Our Expert Tutors and Consultants

Our expert private tutors

Our highly-educated and friendly tutors have all achieved full marks on the tests that they teach, and know them inside out.

All of our tutors:

  • Have achieved full marks on the tests they teach;
  • Are highly educated at top US or UK universities (many have PhDs);
  • Undergo extensive training in these tests;
  • Are passionate about their subjects and about teaching;
  • Know the application processes for schools and universities inside out;
  • Are fully DBS checked; and
  • Want you to do as well as possible.

Our tutors are selected not just for their experience and their knowledge of their subject areas but also for their communication and motivational skills. They’ve graduated from some of the best universities in the US and UK, and understand the American standardised tests inside out. They’re passionate about helping students to achieve their goals and know how to get them there through the right balance of challenge and support.

We only take on tutors who have a proven track record. Before starting work with us, tutors undergo extensive training in our teaching methodology. Our most experienced tutors have well over 1000 hours of standardised test experience.

Here is a selection of our tutors:

Jason Smith

Jason is the founder of UES and the curriculum lead for Mathematics and Science. He gained a First Class Master’s degree with Honours from The University of Nottingham, and went on to earn a PhD in Applied Mathematics. He then worked as a nuclear scientist for the European Commission. Jason is a keen sportsman, having competed internationally at Taekwondo. He also has a passion for travel, having visited much of the known (and little known) world, and published articles about his adventures.

Throughout this time, Jason has tutored privately to children studying for a range of exams including GCSE, IB, A-Level and university modules, but now focuses on the US entrance exams, namely the ACT, SAT, SAT II Subjects Tests in Maths and Physics, and GRE and GMAT. His approach is to give students a deep understanding of - and interest in - the fundamentals of maths. This approach has helped get students in to top colleges across the US, including Harvard, UPenn, Duke, and many more.

Jason teaches:

  • ACT Math and Science
  • SAT Math
  • SAT Subject Tests: Math L1, Math L2, Physics
  • GRE and GMAT: Quant and IR sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: all levels
Jason S UES

Simon Lewis

Simon is a director of UES Education and Head of Consultancy. He graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2003, and then trained as an English language teacher. Prior to working at UES, Simon also worked in business development for Working Links, a public-private partnership running Government contracts, and then set up a social enterprise offering career, financial, and housing advice in Kensington and Chelsea. He is also an accomplished cellist, and has toured extensively across the UK and Europe.

Simon has designed and delivered courses for a wide range of students from teenagers to postgraduates and professionals, and brings over ten years of teaching experience to UES. Simon has designed English courses and resources for the full spectrum of US standardised tests, and also teaches the maths and science components of the ACT, SAT, ISEE, and SSAT. His approach to teaching and to designing courses is to focus not only on what is taught, but also on how students learn, and to challenge and motivate students in a supportive, relaxed environment. His students have gone on to gain places at Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UPenn, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, University of Chicago, Duke, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and many more.

Simon teaches:

  • Head of Consultancy
  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: English Literature, Math Level 1
  • GRE and GMAT: Verbal and Writing sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: all levels
Simon L UES

Loni Reynolds

A US native, Loni was awarded an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, where she double majored in English and Psychology (2005).  She moved to London to study a Master's in Writing in the Modern Age at Queen Mary, University of London (2006). Her PhD was awarded from University of Roehampton (2011); her main area of study was American Literature and her thesis explored religion and spirituality in the work of the Beat Generation. In addition to tutoring, she is an active academic. She has articles published in leading academic journals; she serves as associate editor of Culture and Dialogue and presents her work at UK and international conferences. Loni is passionate about reading and writing fiction, and her short stories have appeared in US and UK journals.

Loni R UES

Loni has several years' experience teaching introductory and American literature courses at the University Roehampton, as well as many years' experience teaching the English, Reading, and Writing sections of the ACT, SAT, SAT II Literature Subject Test, SSAT, and ISEE. She is also experienced at teaching graduate-level exams like the UKCAT, GRE and GMAT, as well as providing assistance with English coursework. She has worked with students in one-on-one and school settings, as well as intensive courses, and has taught students from age nine to early twenties. With her academic and editorial experience, she has expertise in teaching writing and has a great track record of improving her students’ essay scores.

