One-on-one ACT tutoring for students who don't test well
It's quite common for us to talk to parents who tell us their child "is a bad test-taker" or "doesn't test well". Since the ACT is not only timed but is also high-stakes, private tutoring can help in a few ways:
1. Experience. If a student literally takes ALL released ACT tests from the past few years (that's just 9 tests for those of you keeping score at home), they'll be much more accustomed to the format and patterns of the ACT, and will be more able to adapt to new questions on test day. The ACT is a standardized test: it's very predictable, so we can anticipate a lot of what it's going to throw at you.
2. Strategy. Working with all different kinds of students over many years has given us a deep database of strategies and tactics. It makes it easier for us to figure out effective ways to explain these tricky tests to students who don't naturally test well. We teach test-taking strategies that are tailored to your skill level, learning style, and goal score.
3. Support. Mastering the ACT is a process, and it's vital that tutors can not only explain the material well but also that they can be kind and encouraging along the way. Unlike a class, tutoring is adjusted to your particular learning style and speed.
By the way, no one likes to hear that they are going to have to prepare for both the ACT and the SAT, but students with test anxiety / bad test-takers can sometimes benefit from doing so, since two tests = more opportunities to have one good test day. Be sure to ask us about SAT tutoring if that might be an interest - all our ACT tutors also tutor the SAT.
As always, the most important question for you to ask is this:
"Who, exactly, will be the person teaching my kid?"
One-on-one tutoring, with us, is completely customized to your learning style, personality, and needs. We have extensive experience working with students with learning disabilities.
Talking through the nuances of ACT practice questions not only allows us to explain, in detail, the strategies that work, but that conversation also allows us to see what a student is thinking, ask the right questions to test understanding, and adjust our instruction minute-by-minute.
"What are the benefits of private ACT tutoring?"
- Instruction tailored to your child's learning style, motivation level, and personality
- The opportunity to talk through the nuances of questions with someone with several years of experience with the test
- Homework adjusted to your specific needs
- Accountability and encouragement :)
Private ACT tutoring is simply the most effective and efficient way to raise scores.
Look for each tutor's location and pricing in their bio.
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. I usually have something in common with every student - my interests are really diverse!
SAT / ACT tutoring with Matt is $200 an hour ($180 / hour for 10 or more hours). He meets with students online via Zoom, and in person in North Park or Mission Valley. Matt specializes in helping students set and achieve ambitious score goals, as well as helping them build their confidence and test-taking abilities.
Matt also teaches most of our live SAT classes.
"I received one-on-one tutoring from Matt for the ACT for a couple months. Matt was very supportive, helpful, and patient. He always supplied ample practice tests, helped me understand the errors I made, and taught me how to improve my timing on each section. Over the course of my tutoring sessions I was able to improve my score by 5 points. Additionally, I received my score goal on my first attempt at the ACT. I could not recommend Matt enough!!" - Makaylee Dahms
Blake: I’m a native San Diegan, father, and an aficionado of basketball, vintage video games, pitchy karaoke, and lecturing my son on how much better Star Wars was "back in the day." I played college basketball at St. Mary’s College and Whittier College, where I earned my B.A. in Psychology in 2002.
Having been a full-time test prep coach for over 13 years, I have seen just about every type of student and tutoring situation. This allows me to give my students exactly what they need to reach their goals.
My years of experience have also led me to coach my students a little differently than most. A lot of test prep revolves around how to answer a question. While that is a necessary component, identifying what is needed to answer a question is at least as important, especially for timed tests like the SAT and ACT. I show my students how to look at the test the way I do, to the patterns and tendencies of the tests to make them faster and more accurate.
Though I still work with students of all types, these days I tend to specialize in students with ambitious score goals.
SAT / ACT tutoring with Blake is $249 / hour (or $224 / hour for 10 or more hours).
He meets clients in his Del Mar Heights office, or online via Zoom.
"Blake was an excellent ACT tutor for our sixteen year old son. Blake encouraged and supported our son consistently. Our son improved his score by five points working with Blake after only 2 months. Blake is kind, smart, understanding, and reliable. He was able to identify weaknesses and construct a strategy that facilitated improvement and success. Our son also struggled with timing and I believe Blake instilled some helpful suggestions and fueled confidence in our son from his years of experience in helping other kids manage their time anxiety in that regard." - Andrea Clawson
Kaitlin: I am originally from Amarillo, TX, where I developed a love of BBQ, country music, and beautiful sunsets (I can still get about 2 out of 3 of these things in San Diego).
I attended the University of Pennsylvania, and received a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering with minors in Spanish and Nanotechnology. I realized that after seeing tumbleweeds in Texas and snowstorms in Philadelphia, it was time to see the beach a bit more! After a summer of backpacking around the world, I decided to make the leap into teaching. I have now been teaching for six years and have my California teaching credential in chemistry. I have worked at High Tech High Chula Vista, La Jolla Country Day School, and I’m currently teaching at another private school. My passion is making chemistry relevant to my students, and especially connecting my curriculum to current environmental issues.
At the same time I started teaching, I began tutoring the SAT and ACT. I use my knowledge of classroom teaching to infuse my tutoring sessions with strategies for students to help improve their scores. I love helping students do well on these tests so that they can shine in other areas of their college applications. I never want a test score to limit a student from their potential dreams and goals.
SAT / ACT tutoring with Kaitlin is $175 per hour ($157.50 / hour for 10 or more hours).
She meets students in person or online.
"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
"My 17 year old daughter used Blake this past summer for a month to help her improve her SAT scores for college admittance. Blake thoroughly trained her for the test and she felt prepared going in on text day. Her scores went up 200 points with Blake's fantastic tutoring help. She got a 1250 and is thrilled. Blake is worth every penny of your time. Thank you again."
- SAT Parent
"My daughter worked with Bronte D’Acquisto for about two months to prepare for her SAT and ACT. Bronte’s help was invaluable! She assessed where Fiona’s strong points and weak points were on both tests, and worked to improve on the weak points. They offered proctored practice tests so you can take the test in a testing situation, which I highly recommend. My daughter got exceptional scores on both tests on the first attempt, and I think Bronte’s focused tutoring made all the difference. Thank you!!"
- ACT Parent
"(Student) and I will always be grateful to you, Vince, 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...especially being both a single mom and a teacher, but it was honestly the absolute BEST investment. His 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. They offered him a guaranteed slot into their direct entry doctor of physical therapy program as well as a full-tuition scholarship beginning freshman year and continuing until the completion of his doctoral program."
- SAT Parent, The Bishop's School