“My son was entering his senior year of high school and had one last chance to take the SAT exams before college applications deadlines. He took his first SAT exams at the end of his Junior year but did not get the high scores in Reading and Writing that he needed in order to apply for the very competitive colleges that he wished to attend. My son has always struggled in his English classes. We were referred to Denise by a friend whose son had a great experience with her. When we first met Denise, she reviewed my son’s previous SAT results, laid out a detailed plan and told him that she would help him reach his goals if he followed her plan and worked hard. After working with her over the Summer, my son took his last SAT exam in October. We are thrilled to report that he scored in the national 96 percentile in Reading and the 98 percentile in Writing. We were extremely pleased and relieved. With Denise’s help, he now has many more opportunities in terms of college choices. His grammar, writing skills and English grades have all improved. Denise also provided excellent guidance and critique for the Common App and other college essays. If you have a student who needs help with SAT Reading or Writing and college essays, I would highly recommend Denise. She’s the best!”
Nancy Wong, San Mateo
“Denise has been absolutely instrumental to my development as a writer. I came to her for help with SAT Reading and Writing and she helped me increase my score in both sections by nearly 100 hundred points. I scored a 2320, with a 780 in Critical Reading and 800 in writing. I continued to go to Denise as I became a more passionate writer and she helped me perfect my fiction and nonfiction writing. If I hadn’t gone to her, I know that my passion for writing would not have reached the height that it is at now. Writing has grown to be a huge part of my life–I have been published in journals and have attended prestigious workshops–and I have Denise to thank for helping me on my journey. With her help, I am able to attend one of my dream schools, University of Pennsylvania, in the fall! Thank you for everything!!”
Nikita Bastin, Fremont
“Denise has had a huge positive impact on my college applications and SAT/ACT preparation. I am very grateful for picking Denise as my tutor. During my SAT and ACT preparation, she has been an amazing guide and supporter, teaching me the tips and skills to have. She not only knows the skills, but also how to teach them to a student who struggled with the grammar section of the SAT and ACT for a while. Denise’s personality adds to the wonderful experience, as she is extremely passionate and down to earth. When I had to write my personal statements for college, Denise was a solid supporter and a great mentor to talk to about the creation of these essays. Her knowledge and perspective helped mold my essays to what they became. I am very fortunate to have had such a great mentor over my high school years. I strongly recommend Denise to anyone who needs support in English, and also to anyone who wants to strive academically.”
Maximilian Chen, Foster City
“Denise has been a great help to my son, Nicholas. She helped him increase his SAT score by 350 points and maintain A grades in his AS and AP English classes. She was especially helpful to him with writing his college admission essays. It was quite a struggle for him to find what to write about. Denise patiently asked about various topics. After some weeks of discussion and sample essay writing, they were able to produce excellent admission essays, that got him accepted to three top UC colleges. We cannot thank Denise enough for her dedication and skill.”
Yvonne Tsui, Belmont
“Ms. Denise was a terrific teacher who helped me immensely during the college application process. Her time management skills were specially useful when planning out when I was to write out each essay, depending on the deadline for each respective college. She was able to break down my writing, identify flaws, and was crystal clear when instructing me on what to fix. She is also very approachable and I felt comfortable discussing material and asking questions. With her guidance, I was able to successfully apply to sixteen schools, and subsequently got into 8 of them, including UCSB, SCU, and UC Berkeley. I would strongly recommend Ms. Denise to any student who is looking for help on his or her college essays.”
Jim M., Redwood City
“College admission season went well for me; I had a lot of options to choose from and was accepted into some of my most-liked schools. I ended up committing to Carnegie Mellon for a special interdisciplinary program in the School of Design and School of Humanities. I think you had more confidence in me than I did in myself. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for each meeting, whether it was for english essays, ACT practice, or college applications. You were always kind, encouraging, and prodded me to spill my thought out in the open for better essay drafting. Your bluntness and wisdom was something I never knew I needed, but appreciated it nonetheless. Learning under you was a unique and stimulating experience, and I wouldn’t pass up that opportunity for anything in the world. If it wasn’t for you, I think a lot of my application essays, if not all of them, would have lost their zest. With every meeting, I started thinking more deeply about who I was as a person. I really believe that you do an incredible job of bringing out the potential your students. Once again, thank you so much for all you’ve done.”
