Colin D.

Los Angeles, CA


Patient, Experienced Multi-Subject Tutor (Harvard Grad & J.D.)

5000+ Hours
5.0 average from 1108 ratings
A brilliant guy who can adapt his teaching style to you
— Eric, Los Angeles, CA on 9/3/14


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Harvard University
University of San Diego School of Law


Harvard University (Philosophy)

University of San Diego School of Law (J.D.)

About Colin

I am a Harvard University graduate (cum laude) with almost 13 years of tutoring experience. I have achieved perfect scores on the GRE, GMAT, SAT, and ACT, and scored in the 99th percentile on my LSAT exam prior to law school. While in law school, I was a faculty lecturer for the University of San Diego's Test Prep Program, specializing in GRE, LSAT, SAT, GMAT, and college and graduate school application essay writing.

During my time at Harvard, where I was a joint-concentrator in Comparative Religion and Philosophy (with an emphasis on Literature in my Senior Honors Thesis), I worked on a pro bono basis with Boston's Refugee Youth Enrichment Program, tutoring and mentoring ESL elementary school students of Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Cape Verdean descent. Additionally, I have tutored and coached cross-country and track and field at St. Augustine High School, Our Lady of Peace Academy, and Patrick Henry High School (in San Diego, CA) for almost 10 combined years. Furthermore, in the time between my college graduation and my matriculation to law school, I tutored full-time (approximately 70 hrs/wk!) in most high school subjects, with an expertise in and emphasis on Math (Pre-Algebra through Calculus AB), English (AP Literature and Language, British and World Literature, College Application Essays, Writing and Composition, SAT Verbal, SAT Grammar & Essay, ACT Reading & English), History (AP U.S. and European History), and Social Science (AP Government & Economics).

A number of my former students have attended and graduated from preeminent undergraduate and graduate universities, including Harvard, Yale, Penn, Brown, Cornell, Notre Dame, Stanford, Berkeley, Duke, Georgetown, and more. While I have worked with exceptionally naturally gifted students, I have also worked with a number of students with learning disabilities, assisting them in their individualized academic goals, both in the classroom and in standardized exams.

Ultimately, whatever the grade level or current aptitude of the student, I am focused on the specific needs of my students. I take a rigorously individualized approach to tutoring, tailoring my lessons to the precise, personal abilities and objectives of my students. I believe in setting long-term and short-term goals, and I believe in constructing an initial plan of study to help keep both parties (i.e., teacher and student) focused on our shared objectives.

The success of the individual student is my primary objective, and to that end I make myself endlessly available for discussion and communication outside of regularly scheduled sessions. I have routinely worked through the night to edit students' college application essays as deadlines fast-approached, and I have frequently talked to and assuaged nerve-racked students in the early morning hours before their various standardized tests (e.g., SAT, ACT, SAT-2).

If nothing else, I am patient. I'm on your side, and I'm here to assist you. I understand that you've sought out tutoring because a particular subject is difficult and/or daunting for you. I can sympathize with that. I have been academically intimidated, and occasionally over-matched, having attended very competitive undergraduate and graduate schools myself. I also recognize which advisors were able to help me and which ones were not. In turn, I've learned how to be patient while remaining resolute in jointly pursuing a scholastic goal.

Lastly, I am in a perfect position to sympathize with the challenges facing students, as I myself continue to take post-graduate coursework in and draft scholarly articles in English Literature. Though I am trained as a lawyer and occasionally assist my wife with her research, writing, and work as a education administrator in the charter schools of LAUSD, private and personal teaching, coaching, and mentoring remain central to who I am and what I care about. That will never change.
I am a Harvard University graduate (cum laude) with almost 13 years of tutoring experience. I have achieved perfect scores on the GRE, GMAT, SAT, and ACT, and scored in the 99th percentile on my LSAT exam prior to law school. While in law school, I was a faculty lecturer for the University of San Diego's Test Prep Program, specializing in GRE, Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of Los Angeles, CA 90026
Background Check: Passed

"A brilliant guy who can adapt his teaching style to you"

- Eric, Los Angeles, CA on 9/3/14

"Patient and helpful tutor!"

- Madison, Los Angeles, CA on 12/5/17

"Knowledgeable and to the point"

- Ielen, La Crescenta, CA on 8/15/17

"INCREDIBLE tutor!!"

- Brett, Burbank, CA on 6/14/17

"The Best in the West"

- Ed, Norco, CA on 1/29/17

"Fantastic Everything!"

- Lynda Rothman, Los Angeles, CA on 11/30/16

"Colin gets it."

- Steve, San Francisco, CA on 8/19/16

"The best tutor ever!"

- Carly, Los Angeles, CA on 8/3/16


- Ruth, Pasadena, CA on 6/5/16

"Great SAT tutor who has lots of college advice"

- Erin, San Marino, CA on 6/4/16

"Smart and better teacher than my teacher"

- Bonnie, Los Angeles, CA on 5/6/16

"Simply the best!"

- Sean, Los Angeles, CA on 4/5/16

"Top Flight"

- Hunter, West Hollywood, CA on 3/30/16

"Amazing tutor that got me when I am."

