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Test Preparation Tutors

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Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > Tutors > Test Preparation Tutors


Advice from Parents Specific Tests Related Pages

Tutor Recommendations from Parents


June 2014

I strongly recommend Mo Rahmoun for help with standardized test prep. We found him on BPN a few years ago when my son was getting ready for the ISEE. I don't remember those scores but they were good enough for admission to all the high schools to which my son applied: Bentley, College Prep, and Head-Royce. My son asked for a session with Mo before the junior year PSAT and scored above the National Merit cutoff. A few sessions for the SAT, again at my son's request, led to scores of 800, 790, and 800 in Critical Reading, Math, and Writing; Mo's detailed guidance about how to write the essay was invaluable. A couple of sessions for the SAT subject tests have recently resulted in 800 each in Literature and Math II.

With all the varied demands of high school and extra-curricular activities, my son spent almost no time on test prep outside of Mo's sessions. Those few focused hours spent on removing any gaps in comprehension, covering the ground for the tests, and developing test taking skills were enough.

Mo went above and beyond expectations: not only did he come to the house, he also swung by in between sessions to drop off additional prep materials.

My son does very well at school but he has said over and over again that his standardized test scores are in large part due to Mo's guidance and the confidence the Mo has developed in him. Mo is an understated phenomenon: soft-spoken, relaxed, good humored, and outstandingly skilled at recognizing how to bring out the best in the student. Mo Rahmoun: 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627;bcfcl@comcast.net Grateful parent


Concentrated Prep Class or Tutor for ACT

April 2014

Our son is going to take the ACT in June. He is not super motivated but is willing to take a prep class. However, we think he would do best with a concentrated class (e.g. a whole weekend rather than something that meets a few hours every Saturday for 6-8 weeks.). Does anyone have any recommendations for such a thing? Or if we go the private tutor route, any recommendations for a great (reasonable) private tutor that specializes in the ACT. Seems like the recommendations on BPN are for SAT. Thanks! ACT mom


This is to the mom looking for an ACT class/tutor. I highly recommend James Eno. He communicates really well with young people and is very knowledgeable about the ACT test. My daughter had studied for the SAT but was more comfortable with the ACT format. After meeting with James 6-7 times, she retook the test and increased her score to 34. She now attends Columbia University. Satisfied mom
We've been looking into pretty much the same thing for our 17-year-old daughter and have found two options that seem good. A good friend recommended James Eno. We met with him and another of his tutors at our home (free first visit) a few months back and liked them a lot but haven't quite been ready to spend the money for the kind of intensive training you're talking about. He evaluated for both ACT and SAT. We also looked at Nurturing Wisdom, after a colleague at work recommended them. We talked to the owner, Pari Schacht, and really liked her. They're giving a practice proctored ACT test at the Jewish Community Center in SF in mid-May that we'll probably sign our daughter up for (you get an analysis of where to focus prep -- I think they also offer SAT and tests for high school placement too). Details here: https://ti.to/kinstantly/nurturing-wisdom-proctored-test. If that's too late for you, it would be worth it to talk to someone like James Eno. www.jamesenotutorials.com mom of 6
I had the same concerns regarding how to help my daughter. She tried a group class and felt that the instruction was too general and did not meet her needs. So I searched through Berkeley Parents Network and found many appealing private tutors who taught one-on-one. After calling a few of them, I decided on Paul Gee. I chose him because he had tons of experience, had numerous references whom I actually called and got uniformly excellent recommendations. My daughter was extremely happy with his teaching. She felt very comfortable working with him and appreciated how he individualized his instruction for her. She told me that he even adjusted his speaking speed to her needs. His office is in a beautiful space near the Downtown Berkeley BART Station. The one drawback is that his schedule is very full so it took some effort to get a time slot with him. It was well worth it once we managed that hurdle; she improved her score so much that we felt guilty because other less fortunate students did not have the same help that she received. An excellent tutor can make a big difference. Good luck in your search.
May 2013

I'd like to highly recommend Mo Rahmoun as an SAT tutor. Mo helped both of my teenagers with the SAT. Astounding results.

One of my kids saw their SAT writing and critical reading sections improve from 660 to 800. Yikes! This happened between the January and May tests, with once-a-week meetings. (a little background: this particular kid has a real drive to succeed, and Mo helped direct and refine this drive).

Mo is a scholar who's thought through the rhetorical and persuasive nature of the SAT essays. He's also good at tutoring math, although both of my kids were already strong in that subject.

Both of my kids really liked him - ''Mo is Awesome'' said my son. He's friendly and low-key, and both of my kids enjoyed his tutoring sessions. He inspired both of them to dig into the test and to see their way through the SAT essay and reasoning sections.

With the SAT behind us, I can wholeheartedly recommend Mo. He's at 510 367-5829 or 510 763 9627, or bcfcl@comcast.net - Cliff


I would like to recommend Emily Weinstein. She tutored - coached really - our daughter for ACT prep as well as trigonometry, chemistry, and general organization skills. She worked very well and was a great confidence builder for my daughter, perhaps better than I could have been (I'm told I was intimidating). Our daughter will be going to UC Riverside next year! Emily can be reached at www.weinsteintutoring.com or 917.655.5042. George
April 2013

I'd like to add to the chorus of thanks and recommendations for tutor Mo Rahmoun, whom I found though BPN.

My daughter's SAT scores came back recently, and they soared, thanks to his help. She had 800's in both reading and writing, and a 720 in Math, and she believes it was his assistance, in just three sessions (two hours each), that brought her scores from good to great.

She was already strong in reading, so they just concentrated on the writing and math, and her writing score went up from PSAT to SAT the equivalent of 100 points, and her math score went up 160 points. Just as importantly, he gave her confidence and insight.

I just wish my older child had the benefit of his assistance (she went to a different tutor and her scores went down!)...and what I really wish is that every classroom teacher were as gifted as he is.

Oh, and another wonderful thing, he'll come to your home! You can reach Mo Rahmoun at bcfcl@comcast.net =Grateful Mom


March 2013

Emily Weinstein did a superb job of prepping our son for the SAT general and subject tests. She identified where he needed to focus his reviews, imparted really helpful test-taking strategies, and probably most importantly, inspired and motivated him to calmly try his best during a time when his natural inclination was to settle for good enough. She is really bright, likable, perceptive, and gets teenagers. Emily also helped our son plow through his college applications, keep on track, and find his unique voice. I seriously believe he wouldn't have gotten into the colleges he did without her help. Her contact info is: Emily Weinstein (917) 655-5042 weinsteintutoring@gmail.com website: weinsteintutoring.com Lisa


Feb 2013

My son was tutored by Dr. Barglow during his senior year at Berkeley High. Thanks in part to his assistance, my son now attends an excellent university. I recommend Dr. Raymond Barglow's tutoring highly -- he is an expert in helping students prepare for the SAT and ACT tests. For those students who are wondering which of these two tests to take -- SAT or ACT -- you can check out the information he provides on his website at: www.berkeleytutors.net. Dr. Barglow lives in Berkeley and you can reach him by phone at (510) 486-1050. Good luck! S P


