About

From the Founder

Sometime around 2010, I become a tutor of last resort. Every summer, a handful of rising seniors would predictably arrive on my doorstep with a hangdog look, having suffered through a year’s worth of test prep with nothing to show for it. Some had taken a class (or two) at a national chain; others had worked with a tutor (or two) at a high-end company. Their parents had already paid hundreds — sometimes thousands — of dollars and wore an expression of barely concealed panic.

I called them my refugees.

Although the students were usually convinced that they were doomed to failure, I almost always managed to raise their scores just enough to get them in the range at their target schools. If they applied early, they’d have a chance.

“If only we’d found you sooner,” their parents lamented.

Over the last few years, however, writing has demanded progressively more of my time and energy. I finally realized that there was no way I could continue to devote equal attention to both writing and teaching. Because writing would allow me to reach the greatest number of people, including those unable to afford tutoring, I chose to focus the majority of my efforts there.

At the same time, however, I continued to receive more requests for tutoring than I was able to accommodate. It seemed that the logical next step was to train tutors in order to make my methods available to a wider range of students. After all, I had learned to teach largely from observing my own teachers — why couldn’t I simply teach others to teach that way as well? My goal was to start a company that would get things right the first time around, one that would be able to give a last few tweaks to students in search of a perfect score but also take a more in-depth approach with those in need of more foundational work.

I firmly believe that when students are helped to set realistic, clearly defined goals and given the tools necessary to achieve them, then standardized testing need not be overwhelming. In fact, it can offer an opportunity for students to shore up their skills in preparation for college and to acquire important problem-solving skills that will serve them in a wide range of situations.

We hope you will let us help make the process a little less stressful.

Erica Meltzer, Founder
The Critical Reader

For Tutors

If you are interested in tutoring for us, you are welcome to send us a resume. We will contact you for an interview if we think you might be a good match.

For tutors interested in sharpening their test-prep teaching skills in a way that goes well beyond the training available through most major chains, tutor training sessions are available both via Skype and in person.

For Companies

For test-prep companies seeking feedback on their materials, I am available to review study guides and practice SAT/ACT Reading and Writing questions. Please note, however, that questions included in published books are not available for sub-licensing, nor I do not write material for companies’ exclusive use.

If your company is interested purchasing books in bulk, discounts are available.

For information and rates, please email thecriticalreader1@gmail.com.