Gamer and Athlete Boosts HSPT Score and Gains Entry to Preferred Private Hight School

At a Glance


  • Prescriptive grammar
  • Prescriptive mechanics
  • Close reading


  • Accepted to Bellarmine College Prep
  • Increased Score by 27 Points
  • Hours Purchased: 20.83


Somik had taken two practice tests offered by a popular online test preparation site, and he’d use Quizlet to study vocabulary terms because he was concerned that his weak vocabulary knowledge would be his undoing. Somik had been studying alone for the HSPT; he hadn’t been studying on a consistent basis. He knew he needed structure.

October 8, 2021, Sushant, Somik’s father, reached out to me to inquire about helping Somik improve his HSPT performance. Somik was an 8th-grade student living in California’s Silicon Valley. He wanted test prep that would help him do well on the HSPT and beyond; he wanted skills that would help him throughout life. His father explained that it takes time for Somik to open up and get comfortable with people, and that when he’s determined to do well at something, he “…tries hard and goes deep”. Sushant explained that because seemed to trust me, Somik might be open to me pushing him to do better. Sushant’s pushing didn’t seem to help.


The 3.5-hour diagnotic session occurred October 16, 2021, and we met for our first learning session October 23, 2021. Because we had less than four months to prepare, and because holiday season was around the corner, and I anticipated that there may be some learning loss during holiday breaks, I suggested we focussed on building Somik’s verbal abilities, with sprinkles of reading comprehension being thrown in. Grammar and mechanics are not perfect practices, but they are methodical and (relatively) easy to grasp if folks follow the steps, internalize what’s being taught, and practice usage. Reading, on the other hand, is more subjective – especially vocabulary augmentation; becoming a substantially better reader within a few months with other competing priorities would’ve taken more than three months, so it made more sense to apply concentrated focus to writing conventions.

Like clockwork, we met Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings; sessions lasted an hour.


January 29, 2022, Somik sat for the HSPT. He increased his score by 27 points and was accepted by one of his preferred private high schools, Bellarmine College Preparatory School. His family is so pleased with their results that Somik continues to meet with me on a weekly basis to continue strengthening his language arts skills. Additionally, his mother referred English, Math & More to a relative. Now, one of Somik’s cousins is also a student of mine.

In the Customer's Words

I observed a significant improvement in Somik’s performance in the ELA section. I have found [communication] straight forward. I believe we have constantly worked through changes and goals that are helpful to Somik. I’m comfortable being transparent with you talking about Somik’s strengths and weaknesses. I like that Somik is able to work out a preferred date and time with you whenever required, and I recommend your services whenever possible.

-Sushant Sinha, Loving Father of Somik, San Jose, CA


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