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Harvard University (Philosophy )
University of San Diego School of Law (J.D.)
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 … Read more
Colin worked with my son to to prepare for his SAT. I was hoping for someone who could lend structure to his prep, orient him to test strategies and review forgotten skills. Colin excelled at these and much more. We feel very fortunate to have chosen him, because he showed an incredible ability to see my son as an individual, champion his strengths and relate to him in a kind and personable way. It was a huge success. We plan to continue to turn to Colin for his exceptional guidance with the college applications, essay, etc. I guess it's clear by now, I would highly recommend him!
Though we are just getting started prepping for the GRE, Colin's reassurance of my ability to be successful is an added bonus to his thoughtful and patient teaching style.
Colin primarily works with my 10 year old son on writing. He is working with my son to get him to focus on the pertinent information and use language artfully. He is also working with him on grammar. We have only had two lessons but we feel good about our decision and look forward to a lasting relationship as our son develops.
LSAT logic games methods that were tailored to my way of approaching those specific questions.
Methods to approach the remaining sections were given for me to practice.
Advice to work through test anxiety on exam day.
A full study plan was set in place.
Colin established a rapport with my daughter right away. He is extremely knowledgeable in all areas and helped my daughter especially with Math and Biology. She has made tremendous progress in a short period of time which in turn has boosted her confidence level. I would definitely recommend Colin for tutoring needs.
I had several targeted questions about certain LSAT problems that I had found difficult several days prior while studying by myself -- Colin went through these problems and helped navigate my thought process by recommending certain approaches and giving me reasons why I should eliminate certain wrong answer choices.
Colin was great at understanding what I needed to accomplish in a short amount of time and he tailored his work to make that happen. He has a deep knowledge base and the ability to get right to the core of a problem so you understand not only that solution but how to solve similar problems in the future.
Colin is not only very knowledgeable but very passionate. He truly cares about his students. As a college professor, I can say that Colin outperforms anyone with his standards, and out of class attitude. I definitely recommend him without hesitation.
Colin was so helpful today. He really gave my daughter the extra confidence and help she needed for her final. My daughter commented after Colin left, how much she liked working with Colin - "he is so smart!"
Colin is patient, engaging, and enthusiastic- an all around good person and tutor! I was starting to feel defeated by the LSAT, and after our first session I finally feel like I can reach my goals. Thanks Colin! I can't wait until our next session!
I came to Colin with a specific set of goals to help raise my GMAT score, particularly in quant. He jumped right in on the first lesson without any prompting - it was clear he not only knew the material, but that it also was second nature to him.
He's easygoing and fun to work with. Most impressive, however, was his ability to field questions while he was explaining a problem without breaking stride. In the end, with Colin's help I raised my score by a solid, double-digit margin in overall percentile, and wound up getting into my target Ivy League MBA program. I'd definitely recommend working with him.
Colin is simply wonderful! Whatever your needs may be, he will accommodate and make sure you get the most out of your learning experience in order to make sure you succeed in the best possible way for you and your circumstances. I was always delighted to meet with Colin and he truly helped me in multiple areas academically. He also was great about any additional questions or needs I had in between sessions, which I greatly appreciated. I can not possibly say enough amazing things about Colin as a tutor and professional. He will truly help you as well as encourage you so that you have the confidence in yourself to exceed your goals. Personally, he helped me with various parts of my graduate school application including GMAT studies and my personal application, but I can see how he would be an amazing tutor for literally any and every subject for every age group. Not only is he a wonderful tutor, but he is trustworthy and kind. I couldn't have asked for a better tutor.
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 done all the required reading (I read the Powerscore Bibles and Kaplan), memorized all the various game types, LR question types, etc., but I was unable to apply that knowledge efficiently. When I felt like I hit a wall, I contacted Colin. I went into my first lesson thinking, "This is a waste of time. I already know all the material, I have nothing to learn from a tutor." I was wrong. Colin watched me do a few LR problems, and then quickly diagnosed the problem - my test taking was too chaotic.
We spent almost two hours that day discussing how to streamline the process of reading and answering questions: how to ignore things that don't matter; how to think realistically about what exactly the question was expecting from me; and most importantly, how to trust that taking the test at my own pace will get me the score I want. That lesson was so helpful, I continued to get better on my own for months afterwards. My scores went from the 50th percentile to the 99th on game day. It was only right before the test that I met with him twice more to settle my nerves.
Colin was able to diagnose EXACTLY what I was doing wrong within 10 minutes of our first lesson. If that is not an effective tutor, I don't know what is. He is also professional, courteous, easy to get a hold of, etc. He does it right, and I would recommend him to anyone.
I began working with Colin in January to prepare for the June LSAT. I was scoring anywhere from 160-164, but really wanted to hit 170 on test day. It was difficult to find a tutor who could help me, since I already had a pretty good handle on the basics of the LSAT. Colin helped highlight some of the small errors I was making and helped me improve my timing significantly. I went from aiming to finish 3 of 4 games to actually messing up a game on test day, and still having time to go back and finish every question. I scored a 170 on the June LSAT, and was practicing as high as 178 by the end of my studying.
I highly recommend Colin to anyone who wants to improve their score - even if you think you're already doing well, he can help you pinpoint the little adjustments you need to make to bump that score up by 5-10 points. He lives and breathes LSAT. I've never seen anyone who can think through every question type in such an effective and systematic way. I only wish I would have began working with him right when I first started studying, so that I could have copied his strategies even more.
