top of page


Testimonials, bay area, happy, clients, test prep, academic, college

Not only did working with Michael give me the ACT score I was hoping for, it also helped me to understand my own capabilities regarding test taking and life. He provided me a tutoring experience that didn’t feel like traditional tutoring.  Michael is incredibly intelligent, friendly, and invested in his students’ improvement. He broke down things in a simple way that I could understand, and then taught me how to do that independently. With patience and understanding, he trained me in the art of test taking, comprehension, and critical thinking. I would highly recommend Michael because of his expert teaching methods.

   - Lelia, student, Louisiana

I have seen Michael in action with several of our relatives and friends of family, and have been consistently impressed for the following reasons:
- irrespective of the background of the student, Michael knows how to make a connection
- he is very direct about realistic expectations yet at the same time can suggest reaching beyond those expectations
- his background as a college counselor and social worker makes him particularly effective with clients that aren't as exposed to the college "process" (kids from smaller schools, rural schools, disadvantaged circumstances)
- finally his style is kind and nurturing, so he quickly earns the trust of the student.
All of this has led to very positive results for our friends and family. We strongly recommend him.

   - Elizabeth, parent, Orinda 

Though it sounds cliche, Michael truly created an environment that was both fun and educational. I looked forward to our meetings each week and even as I was relieved to see the end of the ACT process, I was sad to see Michael go. On the results side, Michael utilized easy to understand yet highly effective methods of practice. After under four months of working together, I earned a bigger score increase than I had achieved in a year of prior tutoring with another organization. I would highly recommend Michael for anyone serious about increasing their standardized test scores. Even if you feel you have already reached your limit, Michael will find a way to improve both your test scores and your test taking habits.  

   - Henry, student, Florida

Michael did an incredible job of helping our son navigate the process of taking the SAT. He taught him HOW to take the test. Going into this our son was very nervous and not confident that he could do well. Michael was very intuitive and sensitive to our son's needs, strengths and weaknesses and really helped him gain the confidence he needed to feel comfortable and ready to take the SAT and improve his score. Michael was flexible with our son's demanding schedule and always found the time to be available to him. Our son's scores are a direct reflection of working with Michael. We highly recommend Michael to any student wanting to learn how to take this test and improve their scores!

   - Cathy, parent, Orinda 

I came to Michael with a tight college application time crunch, a pile of notes, and a dream of attending UCLA for Film and Television. He helped make that dream my reality! Michael helped me keep on track with requirements and deadlines, choose narratives that truly represent who I am, and edit them into concise yet powerful statements. Michael's expertise along with his calmness, confidence, flexibility, and friendliness truly got me through all of the stress. I seriously recommend his services if you are struggling with important applications! 

   - Roan, student, Oakland​

Michael tutored both my daughters for the ACT test. He expertly adapted his style and strategies to meet their individual needs.  He was encouraging and positive and knows his testing strategies and content very well. Michael genuinely enjoys working with young people and that comes across to them. I highly recommend him to any student who wants to improve their SAT or ACT scores. 

   - Ann, parent, Berkeley ​

Michael is the best ACT tutor out there! He is very patient and understating during his lessons. Each session with him helped my knowledge continuously grow. I highly recommend him to anyone!
   - Kate, student, Louisiana 

Michael Nugent prepared our daughter for the SAT.  He is very professional and provided timely and informative updates throughout the process.  My daughter's score dramatically improved, and I thank Michael for his insight and knowledge to help  our daughter navigate the SAT successfully.
   - Caroline, parent, Louisiana

It was such a pleasure working with you. Thanks again for being such a genuine and intelligent person!
   - Austin, student, California

It says a lot when your daughter’s ACT score significantly increasing isn’t the biggest takeaway from ACT tutoring.  Michael is a gifted teacher who goes the extra mile in building a relationship with your child in order to understand their individual learning style, personality, and motivators.  His approach addressed the holistic needs of my daughter, which inevitability led to her improved academic achievement, confidence in her learning capability, and ability to apply a customized learning style into her class work and college entrance exams. Employing Michael’s services not only opened many doors for my daughter but gave her the confidence to want to walk through them. 