Shanon Lin, Palo Alto
“Denise tutored our daughter for the SAT and helped her raise her total score by more than 300 points. The concepts she taught our daughter also improved her school work. Denise provides multiple free SAT practice tests prior to the actual exam. This was invaluable because our daughter was able to develop the mental and physical stamina to endure the actual three-hour test. Denise is very pleasant and professional and we would definitely want to work with her gain when our daughTer prepares for her SAT subject tests and when our son takes his SAT.”
Mary Okada, San Mateo
“Both my children, ages 13 and 11, have been tutored together by Denise for the past 8 months. She is very good at identifying my children’s levels and at gearing her lesson plans to fit their respective needs. I notice the ease and confidence which they now exhibit in their writing. They have incorporated a larger vocabulary and new writing tools. Denise is a very kind, friendly and dedicated teacher whom my kids enjoy and truly respect.”
Amy Phung, Burlingame
“Ms. Denise was a terrific teacher who helped me immensely during the college application process. Her time management skills were especially useful when planning out when I was to write out each essay, depending on the deadline for each respective college. She was able to break down my writing, identify flaws, and was crystal clear when instructing me on what to fix. She is also very approachable and I felt comfortable discussing material and asking questions. With her guidance, I was able to successfully apply to sixteen schools, and subsequently got into 8 of them, including UCSB, SCU, and UC Berkeley. I would strongly recommend Ms. Denise to any student who is looking for help on his or her college essays.”
Liam Jocson, San Mateo
“Denise, thank you so much for your help with the SAT. On my October test, I received a 770 in Writing. I followed the format you taught me and dramatically increased my score. I recently received admission to U.C. Berkeley, College of Engineering! I could not have gotten in without your help!”
Johnathan, San Mateo
“All my immediate family and friends have been tutored by Denise in one way or another. She’s the best English tutor around. I can’t recommend her highly enough. Everyone I know is pleased with their results. She not only helped my daughter get As in English but also taught her great SAT skills and essay writing skills that will help her in years to come. My daughter considers Denise as one of her best friends to visit and looks forward to going to each session. She connects mentally with Denise. It is a blessing that we found her! My son started out tutoring with Denise 5 years ago, now he is a USC.”
Candace Liu, San Carlos
“Working with Denise has genuinely had a profound impact on the way in which I view writing, literature, and rhetoric. I started my lessons with her before my freshman year of high school; since I had already had an interest in literature, we analyzed such works as Plato’s Republic, many of Shakespeare’s major tragedies, and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. With Denise’s help, I was able to understand and meaningfully study these difficult works. I wrote many essays which helped to further cement my understanding of the works, and gave me invaluable practice in succinctly and simply discussing complex ideas and concepts.
“In my sophomore year of high school, I was awarded the unofficial (yet nonetheless significant) accolade of being, “the only excellent writer in Chemistry Honors” by a teacher who holds his students to notoriously high standards of excellency. Throughout the year, my written lab reports, in which I was to concisely discuss the results and outcomes of complicated chemistry experiments, only received scores of under 100% on two occasions (out of over 10 labs).
“Before the beginning of my junior year of high school, Denise and I shifted our focus on helping me prepare for standardized tests. Under her supervision, I took a diagnostic test for both the ACT and SAT, and found that my testing style is better suited for the former. We spent many lessons ironing out grammatical rules, comma usage, and writing tips for the ACT essay. With her help, I was able to get a 34 composite score (99.3rd percentile), a 36 in reading (a perfect score), and a 9 on the essay (93rd percentile).
