“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

“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

“Choosing Denise as a tutor at the beginning of high school was the best decision my parents and I ever made. When I began working with her, my writing skills were below average. Denise helped me achieve A grades in English (and in History), including in AS and AP classes. When time came to prepare for the ACT, she was very patient, letting me know that I would overcome every obstacle and succeed. As a result of her intense preparation, I was able to reach a very high ACT score and a perfect score on the essay. Denise also helped me write great college admission essays. I am happy to report that I applied to over 15 schools and was accepted by 10 of them. It was really hard to choose between the University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, and UCLA. Without Denise Boulange, I know that I would not have had such successful college application results. Thank you so much for your time and efforts. We made it!”

Darren Lo, Millbrae

“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

“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 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.”

Anne Okada

“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

“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  

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“Denise tutored our daughter for the SAT and helped 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 again when our daughter prepares for her SAT subject tests and when our son takes his SAT.”

Mary Okada, San Mateo

“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 extent 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

“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.”

Emma Heffernan


Get in touch any time to ask questions or to set up a free consultation boulange@alumni.stanford.edu