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  • Hourly rate $55
  • Response Time 1h
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1st lesson free!

1st lesson free!

SAT, ACT, College Prep, and Resume Writing - Top Notch Tutoring and Writing - Since 2002!

    • South San Francisco
    • at your home
    • webcam

About the lesson

Typically, we discuss the goal of the tutoring (e.g., getting a certain score on the SAT, admission to a certain college, obtaining an athletic scholarship). I review the student's previous test scores, homework, papers, whatever is relevant. Then we do a diagnostic test pertinent to the subject and/or review a test the student has done in advance. Then we set up a study plan with goals and steps to reach those goals.


  • Academic English
  • Essay writing
  • Test Prep
  • +3

    Resume / Cover letter writing prep

    ACT prep

    SAT prep


  • English


  • All Levels

About John

I was valedictorian of my high school; scored 1420 on the SAT (of a max 1600 score); graduated from an extremely selective college (Williams College, often rated as the #1 liberal arts college in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report) then went to a selective law school after scoring in the 96th percentile on the LSAT; passed the California State Bar Exam on the first try and practiced law in San Francisco for six years. Yep, that's me.

I'm now offering to pass along the tips and tricks I learned along the way: SAT, LSAT, law school subject, and bar exam tutoring as well as counseling on college and law school admissions. I have tutored students from elementary school to law school since 2002, both independently and for local services.
Here's an email I just received the other day, edited for privacy:

Hi John,
You tutored my daughter at the beginning of the year before the shutdown. With all the cancellations, she had all but given up on taking the SAT at all.
Her best friend went to a small town to take the test, and invited Jasmine to come along. So Jasmine decided to register and finally sat for the SAT.
She received her scores back this morning and earned a 1590. Her first time! I just wanted to tell you this and say thank you for your work with her! I hope you are well and are weathering these times intact.
[Student's mother's name]

Here's another example of a student I tutored successfully: We first worked together preparing for the LSAT, advised her on law school applications, and tutored her through her first year law school subjects. To her, I was an "angel" (even through her first-year of law school)! I've worked with other students during their first year of law school, and advised another student with his law school admissions.

I've recently helped a student in Palo Alto get a good score on the SAT; I've helped another in Oakland raise her score significantly on her second try; all my students like me (see the links to students' and parents' reviews of my services).

Another student of mine who also took the test in November 2015 texted me the message "Just finished the SAT, [and] think I did really well! For some of the problems I swear I could hear your voice in my head, walking me through them."

Here's a text I received on August 12, 2020:

Hello Mr. Linneball,

I hope you and your family are doing well.

This is [Name Omitted]. I was one of your ACT/SAT students. I would like to thank you so much for helping me with prepping for SAT and ACT. Due to my preparation with you, I was not as stressed when taking the SAT and ACT, which allowed me to think clearly and do my very best. I also wanted to let you know that I will be going to Baylor University this coming fall. Thank you so much for helping me.

Be well and stay safe. Have a great rest of the day!

[Name Omitted]

I've also very recently helped a student increase his composite ACT score from a 27 to a 32 - 32 is in the 98th percentile!

On April 19, 2016, I got this on my (concealed information) profile from a former SAT and ACT student of mine:

"John is a great a tutor! He helped me with both the SAT and ACT. He kept sessions engaging and focused on the task at hand. His schedule is really flexible and always tries to fit students in at convenient times. Most importantly, my SAT score improved by 200 points after John had tutored me, so working with him really does help."

On May 31, 2016, a student of mine posted this on (concealed information):
"Completely worth it is all I have to say. John explained many parts of the ACT, and explained how to understand, see, and handle the problem. A fantastic tutor to work with."

One of my SAT students scored a 2100 out of 2400 on the old SAT in winter 2015), which is in the 97th percentile, according to what I found on the College Board's site. I didn't find out until August 8, 2016, , as I was tutoring my successful SAT student's older sister for the GRE. She was another satisfied customer! I am now tutoring their younger sister and a neighbor for the SAT...

On September 19, 2017, a student of mine wrote me: "I just wanted to let you know that the SAT scores came back. I got a 1520 (760, 760)!! ... Thank you so much for all your help this summer, I couldn't have done it without you."

