Official SAT score
Official LSAT score
Official GRE score
Years in test prep
Although I can definitely sympathize with those who find standardized tests annoying at best or deeply problematic at worst, I’ve personally always enjoyed them. Part of the reason is that I’ve always thought of them partially as a logic puzzle. If I can figure out strategies to approach the questions and techniques to keep myself encouraged while testing, I can perform my best. I still remember taking the CogAT test in elementary school and working through techniques to tackle hole-punching questions I’d never seen before. After that, I was hooked.
I spent K-12 in a predominantly low-income neighborhood. Ours were not the best schools in the city, but my classmates worked extremely hard and it rubbed off on me. When the time came for my SAT, I studied hard. I did practice test sections from library books on my bedroom floor next to the heater in the winter. I even studied vocab while on a family vacation at the beach! I told everyone my goal was a 1400, but secretly it was a 1500. And secretly secretly, it was a 1550.
When I got my scores back with a 1590, I was so happy! I was also kicking myself, since I found out that the math question I missed was one I had changed my answer on…
My test scores have opened up so many doors for me. Not only did I get admitted to the University of Washington with not one but two full-ride scholarships, but I also used my test scores to get a job at a prominent test prep company my junior year. And I’ve never looked back. Later, my GRE scores and teaching experience got me full funding for both my MA and my PhD.
I never ended up using the LSAT scores I’ve accumulated. Maybe someday I’ll be inspired to go to law school, but for now I’ve chosen test prep over a career as a lawyer.
It’s true that test scores are only part of an application, and generally not the largest part. However, it’s also true that raising your scores can unlock opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t be available. I’ve worked with student athletes looking for a score to provide recruiting eligibility, military veterans looking for a score that will allow them to use the GI Bill, and students of all ages looking to make their application that much stronger and hopefully qualify for scholarships.
Why I tutor
I tutor because I love seeing my students make progress and succeed. I love hearing back from students telling me about the programs they got into, the scholarships they were offered, and most importantly the confidence they gained. These emails and texts are by far the best part of my job.
Now that I’m tutoring only online, I love being able to work with students from New York to Hawaii and everywhere in between. In one week, I might get to hear about a hockey team in California, the basketball scene in Georgia, a robotics competition in Washington, a new puppy in New York, and an upcoming wedding in Hawaii. I enjoy being a part of my students’ lives, even if briefly.
Selfishly, I love tutoring because of the flexibility and variety it offers. I get to work with students from all backgrounds, from the bright but goofy middle schooler to the self-motivated and very determined LSAT student. I also never get burnt out working with the same test day after day. I consider myself very lucky to be able to do what I love.
Students sometimes ask me why I never went to law school or business school even though I had the test scores to get into really great programs. My answer is always that I love the tests and I love helping other students achieve those goals, but I have no interest in becoming a lawyer or going into corporate myself. I love that I’m always getting to learn new things, and I really enjoy the real impact I can make in my students’ lives. I’ve had students get full-ride scholarships to college and massive scholarships for law school after working with me. I’m so glad I work in an area of education with such a clear return on investment for my students.
About Me Personally
One of the greatest benefits of working online has been being able to keep working with my US test prep students no matter where I live. For now, home base is outside of Seattle, although we are planning to move back to South Korea at some point in the future.
I’m also proud to be a new mom to our adorable son Alex, undoubtedly the best thing to come out of 2020. So these days, when I’m not working through an LSAT question or helping a student solve polynomials, I’m probably either making a bottle, changing a diaper, or working on a nap. Wouldn’t change it for anything.
16 years tutoring in person, including 8 years of online tutoring.
Graduate teaching assistant at University of Hawaii at Manoa – Second Language Studies
Teacher at Hawaii English Language Program
Test prep tutor at Kaplan and a couple of smaller academies in Seattle
Ratings & Awards
5.0/5.0 star rating out of 1700+ hours logged on Wyzant (top 1% of Wyzant tutors)
- 5.0/5.0 star rating on Thumbtack
Kaplan National Tutor of the Year (2005)
PhD (in progress): University of Hawaii at Manoa – Second Language Studies
MA (2017): University of Hawaii at Manoa – Second Language Studies
BA (2004): University of Washington – Linguistics and Psychology
Please fill out the contact form with information about the test you are preparing for and a brief message. I’ll be in touch to contact you for the next steps!