Aside from just LSAT knowledge, Colin was flexible with my busy schedule, easy to reach by phone and email, and very patient. I knew he genuinely wanted me to succeed, he isn't a tutor who just does his job and moves on to the next student> He really invested in me - I knew he really cared how I did on my test and it was a lot easier to learn from him as a result. He was exactly what I needed in a tutor - someone who was honest with me and willing to motivate me to do my best. He was extremely encouraging, but gave me more than just a pep-talk. He was tough enough on me that I wanted to improve every week.
As I fill out applications for Berkeley, Stanford, and other top-level law schools, I know I wouldn't be in this position without Colin's help. He was such a good tutor that when I finally did score my goal of 170, I was actually disappointed because I knew I could have done even better! Highly recommend Colin for LSAT help, and I'm sure he's excellent for everything else too. Super smart guy who truly wants you to succeed, you can't ask for any more in a tutor than that.
My son responds very well to Colin's tutoring. We have been very happy with this experience, not just for SAT help, but for his positive attitude & feedback.
Colin is an excellent math tutor. He was very patient, gave clear, simple instructions and conducts himself in a very professional manor. Made every effort to work around my hectic schedule, always ready to work even on short notice, and never left a call or text unanswered. Will be looking to hire him again come my spring semester if his scheduling permits.
I had contacted WyzAnt to locate a tutor to assist my son in preparing to take the October SAT, especially the math portion. I selected Colin based on his personal data and geographic location; the rest of his skills, abilities, and knowledge were a wonderful surprise. While it is clear from Colin's bio that he is extremely intelligent and accomplished, what does not appear in black and white is his wonderful ability to connect with students and bring out the best in them. Colin is young enough to be able to relate to his students, including having personal knowledge of the stresses and challenges associated with trying to balance academics, extra-curricular activities such as sports, and the regular demands of day-to-day life. At the same time, he is old enough to speak with authority and give concrete direction and guidance. He shared a multitude of suggestions, approaches, and tips, not only with regard to the subject matter but to test-taking in general and the SAT in particular. My son was very encouraged by his progress, and gained valuable information on how to achieve an improved outcome. On a non-academic point, we live very close to Dodger Stadium, so traffic can be both unnerving and disruptive. Several times Colin was late through no fault of his own, yet he unfailingly arrived collected, enthusiastic, and ready to work. I (as well as my son, I am sure) would unreservedly recommend Colin, and I am grateful for his good work and attention.
Colin has been fantastic. My son is a tough critic and he really has responded well to Colin's tutoring. He respects Colin and that is more than half the battle! My son is bright, but not always motivated. He has to be engaged in order to learn. Colin has reached him and we see the fruit of his efforts. Colin made himself available between sessions and seems invested in his success.
Colin has addressed every issue that our son needs to be aware of, so now it is a matter of reviewing and practicing. Colin is making sure that our son feels very comfortable with the test, and more importantly, confident that he can score well.
I have studied for the GMAT under Colin’s instruction for the past 5 months; he has also helped me as a college English Literature and Composition tutor. As a Chinese immigrant who has only lived in the U.S for 5 years, I was a total beginner in English writing and had no GMAT experience at all. During all my time learning from Colin, I have learned a tremendous amount of knowledge from him, far beyond merely the single subject of the GMAT. He has helped me from my starting point at the very basic level of Math and Literature analysis and writing to detailed English grammar; he has even introduced me to American culture from different aspects. He has been unbelievably patient and professional, allowing me to feel that he definitely knows what he is doing in every session we have had. I can see my improvement in Math and Literature analysis and writing clearly during the tutoring sessions. Additionally, he has never minded (and it has happened almost in every single one of our sessions) if we studied past the time for up to 25 extra minutes sometimes. He always charges me the amount which we originally planned and consented to before the session starts; the overflow is always at no charge. And sometimes, he even suggested to extend a little time for free just for me able to complete the chapter in that session so I can prepare for the next chapter in a better way. I have never met such a considerate tutor before in my life! And yes, in my honest opinion, Colin is the finest tutor I could have hoped for.
Tricky wording of "consultation" to assess my child's needs, turned into several billed hours. Stereotypical attorney tactics. He would not return phone calls after multiple contact attempts.
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.
First and foremost, the tutor my daughter selected, Colin D, is fabulous. He is punctual, bright, transmits his wealth of information in a fashion that my daughter understands, and always has a positive approach.
Second, I have called customer service several times and each time I have gotten through to an agent quickly. Each agent has been both patient and helpful.
Colin was a wonderful tutor! I honestly have no idea what I would have done without him. Though it was just a couple days before my applications were due, he very willingly helped me make my deadlines with quality work. He refined my essays and made them infinitely better with just a few changes, and really helped me shine on my applications. Not only was he extremely helpful, but he was also very pleasant and made me feel very comfortable. He was thoughtful and insightful and I will definitely be going back to him for help in the future.
Incredibly well spoken, patient, and enjoys teaching. We were definitely on the same page throughout the session. He answered all the questions I had and really works hard to get the most out of the hour. He's an incredible writer that I wish he would teach a class that I could take to help me get to his level. I highly recommend Colin to anyone that's looking for a tutor and especially to anyone who's looking to improve their writing.
Colin is patient, personable and quickly adapted to my needs as a "student." He was able to get to know my learning style and break down quantitative GMAT problems that I had challenges overcoming. After just a few times of us meeting, I went into my GMAT confident and ready. My score improved over 100 points! I would definitely recommend Colin to other students who need that extra bit of help to excel.
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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Colin D. passed a background check on 1/4/15. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.
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