GRE test anxiety strategies and tutoring near you & online

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GRE Test Anxiety: How We Can Help


GRE test anxiety is a problem for a lot of people. So first of all, don't feel bad if it's happening to you. It's normal to feel anxious about a high-stakes exam like the GRE. But don't be passive about it. There are things you can do that may help reduce the anxiety you feel on test day, even if you've always felt like a bad test-taker.

We've got two options for you:


Option 1: Vince's Test Anxiety Online Course


Option 2: GRE Tutoring For People Who Experience Test Anxiety


GRE Test Anxiety Course: 7 Tips and 14 Exercises To Help You Feel Calmer During The Test



I've been a full-time GRE tutor since 2008, and I've seen many of my students struggle with test anxiety over the years. In this course, I'll share with you what worked for people who overcame that anxiety.

The course is divided into 7 sections:

1. Our Premises - why you feel anxious.

2. The Physical Pieces of the Puzzle - what you can do physically to help with your state of mind.

3. Procrastination and Overconfidence - how to battle these mental bugbears.

4. Desensitization Training - how to reduce your anxiety through exposure to what you fear.

5. Imagine The Worst - use your imagination to face your fears and reduce the feeling of doom.

6. Reframe Like An Olympic Athlete - view your anxiety through a different lens to make it work for you.

7. Test-Taking Skills - practice test-taking behavior that will reduce feelings of panic.


The course gets straight to the point, so you can learn how to lower your GRE test anxiety as efficiently as possible. There is zero fluff in this course!

Bonus: You'll also get an invite to access my GRE Prep Squad Discord for free after you sign up, so you can ask me questions directly!



I strongly recommend allowing yourself about 6-8 weeks to work on your test anxiety - although this is a quick course, it is not a quick fix. These exercises need to be practiced repeatedly for maximum effectiveness.

Sign up now, and you'll learn tips and drills to make a difference in how anxious you feel when you take the real GRE!

GRE Test Anxiety Tutoring


Most - if not all - of our tutoring clients have at least some test anxiety. Over the years, we've learned several methods to help them mitigate the effect their anxiety has on their test-day performance.

If you're worried about test anxiety hampering your ability to do your best on the GRE, a tutor can be a great sounding board for your fears. When we talk about your test anxiety, we'll inevitably find things you can change about the ways you're studying for the test, thinking about the test, and taking the test -- that will help lower your anxiety to a more manageable level.

Since the psychology of test-taking is such an important part of GRE prep, we think a discussion of test anxiety and ways to mitigate it is an important component of most GRE tutoring plans.

BTW, Vince also offers a personalized GRE study plan if you're not sure you need live tutoring.


The most important question to ask, we think, is this:


"Who will be the person tutoring me?"


We're probably the most expensive 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 extremely good at what they do.

One-on-one tutoring, with us, is completely customized to your learning style, personality, and needs.

In our GRE tutoring sessions, talking through the nuances of practice questions not only allows us to explain, in detail, the strategies that work, but those conversations also allow us to see what you're thinking and adjust our instruction minute-by-minute - something you can't easily get from a big class and that you certainly can't get from a GRE video course.

(Above: Vince demonstrates a key GRE quant strategy.)


Conversation is what makes private tutoring so valuable. It allows us to see the best way to help you, whether the problem is content, strategy, timing, test anxiety, or even your personal approach to studying and test-taking.




"Is GRE tutoring worth it?" Here are some of the benefits:

  • A study plan and schedule tailored to your specific situation and adjusted as you go
  • Talking through questions with someone with several years of experience with the GRE and its many quirks
  • Math explained in plain English
  • Feedback on your essays
  • Accountability and encouragement :)


"Can you do well on the GRE if you're a bad test-taker?

Yes! The bad news is it will take some hard work over a period of months, not weeks. The good news? You have the opportunity to prepare more efficiently and effectively than you have in the past, if you devise an intelligent study plan.


One-on-one tutoring is simply the most effective way to raise your GRE score.


Look for each tutor's location and pricing in their bio.

