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Testimonials from students and parents

"I learn more in 10 minutes with you than I do in an hour at school."

— a 7th grader at a private school in Chicago

From the parent of an 8th grader whom I coached on SSAT and ISEE prep from 7th grade onward:

Sara Su knows what it truly takes to excel, and, more importantly, can lead your child down the path. Her own education and work experience include the most selective schools and companies: Harvard College, Harvard Law School, Ropes & Gray, and McKinsey. Her supportive but persistent approach, backed by her tried and true methods, resulted in a 20+ percentile improvement in my daughter's SSAT scores. Sara Su has high expectations and encourages her students to do their very best. In my daughter's words, Sara Su "met me where I was and took me where I needed to go". Have no doubt that if your child is willing to listen and actually do what Sara Su is recommending (which for my daughter took a few months!), he/she will be thrilled with the change in performance.

From an 8th grader who worked with me on SSAT/ISEE prep for high-school applications:

Thank you so much for your help throughout these years. I really appreciate it and you not only helped me with SSAT work but my other struggles as well. I’m very grateful for the amount of time and effort you put into our sessions.

I can't wait to cross paths with you in the future! 

Once again, thank you so much for your help and kindness.

From the parent of a high-school junior whom I coached on test prep:

Thank you for everything you have done to help [my daughter] prepare for tomorrow’s SAT and to compensate for her shaky grounding in the basics of English grammar.  She has learned so much from you and appears to be approaching the test with a clear mind.  We are so appreciative!  Thank you so much again for your good sense, encouragement and direction, and expertise. 

From the parent of a high-school freshman whom I coach on test prep, study skills, and pre-college planning (course and extracurricular selection):

[My daughter] came away from your session very energized, and focused on the future and upping her game!

From the parent of a high-school sophomore whom I coach on test prep, study skills, and pre-college planning (course and extracurricular selection):

[My daughter] is really enjoying working with you!  Your influence is helping her become better focused and set realistic goals. 

From a student whom I coached on college applications:


Sara Su's patience and willingness to go above and beyond for her students has set her apart from any teacher or coach I have ever worked with. In just a few short months, my writing and ability to problem-solve both improved tremendously. Sara Su has taught me how to research thoroughly, write with specificity, and break challenges down into small, manageable pieces. And above all, my sessions with Sara Su helped me remember why I love to learn. I could not have managed the college application process without her.

From the parent of an East Coast high-school senior admitted early to an Ivy League university:


THANK YOU!!!!!!  We can’t thank you enough for all you did for [my son] and for helping him convey who he is so beautifully in the app. You were truly a godsend….thank you for fitting him into your busy schedule and for being such a steady, smart support throughout the process. He really loves you – you were so incredibly helpful to him. And [my son] also thanks you for managing me – noted and appreciated!!!! 

From the parent of a New Jersey high-school senior admitted early to Washington University in St. Louis:

We strongly feel that your guidance and counseling helped him reach this milestone and cannot thank you enough. When we look back 3-4 months, your feedback about keeping his college list realistic, bringing his natural self in the essays and unwavering focus on the end goal brought the best out of him during the application process. Thank you once again for accepting our request to guide him so late in the process and flexibility to work with him in spite of your busy schedule.



From an IMSA student who took my test-prep courses as a freshman and sophomore and earned high scores on the SAT and ACT in the spring of her sophomore year:

You have helped me learn so much about the ACT, SAT, and important life skills in general. You helped me dig deeper in my essays and find the potential in my writing skills and my test taking abilities. With your help, I found the motivation to push myself to study harder and to do better on standardized tests and in school.

From the mother of a student who took my classes and worked individually with me in grades 7-12:

As I am sure you know, much of my son's success is due to the years he spent working with you. I know he wasn't the easiest student, but you should know that his college recommendations were really quite moving. He has developed into a real leader and, frankly, a true intellectual with a questioning, flexible mind. He can be a bit argumentative, at times, but he has developed an impressive speaking and writing style. He is also a very nice and kind person who always roots for the underdog. Several teachers have commented to me about how he often helps other students and teachers without ever being asked.


My father, who holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history and was a university president, always thought that if you really wanted to shape someone, you would catch them in their high school years. So when you want to pull your hair out, and I am sure you do, because I only have one teenager and I want to several times a day, remember that what you do is very important and you do it extraordinarily well. We are all immensely grateful for all the time and effort you have expended with our son. You truly changed his life.

From a Neuqua Valley HS student who took my test-prep courses during his sophomore and junior years:

In Sara Su's classes, I learned fail-safe concepts and methods that gave me answers, not how to guess real well and hope I get the question right.

From the father of a Northside College Prep student: 

We sought out tutoring when our daughter's sophomore PSAT score landed in her in the 50th percentile. After tutoring with Sara Su, one year later, her score was in the 92nd percentile. On other tests, she has placed in the 98th percentile.

Test scores are important, but the bigger benefit was that Sara Su taught her how to think critically and solve problems. The tutoring sessons are focussed and challenging. Doing well in this environment gave our daughter focus and confidence. My sense is that Sara Su's seriousness of purpose and diligence in preparing for each class are understood and appreciated by the students -- I didn't hear any whining when I picked our daughter up. Sara Su prepares well for each class, and this is apparent, even to 16-year-old students.

Sara Su's classes also helped our daughter in her everyday studies and preparations for class -- how to size up the issues, focus, and execute under time pressures. The tutoring sessions gave our daughter confidence in approaching everyday school examinations.

Sara Su helped our daughter greatly, and I am very thankful for that. Our daughter has a good mind, but unlocking her potential has been a challenge. Sara Su earns respect from her students by her own example of preparation and dedication to the matters at hand.

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