I grew up in Santa Clara, California, where I attended Wilcox High School. The SAT and ACT were the first things that I ever seriously studied for. I would characterize my high school self as the “smart but unmotivated” student: I did the bare minimum to get the grades that I wanted, and I relied mostly on my natural ability to learn and ingest material quickly. Studying for the SAT and ACT changed all of this.
I remember taking my first practice test and struggling immensely, the pressure and doubt creeping in like water in a slowly sinking boat. This was a pivotal turning point in my academic career. That summer, I got to work. I spent hours in the library nearly every day, grinding out exercises, blasting through practice tests, and reviewing my results. I began to notice patterns in my errors and corrected them. I learned different ways to solve problems that were more efficient than the methods I had learned in school.
Eventually, I was able to achieve the score that I wanted, which helped me gain admission to Pomona College, where I earned my B.A. in philosophy.
In college, I fell in love with philosophy, but the discipline is rigorous and the department was full of intelligent students. I had trouble understanding Hegelian dialectics and didn’t have the faintest clue on what Baudrillard meant by “simulacra.” However, I succeeded by applying my new study habits — I slowly churned through books, secondary texts, and discussions with other students to understand the concepts at hand.
I have made it my passion to share my experience with others and help students develop the study skills and test taking strategies that prepare them for success, both on the SAT and ACT and in their academics. Over the years, I have tutored students academically at nearly every level in a variety of subjects, including chess.
In my time away from tutoring, I am pursuing a degree in computer science, studying chess to improve my level in competition, and lounging with my two cats, Noki and Yeongi.