Video: How SAT / ACT Prep is like the Pizza Industry
The most important factor in SAT / ACT prep is the person teaching you.
ACT & SAT Prep Classes and Tutoring in San Diego
Hi, parents! We have two main options...
(RECORD SCRATCH SOUND)... Wait a second. A lot of colleges are test-optional now. Doesn't that mean we can skip the SAT and ACT?
The SAT and ACT are opportunities to stand out, period. Not submitting scores means forgoing that opportunity. Plus, you'll miss out on potential scholarship money and merit aid.
OPTION 1. Our live SAT and ACT classes.
Each class is limited to just 12 students to keep it fun, interactive, and engaging.
OPTION 2. One-on-one SAT / ACT tutoring
Working one-on-one with a private tutor is the most efficient and effective way to raise your test scores.
To learn more about our SAT / ACT tutors, please click here.
ABOUT OUR SAT / ACT CLASSES
What Will This Class Cover?
"Complete" classes cover ALL parts of the test. "Foundation" classes build skills and strategies, and "Focus" classes sharpen those skills for a particular test date. Taking both a "Foundation" and a "Focus" class is the same thing as taking a "Complete" class.
Through conversation and our expert advice, you'll learn a LOT more about how the test is written and about the rules it plays by than if you were studying on your own. We'll cover both concepts and strategies and throw in every tip, trick, and hack we've learned over the years.
Here Are a Few of the Takeaways:
- All math concepts explained in plain English
- How to precisely prove answers for vocab and reading passages
- A thorough understanding of tested grammar concepts
- How to deal with tricky critical reasoning questions
- How to make sure you're ready to write great essays
- How to develop good technique and strategy for verbal and math questions
- How to squeeze the most value out of practice questions
- How to effectively study outside of class
- How to decipher the test's patterns, logic, and rules
- How to analyze your practice tests and make better test-taking decisions
Everything we do is designed to maximize your test-day performance and your score.
What Makes Your Classes Different?
Long answer: Does your hairdresser do your taxes?
Short answer: We've been doing this for many years.
Test prep is not a common career, so most test prep teachers are working part-time while they finish grad school or look for a "normal" job in their field of interest.
Once these instructors move on, the company hires more newbies and the cycle repeats. This is why most companies and universities don't tell you who's teaching their classes.
What Are Former Students Saying?
Who Should Not Take A Class?
SAT / ACT: If you already have a 1430+ / 32+ on an official practice test or real test, first of all - nice job, dude. One-on-one tutoring is going to be more efficient and effective to help you get those last few points.
Please Note: if you are not directed to a payment confirmation page when you submit this form, please scroll back down and double check your payment information.
"I recently took the SAT course with Matt. He was extremely helpful and patient. He kept the class light and fun all while giving us an immense amount of information. I’ve never fully understood grammatical concepts, but now I’m confident in that subject area thanks to Matt. Also, he gave me a new perspective on how to solve various reading and math problems that I would not have understood before. 10/10 recommend this class to whoever is looking for a prep course."
- Izzy Dogget
"Coming into the SAT for the first time, I knew that grammar and English questions in general are challenging for me. I can tell how my instructor (Matt) genuinely believed that every student could surpass their expectations. I learned a plethora of grammar and math skills that unlocked the key to answering numerous questions on the actual exam. Without this course, I would’ve incorrectly answered about 20 questions on the SAT. This bootcamp definitely helped me achieve around 100 points that I otherwise would not have gotten."
- Ethan Nguyen
"I had a wonderful time in this SAT Prep Course! My instructor was Matt Sheelen. He was very patient and encouraging with me, even when I asked the same question 5 times! He was always upbeat and able to find new and creative ways to explain the materials. It’s very refreshing to see an instructor who is so dedicated in his work and invested in his students success! The course is a bit pricey; however, it’s worth it if you are willing to put the time and effort into studying."
- Sarah Hajj
In our view, the most important question for parents to ask is this:
"Who will be the person teaching my kid?"
Our competitors hire college students, train them, and give them a fixed curriculum to teach. We hire long-time tutors (average experience: 9 years) and trust them to adapt the tutoring to the student. One-on-one tutoring, with us, is completely customized to you and your needs.
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. Along the way, I've written some test-prep books and courses, but I still enjoy tutoring, even after 11 years. When a student texts me that she aced the test or got into her reach school, I still literally jump up and down and grin.
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. I live in the Kensington neighborhood with my hilarious wife and our crazy cat.
Due to his busy schedule, Vince has limited time available for tutoring - please email us if you're interested in working with him with a specific description of your situation, scores, and goals. His rate is $249/hour.
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 in North Park, or online, and specializes in helping students set and achieve ambitious score goals.
Matt also teaches most of our live SAT classes.
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 people in his Rancho Santa Fe office or online via Zoom.
Blake also teaches some of our live SAT and ACT classes.
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 her Sorrento Valley office 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