Alongside tutoring, Loni also provides application support for the US and UK admissions process, including such aspects as the Common App and supplementary essays, Personal Statements, and choosing colleges and universities. In addition to supporting students privately, Loni also works on-site at Charterhouse as US Applications Advisor, overseeing students' applications to a range of highly competitive American colleges. 
Loni assists students in using the Common Application, Coalition Application, University of California, and university-specific portals; provides students with advice on their college lists, essays, extracurriculars, standardised testing plans, and overall strength of application; reviews applications before submission; works to resolve any unique issues that arise; and supports teachers and counselors in American-style reference writing. 

Loni teaches:

  • ACT: English, Reading, and Writing sections
  • SAT: English, Reading, and Writing sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: English Literature
  • GRE and GMAT: Verbal and Writing sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: English at all levels
  • US College Essay Guidance
  • US College Choice Support
  • UK Personal Statement Guidance

Laurence Varda

Though born in Leicester, Laurence grew up in Palo Alto, California, in the heart of the tech world. He earned his BSc in Pure Mathematics at the University of California, San Diego, and went on to do his MA in Professional Acting at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. In addition to tutoring, Laurence is an actor, and has toured nationally and internationally with Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory. He is passionate about theatre, cooking, and kick-boxing.

Laurence firmly believes that the key to a student’s success is in their developing a strong understanding of material, rather than their learning exclusively how to implement it. He is greatly motivated by his own experience in education, and understands how valuable it is for students to experience successes in their study that allow them to develop positive associations with the subjects they are covering. Having taught and studied in both the US and UK, Laurence has a deep understanding of the differences in approach, curriculum, and grammar between the two countries and so is able to    He has tutored both in test prep, and as a supplement to classroom education. At UES, Laurence tutors all sections of the ACT, SAT, ISEE and SSAT, as well as both levels of the SAT Math Subject Tests.

Laurence teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: Math Level 1, Math Level 2
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
Laurence V UES

Martine Gagnon

Martine received her BA in Spanish Literature and her MA in Translation Studies from Concordia University in Montreal. She is currently pursuing a part-time PhD in Spanish Translation History at University College London where her research focuses on early modern English translations of Spanish Golden Age literature. She continues to be active in the field of translation as a commercial and literary translator as well as a post-graduate teaching assistant at UCL; her translations of short-stories have been published in Canadian literary anthologies and she presents her research at academic conferences both in Europe and North America. She is passionate about visual arts and has worked as an event and guest coordinator and interpreter at film festivals in the UK and Spain, as well as contributing subtitles for ongoing film projects, both commercial and artistic. Martine has tutored for as long as she can remember, and has been working professionally with standardised tests since 2010. She covers exams and subjects ranging from maths to modern languages to photography. She also assists students with their US and UK university applications, helping past students receive acceptances to such universities as Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Oxford, and Cambridge amongst many others.

Martine teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: English Literature, World History, French, and Spanish
  • GRE and GMAT: Verbal and Writing sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
  • UKCAT: all sections
  • US College Essay Guidance
  • US College Choice Support
  • UK University Essay and Personal Statement Guidance
Martine G UES

Ross McElwain

After doing a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature at Cambridge University, Ross moved to Berlin, where he worked variously as a DJ, barman and translator of French, German and English. He returned to London in 2006 to complete a Masters in Research on Samuel Beckett, which is also when he began tutoring. Alongside tutoring, Ross has directed short films and music videos for major record labels. As a screenwriter, he has been commissioned by production companies in Europe, London and Los Angeles.