Vince Kotchian

Vince Kotchian GRE Tutoring Vince Kotchian GRE Tutoring Vince Kotchian GRE Tutoring

Vince: Hi! 

What you probably will benefit from most, in my experience, is:

  1. A GRE study plan tailored to your specific situation
  2. Following that study plan to build foundation, learn strategies, practice effectively, and learn from your mistakes
  3. Maybe also GRE tutoring (see below)

If you have more than a few months to prepare, I recommend starting with my personalized study plan and then moving into tutoring after you build some foundation.

If you have less than a few months to prepare, tutoring should probably start soon. All tutoring includes my customized study plan / customized homework, so you can maximize your productivity between sessions.

Contact me if you'd like to chat about any of this!

About me: GRE prep is literally all I do. 

I grew up in Connecticut and completed the honors program at Boston College. I moved to San Diego in 2007, and I’ve been working full-time as a test-prep tutor ever since. I've scored a perfect 170 in verbal and a 167 in quant on the GRE. 

I've co-authored GRE prep books and created GRE courses and apps, but I spend most of my days working with people one-on-one. I enjoy tutoring since it's a conversation, and discussion is actually what makes the process so valuable. It lets me follow what you're thinking and focus on what you need most, whether that's content (like understanding math concepts), strategy (like figuring out if a reading comprehension answer choice is right or wrong), timing, or even something like study skills, test anxiety, or test-taking skills. Plus, I can give you support and reassurance during what can be a stressful process.

My specialty is helping MBA applicants get their scores above the 320 mark. If you're applying to a competitive program and want to give yourself every possible chance to score well, I'm your guy. Of course, I am happy to work with anyone as well.

Vince is a true GRE specialist - he's one of the very few tutors out there who ONLY teaches GRE prep. His publications include Barron's 6 GRE Practice Tests, LinkedIn's GRE prep course, and the apps "GRE Math Knight" and "GRE Vocab Cartoons". He also teaches for GregMAT+ and is a moderator of the GRE subreddit.

If you're interested in working with him for private GRE tutoring via Zoom, please contact us with a description of your situation, and we'll set up a free 15-minute consultation. Vince charges $325 per hour, or $295 an hour if you buy a package of 15 hours. 

P.S. Still need to write your personal statement? Learn more about how our admissions essay expert, Lauren Hammond, can help.

"I am an older student applying for a graduate degree in psychology. I hadn't taken a standardized test in twenty years and my first GRE score reflected my long lapse in testing. In the first session, Vince knew exactly what I needed to focus on in order to achieve my targeted score. He gave specific homework that immensely helped my test scores. I had tried another tutor before Vince but it was a waste of time and money. Vince has a keen understanding of what each student needs to do in order to be successful. I highly recommend him for standardized testing and personal statements." - Kate Carter

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 15 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 GRE. I show my students how to look at the test the way I do, to the patterns and tendencies of the test to make them faster and more accurate.

GRE tutoring with Blake is $250 / hour (or $225 / hour for 15 or more hours).

He meets clients in his Carmel Valley office, or online via Zoom.

Blake Jensen

Blake Jensen SAT Test Prep Tutor Blake Jensen SAT Test Prep Tutor Blake Jensen SAT Test Prep Tutor

Client 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.

"I was tutored by both Vince and Blake for the GRE and they both were excellent! Not only were they both supportive, extremely helpful, and very upfront, I never felt judged or dumb by any questions or concerns I had (something I have experienced by previous tutors). I had taken the GRE 3 times prior before meeting them, and I couldn't do anything to improve my verbal score no matter how much I prepared or studied. I met with them only 4 times, twice with Blake and twice with Vince, and I raised my verbal section 6 points (from a 144 to a 150) and was able finally to meet the criteria I needed to apply to my graduate programs! I wish I had known about their test prep sooner to be able to spend more time with them, but I am so happy I finally did. I highly recommend their test prep as someone who as always struggled with standardized and timed tests. These guys are great at what they do and helped me even when I thought it was too late!"

- Jordan Mason

"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 the end, I walked away with scores well above what I needed to get into my program of choice."

- Taylor Wycoff