Expert Tutoring for successful GRE, SAT, or ACT prep.


Vince Kotchian Test Prep is an independent SAT, ACT, and GRE tutoring company. We're based in San Diego, CA, but we also meet people online via Zoom. Everything we do is designed to help you raise your scores.

We're probably the most expensive test prep tutors in San Diego. Why? In stark contrast to our competitors - who employ a rotating cast of 23-year-olds - our tutors have an average of 10 years of experience. We pay them really well because we only hire tutors who are already extremely good at what they do.

In addition to SAT, ACT, and GRE prep, we also offer prep for the GMAT, ISEE, SSAT, and HSPT tests, and graduate school personal statement / statement of purpose help.

Check out our 190+ Google Reviews here!


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We Actually Are Different


The factor that matters most in test prep is the person working with you.

We don't hire new tutors and train them, since we realize that "tutor" is not a long-term career for most, and that we'd inevitably have lots of turnover if we hired a bunch of recent college graduates like our local competitors do. Just because someone is smart and went to a great college does NOT mean they're a good tutor - effective tutoring goes way beyond the ability to explain how to do a question. 

Our tutors not only can explain the test well, but will help you with everything from content to strategy to things like test-taking skills, time management, and how to get more out of the studying and homework you do.

Experience really matters. We've learned what works and what doesn't work, so you can raise your scores as efficiently and effectively as possible - if you're willing to work hard, that is!


Our Values


  • Giving back: we offer yearly scholarships to college-bound high school students and both pre-veterinary undergraduate and veterinary graduate students. We also offer a 15% military discount.
  • People over profits: Our tutors have complete autonomy and are paid about triple the industry average.
  • Convenience: Our tutors' phone numbers are listed on our contact page so you can call or text any of us directly.
  • Kindness and compassion: In today's stressful world, empathy and a holistic learning approach are even more important for successful teacher - student relationships.
  • Excellence: We eat, sleep, and breathe test prep, and our tutors have an average of 10 years of experience delivering high-quality, personalized teaching.


SAT Prep Classes

We keep our SAT classes small (12 or fewer students), so that everyone gets a chance to ask questions and participate. These classes are taught by Matt Sheelen, an expert SAT tutor with 12 years of experience, so you'll get an elite teacher while paying much less than you would for private tutoring. The classes cover the SAT's Reading, Writing & Language, and Math sections.

"I recently took the SAT course with Matt. He was extremely helpful and patient. He kept the class light and fun all while giving us an immense amount of information. I’ve never fully understood grammatical concepts, but now I’m confident in that subject area thanks to Matt. Also, he gave me a new perspective on how to solve various reading and math problems that I would not have understood before. 10/10 recommend this class to whoever is looking for a prep course." - Izzy Doggett


GRE Verbal Classes

Expert GRE tutor Vince Kotchian personally teaches all of our GRE verbal classes, which provide the skills and strategies to more precisely determine whether answers are right or wrong. These classes also cover the analytical writing part of the test. Limited to 12 students per class. Vince also created an online GRE verbal prep course.

"Highly recommend! I signed up for Vince’s GRE Verbal classes about 2 months before I was set to take my GRE (that was a requirement for my Physician Assistant school application). The class was 2 weeks long, and honestly, I was so glad I found the class. Vince is a pretty cool guy and really knows his grad school and GRE stuff. His classes are small and personalized, he teaches you strategies on how to handle the different types of questions on the test, and it helped me immensely on my actual test. He goes over examples in class, assigns homework, reviews essays before each class and then offers feedback, and even gives you GRE prep material. One of my favorites was this mini dictionary type of book that had mnemonics for all the crazy words I’d never heard of, which was such a helpful tool to remember the meanings of words. Vince is also super calm and easy-going, which in my opinion helps with students who are stressed out or who can’t get the hang of certain answers right away, and really takes the time to help his students, Each class, he also reminded us that we could reach out to him if we needed more help in any segment of our prep. I haven’t come across very many teachers who go beyond the class environment to help students out, and you can see that Vince really cares about our success on the test. Verbal on the GRE can be daunting, but Vince’s class definitely helped deal with the challenge better. Of course, once you have your strategies in place, you need to apply it to your own practice tests. But I know I wouldn’t have been able to tackle the verbal section the way I did without Vince’s training.  Thanks for all the guidance, Vince." - Sindhu Keck


GRE Math Classes

Our GRE math classes are taught by both Vince Kotchian and Kaitlin Douglass. They teach both math concepts and math strategies, and offer weekly study plan feedback so you can be as productive as possible throughout the week. They offer both beginner and advanced homework assignments so you can benefit no matter your math skill level. 12 people max per class. P.S. If you need a lot of help with GRE math, a great place to start is Vince's free Complete Guide to GRE Math.

