Over 700 tutoring hours

David W.

South Pasadena, CA

$115/hour

Top-Rated UCLA Grad for SAT/ACT/TOEFL Test Prep and ESL

5.0 average from 278 ratings
David is very smart and patient and knows his stuff.
— Robert, Los Angeles, CA on 6/11/15

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UCLA
Philosophy
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Graduate Coursework

Education

UCLA (Philosophy)

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Graduate Coursework)

About David

If you're seeking a proven test prep tutor who produces results, look no further. I have helped many students increase SAT scores by 100+ points, ACT scores by 5+ points, and TOEFL scores by 4+ points.

A couple of recent examples:

*My most improved student on the December, 2015 ACT was a student from North Carolina. After 2 months of online tutoring sessions, I helped her increase her ACT reading score 7 points (from 20 to 27) and her ACT English score 5 points (from 25 to 30).

*On the October, 2015 SAT, my most-improved student was a senior from St. Francis in LA. After just over a month of online tutoring with me, he increased his SAT score 200+ points.

Note, these increases were *not* over previous practice exam scores. They were increases over official scores from prior administrations of the actual ACT and SAT.

My background:

I have over 15 years of experience teaching SAT, ACT, TOEFL, ISEE, and SSAT, both in classrooms and one-on-one. Current and former test prep clients include students from Harvard-Westlake, Flintridge Prep, Brentwood School, Flintridge Sacred Heart, and St. Francis, among others.

I'm an an experienced, professional test prep tutor. I took my first tutoring job 15 years ago at Santa Monica College, where I received an award for excellence in tutoring writing, grammar and literature. A couple years later, while attending UCLA, I worked as a teaching assistant: grading student essays, leading weekly review sessions, and supervising the work of other teaching assistants.

I've learned a lot about teaching since I first started, but my basic approach hasn't changed: my style is personable, interactive, and student-centered. That means no boring lectures and no judgmental attitude. My goal is always to help students feel confident and help them make measurable progress right away.

My approach:

AS AN SAT / ACT TUTOR:
(Note - I am already thoroughly familiar with and am tutoring students on the "new" SAT.)

My approach to teaching the SAT and ACT differs from that of many tutors and has proven highly effective. My SAT and ACT students consistently enjoy significant gains in their scores when they adopt my strategies, attend lessons regularly, and do the work.

Students learn a lot in my test prep tutoring sessions such as: the single key that unlocks the answer to every reading question on the SAT / ACT, a simple system for identifying the 5 most common grammar errors students are asked to identify on the SAT and ACT, a 4-step approach to quickly acquire and retain the college-level vocabulary that students must know to perform well on the SAT & ACT, and a highly effective 5-Step method for writing a top-scoring SAT / ACT essay.

I'd welcome the opportunity to discuss with you in person more about what I have to offer as an SAT/ACT tutor. Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or to set-up an initial consultation.

AS A TOEFL TEACHER:
I taught TOEFL, writing, pronunciation, grammar and reading for several years at one of the largest ESL schools in Los Angeles, where I also worked as academic supervisor and teacher trainer. I have also tutored ESL at after-school learning centers and taught ESL at a private university in Los Angeles.

As an independent business English tutor, I have worked with clients including CEOs and other high-ranking executives from companies such as Cathay Bank, Los Angeles Philharmonic, URi, Walt Disney, UCLA Medical Center and the Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA).

In my time teaching and tutoring, I've gained extensive experience working with international students. I have worked with students from (in no particular order) Japan, Libya, China, Spain, Iran, Switzerland, Mongolia, Germany, South Korea, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Thailand, Iraq, Russia, Argentina, Hungary, Taiwan, Kazakhstan, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Sweden, Venezuela, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Ecuador, France, and Czech Republic, among others. I am very interested in learning about different cultures and always enjoy the opportunity to interact with people from across the globe.

AS A DRUM TEACHER:
When not busy teaching, I enjoy playing music. I have been playing for over 20 years and have logged thousands of hours as a professional drummer for studio sessions and live performances. I studied music performance at both Musician's Institute and the Los Angeles Music Academy and have a strong background in rock, R&B and jazz. Currently, I lead my own jazz band, which features a noted guitarist and performs regularly in the Los Angeles area. I'm also a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences who has co-written songs featured in productions such as "Beverly Hills, 90210" and the movie "Five Aces" starring Charlie Sheen and Tia Carrere.

AWARDS & OTHER EXPERIENCE:
I received a Certificate of Excellence from Santa Monica College for my work there tutoring students in writing, grammar and literature. While in law school, I interned in New York City's appellate law department, writing briefs and appeals. My work experience also includes stints in IBM's marketing division and as an assistant to billionaire entrepreneur Eli Broad - the only person to found two Fortune 500 companies in different industries.

To find out more, get in touch! I look forward to helping you achieve your goals!
If you're seeking a proven test prep tutor who produces results, look no further. I have helped many students increase SAT scores by 100+ points, ACT scores by 5+ points, and TOEFL scores by 4+ Read more

Policies
Cancellation
36 hours notice required

I offer a discounted rate of $95/h for online sessions. This is simply because online sessions don't require travel time. Online sessions are superior to in-person tutoring in several important ways!

Travel Radius
Travels within 20 miles of South Pasadena, CA 91030
Background Check: Passed

"David is very smart and patient and knows his stuff."

- Robert, Los Angeles, CA on 6/11/15

"Great 1st meeting"

- Page, Pasadena, CA on 11/16/15

"Patient and punctual tutor"

- Jane, Charlotte, NC on 9/25/15

"Provides positive encouragement"

- Josh, South Pasadena, CA on 9/9/15

"Widely knowledgeable tutor, full of attention."

