The SAT. The ACT. The SAT AND the ACT? OR just one or the other?
Then…the Subject Tests? A.P. tests?
Which do I take? How many times? I heard some colleges "superscore"?
Which colleges need what? And what’s a “good” score?
Ugh. Yes. Standardized testing. Test anxiety. Information overload. It's a whole thing.
I'll make this simple. Because it suited my particular skills and background, I spent about five years working for a couple of test-prep companies, and I've continued tutoring on my own using my personalized approach to the material over the past several years.
Families often opt to hire me in this capacity because they'd prefer to have one go-to person for all things in the realm of college preparation.
I tutor students for the current version of the SAT (fully revamped in 2016), the ACT, and the Subject Test in Literature. In special cases, I'll work with younger students applying to independent schools on the ISEE, and with older students applying to graduate schools on the GRE.
I can assist with ALL components of the above exams (including the math!). Students who just plain hate testing should go here to view the ever-growing list of schools that don't require test scores.
My aim: to arm students with simple strategies, according to their individual needs, that help them excel in all aspects of each exam format. I help them implement practices for keeping test anxiety under control. I teach to each individual test, and strive to make sure that, through our mutual efforts, students ultimately move the needle across their desired score threshold.
NOTE: I'm not crazy about all the madness surrounding test prep. I think, for the most part, it's completely overblown. A high score doesn't guarantee anything, nor can it be relied upon as an indicator of future success. However, getting a high score can remove a potential obstacle to gaining acceptances to competitive programs, and can also equate to greater merit aid awards, depending on the institution. So…it is what it is.
Prior to the first meeting, I was always stressed about the daunting college application process. However, after our first meeting at the beginning of summer, I walked out of Nick’s office confident and ready to take on the process! We created a solid plan with attainable goals. He has helped me through every step of the way, from keeping me on top of deadlines to helping me cultivate all of my essays — especially my personal statement — and taking them to the next level. Nick's insightful advice and experience really pushed me as both a student and person.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Nick. Thanks to his guidance, I will be attending my dream school, Columbia University next fall, and I couldn't have done it without him!
Nick has a way of making high-stakes standardized testing feel like a race you can run and run well. Our daughter knew exactly how to approach the ACT, how to pace, prioritize, and use every strategy available to hit her target score. And guess what—she did it, and she's going to her first-choice university. Thanks, Nick!
I wouldn't just call Nick a college counselor, I'd call him a mentor. Whether it was with college applications or just my life in general, Nick was always there to talk to me. I'm most certainly not the type of guy that opens up to everyone, but something about the setting I was in and the person I was facing made it really easy. He was so talented at helping me translate everything I was saying into writing, which in return made all my essays feel so personal and authentic. Overall, Nick made my application process a breeze and as less stressful as possible. Thank you, Nick!
Nick was the ultimate mentor, therapist, listener, life guide, and college counselor all in one. His office was the comfortable, welcoming space I needed to lay out all my thoughts, experiences, and emotions on the table. In each and every paragraph, Nick truly understood what I sought to express and empowered me to illuminate who I truly am beyond what I knew possible. Nick’s strong intellect, insight, and experience guided me from putting ideas onto paper to constructing my compositions to editing every last detail — everything I needed to reach past my full potential and achieve my dream college. I am endlessly grateful!!!
Despite living thousands of miles away, Nick was always there to help me with whatever I needed. He was a pro at comma placement and sentence structure, of course, but what was more important to Nick was getting to know me as a person. He always knew what to say to get me thinking in just the right way to translate my thoughts from just ideas to words on paper. Thanks to his advice, I was able to turn clinical, impersonal first drafts into my most personal and thoughtful work. Never content to merely say "good enough," Nick gave me new insight into who I am as a person, and gave me the tools to show that to my dream school.
Working with Nick the second half of high school took a big burden off me. Whether in the form of essay help, ACT tutoring, or just someone to ask simple questions to, his help made me feel a lot more confident throughout the college application process. Starting with him in my junior year meant that he helped to craft a list of potentially interesting schools for me, plan trips for tours, narrow down the list, and actually work on the individual applications.
His relaxed demeanor made the whole process just a bit less stressful and helped to make me feel as if I was making progress towards a more tangible goal. With his help I was accepted into Tufts University for early decision, where I will be attending next fall.
Before working with Nick, I was very intimidated by the entire college application process. I had no idea about how to write my essays and only a handful of schools in mind, leaving me with little confidence. Nick not only assisted me in crafting my essays to the very last detail, from brainstorming to final touches, but was so thoughtful in recommending schools that matched who I was and what I valued. I wholeheartedly trusted his guidance, as several brainstorming sessions allowed him to get to know me. His questions were so keen to lead me on to big ideas and a deeper understanding of who I am.
I am endlessly grateful for the careful patience and effort Nick put into helping me maximize the potential of my ideas in an essay. I'm so confident in the work I was able to do with Nick's support and could not have made it to Davis without him!
Applying to college can be a stressful time; I’d had constant writer's block and really struggled to write an essay that would represent who I am while also fitting a prompt. Nick told me to completely disregard the prompts and helped me brainstorm ideas by asking me basic questions that you'd ask a new friend, just to get a sense of who I am. He then helped me organize my thoughts and guided me on how to develop my essays from there. Nick was very comforting to talk to and helped me calm down whenever I was anxious about college.