"I highly recommend Vince's Test Prep. I signed up for his GRE Quant class last year and can't say enough great things about the experience. He did a great job reviewing key concepts that would be on the exam. My class size was around 5-7 people, and Vince was able to tailor the class for each student. Long story short, if you're taking the GRE, sign up for Vince's test prep. You won't regret it." - Nicole Dionisopoulos


GRE Verbal Video Course

In his GRE Verbal Precision video course, Vince explains the strategies and techniques he teaches to his private GRE tutoring students. A great way to learn GRE verbal and essay strategies from an expert - at an affordable price.

"Vince knows what he is doing. His experience shows. He has been responsive, respectful, and encouraging throughout my time working with him. I took his online GRE Verbal Precision course to improve in the verbal section, and my GRE score improved by 5 in verbal to a 166 out of 170, making my dream schools seem attainable. I would highly recommend Vince to anyone who is willing to put in the work to improve." - James Thompson


GRE Study Plans

Vince has created free one, two, three, and four month GRE study plans that cover every part of the test. He also offers customized GRE study plans based on your unique situation, timeline, and goals. Learn more about our self-study options on our GRE prep page.

"I started with Vince without a solid GRE studying plan and not sure where to turn for materials and what to study. Vince worked with me through his Customized GRE Study Plan, and he helped me to find what would work best for my studying process and find my baseline knowledge of the GRE topics to continually improve upon. In the end, I was able to improve my verbal by 4 points and my math by 10!! He is very knowledgeable on the tests he tutors for, and I would definitely recommend him for any test prep needs you may have!" - Danielle Bello


SAT Tutoring

For SAT tutoring students, we completely customize the experience: every minute is focused on what the student needs. Surprisingly, most of our local competitors - that charge as much as we do for one-on-one SAT tutoring - will restrict their tutors to a rigid curriculum. We've found that a personalized approach tailored to each student's personality, ability, and learning style works much better. If your score really matters on the SAT, working one-on-one with an experienced expert can be a great investment. We offer tutoring for the entire SAT, including the Reading, Writing & Language, and Math sections. We also have extensive experience helping LD/ADHD students succeed on the SAT and often work with homeschooled students.

"SAT SCORED RAISED 260 POINTS!!! My daughter tutored with Blake for 3 months to improve her SAT score. He is extremely patient, kind and understanding. He pushed her when he knew she could do better or if she got a bit lazy. She really enjoyed his style of teaching. He taught her good study habits and test taking skills. Blake was even able to ease her test anxiety. I will be recommending Blake to every parent I know. He is worth every penny!!" - Jennifer Murdoch

"I was tutored by Matt Sheelen for SAT Prep. Matt is very thorough and has a number of strategies to teach a section. He made me feel comfortable when I didn't understand something. And I got into my reach school! I know if I didn't have Matt, I wouldn't be at my dream university. If you're ready to buckle down and put in some blood, sweat, and tears, I recommend Matt! Hard work really does pay off." - Aliana Witt


ACT Tutoring

Like our SAT tutoring, our ACT tutoring allows our tutors to tailor your child's study plan and instruction to make the most of their learning style, strengths, and personality. Tutoring conversations allow us to get at the heart of understanding ACT questions, so that the student can learn lessons that will help them solve similar problems in the future. We offer tutoring for the entire ACT, including the English, Math, Reading, and Science sections. We also have extensive experience helping LD / ADHD students succeed on the ACT and often work with homeschool students as well.

"My daughter worked via Skype and Facetime with Matt Sheelen for about 6 months to prepare for taking the ACT, and she improved her scores to a high level, but equally important, I think, she developed a positive spirit toward taking the test. In a nutshell, Matt is an excellent instructor on every level. Matt identified her weaknesses and tailored their work to build skills, strategy, and confidence. He is gifted in his ability to explain or reason with students creatively. Matt -- with a rare combination of seriousness and humor -- made the process feel less overwhelming. His work and personal kindness also made my daughter (and me!) feel supported in the college application process. As a parent, I particularly appreciate the positive attitude Matt inspires." - Susan L.

"We have had an excellent experience working with Blake. He worked with our son last year, and he scored a 34 on his first ACT exam. This year he has brought our daughter from a 24 to 31 after her first group of sessions. Easy to communicate with & really cares about our children’s personal as well as academic success. Very highly recommend!" - Karen Hallinan


GRE Verbal Tutoring

In our GRE verbal tutoring sessions, you'll have the opportunity to talk through questions with an experienced tutor, get feedback on a minute-by-minute basis, and receive customized homework assignments based on your skill level and goals. It's the most efficient and effective way to master the test. If you're an older or non-traditional student, or if you have LD / ADHD, we are happy to help!