SSAT/ISEE tutor for smart 7th grader w ADHD

Sept 2012

Any recommendations for an ISEE/SSAT tutor who is good with kids who have ADHD? Ideally it would be someone who could figure out which areas would show greatest improvement with tutoring, and who could help with the writing sample. Thanks! Anon Hi there - Classroom Matters in Berkeley has tutors who work every year with kids who are taking standardized tests, and the ISEE. They are very knowledgeable about the content and have helped a lot of kids with test-taking strategies. Lisa Miller is the director. Tatiana


Seeking SAT tutor for high school junior

July 2012

My son is a junior and has a hard time with testing. He needs a great sat tutor. Anyone have a recommendation? Peter


I highly recommend Edith Reiner 415-335-8844. She does live in SF but I believe that she will travel to the East Bay. My daughter has trouble with math standardized testing, and with the help of Edith, she was able to bring her PSAT math score of 530 up to an SAT score of 700. Edith is low-key, caring, and supportive. She is very knowledgable about test taking strategies. Her fees are very reasonable and she is flexible. Rita
In response to the question about a good SAT tutor, I'd like to recommend Alan Kaplan, who tutored my twins this past year. They're going into their senior year at Berkeley High and for both of them the testing experience during their junior year was one they approached with a confidence and clarity largely due to Alan's efforts. Alan was wonderful with them both -- with the son who's a very skilled test taker and with his brother, who's not. They obviously liked and respected him because he knew what he was talking about and because he didn't allow the volume on the process to get turned up. They both could tell they were in good hands, and that he'd been teaching kids how to approach the SATs for a very long time. He devised appropriate strategies for each of them, and worked hard to give them tools to do well. The kid who's a good test taker did beautifully -- but what's really notable is how much the kid who thinks of himself as lousy at testing changed his mind about this. I'm quite certain that his scores were as high as they were because of Alan's calm, straightforward, and really kind way of teaching him about test taking. And what was really terrific about all this is that, having done better on the SATs than he'd done on any other standardized test he's taken in his life, he was able to see that some things can be learned, and that he isn't the idiot he thought he was. Alan's in business for himself, and his rates are really reasonable -- in fact, of the many tutors I talked to, he was actually among the least expensive, which shocks me in retrospect because he was/is so good at what he does. He came to our house when he was tutoring both boys, and when one of them was being tutored, we went to him. Both were easy and convenient. His phone number is 510-530-4012. You can also e-mail him at lnkpln@sbcglobal.net And good luck with those SATs! happy mom

SAT Prep: Try Bribery Before a Prep Course

July 2012

This is not a question but a suggestion, after seeing years of inquiries about SAT Prep coaches.

Many of you may have heard the Freakonomics Radio segment on NPR's marketplace last week about how bribery works to induce kids to get better grades. http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/freakonomics-radio/bribing-kids-do-well-school

I can confirm that first-hand, from real and recent experience. Our older son did so-so on his SATs, and we paid $1000 for tutoring. He went to the prep sessions, but pretty much blew it off and his second score was little improved. We were pissed that he wasted our money. When my younger son was a sophomore -- a year before the SATs -- we told him that if he prepped on his own, and did well enough the first time out that he didn't have to take the SATs again, we'd pay him the $1000 we'd otherwise pay a tutor. Talk about motivation! He immediately signed up on the College Board website to get emailed the SAT question of the day. (Apparently there is an App too; he didn't do that.) He did the question every day for a year, a commitment of all of 3 minutes a day, if that. Six weeks before the exam he got hand-me-down books, read a bit about the tricks and for each of the four weekends preceding the test he did one timed practice test. We graded the writing section for him, based on the criteria set out in the Official SAT book, but other than that had no role at all in any of this. By the time test day came, he knew exactly what the test was about and nailed it. He also knew just how to prep, and so nailed the subsequent two SAT subject tests too.

I realize that standardized tests are a lousy measure of anything, that some kids need one-on-one help, that some parents can't pay for or are opposed to coaching and/or bribery, and that SAT prep coaches believe they have knowledge no self-help can impart. I do not mean to start a flame war on any of these topics. I simply pass on our experience -- a happy kid who was proud and richer (in all ways :)) and happy parents who'd rather pay their kid than a tutor -- for what it is worth. 2360-800-800 -- Yowza!


Test-taking support for high school sophomore

Jan 2012

My very hard-working conscientious sophomore had great grades going into finals last semester but had a tough time across the board on his finals, and his teachers agreed that his final exam scores did not reflect his knowledge or his academic effort. Clearly he needs help in test-taking strategies and skills. I'd like to find a class and/or tutor to help him expressly in this area. A weekend- long or week-long class would be great, or individual tutoring if that's the only option would work as well. I'd want to make sure he doesn't get discouraged and gets the scores that truly reflect his efforts and his smarts. We're in North Berkeley but he drives and can travel as needed, hopefully not too far from home. Many thanks.


Hi, I have been really impressed with Smart Cookie Learning. They are in the Lafayette area. My daughter benefited greatly from a free 2 hour lecture they gave on reducing test taking stress. Finals went much easier this year and she felt fully prepared. Their number is 925-878-5202, www.smartcookielearning.com. Good Luck! Sindy

PSAT/SAT/ACT...HELP!

Feb 2011

My daughter is a 10th grader at El Cerrito High School. She has just taken the PSAT for the second time (once in 9th grade, and again in 10th grade). I heard that the scores actually start ''counting'' in 11th grade. Is this true? Where can she prepare for the PSAT and the SAT in the area? What programs are best? Finally, to apply and get into college, does she need to take the SAT and the ACT next year? How do the AP exams weigh in? Thank you for any guidance. New Territory


I highly recommend James Eno. He tutored my son on the SAT and could've done ACT tutoring. My son's PSAT scores were disastrous but his SATs were much better. He really liked working with James as did most of his friends! http://www.jamesenotutorials.com/ very satisfied parent
Yes, the PSAT scores do start counting in the 11th grade. The PSAT/NMSQT is the practice SAT as well as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. The selection index score from the 11th grade PSAT determines whether the student has qualified for the National Merit Scholarship. For more information, visit the website at http://www.nationalmerit.org/nmsp.php

Students typically take the SAT/ACT in the spring of junior year and/or the fall of senior year. Colleges consider the number of challenging courses a student has taken in high school. Therefore AP exams are an important element of the college application. James Eno


Feb 2011

We are looking for a tutor for SAT prep for our son who has language-based learning disabilites. The tutors we have had recommended so far are Alan Kaplan in Oakland and Aspire Education Project (a non-profit tutoring company in Jack London Square). Does anyone have personal experience with either of these?


