Test-Day Tips

Vince Kotchian Test Prep

black belt level SAT, ACT, GMAT, & GRE Classes


Let me guess - you're smart, you work hard, and you get good grades. Now you have to take the SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT - and you want scores that make you stand out from the crowd.

We can help. Instead of offering tutoring on everything under the sun like most companies do, we only tutor the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. By focusing only on these four tests, we can offer a high level of expertise.

Also, people like us! Check out our reviews on Yelp and Google. We have more 5-star reviews than any other local test prep company.

Learn more about getting your SAT, ACT, GRE, or GMAT black belt here.

Want to talk to a human being? Call or text Vince directly at 760-542-8395.


Need Advice? You're in the right place.

We Can Help

Hi! I'm Vince.

Test prep is my career: I'm the founder here at Vince Kotchian Test Prep, and I've been tutoring and teaching classes for the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT full-time since 2008.

I've also written several test-prep books, and I've created GRE, SAT, and ACT video courses for LinkedIn.

Matt, Blake, Bronte, Bridget, and I are test experts, but we're good at what we do for a few other reasons, too:

Sense of humor: Test prep is important, but being serious all the time is boring!

Kindness: We think compassion and empathy are vital to good teaching.

Empowerment: Half (or more) of the battle is to teach students how to get things done at home.

Also: We're only in San Diego. Just as your local taco shop is a million times better than Taco Bell and farmer's market veggies make the ones at Costco taste like cardboard, we're better than national test prep companies since our small size lets us maintain quality. 

Vince, Matt, Blake, Bronte, & Bridget

About Us

Vince Kotchian

Meet the Vince Kotchian Test Prep tutors:

Vince: I grew up in Connecticut and completed the honors program at Boston College, graduating with a B.A. in English Literature. After living in Boston for many years, it dawned on me that life would be much better without wet, cold, five-month-long winters. I moved to San Diego in 2007 and I’ve been working full-time as a test-prep tutor and author ever since.

In my spare time, I like traveling using miles and points, reading fiction (my current favorite author is Philip Pullman) and The Economist, performing improv and sketch comedy, playing Kentucky Route Zero, watching The Great British Bake-Off, hiking in the Pacific Northwest, and rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots. I live in the Kensington neighborhood with my wife and our crazy cat.

Vince tutors the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT (and teaches classes).

His office is in Sorrento Valley and he can be reached at (760) 542-8395 (phone or text).

Meet Matt

Matt Sheelen

Matt: I am originally from Hopkinton, Massachusetts - the start of the historic Boston Marathon. I went to college at Northwestern University, where I graduated with a degree in Theatre. After college, I wised up and moved to the warmer coast. I worked in Los Angeles for many years as a full-time SAT / ACT tutor and part-time arts educator.

I have been tutoring for over 10 years and have spent thousands of hours helping students improve their scores. Recently, I moved to San Diego after getting a M.A. in Education from Stanford University, and I currently work as a credentialed classroom teacher.

When I’m not working, I enjoy good books, performing improv comedy, surfing, watching Game of Thrones, and enjoying the charms of San Diego. I live in North Park, where I love to get out and take advantage of all the delicious food in the area. I am also a huge Boston sports fan - the Patriots, Red Sox, and Celtics are my favorite teams.

Matt tutors the SAT and ACT (and teaches classes).

He is based in North Park and can be reached at (323) 761-0170 (phone or text).

this is blake

Blake Jensen

Blake: I am one of the few native San Diegans who grew up here and returned after college. I played college basketball at Saint Mary's College in northern California and then Whittier College, earning a B.A. in Psychology in 2002.

Once I realized I didn't want to chase the dream of professional basketball, I had to get a real job. I knew I liked working with teenagers, so I did some substitute teaching in high schools and starting teaching chemistry classes while tutoring students on the side. I realized I liked tutoring more than teaching overstuffed classrooms of 35 students, and I have now been a test prep tutor for over 10 years.

With my free time, I like to sing karaoke (terribly), follow the NBA, and lecture my son on how much better Star Wars was "back in the day".

Blake tutors the SAT, ACT, and GRE (and teaches classes).

He is based in Encinitas and can be reached at (858) 367-0187 (phone or text).

Hey Bronte!

Bronte D'Acquisto

Bronte: I was fortunate enough to be born and raised in sunny San Diego! After graduating from West Hills High School, I went straight into San Diego State University where I graduated, magna cum laude, with a BFA in 2012. After spending my college years preparing to have a career as a Dramaturge, life took a turn after I accepted a job as a SAT/ACT tutor!

I quickly realized that my ability to be meticulous, my passion for problem solving and puzzles, and my inherent drive to organize information all worked seamlessly together with every question I took on. I decided to switch gears and focus on building my skills as an educator and test prep instructor. Also, with my newfound love for mathematics, I re-enrolled in school in order to build my own math fundamentals.

