SAT, ACT, and GRE Tutoring / Classes

Working with us

Our Test Prep Options

We help people individually, in groups, or in classes.


We begin with a consultation, either in person or via Skype / phone. During the meeting, we'll get to know each other and talk about how you might best prepare for the test. The immediate goals will be to figure out:

  • whether we're a good fit for each other
  • what test to take and when to take it
  • whether you'll want tutoring or just a self-study plan

If you just want a self-study plan, we'll create it during the consultation. If you opt for private tutoring, you'll leave with concrete information on how to get the ball rolling.

Ready to get started?

Schedule Consultation


Significant discounts are available for group tutoring (contact us for rates). Just like individual tutoring, we start with a consultation, which can be scheduled here. (All group members must attend the consultation.) Group tutoring works best with friends who have similar academic abilities. If you don't have a group, contact us to get on our group tutoring waiting list.


Another way to make test prep more affordable is by taking a class. The SAT, ACT, and GRE classes we teach are limited to just 10 students.

Class Info


Questions? Email me, give me a call, or send me a text. I'm always happy to chat for a few minutes about your options. 

Personalized Tutoring

What's Private Tutoring Like?

Working with an independent tutor is the most efficient and effective way to master the SAT, ACT, or GRE - because every meeting is customized to you. Whether you're [Boston accent] wicked smaht and want to go from 98th to 99th percentile scores - or you want help with almost everything - we'll focus on what you need at all times. Tutoring sessions are in person or via Skype.

During our initial meeting, we’ll create a study plan so you’ll know exactly what to work on outside of tutoring. From there, we’ll delve into everything you’ll need to do well on each part of the test. Through conversation, you’ll learn WAY more about the test than you would from a book, video, or class.

Also, we don’t just teach the test - we teach you how to learn the test - so that you can make as much progress as possible outside of tutoring sessions.

Comparing us to other test prep options? Does your hairdresser do your taxes?

Need information about our rates and policies? Right this way, please.

Questions? Email me, give me a call, or send me a text. I'm always happy to chat for a few minutes about your options.

Ready to get started? 


Schedule Consultation

Get in fighting shape For The GRE

GRE Bootcamp Classes

Some of our GRE class graduates on their way to take the real test.


Register for a Class



Class Dates

(Don't see a course that fits your schedule? Contact us with the days and times that would work for you to attend and we'll let you know about any new classes.)


(Saturdays 9 am - 1 pm)
Instructor: Vince Kotchian
Starts September 23rd 
Last class October 21st

(1 spot left)

GRE class 10

(Mon / Wed 6-8 pm)
Instructor: Vince Kotchian
Starts September 27th
Last class October 30th

(1 spot left)


(Saturdays 9 am - 1 pm)
Instructor: Vince Kotchian
Starts October 28th 
*the class on Nov. 4 is 11 - 3 pm
Last class November 25th
(7 spots left)

GRE class 11

(Mon / Wed 6-8 pm)
Instructor: Vince Kotchian
Starts November 6th
(no class on Nov. 22nd)
Last class December 11th
(10 spots left)


Ok – we're softies. Unlike real bootcamp instructors, we're not going to get in your face and yell at you until you start crying or make you do burpees until you pass out. But we will teach you exactly what you need to do your best on the GRE.

During our GRE classes, we’ll cover the same material in a small group (each class is limited to just 10 students) that we would during one-on-one GRE tutoring.


What Will This GRE “Bootcamp” Class Cover?

In the first class, we’ll come up with a detailed GRE study plan for you to follow during the class and beyond, so you can be as productive as possible outside the class.

From there, we’ll cover every part of the GRE. Through conversation, 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.

Here are a few of the takeaways:

  • The easiest way to learn concepts like vocabulary and math
  • What kinds of material you can read to get better at GRE reading passages
  • How to make sure you're ready to write great essays
  • How to develop good technique for verbal and math questions
  • How to squeeze the most value out of practice questions
  • How to decipher the test's patterns, logic, and rules.
  • How it feels to take an official timed GRE practice test under real testing conditions (we’ll do this).
  • How to analyze your practice tests and make better test-taking decisions


What Makes Your Classes Different?

In a nutshell, we're long-term tutors. Tutoring is not a common career, so most tutors - especially those who work for big companies - are working part-time while they finish grad school or look for a "normal" job in their field of interest.

Also, good tutors can make much more money working for themselves or for small companies. So the tutors who work for big organizations are usually inexperienced. Once they get more experience and realize they can find clients on their own, they leave the big company and it hires more newbies.

This is why big companies don’t tell you who’s teaching their classes.


What Are Former Students Saying?

In addition to the reviews you can read on Yelp and Google, check out this post by one of my former GRE class students.


What’s Included In The Price?

GRE classes have 20 hours of classroom instruction. Classes include detailed homework assignments so you know how to be productive outside of class. All the materials are included, too: The GRE class includes 300 official GRE practice questions, the Manhattan GRE 5-lb practice book, and access to 8 computer practice tests.

Bonus: Students who take a GRE class with Vince get a 40% discount on Vince's private GRE tutoring and graduate school application essay help.


Where Is The Class?

All weekday GRE classes are held at Vince Kotchian Test Prep in Sorrento Valley: 5230 Carroll Canyon Rd. #206, San Diego, CA, 92121.

All Saturday GRE classes are held in Mission Valley at Hera Hub: 8885 Rio San Diego Dr. #237, San Diego, CA, 92108.

Don't want to get up early on a Saturday? Neither do I. That's why I now bring Dark Horse Coffee and Skinny Donuts to my Saturday morning GRE classes to ease the pain.


How Much Is It?