We found a wonderful SAT tutor for our 16 year old son. Her name is Susanna Gordon and she works out of her home in Pleasanton. See her website at http://www.Everything-about-college.com. As an ex-teacher, Susanna is able to present SAT prep information in a way that works with our son's learning differences. He actually enjoys his time with her. We've seen immediate results in his essay writing scores for his AP History class, so whatever she's doing, it's really working. She really cares about the student and wants to help them succeed. Susanna is also a certified college admissions specialist, so we plan on working with her through the entire going-to-college process. She is very affordable and has a flexible schedule. --- Joyce
I can not believe that no one told you about Paul the Tutor's LD SAT Prep classes and LD SAT Study Guide. He is an expert in the field of learning disabilities and standardized tests, wrote the only SAT prep manual for students with learning disabilities, and created SAT prep classes for students with learning disabilities. You should definitely give him a call or email him. He runs Paul the Tutor's Education Center on Piedmont Ave in Oakland, (510) 730-0390 and info@paulthetutor.com is their contact information. Marta
My son worked with a brilliant SAT tutor named Paul Osborne. He specializes in teens with learning disabilities and in fact wrote the one and only SAT manual for students with learning differences. My son is now in college and loving every minute of it and I have both my son and Paul to thank. Each week my son grew more confident which showed in his climbing grades. Paul is remarkable at understanding ''what is missing'', in order help your child grasp the material. He is ''very cool'' as my son often said, and quickly builds a reputation with your child.I am so grateful to have found him and you will be too. His web page is paul@paulthetutors.com and his phone # is (510)730-0390 or (510) 730-0393. nak
I highly recommend James Eno of James Eno Tutorials. He offers a free introductory meeting that was very useful to us and allowed my son to get to know him. It was a good opportunity to discuss my son's needs (he has some learning differences)and his hectic schedule and figure out what was best for him. James helps him focus one step at a time, which is what he needs, and he is very patient and kind. My son is doing well. He has learned all kind of SAT tricks and strategies and feels much more confident about taking the test. James' rates are reasonable.I recommended him to a friend whose daughter is at Piedmont High, and they are very pleased also. You can check out his web site, www.jamesenotutorials.com, or reach him at james@jamesenotutorials,com or 510-499-2283. San Francisco Mom
Paul Gee helped my daughter tremendously with SAT test preparation. While my daughter was not categorized as having learning differences, she had struggled with test anxiety for years. Her grades were OK, but she felt that she could do better. She had became much more relaxed after working with Paul for a few weeks. She had a tremendous jump in her SAT test scores after working with Paul. We had previously worked with another tutor but Paul helped her while the other did not. Paul also helped several of her friends after she recommended Paul to them. Paul can be reached at 510-502-8465. Good luck.
I have two children that worked with Paul Osborne for tutoring. One of my two children also did the SAT tutoring with him. He's great with kids, and has a teaching style that makes the information accessible to students in a way that's not taught in school. I highly recommend him to any student. His website is: http://paulthetutors.com/index.htm Christiane
I can not recommend Paul Gee highly enough as a wonderful and effective SAT tutor. Paul was able to motivate my daughter to work hard on preparing for the SAT exam. Initially, my daughter was reluctant to go to tutoring, but then after seeing Paul for a few times, she was very happy with the progress she was making. She feels that Paul was very good at explaining the concepts and to show her how to do more on her own to improve her score. I feel that Paul was very kind and accepting of where she was at, which put her at ease and helped her to be open to learning from him. Paul not only helped her with SAT preparation, but also motivated her to work hard in all her classes and for that I am very grateful. Thanks in no small part to Paul, she was accepted to a good number of great colleges and is now happily at her first choice college. Paul can be reached at 510-502-8465. Thankful.
Feb 2011

With great enthusiasm, I recommend Mo Rahmoun as a test preparation tutor for middle and high school students approaching SSAT/ISEE, PSAT, and SAT/ACT. Our daughter first worked with Mo as an 8th grader because her abilities in math, in particular, were hit-and-miss and she needed to take the SSAT. Mo taught her whatever math she had not studied before (but would encounter on the tests) and thoroughly reinforced what she did know. He also noted and corrected her tendency to misread questions or rush to answers in the verbal as well as the math sections of the practice tests. Her math and verbal scores on both the SSAT and PSAT (she returned to work with Mo as a Junior) were stellar. She also remarked that she had become a stronger and more confident math student in the classroom, too. She is currently working with Mo to prepare for the SAT; she says he ''makes everything clear.'' Mo Rahmoun knows these tests inside and out and delivers both the relevant curriculum and smart test-taking advice with patience, good humor, and the skills of a master teacher. He can be reached at bcfcl@comcast.net or by phone at 510-367-5829/510-763-9627. L.G-W.


Jan 2011

Mo Rahmoun was extremely helpful in preparing our son for the SAT. The scores improved from a low combined score of 1540 to a high of 2010; almost 500 points of improvement!

Mo helped on all sections of the test with his tutoring, his advice and his practice exercises. He was smart, friendly, patient, organized and effective. I firmly believe that our son will have many more options for universities as a result of Mo's knowledge and skill. Highly recommended!

You can contact Mo by e-mail at bcfcl@comcast.net, or you can call him at 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627. - Paul


Looking for SAT and ACT Tutor

Nov 2010

My daughter just took the PSAT and we realize that she will probably need a tutor for the SAT. Does anybody have a good recommendation? It would be best if the tutor also teaches the ACT, as she may be better suited to that test, although I have no idea how different they actually are. Price is also a factor, so ideally, we would like someone who is reasonable. Thanks! mom of a junior


Our son worked with James Eno in Berkeley. James helped him decide which tests and subject tests would be best for him and helped him gain confidence and improve his scores. I would also add, James' support and instruction increased our son's academic knowledge and skill in a number of areas that generally helped him overall in school. august
I highly recommend James Eno (jetutorials@gmail.com, 510-499-2283). He worked with our daughter this past year. They had a great working relationship. He gave her lessons initially followed by several practice tests. James then analyzed her results and identified her weak areas so they could be the focus of further efforts. The result was significant improvement in our daughter's scores from her first effort to her re-test. Because of the focused approach, tutoring did not involve endless hours. James also gave good strategy advise on test-taking, including SAT v. ACT, based on our daughter's strengths and weak spots. There is no question our daughter worked hard but James is due significant credit for his work with her. Leslie
Paul Gee helped my daughter with both ACT and SAT with very good results. My daughter gets good grades, but is not very good with standardize tests. Paul was able to help her overcome her difficulties and feel a lot of confidence in herself. He helped her with knowledge required to do well in the tests and also gave her a lot of test strategy tips. My daughter got some great results to show for her hard work, with no small thanks to Paul's incredibly patience and caring help. We highly recommend Paul. Please call him at 510-502-8465. Thankful
SAT Prep Tutor: Alan Kaplan Fantastic tutor! My daughter just retook her SATs after working with Alan. In their early session, he carefully assessed what she needed (and didnC",b"t need). The individualized sessions with Alan were appropriately priced and so convenient since they met at our house. She looked forward to the sessions because his approach was focused, calm, and clear, and she could see how sheC",b"d do better. I would have happily recommended him even if she hadnC",b"t had a huge jump in scores (but she did!). She had walked in to her first SAT with no particular thought ahead of time and definitely no prep. She wasnC",b"t happy with the way that turned out. She is thrilled with her experience now. If she chooses to, she can apply to an entirely different group of schools. Great thanks to Alan Kaplan for the test prep strategies and confidence! He was highly recommended to us and I see why. His contact is ALAN KAPLAN (510) 530-4012 lnkpln@sbcglobal.net
Amy
I highly recommend James Eno (510-499-2283 jetutorials@gmail.com) for SAT prep. We emailed with 3 SAT tutors and chose James because he was the only one to come out to our house at no charge, meet my daughter and propose a plan of action. His hourly rate was very competitive with the other tutors we spoke with. My daughter took the SAT once without any preparation but after working with James for a 10 week period with meetings once a week she improved her previous score by over 250 points. Best endorsement comes from my 17 year old who said, ''I like James and I don't mind the 2 hour session. It goes by fast.'' From my perspective, James was always on time (he came to our house which was very convenient), extremely well organized and made good use of every minute of the 2-hour session. He is low key, calm and encouraging which helped to keep the anxiety down in our household. We wanted to avoid the drama of the SAT prep but it was clear that my daugher would benefit from some guidance around test taking strategy as well as focus on specific parts of the test. James developed a custom program which fit my daughter's needs and schedule and we were very satisfied with the results. Janet
The tutor who helped my daughter Elana prepare for the SAT is Raymond Barglow, and he did an excellent job. With his help, she did well on the test and got admitted to the college of her choice, American University in DC.

