When I worked with Ariel, I knew that every Tuesday I had more to look forward to than just help with my schoolwork. Ariel was there to discuss book recommendations, interesting current events, the latest television show, or anything and everything else. From my sessions with Ariel, I became a stronger writer, more analytical thinker, and a more worldly person. After working with Ariel throughout high school for tutoring in my classes, we then turned towards standardized testing. Ariel knew exactly what methods would work best for me; she was not simply a drill sergeant and did not believe in a one-size fits all approach. After working with Ariel for a few months, I earned a score on my SAT that was beyond my goal score, my first time taking the test; I had improved over 200 points from my initial baseline score. When it came time for college essays, Ariel was able to help me skillfully refine my ideas and eloquently portray them in my seemingly endless essays and supplements. With her help, I received admission to my early decision school of Vanderbilt University. Ariel was an incredible asset throughout my high school experience, and now she is an incredible friend and mentor to have as I enter college and beyond.
— Sarah, Dwight-Englewood School, Class of 2018
Ariel has been the best teacher that I have ever had. She started out as my ACT tutor, ultimately taking me from a 29 baseline score to a 35. We didn’t simply do practice test after practice test as many test prep places generally do. Instead, she taught me specific strategies to deal with the test’s various sections, and after implementing them, I was able to finish on time and I did noticeably better. Beyond her amazing results, she is just an awesome person who genuinely makes standardized testing fun. Whether you need last minute help with an English essay, are confused about a certain question, or want to discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones, Ariel is the ideal tutor and friend. After my ACT, she helped me with the seemingly impossible college process. As a first generation college student, her help was invaluable as she taught me how to write a good supplement, phrase my extracurriculars, and pick schools to apply to. I am currently deciding between Northwestern, Georgetown, and Tufts, and I could never be in this position without Ariel.
— Michael, Scarsdale High School, Class of 2016
Before I started working with you, I was clueless on how to study, write essays, and even read and understand documents. While tutoring me, you make things extremely easy to understand by putting them in modern day language. Besides making Constructing America- as well as my 10th grade history course- so much less stressful, you also helped me not just reach my goals for the ACT, but exceed them. It is so easy to focus and want to get work done because of how much you care about your students. When discussing tutoring with my classmates, they are constantly complaining about how they dread having their sessions. I never complain, and most of the time look forward to my weekly meetings with you. Our communication doesn’t stop when we end our meeting, but instead, if I ever have questions throughout the week, your phone is always on and you will go out of your way to help me. I know when I graduate high school and move onto college, I will definitely be prepared and ready to succeed. I cannot thank you enough for everything you do for me and look forward to continuing our work throughout the rest of the year.
— Alec, Riverdale Country School, Class of 2014
Fort Lee, NJ
When considering an ACT or SAT tutor for my son, I received the highest praise from a student that had worked with Ariel as “the most amazing person that supported me every step of the way and also increased my score by 8 points on the ACT.” This expectation was not the reason I hired Ariel; it was her sincere passion and enthusiasm for education and learning that is simply infectious. On the lowest level, my son’s ACT scores improved more than 6 points, his overall grades improved, and he was accepted to his first choice and top colleges. On the highest level, I feel that he developed life skills that will carry him through college and life. Every student needs a mentor, and this is the priceless bonus that was a surprise. The skill set that developed from the process of working with Ariel was truly remarkable. To say she is the best is an understatement. She is punctual, beyond smart, focused and always arrives with the most important trait that is often not considered- high energy! Lastly, Ariel’s empathy for the 11th hour college applications and the emotional roller coaster of visits and acceptance notices is just what you want on your student’s team. Good luck to all the parents and students that embark on the college journey and have the fortunate opportunity to read this high honors recommendation. Ariel is emphatically the best!
— Lisa, Parent of 12th grade student
After several months of SAT prep with you I achieved a very high score. I just wanted to thank you personally for everything you’ve done. One-on-one help really helped me reach my goal score. The first time I took the SATs I didn’t do well at all, but after I got help from you I did so much better. You have to be one of the best tutors I’ve ever had! In fact, I received one of the highest scores in my school. You’ve made this experience quite an enjoyable one for me.
— Crystal, St. Mary’s High School, Class of 2013
Cambria Heights, NY
Ariel has been working with our son for the past two years. She was highly recommended to us from another Riverdale parent who knew she would be a perfect fit. Alec has Cognitive Learning Disabilities, which include attention, processing and executive functioning. Ariel has given him self-confidence, the ability to think beyond the textbook and apply thoughtful and meaningful methods to his writing and comprehension skills. She has given him the tools to organize and break his work down to understand each concept. Ariel is patient, understanding and fun. We adore her!!!
— Jodi, Parent of 11th grade student
Fort Lee, NJ
I began working with Ariel in the fall of my junior year of high school in preparation for the ACT. Her patience, strong work ethic and sense of humor made the difficult, often tedious studying process one that was manageable, and in the end highly successful. Ariel continued to work with me through the summer and fall of my senior year to complete my college applications. The college process is grueling but with her guidance I felt confident that I would be happy no matter where I ended up. Even now, as a freshman at Bucknell University, Ariel has remained a mentor. She is always there to consult with on classes I should take, help to edit my papers or check in to see how things are doing. I am forever grateful for her support, encouraging smile and knowledgeable mind.
— Ali, Bucknell University, Class of 2016
Ariel Akselrad has changed my son’s life. Her knowledge, patience and dedication have helped him succeed both inside and outside of the classroom and make him a more confident young man – not an easy challenge with a student with special needs like Will. Over the last five years, Ariel has become much more than Will’s tutor. She is a mentor and a friend, an indispensible part of his academic future.