One-on-one GRE tutors in San Diego, near you, & online

 

Check out our 230+ Google reviews here!

 

Table of Contents:

1. Tutor bios

2. GRE tutoring FAQ

3. GRE tutoring reviews

Vince Kotchian

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

Expert guidance. Higher scores.

 

Meet GRE tutor Vince Kotchian

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.

Note that study plan clients get an additional 10% off my normal tutoring rates.

If you have less than a few months to prepare, and you're considering tutoring, then it should probably start soon. All tutoring includes my personalized study plan / customized homework, and access to my Discord, so you can maximize your progress 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. 

Between tutoring sessions, we'll be communicating via email - to make sure you're always working on the right things - and via my private Discord, where we can discuss specific GRE questions.

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 $295 per hour, or $265 an hour if you buy a package of 15 hours. Installment payment plans are available. Did a former client of mine refer you? If so, you'll get an additional discount!

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

"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

 

Meet GRE tutor Blake Jensen

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 Del Mar Heights office or online via Zoom.

"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

Blake Jensen

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

Video: How GRE Prep is like the Pizza Industry

 

The most important factor in GRE prep is the person teaching you.

GRE Tutoring FAQ

 

What should I look for in a GRE tutor?

 

The most important question to ask, we think, is this: "Who will be the person actually tutoring me?"

 

Blake and Vince are the most expensive GRE tutors in San Diego. Why? In stark contrast to our competitors who employ a rotating cast of 23-year-olds, We both have 15 years of experience. If you're smart and ambitious, you're probably in the right place.

 

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.

 

What is the main benefit of GRE tutoring?

 

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, motivation, or even your personal approach to studying and test-taking.

You may also want to check out our GRE tutoring pages for LD/ADHD students and older / non-traditional students. Also, we offer a 15% discount for active duty military.

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 :)

 

Meet Blake and Vince here!

 

"How much GRE tutoring will I need?"

 

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 customize everything based on your situation to give you the most bang for your buck.

 

"How much does GRE tutoring typically cost?"

 

Most of our clients spend between $2250 and $2950 on GRE tutoring with us. Of course, some spend more or less than that, but again, most people use around 10 hours of tutoring, and that range reflects a 10-hour purchase. We offer a 10% package discount if you do buy 10 hours. If you're active duty military, we offer a 15% discount on any purchases, as well.

Since tutoring is a significant investment for most people, we want to do everything in our power to make sure it works! We work to make sure our clients always have a clear picture of what it takes to improve and what they should be working on between tutoring sessions, and we'll always be straight with you in terms of whether your goals and timeframe are realistic.

 

"What's your clients' average GRE 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. Also, score increases tend to vary for people who haven't studied at all yet and have lower scores vs. someone who has already studied for a couple of months and has a higher score. The latter person typically has less potential for a gigantic point increase, since they've already realized some of their potential improvement.

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.

 

Meet Blake and Vince here!

GRE TUTORING REVIEWS

 

Brady Worthington

Vince was fantastic in helping me build skills for the verbal text completion and reading comprehension sections of the GRE. He is an amazing tutor — always patient and encouraging. It is incredibly helpful to have someone as a tutor that really cares about your goals and is dedicated to helping you work through specific struggles. Vince certainly embodies that. I really appreciated the time he spent providing specific lessons that helped me build skills in areas where I thought I could most improve. In particular, I spent a lot of time practicing reading comprehension, and in working with Vince, I really improved in this area and ultimately excelled on test day. Many thanks, Vince!

 

Tina Shekari

This was the best tutoring program that I could have gotten for the GRE. I got the basic plan and 1 one on one tutoring session. Vince made sure I was on track every week, and honestly the basic plan made it seem like i had a private tutor. I sent him weekly updates and he would give me a detailed study plan based on how I was doing the previous week and it worked perfectly to get my target score. I am a pretty anxious test taker and he scheduled a call with me two days before my exam to calm my nerves. I honestly couldn’t think of a better test prep program!!!

 

General Atiks

Did a session with Blake Jensen. He was very helpful in breaking down techniques for approaching specific problems that had been creating challenges. Would recommend him for guidance on navigating the GRE math section.

 

Shyam Mukund

Vince's guidance during my preparation directly led to my score increasing a lot over the few months I spent preparing for the GRE. The GRE has a lot of material that I had not looked at since high school. Using Vince's study plan reinforced these concepts for me. On top of this Vince was able to walk me through testing strategies, that I believe maximized my score on the exam!

