Video: How GRE Prep is like the Pizza Industry
The most important factor in GRE prep is the person teaching you.
One-on-one GRE tutoring from actual experts
The most important question to ask, we think, is this: "Who will be the person actually 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 explains a level 5 out of 5 difficulty reading comprehension question.)
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, or even your personal approach to studying and test-taking.
Normally, we work on the entire GRE with people, but if you'd like, we can just focus on the verbal or math section. P.S. We also help people write their graduate school admissions essays and statements of purpose!
"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
- We get straight to what YOU need to improve your score as efficiently as possible
- Math explained in plain English
- Feedback on your essays
- Accountability and encouragement :)
"How long does it take?"
We usually recommend about 10 hours of tutoring. That's enough time for us to talk through the strategies for each type of question and go over a few practice tests with you. Of course, some people need fewer or more than 10 hours. Given that tutoring is pretty expensive, we'll optimize everything based on your situation to give you the most bang for your buck.
"What's your average score increase?"
Most people, given a typical tutoring plan and a couple of months to study, increase their GRE scores about 10 points. Some people improve way more -- or way less -- than that. A lot depends on how much study time OUTSIDE of tutoring the person has, and how effectively they use that time.
When you hear about a huge score increase, it's often because the person had a strong verbal and math knowledge base and just needed to figure out how the GRE worked... and/or because they truly worked their ass off! The converse is also often true: people with below average reading ability and who never learned the math concepts the GRE tests will generally have a much tougher time and need a longer-term study plan.
You can count on us to be honest about your potential given your situation, goals, and progress with the material, and to give you every resource we know of to help you improve, including a completely personalized homework / study plan.
Look for each tutor's location and pricing in their bio.
Vince: I grew up in Connecticut and completed the honors program at Boston College, graduating with a B.A. in English Literature. 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 (twice) and a 167 in quant on the GRE.
GRE prep is all I do. Over the years, I've written some test-prep books and courses, but I still enjoy GRE tutoring - when a student texts me that she aced the test or got into her reach program, I still literally jump up and down and grin. I'm an expert at the entire GRE, but I am especially good at helping people raise their scores on the verbal section of the test - conversation really helps clarify the seemingly mysterious rules GRE verbal plays by. In fact, conversation is what makes private tutoring so valuable. It lets me 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 or test-taking skills. All tutoring with me includes a complete study plan with weekly updates so you can make the most of your study time.
In my spare time, I like traveling using miles and points (Japan is our favorite country to visit), reading (favorite authors include Haruki Murakami, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and Philip Pullman), watching The Great British Bake-Off (and sometimes actually baking things), hiking and camping, and rooting for the Red Sox and Patriots.
Vince is a true GRE specialist - he's one of the very few tutors out there who ONLY teaches GRE prep. He's written GRE books, published video courses, created apps, and helped hundreds of people raise their scores.
Vince only meets students online via Zoom. If you're interested in working with him for private GRE tutoring, please contact us with a description of your situation, and we'll set up a free fifteen-minute consultation. Most people work with Vince for 6 to 10 hours in total.
P.S. Are you a GRE tutor who wants to improve your craft or grow your business? Vince also offers GRE tutor consulting.
"Vince is a true difference maker, and a gentleman. I was struggling with my GRE studies for a long time, and it wasn't until I discovered Vince's service that my scores drastically improved. He was extremely effective in developing my critical thinking skills, and getting me to understand the nuances of the exam. Suffice to say, I am grateful to Vince for helping me secure a seat in a top 10 MBA program." - Junaid Lughmani
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 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 $199 / hour (or $179 / hour for 10 or more hours). Most students use between 10 and 15 hours total.
"Having used another tutoring service prior, I can definitely say that Blake's explanations were much clearer and his methods much more effective. He didn't just show me how to solve individual problems, but instead taught me the broader concepts and tools that would allow me to tackle a variety of problems. He has in-depth familiarity with all of the GRE material as well, which was really beneficial when it came to crafting a study plan. After studying with Blake, I was able to increase my quant score to above a 160 and get the score I wanted for my programs. Definitely recommend!" - Hina Malik
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. Following that, I worked at Siemens for a couple of years in building automation. I then made the move to teaching and am a high school credentialed chemistry teacher at a local private school
At the same time I started teaching, I began teaching test prep. I currently tutor private GRE clients and teach a GRE prep course at CSU San Marcos. I use my extensive training in classroom teaching best practices to infuse my tutoring sessions and group classes with strategies and activities for students to help improve their scores. I love helping clients do well on these tests so that they can shine in other areas of their applications. I never want a test score to limit a student from their potential dreams and goals.
I have also gone through the process of taking the GRE and being accepted to graduate school (twice!) I understand the stressors associated with applying to graduate school, often on top of working or family commitments. My goal is to not only help you understand the test, but to also figure out a reasonable plan of action for studying and preparing.
GRE tutoring with Kaitlin is $159 per hour ($143 / hour for 10 or more hours). Most students use between 10 and 15 hours total.
She meets students in person or online.
"I worked with Kaitlin Douglass for about three months to study for the GRE and she was AMAZING! I chose to do the 10 hours class pack and I highly recommend! She came up with a study plan for me and assigned homework each week to ensure that I stayed on top of everything. While working with her my verbal score went up by 7 points and my quantitative went up by 6 points. She was also always available if I ever had a quick question while studying. She was able to meet both in person and via zoom! I highly recommend Kaitlin!" - Emily Gayton
"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