Columbia University, 2011, major in English and Comparative Literature, 3.96 GPA, graduated Magna Cum Laude with English Departmental Honors, Dean’s List Fall 2007-Spring 2011; member of Phi Beta Kappa; National Merit Finalist, 2007; Recipient of the Robert C. Byrd Scholarship, 2007; Near-perfect score of 2350 on SATs, (with perfect scores on Writing and Reading sections), 770 on Chemistry SAT Subject Test, 800 on Spanish SAT Subject Test; AP Scholar with Distinction: Score of 5 on AP exams in U.S. History, Latin, Spanish, and BC Calculus.
A lifelong academic high-achiever and extremely versatile and experienced tutor, Alice has worked with hundreds of students to help them excel in such diverse subjects as English, history, Spanish, geometry, chemistry, physics, algebra, trigonometry, precalculus, and calculus; she has also tutored dozens of students for the SAT, ACT, ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, GRE, and various SAT subject tests with consistently spectacular results.
As a native New Yorker and graduate of the New York City private school system, Alice is well acquainted with the stress and anxiety created by its pressure-cooker academic environment. She employs empathy, humor, and enthusiasm to help her students solidify their skill sets and develop confidence in their own academic abilities, while having as much fun as possible along the way. Her methodology consists of a systematic, step-by-step breakdown and explanation of concepts and strategies, as well as a keen attention to the details of each student's unique personality and learning style.
When she is not tutoring, Alice may be found reading at home, running in various NYC parks, or pursuing her career as an actress/singer/dancer.
Junior Standardized Test Preparation Specialist
Georgetown University, 2014, major in International Politics with a certificate in International Law, Norms, and Ethics from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; graduated Cum Laude with an advanced proficiency in Mandarin; High school valedictorian, Recipient of the Robert G. Hazo Award for the highest weighted-GPA, 2010; National Merit Finalist, 2010; Near perfect SAT score: 2320.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Alex has always been both a political junkie and an arts enthusiast, pursuing his passion for international relations and musical theatre since childhood. In his senior year in high school, Alex won the 2010 Gene Kelly Award for Best Actor, the highest accolade given to a Pittsburgh high school student for musical theatre acting, and went on to become first runner-up at the 2010 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, held at the Marquis Theatre in New York City. Changing his focus in college to political science, Alex enrolled in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in 2010, where he majored in international politics and Mandarin, concentrating his research on China’s role in the global community.
While at Georgetown, Alex tutored for Capital Educators, a standardized-test prep company catering to the DC-Baltimore area. During his tenure, he consistently received top ratings from the more than 200 high school students he tutored. His enthusiasm, energy, and sense of humor promote strong ties with his students, transforming the way they approach standardized tests and empowering them to successfully reach their test goals. At Competitive Edge, Alex has blended his experience as an SAT tutor with Competitive Edge’s proprietary materials and methodology to become an exceptional, all-around standardized test tutor, specializing in the ISEE, SSAT, ACT, and SAT.
While in New York, Alex is pursuing the musical theatre career he put on hold briefly while at Georgetown. You may also catch him occasionally performing stand-up around the city, taking every dance class he can find, and playing softball in the park.
Teachers College Columbia University, 2016, M.A. with Initial Certification in Art and Art Education; Williams College, 2012, major in English Literature; Class of 1960 Scholar, 2011-2012; Gates Millennium Scholar, 2007-2016; perfect score on Essay section of the GRE; National Merit Scholar, 2007; National Honor Society, 2006-2008; perfect score on SAT Essay section and scores of 800 and 790 on the Writing and Critical Reading sections; Scholastic Writing Awards, 2004; Prep for Prep Valedictorian, Contingent XXIV; scores of 5 on AP exams in U.S. History, English Literature and Composition.
Raised in New York City, Paisley attended Hunter College High School and the Brearley School. At Brearley, she was a writer for the literary journal and school newspaper, and was the President of the Music Appreciation Club. On Saturdays, she attended the Parsons School of Design Precollege, later the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Jazz Division. At Williams, Paisley was a leader in the Student Government, serving as Neighborhood President. Always active and yearning for outdoor adventure, she was a member of the Equestrian and Cross-Country teams. Paisley’s curious nature led her to take Winter Term courses abroad in Argentina and Egypt for choral singing and art. In addition, she contributed to the Williams Record as the restaurant critic.