Mr. Barglow is friendly, professional, and expert. He tutors for the ACT as well. In fact, if you're not certain which test to take, SAT or ACT, he can offer you advice about that, and I believe he'll do so for free.

He holds free SAT and ACT workshops at high schools in the East Bay and also teaches a class on ''The Art and Science of Tutoring'' at UC Berkeley. You might contact him to see what workshops he will be doing in the future.

His rate for private tutoring is very reasonable.

He can be reached at ray@barglow.com or phone 510-486-1050. His webwsite is www.berkeleytutors.net Good luck! Stephen


Sept 2010

Like other parents, we contacted Mo Rahmoun about working with our son who is a high school junior to prepare for the SAT and ACT. Mo explained his tutoring system and methodology thoroughly, as well as the books he uses. Mo was reliable and prompt with the tutoring schedule which was weekly in two hour increments. He is very knowledgeable about the material and reinforced our son's test taking techniques by having him take past SAT and ACT tests. Our son's score exceeded our expectations. We give Mo a lot of the credit. He can be reached at bcfcl@comcast.net, or by phone at 510-367-5829 or 510-763- 9627
Hugh


Aug 18 2010

I would like to recommend Jeff Segall - jasegall@yahoo.com - who is tutoring my daughter for the SAT and for her literature and writing classes at BHS. My daughter has learning disabilities and can be difficult to work with. Jeff is patient and able to communicate well with her. Her skills and confidence have increased with his help and she is surprisingly open to his assistance. I recommend him highly and without hestitation. Amy


March 2010

Re: Preparation to take the SAT or ACT tests
This regards the question about college board exams: ACT or SAT? There is no simple answer to this question, since each student is unique. It's a good idea to discuss this matter with a counselor or tutor who has a lot of experience with both tests. I have a daughter at El Cerrito High who receives test preparation advice from Raymond Barglow. She decided to take the SAT, and Mr. Barglow helped her prepare. I recommend him highly. I would be surprised if Kaplan's could have done as good a job (or been as inexpensive). Mr. Barglow was happy at the outset to answer all our questions, including the question about which test to take. I'm sure he'll do the same for you. His website is www.berkeleytutors.net. Good luck! Stephen


Oct 2009

Re: How to help Teen w/test taking
I resorted to professional help. Yes, there are people who do just TEST TAKING skills. The standardized tests build in tricks - I don't know why but they do. I'm sure someone will recommend some of the tutors who prepare you for SAT, etc.

For us the bigger issue was being prepared, feeling confident (messing up on tests hurts your child's self esteem) and building more academic skills. We went to Phyllis Koppelman at Strategies for Learning. After just one session I had an ''AH HA'' moment. All my parental tutoring simply was not as good as a professional who knew the tricks of the trade. Additionally, we had used a young tutor before who actually use put-downs as a "motivator" (my child was NOT motivated). Phyllis is kind and develops a relationship with your child. She uses humor, praise and honest critiques. My son finally admitted to himself that while he is a good writer, writing is very hard for him and he simply must devote additional time to it. On the other hand, math is a breeze - so hurray for that. Her website is www.strategiesforlearning.com Mom of a test hater


Aug 2009

My daughter needs a tutor to help her study for the SAT. Her previous SAT tutor was OK, but was not helpful for the math section. My daughter will be taking Calculus and would like to have some help with that also. Does anyone have a recommendation for a SAT tutor that is strong in math, and can perhaps also tutor her in Calculus?


Highly recommend Compass Prep. They can tailor the sessions to what your daughter really needs. We needed minimal English/Verbal (but a couple of sessions were still very helpful as far as the essay portion was concerned) and had a couple of fantastic math tutors (all UC grad students). And, yes, we called them back after the SAT for some calculus tutoring, since even the SAT sessions had led to improvement in our daughter's Calculus test scores and, more important, in her understanding of some concepts that just weren't coming through from the teacher at school. Check them out at http://www.compassprep.com/ or call the Northern California office in Larkspur at (800) 620-6250 or (415) 464-8600.
Great to hear that your daughter will be taking calculus. Must be a smart kid. I have been tutoring calc an SAT for many years as a fulltime job but am not tutoring this fall so can't help you but want to give you some suggestions. My suggestion is to find a strong calc tutor and s/he will be able to help your daughter with SAT also. Don't do it the other way around. Most SAT tutors CANNOT tutor calculus, but all calculus tutors can tutor SAT. SAT math is just algebra and geometry with no or little precalc and definitely no calculus.

Also, when finding an SAT tutor, just say you want help with math only. That will weed out the so-called SAT tutors who only really do the english section. Maybe I'm predjudiced, but the math section is the one most kids need help with. Most any college educated person can help with the eng. section. That is certainly not true with the math section.

Use craigslist LESSONS area to find tutors. Also ask your daughter's school if they have a list of tutors, and also call nearby high schools to ask for a list, and ask her CALCULUS teacher and other CALCULUS teachers at her school for recommendations.

When interviewing tutors, be sure to ask very specific questions about their CALCULUS (not other math) tutoring experience, i.e. how many CALC students did you tutor last year and can I have references for only CALC students. You don't care at all about their other math tutoring experience (ignore algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, and definitely statistics tutors). Many math tutors do not really tutor calc. because it is too hard. They often tutor up to and including pre-calc (which is very very very very different, in spite of it's name, than calculus), and sometimes try to fake their way through calc. Don't be fooled. Demand a real calculus tutor who spends half of his/her time tutoring calculus. Just for clarification, any real calc tutor will also know alg. trig, geom. and pre-calc inside out, but the other way round is not always true. Expect to pay up to $50 an hour for a qualified calculus tutor.

