Test-Day Tips

Vince Kotchian Test Prep

SAT, ACT, & GRE Classes + Tutoring


We help people get competitive SAT, ACT, and GRE scores.

People work with us in a couple of ways:

1. Small group SAT, ACT, and GRE classes

2. One-on-one GRE, ACT, and SAT tutoring

Since SAT, ACT, and GRE prep is all we do, we can offer the deep understanding people need to achieve the kind of score improvement that makes a difference.

Learn more about getting your SAT, ACT, or GRE black belt here. Or keep scrolling to read more about us. 

SAT, PSAT, ACT, and GRE Prep

Need Advice? You're in the right place.

Why We're Good At This

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, and GRE full-time since 2008.

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

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 friendliness, 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 big test prep companies since we're focused on quality, not quantity.

Vince, Matt, Blake, Bronte, & Bridget


Vince Kotchian

Meet the Vince Kotchian Test Prep tutors. We range from having a few years to more than 10 years of experience, but we all have the same approach and philosophy.

Please note that all of us who tutor in person also tutor online.

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, optimizing my health, reading fiction (my current favorite author is Philip Pullman) and The Economist, 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, and GRE (and teaches classes). 

Vince meets with students in his Sorrento Valley office or online, 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 also tutors the ISEE.

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 at 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 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 tapdancing class, or paddleboarding at Pacific Beach with my little sister!

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

She meets with students in her Point Loma office or online 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 only available for online tutoring 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.


(Student) and I will always be grateful to you for all the support and guidance you provided to him which enabled him to do amazing on his SAT. He was also thrilled that he only had to take it one time. I will admit, getting private SAT tutoring was definitely a sacrifice... but it was honestly the absolute BEST investment. (Student's) GPA is not very high, so I know his SAT score really helped him, not only with being admitted to every school he applied to, but also with the merit scholarships he earned.(College) offered him a guaranteed slot into their direct entry doctorate program as well as a full-tuition scholarship beginning freshman year and continuing until the completion of his doctoral program.

– SAT Parent


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 worked one on one with Matt for about 9 months in total to prepare for my ACT. I took the real test once and got a respectable score, but we decided that I could definitely push further to improve. The second time taking the ACT, my Math section improved by 4 points and my Science by 6 points from the first test, and I received a perfect score (36) in both the English and Reading sections! I loved working with Matt because he is so positive and intelligent. He is very patient and really seems to care about his students and cater to their learning styles. I would definitely recommend him to anyone who wants to improve their standardized test scores!

– ACT Student


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

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How We Work

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

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

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