Paisley has been teaching and tutoring for over a decade, and she loves every second of it. After college, she taught in public and private schools in Massachusetts and New York City, during which time she gained valuable experience in lesson planning, curriculum design, classroom management, and how to foster the most effective student-teacher relationships. Two of the schools she worked in were Berkshire Arts and Technology and Coney Island Prep, where she taught grades 6-12 Visual Art and grades 6-7 English, respectively. Paisley tutors the SAT, ACT, AP, ISEE, SSAT, and SHSAT in addition to academic subjects including Social Studies, History, Algebra I/II, Geometry, and English. All of her students see clear improvements in their grades and test scores. She has also worked with students on college essays and applications for college and awards. Her students have won honors including the Scholastic Writing Awards.
A methodical tutor, Paisley subscribes to zeroing in right away on any weaknesses and constantly drilling difficult concepts (grammar, math, science, reading comprehension, or vocabulary) until they are internalized. However, Paisley’s goal is not only to teach her students the strategies and content knowledge they need to succeed on their tests and courses, but also to be a mentor and motivator. Lightening up the tutoring experience by injecting humor and laughs, she aims to have her students look forward to their sessions.
When she is not tutoring or planning lessons, Paisley spends her time cooking, exploring new restaurants, swimming, going to museums and jazz concerts, and listening to music.
Princeton University, 2012, major in Religion with a certificate in Theatre, top quintile; Member of Phi Beta Kappa; Award for Outstanding Original Research in Islamic Studies, 2012; Sophomore Award for Excellence in Theatre, 2010; Shapiro Award for Academic Excellence as a Freshman, 2009; score of 5 on AP exams in Chemistry, BC Calculus, US History, and Psychology.
Clayton has worked with Competitive Edge since 2012, working with students in virtually every area of test prep and coursework. He is uniquely qualified to support students in both the humanities and advanced science and math courses, and shifts seamlessly between these disciplines. As a test prep tutor, Clayton has worked with students to prepare for the ACT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, Advanced Placement exams, Regents Exams, ISEE, and the SSAT. Though his plan for students is always based on their individual needs, Clayton strives to make his sessions fun and engaging, while also holding his students accountable. He takes great pride in letting his students gradually take more ownership over their test prep program, and has helped them gain admittance into some of the top colleges in the nation. Clayton loves to make personal connections during his sessions, and still regularly keeps in touch with many of his former students.
Prior to his work with Competitive Edge, Clayton tutored for three years as a Fellow with the Princeton University Writing Center, an undergraduate and graduate resource for academic writing. He worked individually with hundreds of students on a wide variety of academic papers, becoming known for his calm and approachable demeanor, and his ability to explain concepts clearly while letting students take ownership of their work. He later became a Head Fellow at the Writing Center, training other Fellows to become more effective at their craft.
Clayton is also a certified high school science teacher for the subjects of Physics, Biology, and Chemistry. He has experience teaching science in the classroom at Sharpstown High School, part of the Houston Independent School District. His passion for science dates back to the earlier years of his education, when he won the Bausch and Lomb Award for Excellence in Science in 2007. Through Competitive Edge, Clayton has designed curricula for and taught full classroom based courses on the ACT and the SAT Physics subject test. In the classroom setting, Clayton focuses on finding a balance between creating engaging content for all students, while making sure no students feel left behind.
Lastly, he is a nut for all things creative—he loves theatre, writing and music, so much so that he has trouble determining which of these is his true love! Currently, he is writing a book, while occasionally performing his award winning one man show at colleges along the East Coast.
Yale Law School, 2016, J.D., Yale Law Journal Fellowship, 2014;The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2010, B.A., double major in History and Political Science, highest honors; Phi Beta Kappa; graduated in 3 years; William and Ida B. Taylor Summer Fellowship, 2009.
Katherine grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and attended the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics where she participated in student government and the student activities board.
At The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she started the UNC Creative Writer’s Association, was a member of the Carolina Union Activities Board and a member of the Honor Court. She graduated in three years, spending the summer between her sophomore and junior/senior year collecting oral histories from local civil rights activists in preparation for her senior history thesis.
She spent two years prior to Law School as a Teach for America Corps member. She taught high school English, Argumentative Writing, and ACT English and Reading prep at an Arkansas charter school.