By qualified I don't mean they have a math degree (they could be an engineer for instance). I mean that they actually tutor calculus every year, year in and year out, to a number of students (not just one) for many years (not just every other year or every once in a while) and they really know their stuff. Talk to students (not parents) who have gotten calculus tutoring from the tutor and ask, did the tutor really know his stuff? Did he ever seem confused? Was he clear and good at explaining the math? Did he really LIKE, or even LOVE, calculus? Most calculus tutors who know what they are doing LOVE the subject. Finally, get her a qualified calc. tutor right from the first week. The first chapter is rapid fire review and then by the second week they are off and running on completely new, interesting and very challenging concepts where even the very best math students can quickly fall behind. So get her a tutor right from the start. Sorry, but I don't have any specific names of tutors I can recommend simply because tutors do their own thing and don't know each other. Contact me if you want to talk about any of this. Best of luck to you and your daughter. sean


To the person who is looking for a SAT tutor who can also tutor Calculus: Paul Gee tutored my daughter with SAT as well as Calculus. He helped her with both the verbal as well as the math part of the SAT. He also taught her how to deal with stress and how to stay focused during the long test period. With his help, her SAT score improved significantly over the first time she took the test. Math has not been my daughter's strongest point, so she was very hesitant about taking Calculus. But with Paul's help, she understood everything and got an A in the class. She liked him because she felt that he was very patient and very good at explaining the material. I liked him because he was very communicative with me. I highly recommend Paul for both SAT and Math tutoring. Call him at 510-502-8465. JS
Regarding advice for selection of calculus and SAT tutor: I am extremely happy with the tutor I hired to help my daughter with calculus, SAT-Math and SAT-Verbal. Although she did not particularly liked math, she got an A in calculus and improved her SAT score by a wide margin as compared to the first time she took the test. The following suggestions are from my experience interviewing many tutors to find the one I finally selected.

I suggest you either hire one tutor that is very good with all three topics, if possible, or hire different tutors for each since the three topics require different skills. Although a good calculus tutor would definitely know the basic math required to teach SAT-Math, I would not assume that such a tutor would necessarily also be good at teaching it. Teaching SAT, or anything else for that matter, requires skills beyond just knowing the material, but also the skills to teach it. Just as I would not assume that a randomly selected college professor could manage a class of rowdy high school students, I also would not assume that a randomly selected calculus tutor could teach SAT-Math.

Lastly, I found the per hour charge of tutors to be all over the map: from $20 for part-time novice tutors with little experience, to over $100 for full-time highly skilled professionals with years of experience. Price does not always reflect quality, but I have found that excellent help often does not come cheap. I paid $80 per hour and felt that that was a bargain for a tutor who did an amazing job tutoring my daughter in calculus, SAT-Math, and SAT-Verbal. That price was cheaper than some SAT Test-Prep Courses and certainly cheaper than a good private school education. Since my daughter was accepted into many excellent colleges, I feel that the money was well spent. By the way, I am sure there are many fantastic tutors out there, but my search lead me to select Paul Gee. Good luck on your search for a great tutor.


May 2009

Mo Rahmoun tutored our son for the ISEE test. After taking the test, our son was thrilled with the dramatic improvement in his scores. My husband and I were also pleased with the greatly improved scores, but we were even more pleased with how much our son enjoyed learning with Mo and how he got a better sense of himself as a learner--his strengths and weaknesses, his ability to benefit from a one-on-one tutoring relationship, his increased confidence in his intelligence. Mo did a great job with him, and our son often commented to my husband and me that Mo is both a really nice man and an excellent tutor. We highly recommend Mo to other parents. Mo is also highly experienced in tutoring students on the SAT, the ACT, the SAT subject tests, and the SSAT. We will hire him again if our son needs help preparing for SAT tests. Call Mo Rahmoun at 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627 or email him at bcfcl@comcast.net.
Deborah


April 2009

Does anyone have a recommendation for an SAT tutor for my son. I need someone who can relate to a teenage boy and I would prefer a tutor who can come to my house. Thanks. Katy


Paul Gee had done WONDERS with my student's SAT tutoring. He is very clear in his communication with students. He also really takes into account each student's strengths and weaknesses. Whenever I had questions about the progress, Paul was very open to talking to me about the details of my son's sessions. We have been thoroughly happy and my son doesn't even complain about attending the sessions. He is grateful to feel an improvement in his success on the test. Having the guidance and expertise of such a skilled teacher has made all the difference! I strongly recommend Paul as an extremely dedicated and perceptive tutor. His phone number is 510-502-8465. Joanne
I highly recommend James Eno (510-499-2283) for private in-home SAT tutoring. My daughter was able to raise her score from the PSAT to the SAT by 330 points placing her well within reach of very selective colleges. James also worked with her to accommodate her very busy schedule and make the process go as smoothly as possible. mjk
For SAT prep, we recently used James Eno to tutor my junior year daughter. She raised her score 270 points from her PSAT score. She enjoyed working with James and felt that he had prepared her very well for the test; he is conscientious, responsible and obviously a skilled tutor. He has a great easy-going manner that is very appealing to my daughter and helped calm anxieties. I would highly recommend James. He can be reached at jenoone@hotmail.com or 510-499- 2283. Karel
March 2009

Re: 17-year-old's problems with math and science tests
My son was also very bright but tested poorly, mainly in math. After trying several tutors, I finally found Paul Gee, a math tutor, who helped him tremendously. He was very patient working with my son, and also quite communicative with me as a parent. Paul said that he has dealt with quite a few such students. He explained that some bright students learn concepts very quickly, but either do not spend the time and/or do not have the patience to learn the problem solving procedures, thus performing poorly on tests. He said one other sign of this type of student is that in their homework they may give the correct answer, but either can't or don't want to show how they got the answer. You might give Paul a call at 510-502-8465 to discuss your situation. We feel fortunate that he was able to help us. Good luck.


March 2009

Mr. Mo Rahmoun worked with our son in his junior year of high school to prepare for the SAT and SAT Math Level 2 tests. Based upon our very positive experience, we subsequently asked Mr. Rahmoun to help our daughter prepare for the upper level ISEE and SSAT tests in connection with her applications to independent high schools. We recommend Mr. Rahmoun highly and without reservation to parents seeking test preparation assistance for their children. For our children, the experience of working with Mr. Rahmoun was extraordinarily positive. In both cases, our childrens test scores improved significantly thanks to time spent with Mr. Rahmoun. We also believe that the time our son spent with Mr. Rahmoun reinforced high school course work, and resulted in more productive and enjoyable junior and senior years of high school. Mr. Rahmoun may be reached by e-mail at bcfcl@comcast.net, or by telephone at 510-367-5829 or 510- 763-9627.
John


March 2009

We would like to share our experience with a great test preparation tutor:Mo Rahmoun. Mo worked with our older daughter, currently a sophomore atUCLA, during her junior year in high school to help her prepare for the SATtest. Her scores improved significantly based on Mo's excellent guidance and tutorials. Our younger daughter, a high school junior, began working with Mo this Fall to prepare for the PSAT and is now receiving tutoring andpreparation for the SAT. We highly recommend Mo to parents looking for test preparation help-- he's a very skilled and knowledgeable tutor. Mo is also experienced in preparing students for the ACT test. Mo Rahmoun can be reached by e-mail at bcfcl@comcast.net. He can also be reached by telephone at 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627. Lisa


Jan - Feb 2009

My daughter will be taking the SAT ( probably ACT also) in a few months. Instead of a more general course I think she would benefit from a tutor on a 1 on 1 ( or 2 on 1) basis. The english/reading part especially needs work. Would need to be in the Oakland /Alameda area and be $50 or less. Any suggestions? Thanks, Jenny


Mr. Mo Rahmoun worked with our son in his junior year of high school to prepare for the SAT and SAT Math Level 2 tests. Based upon our very positive experience, we subsequently asked Mr. Rahmoun to help our daughter prepare for the upper level ISEE and SSAT tests in connection with her applications to independent high schools.