"I was lucky enough to have one-on-one GRE prep with Vince, and it made all the difference! I knew exactly what to expect, going into the test, and I was able to rely on many tips, tricks, and suggestions from a real pro (along with some very real knowledge that I gained through lots of guided practice and review). Vince is patient and encouraging, while remaining realistic and providing constructive feedback about how to improve. I would highly recommend any of Vince's courses and individual tutoring. Scheduling is easy and flexible, and the entire experience helped remove a lot of the anxiety usually associated with standardized test-taking. Thanks, Vince!" - Jeremiah Darnell


GRE Math Tutoring

Whether you're really struggling with GRE quant or you're trying to get a perfect score, working with an experienced tutor can really help in two ways: 1. You'll learn exactly what to do outside of tutoring to make the most of your time, and 2. We'll share the insight that we've gained by dissecting GRE math problems with hundreds of students over the years. Going to business school or law school? We can help get you ready for this test.

"I can't recommend these guys enough. I decided to apply for grad school 4 months before the application deadline and, having been out of school for nearly a decade, was feeling pretty anxious about the GRE. My biggest concern was the QR section (I hadn't taken a math class in over 13 years and my career thus far didn't involve anything beyond basic algebra), so I enrolled in private tutoring with Bronte. She was an absolute delight to work with. I could come to her with high level questions and she'd break down the concepts and help me identify what was actually being tested and directed me towards which practice problems/exercises would be most beneficial to me. She wouldn't just give me the answer, but would work through problems with me and again, never made me feel stupid for not knowing how to do something I judged to be simple and basic. Scheduling was a breeze, she was easy to communicate with and was ALWAYS pleasant and encouraging. In both Verbal and QR, as I took my practice tests, my scores consistently got better which really boosted my confidence going into test day. In the end, I walked away with scores well above what I needed to get into my program of choice. Vince and Bronte had both asked to know how it went in the end, so I can tell they're really invested in their students and want them to do well. If I ever hear of anyone looking for a tutor, I'm absolutely sending them to Vince Kotchian Test Prep." - Ty Wycoff


GMAT Tutoring

The GMAT is a beast, but it can be conquered through hard work and smart work. In our GMAT tutoring sessions, you'll have the opportunity to talk through questions with our expert Blake Jensen, get feedback on a minute-by-minute basis, and receive customized homework assignments based on your skill level and goals. If you're concerned about your GMAT score, tutoring is the best way to improve it efficiently so you can get on with the rest of the stuff you need to do to apply to business schools. We offer a 15% discount for active duty military who work with us for GMAT tutoring.


ISEE and SSAT Tutoring

Matt Sheelen does all of our ISEE tutoring and also does our SSAT tutoring. He has over 13 years of experience helping kids raise their scores on these tricky exams. If your child is applying to a selective private school, Matt can help them perform their best on the entrance exam. P.S. Matt also does HSPT tutoring.

"Matt is a true professional who sincerely cares about his students. My daughter prepared for the ISEE with Matt for several weeks. Not only was Matt cognizant of what was required on the test, but he also provided support and guidance on how to remain positive and focused in the lead up to the test. My daughter really enjoyed her zoom tutoring sessions and Matt was able to effectively conduct all of her sessions online. He used her time well, knew where she had weaknesses and had a clear plan of how to help her improve on weaker areas. I have no hesitation in recommending Matt. We also used Matt for our other daughter who also sat the ISEE two years prior and she was accepted into her first choice school." - Therese Collins


Graduate School Personal Statements / Statements of Purpose

It can be hard to condense your life into 500 words! Don't worry - we can help. Lauren Hammond is our grad school personal statement / statement of purpose expert, and will be happy to give you feedback on your draft or take you from square one to a polished final product that will help your graduate school application stand out. We often work with people applying to healthcare programs like PA, PT, OT, psych, SLP, and veterinary school.


Higher Scores = More Options

The result of our methods? More efficiency, more student engagement, and more effective test prep, which leads to higher scores and happy clients. We have more 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google than any other local test-prep company.


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Our San Diego Locations (We Also Teach Online!)

We serve most areas of San Diego county including Carmel Valley, La Jolla, UTC, Solana Beach, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, 4S Ranch, Encinitas, Pacific Beach, and Point Loma.

We meet people in person at the below locations and also offer all of our services online via Zoom. (Click an address to see a map / get directions.)