Over 10 tutoring hours

Crystal W.

Oakland, CA


You Can Do It! I Can Help! Expert English and Verbal Subject Tutor

In-person lessons
Replies in 52 minutes
Background check passed as of 12/26/13
5.0 Avg. Rating
3 Ratings
52mins Response Time
Simply Amazing!
— Chanel, San Leandro, CA on 12/9/13

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The City College of NY - CUNY (Bachelor of Arts)
Africana Studies
Northeastern U School of Law


The City College of NY - CUNY (Bachelor of Arts) (Africana Studies)

Northeastern U School of Law (J.D.)

About Crystal

I have privately tutored a student at every grade level (K-12) since 2007. I have a B.A. in Africana Studies with special coursework in African-American literature, sociology, and continental African studies. I minored in journalism. I also have a law degree.

Tutoring Companies I Have Worked For
I am a gifted scribe, seasoned one-on-one and group standardized test tutor, cyber grammarian, copywriter, proofreader, editor, and language arts expert. I have tutored for the following tutoring companies over the years: Ivy West, Mobile Minds, Sure Prep Learning, and Sylvan. I was also hired by Kaplan. Like most test-prep tutoring companies, Kaplan requires its tutors to take the SAT. I scored in the 90++ percentile for the verbal portion of the SAT and in the 80+ percentile for the math portion. I was hired, but during the two-week training period, my day job schedule changed, so I was unable to continue orientation and to ultimately tutor for them. During that period, I simply focused on my private clients.

Private School Students
I have prepped students for the verbal portion of the SAT, the SAT literature and history subject exams, the Independent School Entrance Exam, the SSAT, the HSPT (a Catholic HS Entrance Exam), and in basic English grammar, history, study skills, and organizational skill development in some of the San Francisco East Bay’s more exclusive communities: Lafayette, Orinda, Piedmont, the Berkeley and Oakland Hills, Concord, Walnut Creek, and Moraga. These students typically attend private schools and are accustomed to having private tutors.

Public School Students
I have also tutored low income students in public classroom settings and privately for the verbal portion of the SAT, ACT, the California High School Exit Examination, and in reading and language arts. I have a flexible schedule and am willing to adjust it to meet their needs.

Why I Love Tutoring
My experience is vast, my students are very diverse, and I enjoy tutoring them all --from the most motivated to the least. Tutoring is very gratifying and important work and I am honored to be entrusted with this critical component of our nation's development --inspiring young minds.

Give me the opportunity to teach your child. I will teach her/him skills and strategies she/he will use for the rest of her/his academic and professional life. You will not be disappointed and your child will be empowered!
I have privately tutored a student at every grade level (K-12) since 2007. I have a B.A. in Africana Studies with special coursework in African-American literature, sociology, and continental African studies. I minored in Read more

24 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 10 miles of Oakland, CA 94611
Background Check: Passed
In-person lessons

"Simply Amazing!"

- Chanel, San Leandro, CA on 12/9/13

"Well- prepared Verbal SAT tutor"

- Lisa, Oakland, CA on 9/6/13
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Public Speaking,
Reading, SAT Reading, SAT Writing,
American History,
Anthropology, European History, Social Studies
Elementary Education:
Elementary (K-6th),
Elementary Math, Grammar, Reading, Study Skills,
Public Speaking
Elementary (K-6th),
English, Reading, SAT Reading, Study Skills,
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Reading, College Counseling,
GED, ISEE, PSAT, SAT Reading, SAT Writing,
Corporate Training:
College Counseling,
Grammar, Proofreading, Public Speaking

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.

American History

I have tutored for the SAT US History Special Subject exam. I love history and I attempt to make it presently relevant for students who find it boring or irrelevant. When history, social studies, current events, civic, and government lessons are taught in context, they make more sense, are more personally relevant, and pique the student's curiosity. The topics become real, live theater, as opposed to a random collection of dates, names, and geographic locations. History rocks!

College Counseling

As an undergraduate, my part-time job was as a financial aid counselor, where I advised and helped students fill out college financial aid applications. I even published an article on the subject.

As a law student, I served as a student representative on the law school admissions committee, where I reviewed law school applicant transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements and made recommendations to the team and the admissions personnel.

Lastly, in my most recent position of four years, I served as a student recruiter for a graduate theology school. In this role, I informed students about what was required for admission, gave suggestions on how to successfully fill out the application, informed prospective students about what was required for success, upon becoming a student, and informed them of post-graduate job opportunities. This position utilized counseling, career-guidance, and pastoral care taking skills, given that it was a school of theology.

These three academic counseling experiences span a 27-year time period.

Elementary (K-6th)

Through another tutoring organization I recently tutored a kindergartner in language skills. This included the following skill development: the alphabet, vowels, consonants, phonics, and upper/lower case letters, word identification, decoding, and reading.

I have also recently tutored a 5th grader in math, specifically in whole numbers, mixed numbers, fractions, mixed fractions, decimals, subtraction, addition, multiplication, division, and place value. I have also tutored both a 1st grader and 4th grader in English and math skill development.

