I do not ever want you to feel like you have to buy a large number of hours to secure my services. However, if after a session or two, you do decide that you would like to commit to a certain number of hours, I can offer a discount on my hourly rate depending on the individual circumstances.
First of all, I try to make tutoring fun, or at least tolerable. Many of my students say they look forward to our sessions because I keep things light while still staying focused on the task at hand. In general, I will focus on test-taking strategies along with content mastery. There will be homework in between sessions, which we will go over to ensure understanding of each of the topics covered. Once the basic strategies and content are covered, most of the homework will be based on taking past official exams and then going over them in depth together during our sessions.