GMAT and GRE Private Tutor, Chicago & Online – The Star Tutor

Top-ranked GMAT & GRE Quant section specialist

15 years of in-person and 8 years of online coaching experience
"Tara is absolutely the best. With his help, I improved my GMAT score 140 points and was admitted to Harvard Business School!"
- Brad M, Harvard
"With tremendous help from Tara, I scored 164 on the GRE quant section, an increase of 13 points from 151."
- Michelle, INSEAD

Hello, Prospective Clients,

Has your score hit a plateau after using conventional test prep services?

Or have you just started and are struggling with your GMAT or GRE preparation?

I can help!

I understand that taking exams repeatedly can be expensive and demoralizing. After all, tests such as the GRE and the GMAT affect your entire career and even your future potential income.

With an experienced guide, however, the maze of test preparation is far less daunting. Hundreds of my clients who had reached a cap and stopped progressing ultimately succeeded after seeking my help, and you can read their success stories here.

We will be in this together, and you can do this!

Let’s make this your last test!

-Tara B, Founder

12 reasons why clients recommend The Star Tutor

Over the course of years, the responses I have received from my students have shaped my opinion about my services. Here is a selection of direct student quotes from Yelp and Google reviews that are relevant to each topic.
For Success Stories, please click here.

Not “just a tutor” but an expert coach!

“Tara is a great GMAT coach - what's most important is his dedication to the student above all else. Most importantly, he gave me MOTIVATION - every time I felt I couldn't do it, he pushed me to believe in myself and deliver.” -SS
“Tara remained optimistic I’d be able to succeed even in the face of my pessimism, and he put together a logical game plan for tackling each kind of math that would appear on the test. My GRE score went up from a 139 on my first practice test to a 153 on the actual exam.” -Jacob N

Even a free YouTube video or an e-book can show you how to solve a problem. In order to succeed on high level standardized tests such as the GMAT and the GRE, it's important to understand the test extremely well, then adapt your preparation for the expectations of the test, and learn to capitalize on its "loopholes". Working with The Star Tutor, you don’t just learn mere tricks, you learn how to strategize and “win”!

Goal-oriented tailored training

“Tara's approach is unique because he does not try to change who you are, but works with you diligently to understand what your key strengths are and how to leverage them during the test. Similarly, he identifies the weaknesses that are most consequential and easiest to fix. If one of your shortcomings is the quant section of the GMAT, talking to Tara is a no-brainer” -Sam H
“Tara took the time to understand what I needed, my history, and where I wanted my score to end up to get into one of my top choice schools. He shared many short-cuts and tricks to help get to the root of the question and eliminate the "noise." -Stewart S

Although private one-on-one coaching is supposed to be tailored by definition, many trainers tend to stick to a learned formula that they apply with all students. I can personally attest that tutors at some renowned test prep companies get specific “one-size-fits-all” training and guidelines that they are supposed to follow, without room for modification. While the tests may be formulaic to some extent, test takers themselves are not! Each of my clients receives specific expert guidance based on their particular needs.

Highly effective and proven strategies, shortcuts and guessing skills

“He was able to show me small, nuanced tips and tricks that were easy to grasp and saved me huge amounts of time on the test.” -Anne S
“He breaks down the different types of questions and problem solving strategies to help you navigate the test. The strategies he teaches go far beyond the books/materials available through the major companies and his methods are tested and proven.” -John C

If you are familiar with the GMAT or the GRE test, it’s probably no secret that a generic academic approach to all questions will not only seem tedious and tiring, it will also make it impossible to finish the test, particularly the quantitative section, in time. You will also realize after a few practice questions that the general algebraic approach will leave a lot of room for errors.

Many of the questions on both the GMAT and the GRE can be solved using shorter, easier and less error-prone methods. My training includes numerous shortcuts that reduce the solution time down to a few seconds, as well as strategies to help guess with much higher odds of success when you have absolutely no idea what to do.

Online tutoring equally effective

“Communicating through skype wasn't an issue at all - Tara has all the tools to make remote sessions as good as in-person.” -Anthony M
“Tara and I worked exclusively through Skype sessions as I preferred early morning tutoring. Despite my hesitation about this format, it actually ended up working spectacularly - our sessions on a digital platform were just as effective as any other format would have been.” -Matt M

For more than 8 years now, I have helped students remotely, both within the US and internationally in over a dozen time zones. My sessions fully incorporate the modern tools and applications that simulate in-person experiences.

