SD Higher Scores

Successful, Approachable Test Prep

SD Higher Scores

SD Higher Scores was founded in 2007 when Blake Jensen became frustrated with the way test prep was taught at the large companies he worked for. He wanted to help students with a more personable and personalized program that fit each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Since then, SD Higher Scores has served hundreds of students from Encinitas, Rancho Santa Fe, Del Norte, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Solana Beach, Fairbanks Ranch, and 4S Ranch, as well as online through Skype.

About me

I’m a native San Diegan, father, and an aficionado of basketball, vintage video games, pitchy karaoke, and lecturing my son on how much better Star Wars was “back in the day.” I played college basketball at St. Mary’s College and Whittier College where I earned my B.A. in Psychology in 2002. My most important college mentors were coaches and teachers, so once I realized I didn’t want to chase the dream of professional basketball, it’s not surprising that I turned to teaching and tutoring as a career. After college, I taught high school chemistry and started doing some individual tutoring on the side. I realized both that I had a knack for understanding the psychology of standardized tests and that I preferred individualized tutoring to teaching in crowded classrooms of 35 students.

SD Higher Scores

SD Higher Scores has been helping students reach their academic goals since 2007.  What began as after school tutoring for high school math and science has expanded into test prep.  We now offer expert tutoring in SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT CARS, and high school math and chemistry tutoring at our office in Rancho Santa Fe.

My philosophy on tutoring

The pressure to perform well academically stresses both students and their parents.  What are supposed to be the final years of enjoying each other’s company before a student goes off to college can instead become arguments and stress over the pressures of college applications.  My philosophy is that hard work is required, but positive reinforcement works much better long term than negative reinforcement.  My experience has shown me that showing a student how to study the right way is much more effective than punishing them for not doing so after the fact.

Our Tutoring Process

01.

Consultation

We will find out your strengths and weaknesses, goals and schedule options. We are serious about finding a great match between student and tutor.

02.

Planning

We get to the specifics. (Usually) weekly tutoring sessions, practice work between sessions, and periodic adjustment of our roadmap.

03.

Studying

We will propose a study plan, with your input. This will include a roadmap of study, schedule for tutoring, and materials we will use to reach our goal.

04.

Finishing

You take the test, satisfied with your hard work, happy with your results, and relieved to have the test behind you! 

SAT

The SAT is a 3 hour, 50 minute test taken by hundreds of thousands of high school students every year that colleges use to help them choose whom to accept. It has 5 sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math with no calculator, Math with calculator, and the Essay. It is a competitor of the ACT, and colleges accept both universally. The SAT is scored out of 1600 points. The SAT is owned and published by the College Board.

ACT

The ACT is a 3 hour, 40 minute test taken by hundreds of thousands of high school students every year that colleges use to help them choose whom to accept. It has 5 sections: English, Math, Reading, Science, and the Essay. It is a competitor of the SAT, and colleges accept both universally. The ACT is scored out of 36 points. The ACT is owned and published by ACT, inc.

GRE

The GRE is a 3 hour, 45 minute test taken by hundreds of thousands of college students and graduates. It is used by graduate schools, and increasingly, by business and law schools, to help them choose whom to accept. It has 5 sections: one Analytical Writing, two Verbal Reasoning, and 2 Quantitative Reasoning. The GRE is scored out of 340 points. The GRE is owned and published by ETS, the Educational Testing Service.

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