I am now entering my fifth year as an SAT / ACT tutor. When I am not tutoring, I am usually uploading a calculus YouTube video, taking a tap dancing class, or paddle boarding at Pacific Beach with my little sister!

Bronte tutors the SAT and ACT.

She is based in Golden Hill and can be reached at (619) 249-2657 (phone or text).

Bonjour, Bridget

Bridget Vaughan

Bridget: I am a La Jolla native and a Bishop’s alumna, and I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. While at Berkeley, I helped to create and T.A. for a popular interdisciplinary course titled ‘Sense and Sensibility and Science,’ which integrates physics, philosophy, and public policy. Outside of studying and tutoring, I rowed crew, played club water polo, and wrote as a university journalist.

After Berkeley, I spent time at the University of Queensland, camping across the South Island of New Zealand, and at a medical device incubator in Silicon Valley.

I have always enjoyed getting to know my students' unique learning styles to determine the most effective way to improve their testing abilities,and I now tutor full-time.

I am grateful to live close to family, and love to spend time with them at dog beach, hiking Torrey Pines, or perusing local farmers markets.

Bridget tutors the SAT and ACT.

She is based in Del Mar and can be reached at (858) 652-1591 (phone or text).

a few of my favorite testimonials


To see all of our reviews, check out Yelp and Google. We have more 5-star reviews than any other local test prep company. 

162 verbal; 161 math. 5.5 AWA. I’ll take it!!! Thank you so much for all of your help while I was preparing for the GRE. I didn’t feel like a doofus while you read my essays and taught me math, and I didn’t feel like a doofus while taking my test (which I know helped)! Plus we shared a few laughs, and I love laughing! You rock; thanks so much for everything.

– GRE Student, San Diego

(Student was accepted into Columbia’s journalism school.)


I stress to the maximum when it comes to generalized tests, to the point where I can't focus or even think straight! I had previously taken the GRE twice before taking Vince's class and did not meet my expectations or schools’ expectations, but I increased all around with scores and expectations after taking his class! *He taught multiple applications for each question and how to find the best solution (on an individual basis) for finding the answer. *He is super calm (which helped my ever speedy brain to process what I needed to) and went through questions and processes step by step. *He answered ALL of my questions (I had tons) and checked for clarification. He often expanded beyond what I had asked and helped me to understand where my logic was either correct or not and suggested helpful tips on how to improve. *He is very personable; I felt like he wanted my classmates and I to succeed, which helped with overall morale. Overall, if you are looking for a superb GRE prep class look no further, Vince's class is it! Take it, you won't regret it!

-GRE Student, San Diego


Our daughter worked with Matt Sheelen to prepare for the ACT, and she could not have been more pleased. Matt gave her clear strategies to improve in the areas that she needed to most, and, from her 1st practice test to the real test, she raised her score 8 points! She did so well on the actual test the 1st time she took it, that she did not even need to re-take it, as many students choose to do. On top of Matt's expertise, he happens to be a really great guy that relates well to teens (and their parents :-) ). My daughter really enjoyed working with him and we highly recommend him.

– ACT Parent


I’ve recommended Vince to my friends for their children and am happy to recommend him to you. Vince worked with (student) via Skype because we live out of the area. They quickly established a great rapport and the results were fantastic! (Student) got a 32 on the ACT and has been admitted to Stanford — and is also being considered for merit scholarships at UC Berkeley and USC. Thank you Vince! We appreciate all your help!

- ACT parent


I took the ACT in June and got a 23, I started seeing Vince in late July and then got a 28 on my September ACT and a 30 on my October ACT. The super score between my last two is a 31! Vince is amazing!! I did not think it was possible to go up 8 points. He taught me "mantras" to remind myself during the test. Having severe ADHD and Dyslexia, this was never a score I would expect to receive, I was hoping for a 27 (as a reach.) Vince exceeded my expectations and helped more than I thought possible.

– ACT Student, La Jolla Country Day H.S., San Diego


Vince was great. I had a lot of trouble in the reading and writing portion of the test, but he helped me understand and improve those portions. He also is very understanding and easy to talk to. I am naturally a very shy person, but whenever I had a one on one with him, I could always talk to him. He also helped me build up my confidence on the SAT.

– SAT Student, La Jolla Country Day H.S., San Diego


I thought you might like to know that (student’s) second SAT scores are in and he accomplished what he set out to do.  He brought up his Verbal score to 790 (from 750) and his Math score to 760 (from 700). Pretty darn good.  Thank you for all your help.

– SAT Parent, The Bishop's School, San Diego

Ready to get started?

How We Work

Now that you know a bit more about us, let's talk about how we work with people.

Learn more

Or, feel free to call or text me (Vince) directly at 760-542-8395.

Copyright 2018 Vince Kotchian Test Prep
5230 Carroll Canyon Road, Suite 206, San Diego CA 92121
Telephone 760-542-8395

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