We recommend Mr. Rahmoun highly and without reservation to parents seeking test preparation assistance for their children. For our children, the experience of working with Mr. Rahmoun was extraordinarily positive. In both cases, our childrenís test scores improved significantly thanks to time spent with Mr. Rahmoun. We also believe that the time our son spent with Mr. Rahmoun reinforced high school course work, and resulted in more productive and enjoyable junior and senior years of high school.

Mr. Rahmoun may be reached by e-mail at bcfcl@comcast.net, or by telephone at 510-367-5829 or 510- 763-9627.
jmr


Paul Gee helped my daughter with her math classes and then with the math portion of her SAT. We initially used a SAT tutor that taught both verbal and math but my daughter felt that she was not getting the math help she needed. So we asked Paul to help with the SAT math portion, and both my daughter and I are sure glad that we did. Contact Paul at 510-502-8465.
Anon
I work for a non-profit called Aspire Education Project. We offer scholarships for our one-on-one ACT and SAT tutoring. All of our scholarships are need-based. We'd be happy to answer questions about tutoring or the scholarship application process at (510) 658-7500. Noa
Dec 2008

James Eno tutored our son, a Junior, and raised his SAT test scores by 310 points! He has a great personality, gets along really well (which is very important in working with a teenager) and he teaches not only the content but the strategy on taking the SAT. James was able to tailor his study guide to match our son's learning style, and by building his confidence, helped relieve his test taking anxiety. All this led to the big jump in his test scores. James has great communication with both our son and us (parents), he works on weekends, comes to our house, and he is extremely punctual and reliable. We highly recommend James for anyone looking for help to catapult their SAT scores. James can be reached at 510-499-2283 /email : jenoone@hotmail.com Robert


Sept 2008

Don Christiansen 510/526-1423 is a ''mature adult'', graduate of Yale, soft spoken with a great sense of humor, backward baseball cap, and an easy manner with teen boys or girls. He was very helpful and insightful about my son's learning style for the SAT. He comes to your home and at $60 or $70/hour, he was a great bargain that worked!! Satisfied Mom


August 2008

Can anyone recommend a private tutor for SAT test preparation? Anita


I highly recommend PAUL GEE for math tutoring and SAT prep. We initially hired him to help our daughter with Algebra, and then Math Analysis. A while ago, we sent our daughter to a group SAT prep class, which she felt did not focus on teaching her the basic math enough. Instead it mostly taught her a few test techniques like how to guess at answers. So we engaged Paul to tutor her in SAT prep as well. We were so happy with the result that we then hired Paul to tutor her in SAT Math 2C subject test. We are amazed at the differences Paul has made in our daughter's math grades and SAT scores. Over the years Paul has also helped to guide and motivate our daughter to reach higher in her goals. Paul has two kids who recently graduated from high school and both are in Ivy League schools. This has inspired our daughter to apply to the very competitive schools also! We cannot thank Paul enough for his help. His phone number is 510-502-8465. Jessica
March 2007

This is my recommendation for an excellent SAT tutor, Mo Rahmoun. He tutored our son, a Junior, for the SAT 1 and we were very pleased with the results. Our son, so far, has taken the SAT test only once and his score is good enough. Consequently, we have put off thinking about his taking the test a second time because we think it will not be needed. Mo is currently tutoring our son to prepare him to take the Math Level 2 SAT subject test.

Mo is very encouraging and patient, and is very skilled at adapting his tutoring to different individual learning styles. He is also reasonably flexible in accommodating changes in students' schedules.

I would strongly recommend Mo to any parent who is looking for a private tutor for their child. I would also suggest that if you are thinking of having him tutor your child to contact him early, in order to be able to get the days and times you can work with.

You can contact Mo by phone at 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627. Or by e-mail at bcfcl[at]comcast.net Deepa


Dec 2006

SAT Tutor Recommendation Alan Kaplan worked with my daughter Caitlin preparing her to take both the PSAT and the SAT. The results were outstanding. In the past, Caitlin had always dreaded tests and inevitably failed to show her skills and knowledge. Each time she prepared for a test with Alan, her confidence and results improved until she finally reached her goal. Alanís personal style is calm, positive and thorough. He is a mature and grounded person who appreciates the broader issues in a studentís life and puts her at ease. In instructing Caitlin for the SAT, he taught her wider skills, applicable in her school work: problem solving, seeing connections and perseverance. We chose to hire Alan as a one-on-one tutor as opposed to signing up for a course. Not only does the tutorial end up being cheaper than the course, but the individualized attention is far more beneficial. Some of Caitlinís friends flourished with Alan after having poor results with such courses. Alan Kaplan may be reached at (510) 530-4012
barbara


Jan 2006

I'd like to get advice about tutoring for the SAT's. Are the Kaplan or Sylvan classes any good? Are they worth the money? My son has some learning issues, usually doesn't test well, and might benefit from a more individualized program. Can anyone recommend a good private tutor that won't cost an arm and a leg? We live in Alameda. I'd also appreciate advice about college counseling, where and how to apply. Thank you. Mom of 15 year-old


Paul the Tutor (Paul Osborne) does SAT Prep for students with learning issues. I know that he has wonderful success with students that others often don't. As a teacher, I was curious to know what makes his teachings different than traditional SAT prep. Paul works with students on cognitive processes so he can teach students the right way to think to succeed in the SAT along with giving them tricks to use. His website has more information at http://www.paulthetutor.com/ldsat.php

Marta


Dec 2005

I am looking for a tutor to help my 16 year old daughter prepare for the SAT in January. Can you recommend someone who specializes in test taking strategies? She also wants help with the writing sample and history.


