Hien Bui

Test Prep Tutor

After growing up and attending high school here in the Bay Area, I did not really have a sense of what I wanted to study at college, beyond preferring a science major to a humanities major. However, in my freshman year at Westmont, a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, I took an introductory course in philosophy and immediately fell in love. Four years later, I graduated with a BA in philosophy and then moved to the UK to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Oxford, where I focused on metaphysics and philosophy of religion. In addition to consuming plenty of tea, I successfully completed my thesis and was awarded my degree with merit.

What captured me about philosophy were the questions asked and the rigorous methods employed to answer those questions. To me, nothing in my education was cooler than using reason to discuss topics like the mind-body problem or the nature of time with my professors and fellow students. My passion for philosophy brought me to teaching. During the last couple years of my education, I worked part-time as an online tutor, tutoring college students who struggled in logic or in other philosophy courses. I am proud to say that I helped a wide range of students succeed in their education, whether they were at a community college or at a 4-year university such as UC Berkeley or USC.

As I tutored, I quickly discovered that I had a joy for helping students learn in general. I drew satisfaction from breaking down difficult concepts and introducing strategies to tackle logical proofs. I enjoyed seeing students understand their course material and have their anxiety eased as a result of my teaching. This led to an interest to make a wider impact by helping high school students prepare for the SAT and ACT, tests that can be mastered with test-taking strategies and techniques.

From my experiences working one-on-one with students, I have worked diligently to master the art of teaching effectively and patiently. The key has been crafting my tutoring to the needs of a particular student. Since each student is different, I believe it is important to be flexible and to make adjustments that put the student in the best position to excel. I also am committed to using a method of teaching that encourages students to first attempt to work out their own mistakes. I have found this to be a great way to cultivate critical thinking and learning, as opposed to simply telling students what the solution to a problem is. I believe in the power of one-on-one tutoring to help students develop their confidence and to provide the individualized attention students need to succeed.

Outside of tutoring, I passionately follow the NBA and my hometown Warriors. I am also a coffee enthusiast—pretty much every day I am either brewing pour-over coffee or enjoying a flat white at a coffee shop.

Subjects Tutored

SAT Subject Math2
SAT Subject Literature


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