A generalist who is as comfortable with maths and science as he is with languages, Ross initially covered GCSEs and A levels and then moved on to offer assistance in the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, SSAT, ISEE and American university applications. In recent years he has developed a specialisation in assisting students who have additional challenges to face, including autistic spectrum diagnoses, depression and anxiety disorders. As well as teaching one to one, Ross has taught at schools including Bedales, Latymer Upper and Eton. His students have successfully gained places at universities including Harvard, Georgetown, UPenn, Cornell, NYU and Columbia. Ross recognises that doing well on the exams he teaches is often very much to do with building confidence, and developing from there a firm foundation of sound knowledge; he also likes to emphasise how the skills learned in standardized exams can be of enormous use later in life, both in terms of analysing complex situations and learning new things in a systematic way.

Ross teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: English Literature, Latin, German, Physics, and Math
  • GRE and GMAT: Verbal and Writing sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
  • US College Essay Guidance
  • US College Choice Support
  • Oxbridge Entrance Guidance
Ross M UES

Isa Rakel

Isa graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. Brought up between Finland and London, she has first hand experience of the intricacies involved in applying to the US as a non-American.


Isa started teaching at 18, tutoring at a women’s literacy camp in Rajasthan and leading performing arts workshops for orphans of the Kosovan conflict, at a Youth Education Centre in Gjakova. Since then, she’s worked with adults and children from diverse backgrounds, as well as students with various disabilities. She takes a holistic approach to teaching, understanding that success depends not only on a student’s knowledge, but their approach to learning, confidence, and a balance between their academic pursuits and other interests.

As well as a tutor, Isa is a performance artist and writer. She began her studies at Central St. Martins before pursuing a degree at Columbia, where she was drawn to the rigorous core curriculum and the opportunity to further herself academically as well as artistically.

Isa teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: English Literature
  • GRE and GMAT: Verbal and Writing sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
  • US College Essay Guidance

Bassam Beidas

Originally from Lebanon, Bassam earned a full-ride tennis scholarship to Pepperdine University in California, where he earned a BSc in Business Administration. After reaching the top 500 in the professional tennis world rankings, he founded a thriving start-up in Beirut that later brought him to London.

Bassam B UES

Having amassed over 500+ hours of US standardised tutoring, Bassam has honed his teaching abilities to work with students of all levels. He places a heavy emphasis on understanding how the test-writers think and getting his students to identify the traps that are waiting for them. He also leverages lessons learned from his time as an athlete, working with his students to improve their diet, sleep, and more in order to bring out peak performance on test day. Bassam has worked with students from many of the top schools in London such as Eton, Harrow, American School in London, and Brighton College.

In London, Bassam successfully gained entry to the London Business School for his MBA. Bassam’s journey to business school required him to master the GMAT, which further honed his skills in mathematics and English. Bassam used his own teaching methods for the SAT and ACT to help inform his own GMAT studies. Bassam channels his recent test prep into his teaching, as he understands first-hand the pressures of standardised tests such as the SAT and ACT. In the process, Bassam developed the belief that anyone can conquer a standardised test if they are willing to work hard and try different methods.

Bassam teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: Math L1 and L2
  • GRE and GMAT: all sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
  • US College Essay Guidance
  • Testing advice and support

Olivia Munk

Olivia grew up in Queens, New York and attended Harvard University in 2012. She graduated Cum Laude in 2016 with a degree in English and a minor in Mind/Brain/Behavior. At Harvard, she was an active theatre director and wrote for The Crimson's magazine, Fifteen Minutes,  for which she served as Editor-at-Large. She blogged for Harvard's Office for the Arts, and was a Becky Greenwald Ledecky Fellow for Harvard Magazine, which allowed her to write columns, news articles, and personal dispatches. After graduating, she went on to pursue a Master of Studies in English (1900-present) at St. Catherine's College, Oxford. She was awarded a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa in order to found her theatre company, Part of the Main, which focuses on improving the representation of women creatives and women's stories in the professional theatre industry.