 

Abigail Quirk

My experience working with Vince was extremely positive, he is a fantastic tutor and I'd recommend him to people of all ages/levels. I used Vince as a GRE tutor and was blown away by how helpful he was throughout our 3-4 months working together.He is very organized, gives clear guidance, and provides the perfect amount of structure within his study plans / follow-ups. Vince's focus on fundamentals/contentfirst and test strategy second worked really well for me, I felt very prepared taking the test. He also helped me stay positive and remain confident in myself when practice test scores were wavering. Lastly, I appreciated his test-taking tips and mental strategies as I would probably have overlooked these details on my own. I achieved my target score on the first test I took after working with Vince and he played a big role in this! Highly recommend using him.

 

Guilherme Baratho

My first foray with the GRE was four years ago, but I decided to re-take the exam this past year to apply for PhD programs and hopefully, score higher to strengthen my application. Knowing I had little capacity to organize a self-directed study, I contacted Vince. We had a great initial conversation and from there, Vince created a personalized plan for me. For the next 3 months, we would meet and work on problems and troubleshoot, targeting the areas I needed to strengthen. When I would fail to adhere to that week’s plan, Vince would graciously adapt the plan so that I could catch up and correct course. If you ask me what distinguishes a good teacher from a great one, I would point to Vince Kotchian as the example. Vince is an active listener, adaptable, patient, extremely prepared and engaged. He has everything you would want and need in a great tutor. The result was that I got the ambitious score I had set out to achieve (a significant improvement from my score four years ago!!) and was admitted to my dream PhD program. If you're hesitating to work with Vince, don't!

 

D.W.

We enlisted Vince's services for our son's GRE prep . Since he already came from a strong mathematical background, Vince mainly focused on the Verbal part and some on the Writing section. But we appreciated that although Vince did not work on the quant part, he still recommended resources to help him acclimate to the type of questions he would face in the quant section. Vince was definitely a professional, and gave out very structured homework and personalized lesson plan. He had a lot of resources, information, and strategies to help in the verbal section. He was patient and cared about our son's progress. All in all, we were pleased with his scores and happy to have worked with Vince.

 

Matt McPoyle

Vince is an unbelievable resource for GRE prep. He was plenty of resources to ensure you have a good foundation. I used Vince after using Magoosh for 3-months and scoring below my goal on the GRE. After 6-weeks and only 6 hrs of 1-on-1 time, Vince was able to help me raise my score by 6 points (3 in each section).

 

Hank Hay

I can speak to Vince's value add in regards to the GRE. After 12-weeks of self-study on a popular GRE program, I felt that I was not going to reach my goal score of 330. I decided to give myself the edge and the multi-point bump I would need; I required one on one tutoring and a customized study plan. Over five weeks, I worked with Vince for 4 or 5 tutoring sessions and did 2-3 hours of a customized study plan every day. I took my first official GRE (at-home) at the end of the fifth week with Vince, expecting to have to retake it at least once. I got a 169V, 164Q and 5.5 AWA, blowing my goal out of the water. I give great credit to my work with Vince for this and could not be happier that I am done with this beast of a test. Highly, highly recommend Vince's test prep!

 

Caitlin McHugh

When I came to Vince, I had already taken the GRE twice after self-studying and leveraging gregmat. My score was not where I wanted it to be, but I felt I could still improve it with a different way of studying. With the help of the customized study plan, discord discussions, and having someone else invested in my success, I was able to raise my score 8 points in 2 months. I don't have people in my network to discuss/study with, so I really took advantage of Vince's willingness to discuss on the discord channel. It was invaluable to work with someone in this way without having to pay the high costs of private tutoring.

 

Shilpa G.

I went to Vince after several months of GRE preparation. My score had plateaued and I was having a hard time with RC passages. I would often find myself completely lost in some of the harder passages and not know how to quickly and confidently eliminate answer choices. I remember blowing through a couple of passages and guessing wildly. But Vince showed me how to figure out the main idea and efficiently eliminate answers. We discussed several strategies over the course of our private tutoring sessions and each time he was extremely patient with me even when I had no clue how to approach the problem. He encouraged me to attack the passage using different strategies and even when I was frustrated he didn't give up on me. He's great at identifying and zeroing in on your weakness and helping you see some ETS traps. Thanks to him, I scored a 165 in Verbal! Vince really knows his stuff, don't hesitate to reach out to him if you're struggling. Talking through RC questions at length with Vince always helps clarify your thinking and solidify your concepts.