Ultimately, he helped me create essays that really represent my voice, who I am as a person, and what I believe in. I am so proud of everything I have written, and I would not be as confident about my applications if it wasn't for his help!
Not only did Nick help me get into my dream college, but four years later I am graduating and going to one of the top schools in the county, Emory University, to get my doctorate in physical therapy, all thanks to Nick. As I was a dancer all my life, Nick led me to finding colleges with dance programs, helped me with audition videos, essays, the ACT, and the whole college application process in general. Anything I had a question with, he knew the answer and made the whole process so much smoother. This past summer, he also helped me with graduate school applications my GRE scores, which enabled me to get into the top programs in the country for physical therapy. I literally couldn't have done any of this without Nick. For the last six years, Nick has been by my side through everything and I am so grateful.
I was always skeptical about how my future would look like in terms of college. The thought of applying frightened me. I've been seeing Nick for two years and he has helped tremendously. Nick would go above and beyond to keep me focused and excited about finding the best college for me based on my interests and aspirations. I was always intrigued by Loyola Marymount University, which turned into my dream school. I was a little below average in terms of LMU’s standards, so Nick gave me resources to figure out what colleges were asking for, helped me write a personal statement that captured me perfectly, and provided incredibly helpful tips as to how I could best present myself in my college application. Thanks to Nick, I got accepted into LMU and I am so incredibly grateful for his help. I'm so excited to start this coming fall, thanks to Nick. He really made my dreams into a reality.
Nick Soper is a highly professional, skilled and intelligent college counsellor. After taking the time to understand my educational goals and strengths, Nick was able to direct me to the perfect program and help me move smoothly through the application process. Nick's consultations were always personal, honest, supportive and timely. I would wholeheartedly recommend Nick to anyone seeking guidance in their educational journey. I felt very lucky to have Nick in my corner.
Before I started, I didn't even have an idea of what I wanted to write about, but Nick helped me put my scattered thoughts onto paper, and eventually, into a readable essay that I felt reflected who I am as a person and I felt genuinely proud of. Nick goes above and beyond to help each kid in the college process and that's what makes him such a great counselor.
Nick is a college wizard, creative writer, and, oddly, a therapist. Not an awkward, obviously paid "yes-man" type of therapist, but one that you open up to and discover inner truths about yourself—making for wonderful essays. But Nick doesn't hold your hand; he makes sure you write it yourself first to capture your own creative flair, and then coaches you through restructuring and making the piece as coherent and interesting as possible. I can't thank Nick enough for helping me get into my top school, but ultimately, he taught me a skill even more valuable, that I'll use for the rest of my life: how to properly write about myself.
Nick's SAT and ACT tutoring services have been excellent for both of our daughters. In 2016, Nick's expertise helped our daughter, Sydney, raise her already strong score by 120 points! During the Early Decision process, Sydney was admitted to Duke University where she is now a sophomore in Spring 2018. In 2017, we returned to Nick to tutor our daughter, Kendall, for the ACT, and he helped her achieve a score above 30, which was her goal. Kendall was admitted to Cornell University during the Early Decision process and will be a Freshman in the Fall 2018. Nick Soper is one of the very best SAT and ACT tutors in Los Angeles. Thank you, Nick!
I am so grateful for how much Nick helped me through the college process. I came in with a good ACT score and good essay topics, but he help make them both outstanding. By our second meeting, it felt as though Nick had known me for my entire life. His calm and cool personality made him approachable and fun to work with.
For my essays, Nick was spectacular at helping me get my personality and message across to the reader. His extensive knowledge about different applications and admissions processes made him extremely adept at helping me write to my different audiences.
Without Nick's help I do not think I would have gotten into all my top choice colleges that I applied to. I always felt enthusiastic to go meet with Nick, and I wanted to stay past my allotted appointment time just to talk. I can't thank Nick enough for making the college process go so smoothly and for helping me get accepted to my dream school.
My college application process would have been extremely difficult without Nick. Whether for ACT prep or college applications, he prepared me for everything that could be thrown at me during junior and senior year. He kept timelines throughout the process and helped me choose deadlines that would keep my stress under control. To lessen the pressure during senior year, he also made sure that I stayed on pace to turn in applications way before their deadlines, so that I could relax over break. In addition to working with me as a student, Nick really took interest in my life and found out who I was as a person. Then, in our work together, he helped me to develop 'my story' and portray that in the applications. My college application journey was smooth and fun, rather than a daunting experience! I am so grateful that I was able to work with Nick!
I recently received the news that I was accepted to UC Berkeley after working with Nick through my college application process. I am an extremely shy person, but somehow Nick made me feel very comfortable and in addition to his fantastic advice, he gave me the confidence I needed to share my story. His experience, knowledge, and humanity made the college application process much less stressful and I learned a lot more about myself through his guidance.
When I came to Nick, I was starting the first semester of my senior year. Prior to this, I thought I had everything under control, until I began writing my personal statement. I had essays drafted, but I was not confident that they conveyed all of my ideas the way I wanted. Nick helped me put into words everything that I was struggling to do on my own. He knows exactly how to synthesize the writing, without judgment. His process of brainstorming and drafting makes the whole college process bearable and actually exciting. Nick coaches writing in a way that enables the student to take the lead, while he helps to refine ideas and the language to express them. I learned a lot about myself in the process. As the student, if you put in the work, you will definitely see the results. I strongly recommend Nick as a writing coach.