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About Us

About Us

Here in San Diego, we have some great schools. But schools can’t do everything. When you need something more, come to Hamilton Education.

Hamilton Education offers a full-range of educational services for students in grades 5-12:  test Prep, college counselling, AP help, enrichment courses for reading and math, and one-on-one tutoring in any subject you need.

To put it simply, we’re the best at what we do – by far. Check out some of our results. Admission to the most selective colleges. Triple-digit perfect scores. Nobody else comes close.

What makes us so special? Well, here are a few reasons.

Why We’re Different

  • Skills, Not Tricks

Most places teach you a handful of tricks – like how to make a better guess when you have no idea how to do the problem. But studies and experience show that this approach just doesn’t work.

At Hamilton, we believe that the best way to do well is to master the underlying skills that your classes are trying to teach and that your tests are designed to measure. So that’s what we teach here — real skills, real content. How to read a difficult piece of writing. How to write a coherent essay. How to think through the most complex math problems. These are skills that will help you on your exams and in the rest of your life.

To that end, we never teach tricks and shortcuts to “beat the test.” Those approaches may help some students gain a few points here and there–but they’re certainly not going to help a bright student achieve a top-level or perfect score.

More importantly, the skills we teach aren’t going to “expire” as soon as test day has passed. The concepts we cover in our classes stay with students and will help them in AP classes, in college courses, and even as they enter grad school or the workforce.

It’s our goal that the time students spend with us doesn’t just help them earn a higher score on the SAT or ACT–though that’s absolutely important to us, too. We train our students to solve problems, to reason analytically, and to engage in critical thinking. In short, we hope that each student leaves our programs better equipped to tackle life than when they came in.

We also believe in the skills-based approach because it works. Since 2014, we’ve had 122 students earn perfect scores on either the SAT or ACT. In 2018 alone, 42 of our students earned perfect scores. Beyond that, more than 40% of students who attended Hamilton Education’s 2018 summer courses scored in the top 1% on the official SAT/ACT.

  • Custom Fit Programs

Education isn’t one size fits all. All of our students come in with different schedules, different learning styles, and different needs. That’s why we offer a range of different courses and levels – from intensive summer courses to individual tutoring. You can see all of them on our class schedules.

Before enrolling in any of our programs, we sit down with each and every student for a consultation with either Mr. Hamilton or one of our other qualified counselors.  It’s not a sales pitch; there’s no pressure to buy or sign up for anything. We just need to get to know you as an individual–your school, study habits, extracurricular commitments, and goals– so that we can figure out the best way to help you.

  • The BEST Teachers

At Hamilton, you won’t ever be taught by a college sophomore looking to make a few bucks over the summer. You won’t ever be taught English by the math teacher. All of our teachers have undergraduate or graduate degrees in the specific fields that they teach. They all have years (and often decades) of teaching experience. They all have rave reviews from students. And they know how to really explain things – to take complicated ideas and make them simple. Read more about our team.

  • We Care (Really)

We’re not an international conglomerate with a hundred locations. We’re a San Diego-based company with a small staff of dedicated, life-long educators. This means that we know all of our students personally, and we’re invested in your success. We will do anything we can to help you meet your goals. If you need something that you’re not getting, talk to us – we will make every effort to make it happen.

This is probably one reason students keep coming back to us. A lot of our kids start off with us in middle school and keep coming to us throughout high school. And even after they’ve gone off to college, they keep in touch. Check out some of their stories.

  • Innovative Teaching

We don’t just recycle the same old advice. At Hamilton, we’re always thinking of new and better ways to teach.

It was Hamilton, for instance, that pioneered the H3 model of test prep, which prepares students for three tests at once (The SAT, the ACT, and the PSAT). And so far, it’s been a wild success. Check out some our perfect scores.

  • It’s FUN.

We know that students invest their precious free time to come and see us. And nobody wants to spend their time doing something boring. At Hamilton, our teachers make the material interesting and fun. And you will be surrounded by other students who want to learn and who are interested in the material.  

Our Purpose

Hamilton Education serves students who are passionate about their interests, curious about the world, and eager to leave a mark on it. Many of them are seeking to attend highly-selective colleges and universities. To that end, we provide a range of services. We provide college counselling. We assist students with their applications. We teach enrichment courses, and we teach classes designed to prepare students for standardized tests: the SAT, ACT, and PSAT.

Specialized test prep courses and college counseling, even tutoring, are sometimes seen as the exclusive province of the super-wealthy. But that’s not how we see it. We aim to help all students navigate the unique challenges that they face on the road to success.

Getting into a top college has become extremely competitive over the last several decades. Many top colleges admit less than 10% of all applicants. And in this competition, some wealthy students have a number of built-in advantages. Not only can they afford to attend the best schools, but they inherit soft-skills, legacy status, and professional connections from their parents. The overall impact of these factors comes across pretty clearly in the statistics. At Harvard University, 30% of new admits are legacy admits.

What is happening, then, is that deserving students – many of them middle-class – are getting squeezed out. There are a great many superstar students who don’t get in to top programs – not because they don’t deserve it, but because the deck is stacked against them.

Our job is to help even the odds, to help our students get into the excellent programs that their talent merits. We do this through classes that help students build skills in analysis, problem solving, and critical thinking. We encourage them to pursue their interests and do interesting things. We help them, through our college counseling programs, to tell their story in a way that is honest and effective.

In summary, Hamilton Education exists to come alongside students and their families, to provide quality education in important but sometimes overlooked subjects, to share insight into the world of college admissions, and to make every effort to give each of our students the best chance at meeting their goals.

Our Founder

About Chris Hamilton
My life as a teacher began at UCLA, where I taught 18th and 19th Century British Literature and survey courses.  In 1998 I began teaching the SAT and ACT, and in the last decade I’ve founded or co-founded three separate companies devoted to skills-based test-prep.

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