 

Carlyle Angelo Foja

I first met Vince in March 2022. At that time, he was doing a Q/A in GregMat+. I was asking for his advice on whether I prepare and take the GRE in 6 weeks. He said it was doable, but I should prepare for a redo just in case.

Things did not turn out as planned, however. An unexpected myriad of issues and challenges in terms of mental health, relationships, family, and work came up. These issues, in turn, affected my GRE prep substantially. I ended up taking up to 6 months to prepare, and even so I felt that my personal issues undermined my confidence in my abilities. Sure enough, this was the case. I got 159V in October 2022. This result left me devastated.

Yet, I remembered Vince's advice: I could still do a retake. So, I reached out to him to see whether he can help me reach my goal. There was a bit of a time constraint because the application deadline was in December 15, 2022. He responded to me and took the time to diagnose my preparation prior to my first attempt. He saw that I did, in fact, have the skillsets and strategies but that I lacked the habit of character to implement them in a GRE test-taking setting. Key to this was a thorough use of official ETS material. From this, he made a custom study plan tailored to address these issues.

He recommended me to take his Verbal Reasoning Course, his Dealing with Test-Taking Anxiety course, and to be a part of Discord Server. In addition, he set up a plan for me to go through the OG Book, the Verbal Book, the free PowerPreps, and the PowerPrepPluses in a matter of four weeks.

Vince's plan and Discord has been indispensable for those 4 weeks. Engaging with ETS materials enabled me to see the kinds of patters ETS uses to trap test-takers. Also, the ability to communicate with him via discord enabled me to discuss the most difficult questions and get feedback on how to improve. I ended up asking him a lot of questions on Discord because of this. Consequently, I was able to develop test-taking habits that kept me calm and composed. I felt that I was prepared for my second retake!

And lo and behold! I was able to get 165V! Moreover, I was able to get a PhD offer from my school of choice! I would not be where I am without Vince's tutoring! I strongly recommend his service. He teaches you in such a way that you will end up having the habits and characteristics needed to rock the GRE!

Kyle Lee

If you're looking for a GRE tutor, Vince is who you want! Vince's years of experience as a GRE tutor were apparent from the beginning. I met with Vince twice between November and December 2022 after I had taken the GRE once and scored a 153 Quant 157 Verbal. I met with Vince to work on my Quant score and he was immediately able to get me on the right track to improving my score.

We did an initial 20 minute consultation where he got a feel for where I was at and answered all of my questions which then lead into scheduling two one hour private tutoring sessions about a month apart. In the first session in November Vince and I went over questions that I was having trouble with, went over strategy, and he even put together a broad study plan for me to work on for the next month before our next meeting.

Per Vince's advice, I spent the month working through his study plan and took an ETS official Power Prep test. Vince and I went over the results of the practice exam and he helped me further identify areas of improvement (specific concepts I was struggling with, what specifically it was about chart/data analysis questions was tripping me up, etc.).

In the end, I ended up improving my score by an additional 6 points on my final GRE attempt for a final score of 159 in Quant. However, I had scored as high as 165 on a practice test but seemed to have gotten unlucky on my actual test day. All of that said, Vince is 100% the reason that I was able to make such a drastic improvement in just two months. Thanks for all the help, Vince!

 

Jack Butler

Bumped my GRE scores from the ~160 range to the >165 range. Vince was invested in my success and taught me in such a way that did not feel in any way patronizing, contrary to some of my other test prep experiences. I would strongly recommend that anyone looking to take the GRE (and probably any other test, for that matter) work with Vince.

 

Frank Tirado

I started my GRE journey just shy of 4 months ago in August. Although I was super motivated and eager to start studying and preparing for the test, I didn’t have a clue where to start. I wanted to make sure I was getting the most out of my study time and dedicating it to the right resources. In researching popular test prep companies, I came across Vince. Vince’s Custom GRE study plan was a huge help with my studies. It took care of the planning aspect of studying, giving me structure and guidance week to week which is something I value a lot. This allowed me to focus my energy on studying strategically and efficiently rather than trying to figure it out independently and hoping for the best. Adding on to that, most importantly, Vince provided truly useful resources and advice that increased my confidence about the test rather than potentially wasting time on courses that do not adequately represent what you will see on exam day. Thanks to Vince, I was able to drastically improve my verbal reasoning skills by critically thinking about questions I got wrong instead of just moving on to the next one. With the help of the study plan’s guidance and feedback along with the way, I was able to score a 319 which will help me get into a doctor of physical therapy program in the near future.