“As I worked with Denise, I grew hugely both as a person and as a student. I deepened my love for reading, developed an insatiable intellectual curiosity, and, of course, did fairly well on standardized tests. None of this growth would have happened without the guidance of Denise, for which I am enormously grateful.”
Charlie, Palo Alto
“After having been tutored by Denise for 3 years, I can confidently say that she has not only made me a tremendously better writer than I was before, but has also made me genuinely love writing. I came to her requesting help for the critical reading and writing portions of the SAT because she had helped my brother increase his SAT score by 150 points in the past. After just a month and a half of preparation, I augmented my writing score from a 690 to an 800. Denise would have me do practice grammar tests that would take fifteen minutes during out tutoring session, and she was very generous with making up this time at the end of our lessons. She also offered her home free of charge as an SAT practice test center on Saturdays. As a result, I took two full practice SATs in the weeks leading up to my SAT, which was probably one of the most beneficial forms of test prep because it precisely simulated a testing environment.
“The grammar skills and rules I memorized for the SAT ended up being very useful to me in AP English and AP Literature. Occasionally, I would bring my school-assigned essays to Denise for editing, and continued to do so because I appreciated her editing style; she let me maintain and develop my own ideas without being overbearing, but provided stylistic tips that I now use in my writing today. I ended up getting an A on every single AP English essay, and I definitely think Denise’s guidance pushed me in that direction. Ultimately, since I spent so much time studying English outside of school with Denise, it is now one of my favorite subjects. I plan to pursue English as a minor next year at Stanford University, and I am very thankful to Denise for having helped me on every single one of my college essays!”
Margot Bellon, San Mateo
“Denise is a kind and spirited tutor who pushed me to do my best. She is the best tutor I have ever worked with because she is patient and really cares about her students. When I studied for the SAT with her, I was scoring around 1450. After studying with her for half a year, I took the January SAT and scored 2020, a 570 point increase. With her guidance, I was able to achieve more than what I thought I could. I am so blessed to have met her as I would not be where I am now without her.”
Wilford Lee, Los Altos
“Denise helped me craft my college essays in a way that no counselor or academic adviser can. She has a unique mindset of looking at the college essays as one combined portfolio, rather than several separate questions, and she helped me integrate topics that I am passionate about into each essay. Throughout the entire college application process, her expertise and supportive personality lowered my stress and helped me maintain focus and motivation. Because of Denise, I have received a variety of congratulations for being accepted to Yale, the college of my choice.”
Justin Chan, Hillsborough
“Denise tutored me this past year and her teaching not only dramatically increased my test scores, but also improved my overall writing. The skills she taught me have helped me in school (especially with timed writing assignments and on the AP tests) and I know I will continue to benefit from the skills I developed under Denise even after I go to college. She is a patient and caring teacher and I highly recommend her.”
“Choosing Denise as my English instructor was one of the smartest decisions I’ve made. Her positive attitude and readiness to work any time always impressed me. My collaboration with Denise started with improving my ACT test results. As an immigrant, I had never taken any kind of standardized tests, and my first ACT test was way below average. For two months, Denise helped me significantly increase my score. She also has assisted me in all kinds of writing activities, especially my community college essays. She not only carefully examined my sentence structures, but her high professionalism and in-depth knowledge of classic and scientific literature helped me avoid many inaccuracies. During these lessons, Denise helped me crucially improve my grammar as well as develop skills in critical writing. Nevertheless, my favorite part of being Denise’s student was searching for topics and composing university transfer admission essays because I enjoyed so much our productive teamwork. She always highlighted my ideas and could organize them to make essays stronger as well as more interesting. Denise also guided me in the research areas that were necessary for successful completion of these essays. This research even helped me to figure out what I was trying to determine for years—my future career. I am grateful to Denise for this exploration because she persuaded me to always dig deeper into knowledge. I miss so much Denise’s lessons and her good-natured personality, and I cannot imagine who else could do that amount of highly professional and quality work that Denise did for eight months with me!”