Public Speaking

This is one of my gifts. I was my kindergarten graduation class speaker, my law school graduation class speaker, and my City of Oakland Citizens’ Academy ceremony class speaker. I have lots of public speaking experience as an advocate, including at press conferences, rallies, universities, TV, radio, internet. I am both a natural and learned orator. I can teach you how to prepare your notes, make eye contact, pause at the right moments, connect with your audience, enunciate, speak from your diaphragm, and make a powerful, lasting, and deeply felt impression on your audience, all while keeping calm and appearing confident. My largest audience has been 30,000.

SAT Writing

I have tutored for the verbal portion of the SAT since 2007. The verbal portion includes grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, the essay, writing, and passage-based reading. Two of my students have received perfect essay scores and two have received near-perfect essay scores - one point shy of a perfect score.

I can teach you the formula for writing a perfect SAT essay, including how to grade your own essay. If you can grade your own work, then you can improve it. I can also teach you exactly what the SAT graders are looking for, as well as the components that make up each score: what would your essay consist of in order to earn a 1 (out of 6) or a 6 (out of 6), for example? No need to guess. This is a science and I can teach you how to master it.


For many students, one of the most challenging verbal SSAT subjects is analogies. It's not that students don't understand the basic concept of comparison. They do. They are simply not accustomed to being asked to make vocabulary-based comparisons.

I will teach your child

1. which question components distract from choosing the correct answer;
2. how to envision the relationship between the two words;
3. how to write a sentence using an active word showing the relationship between the compared words in simple, obvious ways; and
4. how to master the physical application of process of elimination symbols to each answer choice

Step 4 calms the brain because it reminds the test-taker that they have already analyzed an answer choice. This speeds up the time it takes to pick the correct answer.

With practice, this method of breaking down the question to increase the probability of choosing the most similar analogy will be mastered, resulting in a higher score for the student and, of course, greater options for where to go to school, which is what this is all about, right?

Study Skills

In addition to prepping students for major standardized tests since 2007, I have also provided homework/study skill support for as many years. This includes teaching students how to read interactively, as opposed to passively, by underlining key words and phrases, circling names, dates, numbers, and places, making notes in the margin, and summarizing the main idea of what they've read in as few words as possible. In short, I teach students how to create a visual roadmap they can reference in order to quickly and easily answer questions, as well as formulate them.

Flash card creation has also been an integral part of helping my students develop study skills. This includes learning root words, prefixes, and suffixes, that help students distill the essence of words they are unfamiliar with, using mnemonics to memorize acronyms and phrases, and writing an actual example on the flash card that I encourage students to use in regular conversation once daily.

Other skills I have taught are time management by keeping a calendar of commitments, as opposed to solely relying on mom to keep their schedule for them, using different colors to note event categories and priorities, and even teaching the family to ensure students have a dedicated study area with an ergonomically sound desk and chair. Why? Because studying is as much a test of physical endurance as it a test of intellectual endurance and students must be comfortable.


I am a wordsmith. I was one of those kids who read the dictionary for fun.

I teach vocabulary the same way I teach other verbal skills. This includes teaching root words, prefixes, and suffixes, which increases the student's ability to decipher unfamiliar words.

I also teach them how to seek out clue words and phrases that surround the word in the context of a sentence, making it easier to comprehend not only the word in question, but also the entire paragraph or segment of the reading material.

I can show your student how flash cards can be functional and fun.


I have been writing for publication since I was 16-years-old. My training includes serving as a student writer during high school for a city-wide youth newspaper, being published in newspapers, magazines, and academic journals.

I have 20 years of professional writing experience for employers. I have ghostwritten, edited, and proofread for the president of a graduate school, the CEO of a government retirement plan, and the CEO of a tech corporation.

I have prepared students for the reading, writing, and grammar portions of standardized tests since 2007. These include the SAT, ACT, Independent School Entrance Exam, Catholic HS Entrance Exam, and the CA HS Exit Exam. I have also edited and proofread college admissions essays and other academic writings.

The City College of NY - CUNY (Bachelor of Arts)
Africana Studies
Northeastern U School of Law


The City College of NY - CUNY (Bachelor of Arts) (Africana Studies)

Northeastern U School of Law (J.D.)

Simply Amazing! — Ms. Crystal is simply AMAZING! There are so many reasons that I would recommend using Ms. Crystal, but here are a few: 1. Her bright and upbeat spirit kept me motivated. Applying to grad school, while working and juggling other responsibilities is tough (and expensive)! 2. Ms. Crystal's feedback was thorough and easy to understand. 3. She edited my personal statement in a timely fashion. 4. Thank ...

— Chanel, San Leandro, CA on 12/9/13

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $35.00

Cancellation: 24 hours notice required

Travel policy

Crystal will travel within 10 miles of Oakland, CA 94611.

Background Check Status for Crystal W.

Crystal W. passed a background check on 12/26/13. The check was ordered by another user through First Advantage. For more information, please review the background check information page.

After sending a message to Crystal, you will be able to order a new background check for $7.99. As part of your tutor selection process, we encourage you to run updated background checks. Please also review the safety tips for hiring tutors.