 

Emmanuel Carrasco

I am from a Mexican small city, so the idea of standarized tests was very new to me. My first mock I remember I scored 142V in the verbal section. Which is 17th percentile (very low to any university). Then, doing my research I found Vince's method. He has a very logical and simple approach for the test. For vocab, I used his super friendly mnemonic's app along with his instagram page with daily quizes. Then, I suscribed to his verbal precision course which has a vast array of very easy to manage techniques and tools for the verbal section. Yesterday I received my official scores and now I am in 79th percentile and I scored very decent in my AWA 4, which is sufficient for getting me to grad school. My grammar is not perfect, my logical thinking is not perfect either but Vince's prep was definitely perfect for me. Thank you Vince!

 

Jessica Samuels

Vince was very helpful throughout the entire GRE studying process! In our first meeting, we discussed my short timeline and my score goals. Within the day he formed a detailed outline of my tasks for the week. We then met weekly to follow up on the tasks and go over specific questions. After each meeting I had a list of tasks to do for the following week. In the end I was very happy with my score! Update: I applied to JD / MPH programs for the 2021-2022 cycle. I was accepted to Columbia MPH, Johns Hopkins MPH, BU JD / MPH, and Harvard JD. I have decided to attend Harvard Law and will apply to the MPH with the same GRE score that I worked with Vince towards!

 

Terence Looi

I started prepping for the GRE in January 2021. Since I was starting essentially from scratch (it had been almost a decade since I last took a "real" math class or even written a full multi-page essay), I knew I wanted to spend January reviewing the essentials both on the quantitative side and on the verbal side, primarily by re-learning fundamental math concepts and building up my vocabulary.

I also knew that at some point I wanted to engage a tutor to help drive accountability and ensure I was studying efficiently. I researched two potential tutors: one that was local to the Bay Area and Vince, who I had come across through various Google searches and who I also noticed was very active on the /GRE subreddit. I initially settled on the local Bay Area tutor, since he had received a decent amount of 5-star reviews and even wrote his own textbook with strategies that seemingly "cracked" the GRE test.

Long story short, this first tutor was much too formulaic in his approach, and perhaps even rigid. And, while the test demands the test taker to "play by the rules," to achieve a high score on quant and especially to attain a 165+ on the verbal, one needs to approach the test not only with a sound methodology, but one must also be able to "finesse" the verbal section. **This is what Vince helped bring to my GRE prep.**

I started working with Vince about 4 months into my GRE prep. Prior to working with Vince, I had previously studied exclusively third party material, including going through the entire Magoosh program (not helpful). Vince tutored me remotely via Zoom. His remote setup enabled us to have fruitful exchanges as he was equipped with technology that facilitated easy learning. I'm including this in my review because my previous tutor did not have the technology to properly conduct remote learning. Vince helped to focus my GRE prep on the right materials (he will advocate strongly for ETS material, especially for the verbal, and recommend only going to third party material for quant). He also worked with me to create weekly study plans that matched the time commitment I had previously discussed with him.

During our tutoring sessions, we spent our time mostly discussing verbal topics. Especially important was how these discussions with Vince built indispensable experience that helped me understand how ETS presents the logic in the TC/SE questions types and what ETS is looking for when presenting their RC question types. As a native English speaker, I had to re-engineer how I read the passages and questions presented in the GRE. My tutoring sessions with Vince helped me acquire the test taking "finesse" in the verbal section that I needed to go from scoring in the 70th percentile (May 2021 test) to scoring in the 96th percentile (July 2021 test).

If you have the resources or know you want to engage a tutor for your GRE prep, I strongly recommend connecting with Vince. And, finally, for some general test-taking advice re: the GRE. Do not let the test take control of you. You are in control of your experience with the GRE. The GRE is a game and you're there to play its 80 little puzzles. One of the best pieces of advice I got from Vince himself: "Be patient, build experience, and take your time with the test." I took that advice to heart and got the score I wanted. So, to my fellow test taker: "Be patient, build experience, and take your time with the test."

 

Hina Malik

I opted for 1:1 tutoring and had a consultation with Vince who suggested Blake Jensen as the best tutor for my goal, which was to increase my quant score. I really wanted someone who could help me identify my weaknesses and mitigate them. I had taken the GRE twice before but my quant score had plateaued, despite studying and working with another tutor (who was not from VKTP). 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 test prep 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!

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