- Joyce, Sacramento, CA on 3/20/16

"Best, Brightest Tutor EVER"

- Rachel, La Canada Flintridge, CA on 3/16/16

"Good, but doesn't teach strategy and time management"

- Ramina, Los Angeles, CA on 3/14/16

"Helpful and Enthusiastic"

- Madison, Los Angeles, CA on 11/20/15

"What more could you ask for in a tutor?"

- Casey, Los Angeles, CA on 10/16/15

"Colin is a great tutor. He is very patient, smart and has a nice easy style."

- June, Los Angeles, CA on 9/23/15

"Best in the west!"

- Christina, Pasadena, CA on 9/8/15

"His exceptional mind and incredible passion for teaching and life are highly motivating!"

- Mackenzie, Manhattan Beach, CA on 7/20/15

"Patient and able to connect."

- Aram, Glendale, CA on 6/26/15

"Knowledgeable. Focused. Great methods."

- Elisa, Los Angeles, CA on 6/8/15

"Excellent Tutor."

- Sunita, San Marino, CA on 6/8/15

"Awesome tutor"

- Jordan, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA on 6/4/15

"Deep knowledge base and great teaching ability"

- Todd, Encino, CA on 5/29/15

"Can't get better than this"

- Jinan, Encino, CA on 3/8/15

"SO Smart!"

- Courtney, Pasadena, CA on 1/18/15

"Amazing tutor!"

- Chrystal, Los Angeles, CA on 11/28/14

"Exceptional tutor, great results"

- John, Los Angeles, CA on 9/17/14

"Most wonderful tutor you could ask for!"

- Keanna, Los Angeles, CA on 9/9/14

"Got me to 170+ on the LSAT!"

- Nic, Newhall, CA on 9/3/14

"Superior Knowledge"

- Mariah, South Pasadena, CA on 4/10/14

"Professional, patient, easy to work with."

- Victoria, Los Angeles, CA on 1/31/14

"Very pleased - and encouraged!"

- Leslie Dione, Los Angeles, CA on 10/7/13

"Great Tutor!"

- Ada, San Gabriel, CA on 9/20/13

"Just about ready to take this test!"

- Janet, Encino, CA on 8/21/13

"Best tutor I can find!"

- Jie, Alhambra, CA on 5/5/13

"Far exceeded expectations!"

- Julie, Culver City, CA on 5/4/13

"Sounds impressive, but follow through poor."

- Michelle, Sherman Oaks, CA on 4/29/13
Colin replied on 5/10/2013

The mischaracterization explicit in this review is upsetting to say the least. In the course of working with hundreds of students over the years, there are bound to be some students who want something for nothing. Sadly, Michelle is a prime example of that.

On March 10, 2013, I agreed to conduct an initial session with Michelle's daughter, never once asserting that it would be a free "consultation." In fact, Michelle and I had a lengthy consultation via telephone several days prior to the initial meeting! In the interest of immediately assisting Michelle and her daughter, I met with Michelle and her daughter on my fiancee's birthday, a Sunday, during the middle of the afternoon, and spent almost three hours with them teaching her daughter basic math and verbal strategies. I only billed for a fraction of that time (i.e., 1.25 hours), acknowledging that the duration of the session might have been more than Michelle had budgeted for. During the tail end of our session, as we developed a detailed plan of study, it became clear that Michelle had a very fixed budget and thus I generously reduced my billable time by over 50%.

Her contentions to the contrary are hurtful, patently untrue, and indicate a real lack of professionalism and judgment on her part. In the aftermath of my lesson, she - without contacting me - advertised to replace me as a tutor, thus ending our tutor-student relationship. Now, almost 2 months later, Michelle is leveling libelous remarks about my character and my professional ability. It is a pity that such behavior exists in a field that I love and have devoted myself to for over a decade.

"Fabulous tutor."

- Debbie, Studio City, CA on 1/28/13

"Such amazing help!!"

- Jenny, Pasadena, CA on 1/3/13

"Amazing Writer!"

- Daniel, North Hollywood, CA on 12/2/12

"Helped me significantly improve my GMAT score!"

- Amy, Irvine, CA on 10/29/12
ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math, Geometry, GMAT, GRE,
Prealgebra, Precalculus, SAT Math, Trigonometry
ACT Science,
Philosophy, PSAT
ACT English, ACT Reading, Bible Studies, English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking, Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing, TOEFL, Vocabulary, Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, ACT Science,
ASVAB, Bar Exam,
College Counseling,
Microsoft Word
Latin, Reading, TOEFL, Writing
American History, Classics, Criminal Justice, European History, Geography, Government & Politics, Religion, Social Studies, World History, Writing
Special Needs:
ADHD, Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math, Phonics, Reading, Study Skills
Elementary Education:
ADHD, Elementary (K-6th), Elementary Math, Grammar, Phonics, Reading, Spelling, Study Skills, Vocabulary, Writing
Law, Microsoft Word, Public Speaking, Writing
Football, Soccer, Softball, Track & Field,

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

ACT Science

I have created content for online ACT Science courses, have regularly scored a perfect 36 (as well as on all other ACT sections), and have coached numerous students to scores above 30 (including several perfect scores of 36 in the past year alone!). I find the Science section's mixture of reading comprehension and data dissection to be very learnable (for the student) and very coachable (for the teacher). I enjoy helping students overcome their fears of the section to achieve scores they never before thought possible.