Anna Ivannikova, San Francisco
“After having tried several writing tutors who were not helpful, I found Denise. At the time, I was taking credits at San Mateo Community College in order to transfer to a four year university. But I struggled with essay writing. Denise was warm and encouraging. She made me feel capable from the start, which helped me to progress. As a result of her teaching and support my grades increased from Cs to As. The skills I learned from Denise helped me be accepted at a university, where I am pursuing my dream of owning my own accounting business. Right now, she continues to provide guidance for my university writing. Denise thank you for your dedication!”
Maria Flores, San Mateo
“My daughter has been seeing Denise for the last two years. When she started, her writing was at a remedial level. She has been working with Denise on basic writing skills, reading comprehension, and standardized test prep. After working with Denise for 4 months, my daughter perfected the vocabulary section of the Upper Level ISEE and was only 3 questions away from perfecting the reading comprehension section. At her current private high school, she has received straight A+’s in her advanced Literature class. Denise is a highly qualified and nurturing instructor. I am very grateful for everything Denise has been doing for my daughter.”
Parent of a high school student
“Denise has helped me enormously with her tutoring for the SAT. Her kindness and patience coupled with her deep knowledge of her subject matter created an excellent environment for learning. With her help, I was able to understand all the complicated problems I previously had no idea how to deal with. She also aided me in developing an essay style that I could, despite my relatively slow writing speed, brainstorm and write fast enough for the test. I definitely attribute my 770 reading and 750 writing scores on the SAT to my time with her.”
Jason Yang, San Mateo
“After leaving the Air Force in 2013, I discovered that I was ill-prepared to write at a college level. To make matters worse, It would take me a long time to even start putting words on paper. In less than two years, I went from not being able to write to writing A+ papers. One of my teachers even asked me to help some of the other students in my class. I could not have advanced as much as I did without Denise’s help. For this, I am grateful.”
Sean McGinnis, Burlingame
“Through her in-depth knowledge of the test content and her astute evaluation of my daughter’s prior SAT performance, Denise was able to coach my daughter to a 250 point increase in her Writing and Reading SAT scores in just two months of twice weekly tutoring. Denise is focused, yet personable and friendly, and was able to build on my daughter’s strengths and provide a structure for her to refine her writing skills.”
Cary Vaughan, San Mateo
“In the past three years I have been going to Denise Boulange for English tutoring. Not only have my reading and writing skills improved, my love for reading and writing has increased dramatically. She has a wonderful personality and a sheer love and passion for the language. She has continued to be the best teacher that I have, constantly motivating me to keep on challenging myself. I would highly recommend her to anyone that aspires to excel in reading and writing . Thank you Mrs. Boulange!”
Mimi Majumder, Foster City
“Mrs. Boulange has been tutoring my 9th grader for the last three years. She has an incredible patience and passion for the language, a signature for an outstanding teacher. She delves with the nuances of the language and has the ability to constantly motivate my daughter in a very positive way to bring out her best. Her calm demeanor certainly helps my daughter to interact with her in a positive and engaging way to the extend that my daughter’s love for advanced literature and critical understanding has exceeded my expectations significantly. I strongly recommend her to anyone who wants to excel in their academic endeavor.”
Sudip Majumder, Foster City
“Denise Boulange raised my daughter’s critical reading SAT score from 560 to 740 and her writing SAT score from 490 to 750 in a matter of months. Impressive results! Needless to say I was very pleased as was my daughter. Thanks to Denise, my daughter will be able to gain admittance to the college of her choice.”
Marisa McGinnis, Burlingame
“We have been very fortunate to have Denise as our son’s English Tutor. Denise not only has many years of experience as an English teacher but also has the right teaching technique. She is very patient with her students and has a calm and pleasing demeanor. She creates an environment which facilitates learning and allows students to focus and concentrate on their studies. My son has made tremendous progress under her guidance and has been enjoying attending his sessions with her.”
