One-on-one GRE verbal tutoring
Ah, GRE verbal. I love it because it's the closest thing we get in GRE prep to instant gratification. Why? Strategy, and observing how the test behaves, can go a long way towards raising your score. You can learn these things from watching videos, of course, but the missing link to mastery is often conversation with an expert. You'll learn more about the seemingly mysterious rules the GRE plays by whether we're discussing easy, medium, or hard verbal questions.
(Above: Vince explains reading comprehension inference questions.)
When you spend years discussing and analyzing all the official GRE questions with all different kinds of students (like we have), you develop insights and observations about how the test works that translate to more precise understanding of why answers are right or wrong. Being able to see how you're approaching GRE verbal questions and adjust your thinking and process in a tutoring session is how we can give you new tools to make sure you get questions right. We also can help you with the GRE's AWA (essay) section.
Of course, we also offer GRE math tutoring, and we help people write their graduate school admissions essays and statements of purpose!
We'll start off with a free phone call to discuss your situation, challenges, and goals, and from there, develop a study and tutoring plan to make the most of the time you have.
Military members get a 15% discount - learn more here.
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 verbal 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 GRE sentence equivalence 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, 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 :)
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: I grew up in small-town 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 literally all I do. I've co-authored 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 or test-taking skills.
All of Vince's tutoring clients get a customized GRE study plan so you know exactly what to work on for homework between sessions.
My goal is to give you the best chance of both mastering the GRE and to help you be as efficient and productive as possible with your study time.
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. Most people work with Vince for 5 to 15 hours in total.
"Vince is a terrific tutor with a uniquely pragmatic approach to GRE studying. He helped me achieve a total score increase of 10 points in a condensed time period. With effective test taking techniques and firm understanding of what material to focus on, he arms you with the knowledge and tools for success on test day." - Camden Smith
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.
He meets clients in his Del Mar Heights office, or online via Zoom.
"They are the best GRE prep out there, especially Blake. I wouldn't have come close to getting my dream score without him. He tailored our lesson plans to the way I learn, showed me many helpful study tools and resources to aid my studying, and was a constant support. He continuously went above and beyond and made a seemingly grueling experience be a pleasant one. Nothing but amazing things to say about my experience at Vince Kotchain test prep and Blake, I am so happy I found them." - Raquel Lyons
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 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