Bar Exam

I took and passed the CA Bar Exam in February 2011, my first and only attempt. What's more, I passed the exam without taking a standard prep course (e.g., BarBri, Kaplan, etc.), but utilizing certain BarBri prep materials. I devised and fastidiously followed a rigorous study plan that canvassed all material and contoured my mastery of the subject matter to the precise dimensions of the test. In my test simulations prior to the test, I routinely scored in the 90-95% range in multiple choice questions (sets of 100), and exceeded the maximum number of issues provided in the sample essays/outlines as provided in the BarBri essay workbook. I have assisted several friends/colleagues/students of mine in passing the July 2011 & 2012 and February 2012 bar exams, and am eager to lend my assistance and expertise to anyone in need of getting by this massive hurdle in their burgeoning legal careers!


I played high school baseball, a year of college "JV" baseball (Harvard) and have played on select/travel adult softball teams throughout southern California since 2005. I primarily have played shortstop and centerfield, but have experience as a relief pitcher in high school and college, and simply love the game, its skills and position-specific training, and the atmosphere cultivated during games and drills themselves.


I played club and school basketball from age 5 through high school. I was a point guard at each level, with a premium on defense, fundamentals, and passing. I have coached youth leagues and grew up in a basketball household, where my father played collegiately in Worcester, Massachusetts at Holy Cross, shortly after the time of the legendary Celtics: Bob Cousy, Tommy Heinsohn, Togo Palazzi, and Jack Foley.

College Counseling

I have counseled hundreds of students -- including high school, college, and graduate school -- regarding the application procedure to numerous competitive colleges and graduate (e.g., PhD, J.D., and M.A.) programs. I am especially adept at extracting important experiences and adapting them to the contours of a professional, yet truly personal "personal statement." I myself have developed personal statements and application materials sufficient to receive acceptance and full-scholarships to PhD programs at, among other schools, Yale, University of Chicago, Duke, and Boston College. I have additionally assisted students in gaining acceptance to a host of other elite colleges and graduate programs, including Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, London School of Economics, Columbia, UPenn, and Brown. I am confident that my thoroughgoing efforts and unwavering patience will allow any applicant to present him/herself in the most memorable and effective way possible.


I have achieved a perfect score on the official GRE, in each the quantitative, verbal, and writing sections. What's more, I have taught numerous classes and individual students in the subject for over 8 years, imparting my methodology, strategy, and substantive knowledge in each of the sub-disciplines. I have helped students improve scores from the lower quartile to the second and third quartiles; likewise, I have helped students from the middle quartiles reach the top quartile, including a handful of students who obtained perfect scores in one of the three subsets!

Track & Field

I have competed in track and cross-country, among other sports, since the age of 5. I have posted nationally leading times and won national championship competitions as an age-group runner, and I have been a decorated high school and collegiate runner, winning several San Diego area championships and competing as a member of the Harvard University track and cross-country teams.

In the time since college, I have coached for eight consecutive seasons, while also competing as a professional middle-distance runner. I have coached elite runners to sub-4 minute miles and coached collegians to all-American status and high schoolers to CA State Championships.

In my own competitions, I have registered personal bests of 1:49.4 in the 800m and 4:00.38 in the Mile. In the name of good fun, I have won two trail marathons, while setting course records in each: Buzz Marathon (San Miguel, CA -- 2010); Run the River Marathon (Folson-Sacramento, CA -- 2009).

I love working with enthusiastic runners, helping them reach their personal goals, and imparting my experiences and strategies (born from years of effort and study) to help them in their self-improvement!


Having tutored fellow undergraduate students at Harvard University in writing, I also tutored my classmates during law school in legal writing. During undergrad, I received a Summa Cum Laude on my written Senior Thesis, and I received university recognition in law school for excellence in legal writing and research. As a practitioner, I have written innumerable memoranda and moving papers that I have successfully argued in California superior and appellate courts.

As an instructor, I work with over 100 students per year on application essay writing for competitive universities and colleges, spanning from J.D. and Ph.D. to MBA and undergraduate programs. I regularly assist undergraduate (and graduate) students at most Los Angeles area colleges with significant writing projects , including graduate dissertations.

I love the writing process and look forward to sharing my insights with new students to help them become self-sufficient, confident writers themselves.

Harvard University
University of San Diego School of Law


Harvard University (Philosophy)

University of San Diego School of Law (J.D.)

A brilliant guy who can adapt his teaching style to you

I found Colin using Google and hiring him was a total shot in the dark, but he ended up being great. Colin is a unique type of tutor: he has completely mastered the LSAT (and I'm assuming all the other tests he teaches), yet he is wise enough to realize that learning a test in not necessarily a mechanical process. When I began studying for the June 2014 LSAT, I was a mediocre test taker - I had

— Eric, Los Angeles, CA on 9/3/14

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $150.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Colin will travel within 20 miles of Los Angeles, CA 90026.