Another student of mine also let me know (on September 27, 2017) increased her SAT math score by 80 points, and also increased her verbal score, raising her total score on the SAT to 1330. Not too shabby!

And on the March 2018 SAT... one of my students scored a 1540, and another scored a 1550! Both they and their parents thanked me.

Two new success stories - one of my students scored 360 points higher on the August 2018 SAT than on her previous SAT! Another student of mine, taking the same SAT, scored a 1500 (790 math; 710 verbal)!

nd now another story - one of my students scored 360 points higher on the August 2018 SAT than on her previous SAT! Another student of mine, taking the same SAT, scored a 1500 (790 math; 710 verbal)!

April 1, 2019 update - one of my students scored a 790 Math and 790 verbal on the SAT, and got into Stanford early admission (she had other factors besides her test scores, but her father said I really helped with the SAT prep).

Another student of mine scored 1540 on the March 9, 2019 SAT, and another scored a 1290 on the same test!

My Latest Accomplishments:

Helped one student pass the CHSPE this summer (2019)

Helped another pass the math section (which was the focus of our work) of the CHSPE (2019)

Helped a student raise his SAT score to 1100 to get a fishing team (no, I wasn’t aware that was a thing until his parents hired me) scholarship to a university in Alabama.

I helped a student raise his SAT score to a 710 in math (2019).

Perhaps the most sincere, if ironic, compliment I've received is from some unknown idiot who kept deleting my Craigslist posts a while back. I assume it's some other tutor or service trying to knock out the competition. You know what people say - if you think you have to cheat to win, that means you're not very confident in your abilities... you've just admitted you're not good enough to win using your own skill. :-)

The Services I Offer:
individual tutoring and preparation for the SAT, ACT, SSAT, ISEE, GMAT, LSAT, CAHSEE, CHSPE, ASVAB and more!
law school admissions counseling
law school coursework
grade school, middle school, and high school coursework
college admissions counseling

What Makes Me Different From Other Test Prep and Tutoring Services?
Ask any tutor you hire how many students they've tutored and references from them. Ask where the tutor went to college, grad school, and the like. I'll gladly provide you with the contact information for my former students, if you'd like to speak to them.

My Rates:
I charge very competitive and fair rates (hourly rate, plus an adjustment for travel, as needed) for tutoring and advising services. Included in my rates is a curriculum tailored to the particular needs of your student's class or test - more than you'd get a general course offered by my competitors (always with the opportunity for additional individual tutoring, of course!).

I offer a much greater value compared to other one-on-one tutoring services in the Bay Area. Why pay the same or more for less? They can't guarantee that you or your children won't be the first student/s your tutor's ever had. There are tips and tricks to standardized test prep, and being intelligent and well-educated is no substitute for experience. Here's your first assessment test: do you know true value when you see it? ;-)

Where I Work:
I will travel anywhere in the Bay Area. I may have to charge a little more for gas and tolls if you're out of the way.


I have tutored students in France, Russia, and Thailand, using Skype and similar services. I've previously tutored students in Seattle and Houston using the same method. I'm happy to tutor you through Skype, Google Hangouts, or possibly other services.

Give me a try - you'll be glad you did!

If you're interested, please take a look at my reviews on Yelp: (concealed information) , and also my tutoring website: (concealed information)

My YouTube channel is at (concealed information) - check them out for test-taking tips, advice on hiring professionals, business advice, and more!

You can also find me (and several recent positive reviews) on Thumbtack using this link :

(concealed information)

(If that doesn't work, use the link from (concealed information) - sorry, Web design is not my area of expertise... :-) )

I will gladly answer any questions you have. I look forward to hearing from you!

- John Linneball



  • 5h: $275
  • 10h: $550


  • + $$10


  • $55/h

free lessons

  • 1hr


I reserve the right to charge a deposit in advance, and/or to charge for sessions cancelled less than 6 hours in advance. That doesn't mean I always will charge either fee, but I will have to right to do it, whether or not I have waived that right in the past. I may charge additional travel fees to recover the cost of gas, tolls, etc. I will discuss these charges with you in advance. Free first lessons are still subject to the travel charge. Feel free to ask me about any charges, policies, etc. in advance.


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