I hear that Doug (sorry, don't know his last name) is a great SAT tutor, including helping with test strategy skills in general. Has done a lot of tutoring for SAT and has good references. His office number is 845-6441 and cell is 599-0044. Almost there...
Paul Osborne, Paul The Tutor, is a wonderful SAT prep tutor who specializes in prepping students with learning disabilities or learning differences. I believe his website has some information on his SAT prep work at: http://www.paulthetutor.com/ldsat.php Marta
Mo Rahmoun was our son's test prep tutor for the ISEE (private school equivalent of the SSAT) and was patient, well prepared, knew how to encourage my child in exactly the right way and adjust to his learning style. My son just mentioned yesterday that it was Mo who taught him how to write a 5 paragraph essay in 1/2 hour, which had seemed like an impossible task. He has tutored for the SAT for many years. The tutoring is done in the student's house in 2 hour segments and Mo was very reasonable about working with difficult schedules. His contact #'s are 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627. chiliconmom
June 2005

With both my kids I found individual SAT tutoring more effective and less expensive than classes, and I want to recommend an SAT tutoring service that does a great job of matching students to individual tutors. It's SuccessLink Tutoring, where Michael Weller will learn about your student and then find a tutor that matches his/her learning style and personal interests as well. You can reach him at 650-346-0410, or info@successlinktutoring.com (www.successlinktutoring.com) Beth


I would like to recommend my son's SAT prep tutor to parents looking for an excellent and reliable SAT tutor. His name is Mo Rahmoun.

Mo did an outstanding job helping my son. His overall SAT score increased several hundred points, from the time he took the PSAT in October to his SAT last month (May 7), when he took the New SAT test for the first time. He achieved excellent scores.

My son is a bright kid and, with Mo's help, was able to clarify concepts that (maybe) were not clear to him from the beginning of his schooling. In that respect, my son's experience with Mo preparing for the SAT test has helped him in more ways than one.

Mo is a warm, patient, and knowledgeable teacher. A one of a kind person. The sessions were two hours long, once a week, at our house.

I recommend Mo Rahmoun highly.

You can contact Mo by phone at: 510-367-5829 or by email at: bcfcl AT comcast.net victoria


Oct 2004

I would like to recommend Mo Rahmoun as an excellent SAT tutor. My daughter, now a senior, has worked with Mo to prepare for the SAT 1 (Math and Verbal) and SAT ll (Writing and Math 1C). She has found Mo to be knowledgeable and dedicated, as well as friendly and approachable. She says that he explains math concepts very well (she has needed help mainly with math), and that he has given her good advice for the SAT 1 Verbal and SAT ll Writing tests. So far, my daughter has been pleased with her SAT results after working with Mo (she still has one SAT ll left to take). She tells me that she has liked the way he has encouraged her to review and prepare for her sessions with him. As a parent, I very much appreciate Mo's reliability and his individualized approach (he seems to realize quickly how my daughter learns best). You can reach Mo at 510-367-5829 or bcfcl AT comcast.net -- Stella


September 2004

I highly recommend Jeffrey Segall for test preparation. He has been tutoring my son, a high school junior, since last year. Jeff works with high school kids as an English tutor. He holds a PhD in English, M.A. in English & Education, and California state teaching certification. He is very reliable, focused, and organized. My son's reading and essay writing skills have improved greatly. This year Jeff is helping my son to prepare for his SAT and his personal essay for college applications. You can email him at jasegall@yahoo.com or call him (510) 559-3569. Esra


August 2004

Re: SAT Tutor Recommendation
I highly recommend Mo Rahmoun as an experienced and competent SAT tutor. He tutors PSAT (Math, Verbal, Writing), SAT I (Math and Verbal) and SAT II (Math IC, IIC & Writing).

He has extensive experience in tutoring students of diverse skill levels and knows how to effectively tailor his approach to match the learning styles and abilities of each of his students.

He also has an in-depth understanding of how these standardized tests are designed and structured and what they measure.

His combination of experience, understanding of how the test works, and excellent teaching skills has enabled the majority of his students to get great results. For some of his students, the scores they've achieved are nothing less than extraordinary.

If you are looking for a talented SAT tutor who really knows the tests and gets great results, contact Mo at: Phone: 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627 E-mail: mnr AT attbi.com Good Luck SLH


August 2004

I'd like to make a recommendation for a great SAT tutor, Mo Rahmoun. Mo worked with my son, who truly enjoyed every session, learned a tremendous amount, and greatly improved his test scores. Mo is super-experienced at helping all kinds of learners with test preparation, and is a warm, patient, smart person, with the ability to bond easily with the student and actually help them have fun with the process as they are learning and improving. He really knows the ins and outs of testing, has all kinds of tips, and is completely up-to-date on all the SAT changes as they come along. He is a UC Berkeley grad in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You can reach Mo at 510- 367-5829 or 510-763-9627, or email him at mnr AT attbi.com toni


June 2004

I want to highly recommend the SAT tutoring service, SuccessLink Tutoring, 650-346-0410. The most impressive thing about the service is the time and care taken to match students up with a tutor who shares their interests and is sympathetic to their needs. My son is a slightly above average student whose PSAT scores were not promising. Michael, of SuccessLink, spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with me, asking all sorts of questions about my son, his interests, his strengths and weaknesses, etc., then matched him with a tutor who was a great fit, a great teacher, and a thoughtful and compassionate fellow, who bolstered not only my son's confidence but his performance as well. Although the hourly rate sounds high, in all the total cost was less than many test preparation courses, and immeasurably more effective, personal, and pleasant. I cannot recommend these folks too highly. SuccessLink Tutoring 650-346-0410 Beth


June 2004

Our daughter, a Junior at Albany high, has made wonderful grades for years, but was not performing well on standardized tests like the SAT. We chose to work with Mo Rahmoun (mnr AT attbi.com) after considering Princeton Review and having her work with skill building publications and computer formats. Mo tutors for SAT I (Verbal and Math) and SAT II (Math IC, IIC and Writing). He is an Electrical Engineering/Computer Science graduate of U.C. Berkeley. We chose his tutoring because we wanted 1) help that was tailored to our daughter's needs; 2) someone who would come to our home (we do way too much running around already!) and 3) someone who worked systematically to identify areas that needed work, worked with practice tests, and who was positive and encouraging. Mo is all those things and more! As many have already attested, the skills he has been imparting are helpful for the SAT now, but will also be useful far into the future. Furthermore, he is parent- friendly, totally reliable and inspires our daughter to prepare and self-test. His personal ethics of responsibility and hard work are imparted throughout his tutoring sessions. Call Mo at 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627. Ilene


Jan 2004

To parents of High School students and of Juniors in particular: The majority of juniors will be taking the SAT I test in the Spring. The Spring test dates are fast approaching and now is the time to start preparing for them. I would like to repeat a recommendation that I made previously for an SAT tutor. Mo has been continually refining his approach to SAT tutoring these last many months. He is currently using some very effective strategies, especially some techniques suitable for improving students' performance on the Verbal part of the SAT, particularly the Critical Reading section with which a lot of students have difficulty. Mo tutors SAT I (Verbal and Math) and SAT II (Math IC, IIC and Writing). He has been getting very good results with his students, averaging an improvement of 150 points. Many of his students have raised their scores by more than 200 points, which is considered outstanding. He LOVES tutoring and effectively communicates support and encouragement. He is especially good at judging exactly what a student requires in order to do well and tailoring his approach to those individual needs. He can be reached at 510-367-5829 or 510-763-9627. Good Luck! Sylvia


August 2003

I would like to make a recommendation for an SAT tutor. Mo tutors SAT I (both Verbal & Math) and SAT II (Math IC, IIC & Writing). He has been getting very good results with his students, averaging an improvement of 120 points. Some students have raised their scores by more than 150 points in 5 sessions, which is considered outstanding. He LOVES tutoring and effectively communicates support and encouragement. He is especially good at judging exactly what a student needs in order to do well and tailoring his approach. He can be reached at: Mo Rahmoun, 510-763-9627 or 510-234-1824.

