Stephen Horabin

Test Prep Tutor


Following graduating from UC Merced with a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Engineering, I began work within the research field. This wouldn’t last long, however, as I found myself drawn to more social environments. With an eye for detail, a familiarity with careful planning, and a mind geared toward not only scientific but also creative pursuits, I found myself becoming involved in tutoring. While it began as an opportunity to determine what was next for me, it quickly became exactly that.

For nearly five years now I’ve worked with a wide variety of academic subjects, including Biology, Physics, English, Math, and so on. Most of them I’ve taught across every level, from elementary and middle school to the AP and SAT II subject exams. The subject, so to speak, that I’ve been most invested in, however, is test preparation. The ACT and the SAT are exams all of my students have had deep concerns about, as did their parents. This fascination and worry led me to work more and more with students who were applying to college. From those who’ve shot for the Ivy League schools (and got in, much to the celebration of us all), to students who didn’t even plan on going to college at all at first, I count some of my greatest accomplishments among those students with whom I’ve worked on SAT and ACT prep.

The successes that I’ve been a part of, primarily, come from my work within small classes and, more often, one-on-one tutoring. I’ve found that two things are key in both scenarios: effective communication and a strong connection with the work for both myself and the student. The first is a matter of translation; I want to help my students put more technical or grammatical topics into their own words and shape their own understanding of them. Whether it’s how to handle imaginary numbers or where to place a comma, there are rules to these things that we can all appreciate and learn to command for ourselves. The second is almost an issue of motivation. Students need to appreciate the why of what we are doing; why is the ACT or SAT covering the topics it does, why do colleges want to see these topics in a metric for the student’s individual success? Knowing that there’s a method to all the madness of these exams can help students acclimate to and appreciate the work that we do together. I’ve always found it easier to work with a student who “gets” what we are doing, even if he or she struggles at times with the test content itself.

With my experience across various academic subjects, knowledge of test prep, and passion for helping students to achieve their education goals, I’m continuing my journey with AJ Tutoring, working as a tutor and Team Leader. My goal is to share my expertise with both students and tutors, as we all strive to improve both ourselves and help one another. I look forward to each day, knowing that I will get the chance to help several individuals move one step closer towards their goals, whether they be related to professional, academic, or personal development.

In the free time I do have, I like to spend it typically in quiet spaces. I enjoy puzzles a great deal, and so I often wind up working on games like Sudoku, KenKen, or crossword puzzles. But when I am looking for something more active, I will often go to the gym, go out with friends for dinner, or travel to the Central Valley of California, where many of my college friends still reside.

Subjects Tutored

SAT
ACT
PSAT
SAT Subject Math2
SAT Subject Literature

Offices Served

Happy parents and students

 He was able to identify the types of problems I had trouble with and drill me on them until I no longer struggled with them.  Read what others are saying

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