Each GRE class is $700.00 if purchased at least two weeks in advance. Within two weeks of the start date, the price goes up to $750.00.

Questions? Email me, give me a call, or send me a text. I'm always happy to chat for a few minutes about your options.

Ready to get started?


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Five Things Parents Should Know


Begin with Motivation


It’s important that you help your kid develop his own drive to do well. YOU are probably motivated for him to succeed, but he must develop his own compelling reasons to get high scores.

  • Have a conversation about what your child wants to do or experience in the future. The answer doesn’t have to have anything to do with a job or career. Just anything he finds interesting or exciting. When I was in high school, I had NO IDEA what kind of career or college I wanted, so starting with interests can be a lot easier.
  • Then, talk about how to further those interests. There are ways to pursue most interests both in college and outside of college, so you might as well talk about ALL the options. This way, your kid gets the big picture and doesn’t feel as though he’s being forced to choose college as the next step in his life. Talking about the pros and cons can help going to college be more of a mutual decision.
  • Make a list of colleges that seem to have the attributes that might further your kid’s interests. A college counselor – especially a private counselor – will be helpful here. We all seem to know about certain colleges, but there are many excellent schools you probably haven’t heard about. Note the average ACT and SAT scores for each school and discuss setting a score goal.
  • Agree on a realistic amount of time each week during which your son will study for the ACT / SAT. Schedule it and write it down at the beginning of each week. Check on him every so often to make sure he’s working during those times.

Working with your son or daughter to establish goals and a routine will greatly help the entire process (not to mention make my job a lot easier). Just keep in mind the above conversations may take time.


Understand Test Prep

In a nutshell, here’s what you need to know about SAT and ACT prep.

  • Most of my students have high grades, but many of them don’t do well on the ACT and SAT at first. The process of getting an A on a test or in a class in school is dramatically different than getting the equivalent of an A on the SAT or ACT (especially with today’s rampant grade inflation).
  • Students must have a strong foundation in the fundamentals (reading, math, grammar, writing), but also must be able to recognize patterns, read precisely, think, and adapt. Test prep usually takes a lot longer than studying for a typical exam; the SAT and ACT can’t be crammed for.
  • About half of the test involves concepts, i.e., grammar, punctuation, rhetorical skills, and math. There is no magic or art involved in learning concepts. In fact, students can do most conceptual learning without me and I encourage them to do so as early as possible, using the workbooks I recommend. Of course, I have technique and tips to add, but success here stems mostly from knowledge.
  • The other half is strategy and technique, mostly for the Reading, Science, and essay portions of the tests. This is where I add the most value. Performing well on these sections usually isn’t as simple as following a step-by-step process you read in a book or watch in a video. Conversation about these sections helps much more. It lets us talk about the subtleties of thinking through questions and allows me to observe the student’s thought process.


When to Start and How Long It Takes

The summer before junior year is an ideal time to begin formal test-prep. Freshmen and sophomores should be aiming for top grades and reading widely. The better their reading and math ability, the better test prep will work.

(Speaking of "when to start" things, the sooner you start working with an independent college counselor, the better! Using your high school counselor is, in many cases, akin to using a court-appointed lawyer. I'd be happy to make some recommendations if you're looking for a good college counselor.)

A good place to start test prep is to take an official ACT and SAT practice test to see which score is higher. Before students do this, it’s useful that they talk with me briefly so they have some idea of what to expect; we don’t want their scores to be skewed from surprise at the timing or test content.

You can find the official SAT practice tests here, and an official ACT test here. Print them before your kid takes them. Then you can score them (it's pretty easy).

Once we decide on a test, test prep can begin in earnest.

Students should take the test for real when they’ve hit their goal on an official practice test. This is the answer to the question, “how long will test prep take?”. Some students do this quickly and others take several months. It depends on a lot of things: inherent intelligence, motivation, practice quantity and quality, tutoring quantity, how high the goal is compared to the initial score, etc. With that said, a typical tutoring plan might consist of weekly 90-minute meetings for a few months leading up to the real test, and in many cases, goals can be reached by the beginning of junior year if students start after sophomore year is over.


Practicing at Home

It’s essential that students are able to accomplish things outside of tutoring sessions so that they can make faster progress. I usually assign about 3 hours of homework per week, which is often best split up into daily 30-minute sessions.

Once students come into tutoring, we’ll go over their corrections to test their understanding.

Important: It will help your child if you make sure not only that he is working on test prep for the agreed upon time, but also that he has a distraction-free environment. This means no cell phones or other electronic devices, no interruptions, and no T.V. or music. Seriously.


Why Vince?

I am one of the few long-term, full-time tutors out there. Tutoring is not a common career, so most tutors are working part-time while they finish grad school or look for a "normal" job in their field of interest. This is particularly true of tutors who work for big organizations (USD, UCSD, Kaplan, The Princeton Review, etc.).

My greatest value comes from my insight, so I can tell students exactly…

  • what to do
  • how to do it
  • and how long to do it for

…in the most efficient and effective way possible.

With me, students go far beyond just getting questions right. I help them fully understand the concepts behind questions, identify the best methods to use, and recognize takeaways to help with similar questions in the future.

It’s my hope that I can not only significantly raise their scores, but also help them feel more confident, decrease their stress about the tests, and in general, make their lives (and yours) a little easier.

Ready to get started?

You can schedule your initial half-hour consultation here.

Schedule Now


My tutoring rates and policies are on this page.

Questions? Email me, give me a call, or send me a text. I'm always happy to chat for a few minutes about your options.

Copyright 2017 Vince Kotchian Test Prep
5230 Carroll Canyon Road, Suite 206, San Diego CA 92121
Telephone 760-542-8395

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