Sylvia


June 2003

I highly recommend Mo Rahmoun as a SAT I/II tutor. He did a wonderful job with my son, who is a whiz with computers and does well in school, and yet had disappointing SAT scores. Mo motivated my son to learn new words, and taught him how to answer math questions. He also analyzed and improved the way he took the SAT tests. My son learned valuable lessons from Mo that he will continue to use in school and life, including a larger vocabulary, basic math skills, and how to approach problems. Mo has a sensitive and encouraging approach that matches a studentís ability to learn. He comes to your house, and is highly reliable and personable. Mo has an engineering degree from UC Berkeley. My son said the tutoring helped a lot and gave him confidence to take the tests. Plus his scores really improved. You can reach Mo at 510-763-9627 or 510-367-5829, or by email at mnr AT attbi.com. Good luck! Clair


Feb 2003

I wanted to repeat a recommendation for anyone searching for a tutor for a high school student: I enthusiastically recommend an SAT tutor named Joel Burgos who helped my daughter prepare for her SAT. Joel is a senior at Cal, majoring in Economics. He is a Regents' Scholar and has a GPA of 3.8 at Berkeley. He has tutored high school students for over two years and has worked for Kaplan. He charges $20 per hour.

My daughter does not like math, but after being tutored by Joel, she gained 100 pts. on the SAT I math section when she retook it. Joel has an excellent rapport with teen-agers and he is a great person. He doesn't have a car, so he tutored my daughter various places on campus.

He can tutor SAT I, SAT II: Writing, math Ic and IIC, world history, chemistry. You can e-mail him at jbowl0606 AT hotmail.com or call him at 704-8793. Olga


Oct 2002

I highly recommend Doug Buckwald for test preparation. He works with kids from 4th grade through 12th grade, and knows all the tricks for succeeding at standardized tests. He will come to your house and is reliable, focused, very clear and organized. He can assess where your child is in terms of academic readiness and strengthen areas of math or English that need improvement. He also works with test taking attitude, dealing with anxiety and building confidence. Be prepared for him to carefully consider whether he and your child/family are a good match. He screens carefully as it is a one-on-one relationship and has to be a good fit. Good luck, Andrea.


Sept 2002

My Orinda neighbor and friend, Eric Myers, is a professional tutor. He is an immensely bright and personable guy (he's a Princeton grad and a playwright), and has a great touch with kids. He mostly focuses on high school kids (especially SAT prep -- he is a former master teacher with Princeton Review), but also works with younger kids. Several of my friends have hired him to work with their 5th graders, and have been very pleased. He is not cheap, but quality service rarely is. His phone number is (925) 253-7738. Leslie


June 2002

I enthusiastically recommend an SAT tutor named Joel Burgos who helped my daughter prepare for her SAT last year. Joel is a senior at Cal, majoring in Economics. He is a Regents' Scholar and has a GPA of 3.8 at Berkeley. He has tutored high school students for over two years and has worked for Kaplan. He charges $20 per hour.

My daughter does not like math, but after being tutored by Joel, she gained 100 pts. on the SAT I math section when she retook it last year. Joel has an excellent rapport with teen-agers and he is a great person. He doesn't have a car, so he tutored my daughter various places on campus.

He can tutor SAT I, SAT II: Writing, math Ic and IIC, world history, chemistry. You can e-mail him at jbowl0606 AT hotmail.com or call him at 704-8793. Olga


June 2002

I am the mother of a student at Bishop O'Dowd. I am responding to your inquiry about SAT and college preparation. In addition to the school counselor, we are working with a private counselor, Wendy Morrison. She is enthusiastic and has really helped my daughter figure out what she wants out of her college experience. She has guided us through the SAT testing process: when and where to take the various tests. She has given us invaluable information about financial aid and merit-based scholariships. She has helped my daughter figure out what kind of college best matches her personality. Lastly, she has worked with my daughter in developing her essay topic. She promptly returns calls which relieves the anxiety that inevitably comes from being the mother of a college-bound student. We are extremely glad that we have been able to work Wendy for she has been a great help in this overwhelming process. Wendy works out of her home in Kensington. She charges $85 per session and each session lasts approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. She can be reached at (510) 384-5962. I highly reccomend giving her a call. (July 2001)


In response (albeit a little tardy) to enquiry re. SAT tuition, both my children have used Don Christensen, He is a wonderfully patient and supportive teacher, who comes to your home and works with the individual child. He is not terribly expensive and, after April, has space for new students. His phone # is 526-1423.
Corinne (1/00)
Don Christianson 510- 526-1423 was used by my younger daughter and some other BHS students we know. He does in home tutoring. She liked him a lot and found him most helpful. He worked with her on both parts of the SAT.

Don may still work with Jim Irwin ( 925-631-1720 ) who is based in Moraga. My older daughter used Jim in 1994-95 and did not mind driving to Moraga because she thought he was so good. She had been in IMP math and had not learned certain math principals which Jim taught to her.

They both make the kids feel very competent. Kids do tests before the tutorial which motivates them to do the test and that is half the battle. The more you do, the better you get. Then they go over the test and teach around the test. The individual attention worked for my kids and I probably spent less than on a class, but some kids like going with their friends.

Sherry (5/00)


Good experiences with courses, tutors?

Dec 2006

Do any parents have some good experiences with SAT Prep courses or good recommendations for reasonably priced tutors? Any suggestions for preparation (books, study aids, etc.) would be greatly appreciated. louisa


I am about to leave my job at Parents' Press magazine, whose monthly college prep columnist Dave Peterson is very experienced and knowledgeable. (Some of his old columns are on www.parent-teen.com.) His general take on SAT prep is that unless a student is behind on a particular subject, the College Board, www.collegeboard.com, offers free prep materials that are more than adequate and have been rated number one by Consumer Reports. (These materials are frequently available at high school college and career centers as well.)

However, if your child is up on academics, but lacking self- confidence, buying one of the standard SAT manuals probably wouldn't hurt. There's a new one called ''Up Your Score'' (2007- 2008 edition) that's written by a team of recent college graduates. It only costs about $12 dollars and is clear and entertaining and has a nice kind of you-can-do-it attitude. Melanie


Try Classroom Matters - through them I found a great tutor that also works for Aspire Education - I don't know the number to Classroom Matters but there is one on Sacramento Street near Dwight in Berkeley - you can reach Aspire at 510.658.7500 Jill
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