Joshua Sheng

Test Prep and Academic Tutor

Growing up in Santa Monica, California, I had developed a keen interest in the natural sciences by the time I was 4; I have been reading about dinosaurs almost since I could read, and I found other aspects of biology and environmental sciences as I grew older. I was first able to take up a more active role in the sciences in high school, at NOAA’s National Oceans Sciences Bowl (NOSB). I won the national championship as a biology specialist and later filled the role of geologist. The exploration of these two fields ultimately made up the bulk of my undergraduate experience at UC Berkeley, and I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science with a Food Systems minor.

My passion for teaching really stems from my career in chess. As a Grandmaster with nearly 15 years of competitive experience, I have seen every stage of that transition from beginners who can hardly move the pieces correctly to the very highest levels that exist. The process of improvement is one that naturally came to be of great interest to me, and I have served as a professional chess instructor for players of all ages, demographics, and skill levels since 2016. This interest ultimately brought me to academic tutoring; I have been through the same education system so many students endure, and I think it a great cause to help them through it. I am well versed in teaching strategies, and I have found that the analytical approach that is applied to chess can do wonders against standardized tests like the ACT and SAT, as well as hard sciences such as biology.

I have taught group classes before, but I believe that 1-on-1 instruction is crucial in allowing students to engage with the subject matter. True engagement is challenging enough if students are barely acknowledged by their instructor or routinely passed through a depersonalized curriculum. I can certainly empathize with the boredom and stress students feel regarding high school and college, and so I work to help my students develop an appreciation for the material, master challenging concepts, and understand how to study. Above all, it is my intention to create a learning environment that feels personal and meaningful to my students.

Outside of tutoring, some of my interests include chess, cooking, and writing.

Subjects Tutored:

Academic Biology
AP Biology
AP Environmental Science


Happy Parents and Students

 The teachers know what they are teaching; adequate time is spent on each topic; the Saturday practice tests are helpful in becoming comfortable with the exam and gauging where I need to put in more effort.   Read what others are saying

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