- Franck, Pasadena, CA on 8/25/15

"Knowledgeable, patient, with a great ability to connect with my kids(pre-teen and teenager), kids think he's awesome and parents think he is great"

- Yogi, Houston, TX on 7/7/15

"Great tutor very patient and attentive"

- Inae, Los Angeles, CA on 7/1/15

"OUTSTANDING Tutor!!!"

- Jessica, Alhambra, CA on 2/17/15

"Very Respectful and Patient Tutor"

- Meg, Glendale, CA on 2/13/15
Science:
ACT Science
Music:
Drums
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading,
ESL/ESOL,
Grammar, SAT Reading,
SAT Writing, TOEFL,
Vocabulary
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Reading,
ACT Science,
ISEE,
PSAT,
SAT Reading,
SAT Writing, SSAT,
TOEFL
Language:
ESL/ESOL,
TOEFL
Elementary Education:
Grammar, Vocabulary

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 Reading

I have been teaching ACT reading and other standardized reading tests for over ten years, both as a self-employed private tutor and for a highly regarded test prep company. I also have ten years of experience teaching reading and vocabulary at schools such as Shepherd University and Language Systems, International.

However, the results I help my students achieve are what truly qualify me as an ACT reading tutor. As just one example, my most improved student on the December, 2015 ACT increased her ACT reading score 7 points (from 20 to 27) after two months of weekly online tutoring with me.

One reason my ACT reading students consistently achieve results is that I teach them how to leverage the design of the test. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need an above-average knowledge of the ACT reading subject areas (prose fiction, social studies, humanities, and natural sciences) to do well on the test. I focus my ACT reading lessons on teaching students the specific types of responses the test actually rewards and how to produce those responses quickly and consistently.

ACT Science

There are a few common misconceptions about the science section of the ACT. One is that it is primarily a test of scientific knowledge. It is not. Rather, it is simply another type of reading comprehension quiz, involving scientific content. You do not need an above average background in science to do well on this part of the test. If you can make sense of simple graphs and charts and can read English well, you can do well on ACT science!

That's where I come in. Before becoming a full-time test prep tutor, I taught English and ESL for over ten years at schools such as Shepherd University and Language Systems, International. I also tutored for several years in the English and ESL departments at Santa Monica College, where I received an award for excellence in tutoring writing, grammar and literature.

As an ACT science tutor, I focus on leveraging test design and helping students see past the seeming sophistication and complexity of the material. The passages and questions in the ACT science section frequently contain extraneous, highfalutin scientific jargon that masks their true simplicity. I teach students to ignore the *noise* and get to the heart of the matter. This approach consistently produces results for my students, who regularly achieve significant gains in their scores.

Drums

I am a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences who has co-written songs featured in productions such as “Beverly Hills, 90210? and the movie “Five Aces” starring Charlie Sheen. I have logged thousands of hours as a professional drummer, taught hundreds of students and studied music performance at both Musician’s Institute and the Los Angeles Music Academy. I currently lead my own jazz band, which features a noted guitarist and has a weekly residence at a restaurant in Monrovia.

ESL/ESOL

I have 10 years of experience teaching ESL and TOEFL, both privately and in the classroom. I have worked as an academic director and teacher trainer at one of the largest private English schools in Southern California and have also worked as a private "language coach" to high-ranking executives at major corporations.

ISEE

I have been helping students prepare for the ISEE for several years. I have taught ISEE at some of the most highly regarded tutoring centers in Southern California. My ISEE students typically see significant increases in their scores when they consistently attend lessons, do the work, and apply my strategies. If you are seriously interested in gaining admission to top private elementary or secondary schools, you may need to take the ISEE. I can help you get the highest score you're capable of achieving!

PSAT

Other than length, the PSAT is the same as the SAT. I have been tutoring the reading and writing sections of both tests for over ten years.

SAT Reading

I have over ten years of experience teaching the reading section of the SAT, both as a private tutor and classroom instructor. I have comprehensively researched the "new" SAT and have been tutoring it since the first practice tests were released in June of 2015.

Before becoming a full-time test prep tutor, I taught English and ESL for over ten years at schools such as Shepherd University and Language Systems, International. I also tutored for several years in the English and ESL departments at Santa Monica College, where I received an award for excellence in tutoring writing, grammar, and literature.

As an SAT reading tutor, I focus on leveraging test design and helping students retool their reading habits in a way that maximizes their ability to identify correct answers. This approach consistently produces results for my students, who regularly achieve significant gains in their scores. For example, my most-improved student on the October, 2015 SAT increased his score 200+ points after 6 weeks of online tutoring with me,

SSAT

I have extensive experience tutoring the SSAT. Additionally, I have been teaching English, ESL and test prep for over 10 years. In 2000, I was recognized by Santa Monica College for excellence in tutoring writing, grammar and literature. My hard-working test prep students regularly achieve significant gains in their scores.

TOEFL

I have extensive experience teaching the TOEFL, both as a private tutor and a classroom instructor. I taught TOEFL and worked as a TOEFL teacher supervisor at one of Southern California's largest private English schools.

UCLA
Philosophy
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Graduate Coursework

Education

UCLA (Philosophy)

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (Graduate Coursework)

David is very smart and patient and knows his stuff. — David worked with my high-school age son on SAT English, reading comprehension, and essay writing. Definitely a key component to my son getting better at all the above. Incredibly reliable and punctual. I would wholeheartedly recommend him in any of the disciplines he specializes in. ...

— Robert, Los Angeles, CA on 6/11/15

Hourly fee

Standard Hourly Fee: $115.00

Cancellation: 36 hours notice required

I offer a discounted rate of $95/h for online sessions. This is simply because online sessions don't require travel time. Online sessions are superior to in-person tutoring in several important ways!

Travel policy

David will travel within 20 miles of South Pasadena, CA 91030.