Anil Khilani, San Mateo
“I still remember the first time I met with Denise and how worried I was about my writing ability. Without Denise’s expertise in writing, I would have never reached my full potential or realized the fun of voicing my words through pen and paper. Over the last two years, Denise has motivated, supported and guided me towards writing proficiency. She is the most amazing teacher I have ever had. I feel so blessed to have met her because she has transformed my writing ability, which will be an essential part of my success in the future.”
Sandra Shu, Burlingame
“My son and my daughter love to come to Denise’s lessons. She is very patient and pleasant to work with. Denise not only assists with my children’s schoolwork, but she also strengthens their vocabulary and grammar. These basic skills have helped to greatly improve my children’s writing. Denise is also good at teaching literature analysis. She is able to clearly explain and break down difficult concepts for my children to understand. I am very happy about my kids’ progress in English and would definitely recommend Denise as a tutor.”
Yining Tung, Hillsborough
“As someone applying for a graduate program in a new field, my personal statement was arguably the most important component of my university applications. Denise was pivotal in helping me articulate my vision and goals in a cohesive and convincing manner. She is highly knowledgeable in regards to what specific programs are looking for in an applicant. With Denise’s help, I was able to write a focused and concise statement of purpose that accurately and creatively outlined my goals for the future. I am thrilled to have been accepted into my top choice, and can’t thank Denise enough — her experience and expertise proved invaluable in this process. I highly recommend Denise Boulange to anyone looking to create a top-notch college essay.”
“Very focused, resourceful and precise! ‘Incredible to work with’ said our child.. who’s in high school and going through the college process! Denise is definitely helping our student express his thoughts and opinions eloquently and get to that next level of proficiency. For self driven kids such as ours, Denise is perfect in guiding, molding, and polishing their expression in the form of writing or test prep (sat/act/..)”
“When my daughter was in fifth grade, we were looking for an English tutor to help her improve her writing and reading abilities. Over the past seven years, Denise has helped our daughter immensely. All throughout middle school and high school, including in her AP English classes, she has managed to keep an A. Denise has been absolutely essential to her growth as a writer and reader. She also helped develop an immense love for writing and literature in our daughter, which wasn’t there until she started coming to Denise.
“Throughout sophomore year and the first half of junior year, Denise started to work on SAT prep with our daughter, giving her practice tests and materials to help her get a handle of the English and essay sections. She was extremely thorough in helping her prepare for this section, doing as much preparation as she found necessary. After timed full length practice tests, Denise would sit with my daughter and go through every mistake in the writing and reading section in detail and explain how to avoid making that same mistake next time. Due to Denise’s instruction, she was able to achieve a 1550 on the SAT on her first try with a 750 on the English section.
“As senior year approached, Denise started to work with our daughter on college essays. She spent two and a half months with multiple sessions per week helping her brainstorm ideas and write and refine her common application essay as well as the essays for the UC application.
“She also helped her write many supplemental essays, including the “why this school” essays that students commonly struggle with. Throughout the entire college application process, Denise consistently highlighted my daughters ideas, gave suggestions as to how best convey and organize her thoughts, and how to tell one main story throughout every essay that uniquely highlights who my daughter is and what she is passionate about. Due in great part to Denise’s help not only over the past two years but over the past seven years, my daughter was accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, USC, NYU and Dartmouth, as well as waitlisted at Northwestern, U Chicago, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins.
“Denise has not only been a phenomenal tutor, but also a true friend, encouraging and supporting my daughter’s educational journey since 2013. Choosing her as my daughters English tutor was truly one of the best decisions my family has ever made. Much of the success that my daughter has had throughout high school and throughout the past seven years is directly due to Denise, and we will never be able to thank her enough.
I couldn’t recommend her strongly enough.”