At Yale Law School, she served as the chair of the Civil Rights Project, which connected students to pro bono public interest opportunities throughout the school year. She interned at the Department of Justice, Voting Rights Section, and with a Judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was also a Teaching Fellow for two Yale College humanities classes.
Since graduating, Katherine has been working as a writer and tutor in New York City. She writes long-form fiction and freelance non-fiction.
She takes an individual approach to tutoring, assessing each student’s current level of ability and learning style and then tailoring her instruction to their specific needs. She believes that confidence-building is key to academic success.
When not tutoring or writing, Katherine enjoys vegan cooking, hiking, art museums, and documentaries. She also enjoys snow days, spa days, and snow days at the spa.
CUNY Graduate Center, currently matriculated, Ph.D. in English Literature; Columbia University, 2011, M.A. in English and Comparative Literature; St. John’s University, 2009, M.A. in Secondary Education; Smith College, 2006, double major in English and Fine Arts, recipient of Highest Honors.
As a senior at Smith College, Erin spent a year on her first major writing project: a senior thesis on the psychology of Alice in Wonderland which was awarded highest honers and the annual award for best honors thesis in English. After graduating, Erin pursued secondary education, teaching English to high school students in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After two years in the role of English Teacher, Erin was promoted to Educational Interventions Coordinator. In this position she was responsible for implementing strategic individualized learning programs for students who were struggling. During this time, Erin worked as a consultant for other schools, creating and facilitating professional development days designed to help other teachers implement the strategies that had been so effective in Erin’s classroom. Meanwhile, Erin attended Columbia University part-time, completing a master’s degree in English literature.
After four years in public education, Erin returned to academia full-time, and is currently matriculated in CUNY Graduate Center’s English PhD Program. Her research interests include the history of the novel and narrative theory. She teaches at Queens College and continues to work as a private tutor for high school and college students. Erin is a master editor, bringing her knowledge of genre and her years of experience into play in order to help her students write as effectively as possible. Her role as the head of a team designed to bring struggling students up to grade level taught Erin how to help struggling learners see their own potential; she excels at sensitively holding students to high standards.
Erin is an animal and nature lover, an avid reader and writer, and a passionate consumer of arts and culture.
Manhattanville College, Masters of Professional Studies in English and Special Education, 2011, 4.0 GPA; Colby College, 2006, major in English Literature, graduated Magna Cum Laude with Distinction in Major; Dean’s List 2002-2006; High School Valedictorian.
Lauren earned her M.P.S. degree while acting as a learning specialist, supporting undergraduates with learning disabilities in their college-level mathematics, science, humanities, and social science coursework. She is adept at making complex concepts understandable to learners at all skill levels. As a New York State Certified Teacher in English and Special Education grades 5-12, she currently provides targeted special education services to students in the Bronx. Lauren believes that all students can excel when given appropriate supports and individualized attention.
A native of Mid-Coast Maine where tutoring programs were few and far between and an accomplished graduate of the state’s public school system, Lauren is a self-motivated individual who strives to foster the same ambition and determination to excel in her students. A tutor since 2007, she has worked with numerous public and private school students in Westchester, specializing in Test Prep, Mathematics, English, History, Earth Science, and Study Skills. She employs strategies to empower her students by establishing internal loci of control and developing their confidence in their academic abilities. Lauren’s success as an educator can be attributed to ability to empathize with her students, guiding them to channel their strengths and remediate their weaknesses.
When she isn’t tutoring, Lauren is likely reading a novel, viewing an independent film, or improving her physical fitness at the gym. She also enjoys exploring Westchester and tending to the needs of her two very demanding feline roommates.
Brown University, 2011, double major in English and Literary Arts; 2330 on SAT with perfect score of 800 on Math section; 35 on ACT (35 on English, 36 on Math, Reading, and Science); 790 on SAT Math II Subject Test; National Merit Scholar; AP Scholar with Distinction: scores of 5 on Physics B, Calculus BC, Statistics, English Literature and Composition, Spanish Language, and U.S. History.
Dmitriy first started teaching after his freshman year of college, when he started a branch of a newly founded SAT/ACT prep company entirely from scratch in his hometown, Vernon Hills, Illinois. After coordinating all logistics, publicity, and marketing, he taught two classes and tutored dozens of students privately. He then continued freelance tutoring on both exams over the next three years. After graduating, he moved to Seoul, South Korea, where he primarily taught high school literature at an elite after-school academy. Since moving to New York, Dmitriy has continued to tutor on the ACT, SAT, and writing. Until recently, he worked in the editorial department at Bedford/St. Martin’s, a leading college textbook publisher.