At UES Olivia specializes in assisting students with both the Maths and English sides of the SAT and the ACT, as well as the SAT Subject Tests. Olivia approaches tuition is a friendly manner, taking special consideration of a student's comfort. Olivia believes that when students feel supported in lessons, they are able to better engage and take an active role in their studies. Olivia excels at making the content approachable, particularly for students who may feel intimidated by the harder maths concepts such as algebra or complex American grammar concepts.

As well as tuition, Olivia also provides application support for personal statements, essays, and college choice. 

Olivia teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: English Literature
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
  • US College Essay Guidance
  • US College Choice Support
Olivia M UES

Matt Lukacs

After graduating from the University of York with a degree in Theoretical Physics, Matt joined the accountancy firm KPMG to begin a career in finance. Having a change of heart, he then decided to study for his PhD in nuclear fusion at Imperial College, investigating the safety analysis of commercial fusion power stations.

Matt headed various seminars during his time at university and volunteered to help younger students tackle set problems. Since then, he has amassed hundreds of hours of tuition covering a wide range of exams from GCSE English to university physics. He now specialises in US standardised tests and has experience leading courses covering all sections of the SAT and ACT at top schools including Charterhouse, Southbank, King's Canterbury, Ardingly, and Bradfield College.

Matt is a firm believer that anyone can solve complex problems if they’re explained in the right way. His passion for the subjects he teaches can be seen in his approach to lessons, not simply repeating facts but allowing a deeper understanding and enjoyment of the subject at hand. As Matt has vast experience teaching the entirety of the SAT and ACT, he's able to help students apply their strengths in one section or another to the areas they struggle with most.

Matt teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: Math L1/L2 and Physics
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
Matt L UES

Maria Mateen

Before earning her BA in Psychology and BSc in Mathematics at Stanford University, Maria had first-hand experience of a wide variety of school systems as she moved between Bangladesh, England, Brazil and finally Singapore where she completed the International Baccalaureate program. Maria is now furthering her study of psychology, working toward a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at UCL. She has also published research in academic journals on the area of emotion and emotion regulation as well as the impact of anxiety on memory. While Maria believes that helping students understand material is crucial to their success, she also puts emphasis on building their confidence in their mathematical and test-taking abilities. This involves showing them how concepts work, helping them understand how to use these concepts in different contexts and learning the particular strategies and techniques necessary to succeed on a particular test. Maria also prioritises putting students at ease, adapting to their learning style and helping them feel in control of their own success. She has tutored for over a decade, both in a test prep setting and as a supplement to classroom education. At UES, Maria specialises in preparing students for the quantitative sections of the ACT, SAT, ISEE, SSAT and GRE.

Maria teaches:

  • ACT: Math and Science sections
  • SAT: Math sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: Math L1 and L2
  • GRE: Quant sections
  • ISEE and SSAT: Quant and Math sections at all levels
  • Debating
Maria M UES

Ryan Denny

After graduating from the University of York with a degree in Mathematics & Physics, Ryan worked for Applied intelligence, the technology consulting arm of BAE Systems. Following this, he returned to academia to begin his PhD at Imperial College, with his research focusing on modelling arterial haemodynamics with a view towards developing a non-invasive method for the diagnosis of heart failure.

Ryan is passionate about education, and has several years’ of experience in tutoring exams in a range of exams covering English grammar to university mathematics. He now focuses on the US entrance exams and, in addition to hundreds of hours or private tuition, has led courses in all sections of the SAT and ACT.

Ryan does not believe in a one-size-fits-all tutoring approach as every student is different; as such, he tailors his lessons to suit the individual needs of the learner. While he adapts his method of teaching, his overarching goals stay constant: to help a student develop both a comprehensive subject knowledge and the confidence to tackle problems independently.

Outside of tutoring Ryan’s main interest is sport, and he plays both squash and football regularly.

Ryan teaches:

  • ACT: all sections
  • SAT: all sections
  • SAT Subject Tests: Math L1/L2 and Physics
  • ISEE and SSAT: all sections and levels
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To find out more about the above tutors or any of our (many) others, or to ask us any other questions, please feel free to contact us .

Ryan D UES

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