   - Emily, parent, Louisiana​

Michael Nugent prepared my daughter for the ACT. He is responsive, organized, very knowledgeable and has an excellent “bedside manner.” Michael managed to thoroughly prepare my daughter while navigating her demanding high school course load and ballet schedule. He cultivated her strengths and addressed her weaknesses. Michael knew when to push forward and when to slow down. Her scores became consistent and her test day score was at the top of her range. I highly recommend collaborating with Michael Nugent. 

   - Adam, parent, Marin

Michael was thorough and comforting from the beginning of the process. He took the time to ensure, as the parent, I knew what to expect from him. He clarified what our goals were and worked with my daughter in all content areas. As I discussed sessions with my daughter, I knew not only did she feel comfortable working with Michael but her confidence and knowledge were also growing. 

   - Michelle, parent, Kentucky

It was a pleasure partnering with Michael during the ACT prep process. He provided regular updates and feedback on my daughter’s progress as well as suggestions on how she could improve her test taking skills. Communication was timely, professional and collaborative. Most importantly, my daughter really enjoyed working with Michael. Preparing for a standardized test can be tedious, and it’s usually the last thing a teen wants to do with her spare time. Michael kept my daughter engaged, creating an excellent learning environment that set her up for success, and increasing her scores.

   - Charles, parent, Orinda​

Working with Michael not only helped me improve my scores on the ACT but he also helped me through the crazy process of applying to colleges. I had no idea where to even start when it came to studying for the ACT, so I am thankful that I had my Zoom sessions with Michael to go through all the tips and strategies to get me through such a big test. The independent study plus repetition that he introduced was a great way to learn what I needed to succeed. When it comes to the process of applying to colleges, whether it was needed information, my personal statement, and/or financial aid, Michael was a huge help with it all. I do not think I would have gotten through all the craziness without the guidance and motivation that was provided. I am so thankful and I am going to Colorado College in the fall!

   - Blair, student, Minnesota

Michael is a fantastic tutor with a gift for engaging with students of all ages. He worked with our four year old son on learning his letters and reading. Not sure what powerful magic Michael used to get our 4 year old to stop squirming but it worked! Our son thought he was just playing and thus had a very positive experience while building academic skills. I can't recommend Michael more highly!

   - Kasia, parent, Berkeley

I really enjoyed working with Michael Nugent. He was very flexible and able to accommodate my schedule while teaching me a lot. In the end, he helped me to increase my ACT score and get into my top choice school, Washington University in St. Louis. Michael was not only a great coach in regards to the academics needed to have success in the test but also in how to combat the mental aspects.

   - Samantha, student, Marin​

Michael Nugent is a fantastic SAT tutor. I learned and perfected techniques to improve my reading/writing score and also how to approach a standardized test more efficiently. Michael eased my anxiety by training the way I time my testing skills and teaching me ways to improve my grammar capabilities. 

   - Bridget, student, Orinda​

Working with Michael was incredibly easy and beneficial - he is a great teacher! Because we don’t live in the same city, we used Zoom rather than schedule in-person sessions. Because Michael was able to provide help that was specific to me, I was able to work on what I needed to improve. Although the work to prepare for the ACT can be challenging, Michael helped to make it much less scary and I was able to walk in on the test day confident in my knowledge. Working with Michael helped me to qualify for the Honors College and for scholarships at the university that I plan to attend!

   - Ella, student, Kentucky​

Working with Michael was always super helpful! The classes were on zoom and he always found a way to make them more engaging and memorable. He helped me improve my SAT score by adapting to my study habits and giving me personal tips on what I could do during the test to remember certain things. I highly recommend him to anyone who might not know what study techniques work best for them!

   - Christine, student, Alamo

bottom of page