Throughout his years of teaching, Dmitriy has helped students with the SAT, ACT, AP English Literature and Composition Exam, AP English Language and Composition Exam, SAT Literature Subject Test, SHSAT, SSAT, writing (including both English class and admissions essays), literature, and K-8 and high school math. His goal is to direct students to better futures by building their confidence and helping them reach higher scores.
When it comes to test prep, Dmitriy systematically targets gaps in knowledge and suggests specific strategies to overcome weaknesses. When helping with homework and writing, his strategy (and pleasure) is to connect with students and help them realize how their studies are relevant to their lives and the world around them. He has a passion for literature and is excited to inspire the same in his students.
In his free time, Dmitriy enjoys attending literary events, dancing at concerts, playing poker competitively, experimenting in the kitchen, and traveling the world (26 countries and counting).
University of Iowa, 2016, MFA in Nonfiction Writing; American University of Cairo, 2012, Masters in Arabic Language; Dartmouth College, 2011, major in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic), Phi Beta Kappa (2011)
At Dartmouth, Spenser wrote for the school newspaper, was the social chair for his fraternity, and dove for the varsity swim team. The day after he graduated, he flew to Cairo where he studied Arabic in a one-year Masters program and joined an Egyptian parkour team. After completing his studies in Cairo, Spenser moved to New York City and tutored the SHSAT, SAT, and ACT for A-List Tutoring until he left to attend Iowa's Creative Writing MFA program where he studied nonfiction and translation.
In addition to being a student at Iowa, Spenser also taught undergraduates courses. His Introduction to Nonfiction course examined six aspects of the genre: personal writing, science writing, travelogue, writing about language, profiles, and political writing. Students also learned how to workshop, revise, and then revise again. For his Writing for Grants and Awards course, he required his students to design their own semester-long project. He then worked with them to draft personal statements, grant proposals, Fulbright applications, resumes, and cover letters. Spenser currently lives in Brooklyn, and his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated.
Spenser tutors Constructing America, social studies, and all things ELA and writing related. He believes in hard work and discipline but also thinks that tutoring can be casual and, if not exactly fun, then pleasant. In terms of style, he focuses on practicality. If a student wants to learn the difference between a coordinating and subordinating conjunction, he's happy to teach him/her, but otherwise, Spenser eliminates jargon and pretension in order to make the subject matter as accessible as possible. Students who come to him for help with writing can expect to learn specific, concrete techniques to improve their organization, structure, and flow. They should also prepare to revise, revise, revise.
In 2015, Spenser competed on “American Ninja Warrior,” which he wrote about for Rolling Stone.
Princeton University, 2011, major in Electrical Engineering with certificates in Materials Science & Engineering and Chinese Language & Culture; Sigma Xi Book Award for oral presentation at Spring 2011 Materials Research Society conference; National Merit Scholarship Winner; 800 on GRE Quantitative Reasoning; 800 on GRE Verbal Reasoning; 800 on SAT Writing section; 800 on SAT Mathematics Level 2 Subject Test; 800 on SAT Physics Subject Test; 5 on AP Physics B; 5 on AP Biology; 5 on AP Chemistry; 5 on AP Latin - Vergil; 5 on AP Calculus BC; 5 on AP Statistics.
Alfred grew up on Staten Island, New York, and attended Brooklyn’s Poly Prep Country Day School throughout middle school and high school. There, he developed a love for asking tough questions and sharing the answers he found with others. This, combined with his love for taking things apart, led him to pursue the path of engineer by day and journalist by night.
Alfred majored in Electrical Engineering at Princeton and spent much of his free time either interning at WABC radio’s John Batchelor Show or working for the news division of Princeton’s own student-run radio station, WPRB. He also taught math for Princeton's Freshman Scholar's Institute, where he welcomed incoming freshmen to campus and helped them gain the confidence they needed to tackle freshman year math coursework.
Upon graduation, he moved to Lexington, Kentucky, to work as an engineer for the printer maker Lexmark International. There, too, he maintained an interest in sharing his knowledge with others. On nights and weekends, he coached the University of Kentucky’s elite college athletes not in basketball—Coach John Calipari has that under control—but in math, physics and economics.