“I worked with Denise on some of my English and college essays as well as some SAT prep. Every time I would leave her house energized by our conversations; it’s clear that she’s extremely passionate and knowledgeable. When it came to writing college essays, I was very much in my head, and she worked hard to help me break my discomfort and finally get me in a place where I could write honestly without feeling external pressure. I will be entering CalTech in the fall. Her patience, intelligence and organization make her a great teacher that I have previously and will continue to highly recommend to friends.”
Adishree G, San Jose
“We were looking for a tutor to help our son on the English section of the SAT, and Denise exceeded all expectations from both a parent and student perspective. We had an initial consultation where Denise sat down with my son and I, and discussed my son’s objectives, her approach to teaching, and the path/timeline to the test. On top of the weekly lessons, Denise also provided practice tests onsite for even more preparation, and then a review of the questions/answers. Throughout the whole process, I had multiple questions about the SAT testing, and Denise was responsive and clear in her communication, so she was able to put me at ease. A few times I had to reschedule my son’s lesson due to conflicts, and Denise was very accommodating. Most importantly, my son thoroughly enjoyed his lessons with Denise, and improved his English score because of her guidance and learning techniques. Denise is an amazing instructor, and I highly recommend her. We will use Denise again for when my daughter needs to prep for the SAT.”
Helen C, San Mateo
“Denise helped me both with SAT prep and college essay writing during my junior and senior years of high school. Though I was a bit late to the game and only had a few SAT prep sessions with her before I decided to take my SAT, we spent the time focusing on what I struggled with. I have no doubt that the tips she taught me in a short amount of time helped tremendously on the exam. Likewise, I was having trouble starting my personal statements for college because I didn’t know what admissions officers were looking for. Denise helped me analyze the prompts and brainstorm ideas for what I could write about. Though she tailors these sessions to the individual needs of the student, I personally wrote my essays and she helped me revise and perfect them without losing my voice. I am happy to say I will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall and have nothing but gratitude for Denise and her expertise. Highly recommend.”
“Ms. Denise is an excellent and very qualified tutor with impressive credential. She started tutoring my son since Middle School and now he is a freshman in High School with A+ in his English class and scored the highest possible points in the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). We attribute his success thus far to Ms Denise’ comprehensive teaching which promoted critical thinking and writing. I see a huge improvement and confidence in his writing. My wife and I are very pleased with Ms Denise’s teaching and on top of that she is very accommodating and a very wonderful person to get along. We highly recommend her to anyone who is looking to excel in writing and SAT preparation.”
Raymond Lou, Burlingame
“Denise helped my son with college essay. Her editing expertise was very helpful. She gave my son a lot of guidance and helped him brainstorming to pick the best college essay prompt to write on and gave him constructive advice.
“Denise was very supportive and encouraging and gave invaluable insight regarding the college admission process.
“Denise is very patient and knowledgeable and I was very fortunate to find her.
“Denise tutored my daughter for the ACT. Before we started her first lesson, Denise gave her a free hybrid test to see if the ACT or SAT would be better suited for her. My daughter preferred the ACT. We began lessons with Denise in August meeting once a week for 1 hour and my daughter took her first ACT test in February. To our surprise my daughter scored 35 out of 36 on the English test! This was a huge improvement from her score on the practice test. Denise did such a thorough job tutoring my daughter that she was well prepared for the test and no longer needed lessons. My daughter then took the ACT again in June and scored 34 out of 36 on the Reading section. Denise also gave her great tips on how to read the science section. My daughter scored 32 in science and said that Denise’s tip really helped. I knew my daughter was in good hands because Denise helped my oldest son prepare for the SAT back in 2013. He scored over 2200 in the old SAT which was a huge improvement and just recently graduated from UC San Diego with a Chemical Engineering degree. Thank you Denise for helping students make their dreams come true! I highly recommend Denise for english tutoring or test prep.”
Nancy Wong, San Mateo