Alfred returned to New York in 2013 to attend Columbia Journalism School and to pursue his dream of asking questions for a living. When he’s not tutoring or pursuing a story, Alfred can usually be found rocking out to country music, hitting rails on the squash court, or cheering on his beloved Yankees.
Dartmouth College, 2014, majors in Linguistics and English; Graduated with honors; Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth Fellow, 2013; recipient of Stanley Prize, 2013; Recipient of Kaminsky Family Fund Award, 2013; near-perfect score of 2340 on SAT; perfect scores of 800 on English, Math, and Chemistry SAT Subject Tests; near-perfect scores of 780 on US History and Biology SAT Subject Tests; score of 5 on AP exams in Biology, Chemistry, Calculus BC, US History, and European History; Gold Medalist on National Latin Exam.
At Dartmouth, Anna’s class choices were widely varied, ranging from Social Neuroscience to The Black Radical Tradition to Design Thinking. Anna's favorite courses usually had more to do with the pedagogy of her professors than with the content of the courses, grounding her belief that the right teacher can enliven any subject material. She particularly enjoyed, for example, a course on Puritan Poetry with the professor who later became her Honors Thesis Advisor. In this class Dartmouth students worked on equal footing with students from an alternative high school in West Lebanon, each group learning from the life experiences and understandings of the other. In her senior seminar, Dialectology, the advanced linguistics students conducted field research in Boston and co-wrote an academic paper which we submitted to conferences. Her activities outside of the classroom included founding The Dartmouth Radical newspaper—for which she edited articles and wrote press releases, serving as president of Soul Scribes slam poetry group, sitting on the Women's and Gender Studies Student Steering Committee, and teaching newly initiated fraternity brothers the basics of consent as a Mentor Against Violence.
Anna's teaching career began at her high school in the heart of Silicon Valley, Castilleja, as she participated in a peer tutoring program for middle and high school students, a volunteer tutoring program at a nearby school, and mathematics and English instruction for elementary school students in her neighborhood. In college, she ran writing workshops and taught performance poetry.
Since graduating from Dartmouth, Anna worked as a teacher in somewhat unorthodox settings. At Everytown for Gun Safety in Las Vegas and NYG Strategic Marketing Consultants, her jobs were to train new hires and direct team-building. She focused on teaching, training, and establishing rapport with her team and clients.
Since Anna has taught a diverse group of people in a variety of settings, she learned how to teach to different learning styles and backgrounds. Finding mutual interests and building rapport allows her to build excitement in the material she is teaching. Her fervent belief in excellence is reflected in students being motivated to their top performance, even those students who are already performing at a high level. Anna's appreciation for both breadth and depth allows her to forge unlikely connections between subjects, learn and teach in a deep and highly contextual manner, as well as to find points of interest for almost any student in almost any subject.
When she isn't waxing poetic about the way multiple-choice questions reveal their own answers, you might find Anna editing her friends' first novels, or gazing fondly at falling leaves.
Barnard College, 2011, major in Comparative Literature with concentrations in French and Spanish, minor in Art History, GPA of 3.7. Dean’s list Fall 2007-Spring 2011. Recipient of the 2014 Fulbright Scholarship Award for English Teaching in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Emelyn has been dedicated to foreign language learning from a young age. In high school, her advanced placement in French led her to undertake an immersive study abroad program in Bordeaux, France, where she gained fluency living with a host family and attending a local public school. In college, she deepened her romance language expertise, quickly becoming fluent in Spanish and studying abroad, again, this time in Barcelona, Spain.
Emelyn’s teaching career began in 2012 at the Language Workshop for Children, an Upper East Side after-school program, where she instructed students one-on-one in French, Spanish, and ESL. From there, Emelyn began working closely with the head of the program, writing and editing original French and Spanish language textbooks for romance language learners. Later, Emelyn tutored high school students seeking placement in AP Spanish and French before being selected to teach university-level English courses with the Fulbright Program in Rio de Janeiro, where she lived for one year.
Emelyn is an enthusiastic, nurturing teacher. She believes in establishing a strong rapport with every student in order to create lessons that integrate his or her personal learning needs, goals, and interests.
Emelyn practices yoga and meditation. She also loves to read, write, and make pottery. She can often be found taking walks around the Central Park Reservoir.