The vast amount of experience I have gained with online tutoring has been particularly useful to test takers in post-Covid-19 times when digital learning seems to be the first choice for almost everyone.

Quality and experience that is not self-proclaimed

“My dramatic improvement is a testament to Tara's teaching method, his mastery of the material (you can ask him any question and he will be able to explain it very clearly), and his custom notes that he uses during his sessions.” -CYT
“Tara exceeded my expectations as a tutor; in addition to being very knowledgeable in the subject matter tested on the GMAT exam, I also found Tara to be great at communicating/explaining concepts.” - Michael D

Every test prep company or a private tutor advertises as “the best in the market”. Well, who wouldn’t? It’s in the students’ best interests to hear directly from their peers in order to assess their compatibility with the tutor. It’s easy to nit-pick the best client comments for your website, but it is the overall rating and success of the tutor that is the real reflection of quality. My student feedback was the sole reason I have remained in this business for 15 years. With an average of 4.98 out of 5 stars based on 174 reviews (171 five-star and 3 four-star ratings), I am more convinced than ever that I am best suited for this work and more dedicated than ever to help new students.

I am also constantly investing my time in making the test prep tutoring process better for students, often utilizing my science and math background to implement scientific methods and statistical analyses.

Expertise in breaking barriers (700 GMAT, Q160 GRE) and bad streaks

“I scored a 640 on my first test and 650 on the second and third tests. I was about to accept that I wasn't going to hit my goal score but decided to give it one more shot. I was referred to Tara by a close friend, and thanks to Tara's incredible quant tutoring and holistic coaching, I scored a 710 on the exam.” -Elizabeth F
“I took the GRE three years ago (before I met with Tara) and scored a 159 on the quant section. After ~6 sessions with Tara, I was able to raise my quant score by 8 points, to 167.” -Joseph R

One of the most common types of students who reach out to me are those who have been stuck at a certain sub-par score. In particular, GMAT test takers who are stuck at a sub-700 score and from GRE test takers who are unable to break the 160 barrier in the quant section constitute my largest clientele. More often than not, the barriers are the results of lack of adequate time, especially towards the end of the test, poor strategies for difficult questions, and careless mistakes on the easy ones.

Early on in my tutoring journey, I started putting great efforts in diagnosing students’ problems thoroughly and coming up with stringent plans to solve them. Thanks to the online reviews that mentioned my approach, I started getting more and more students who felt “stuck”, and consequently, my experience helping students break these barriers accrued over time.

History of 100+ point improvements on the GMAT and 12+ on the GRE

“I could not believe my results: an 8 on Integrated Reasoning, and a 49 Quant. Combined (with a 44 verbal) it was a 760 overall score (99th percentile), a 140 points increase over my previous score, and far above my target score.” - Noah G
“After meeting regularly for just over a month and a half for GRE tutoring, he raised my overall score by almost 20 points” -Ally B

Admissions to top business schools and graduate programs

“With his help, I improved my GMAT score 140 points and was admitted to Harvard Business School!” -Brad M
“OMG I got into the University of Chicago! This was not a possibility without Tara's help. Thank you Tara!” -Kevin G

Thrived when other test-prep companies had failed

“Tara was a godsend as a tutor! I had taken a Kaplan course to prep for the GMAT, improving by 10 points from my diagnostic exam to the real exam after 3 months. After only 8 sessions, Tara helped me to improve my score by 90 points and I was subsequently accepted in the Kellogg Part-Time MBA program at Northwestern.” -Tom W
“I had taken the Veritas Prep course before and had been studying for ~4 months before I started seeing Tara. My best live GMAT score at the time was after a collapse on my 3rd GMAT exam I decided I needed to make a change. After working with Tara, Test day #4 finally arrived and it was the most confident I felt going into any exam, and was ecstatic to see that I scored a 720!!” - Casey K

Easygoing, patient, friendly and entertaining approach

“After a few lessons with Tara, I was hooked. His teaching style is very easy to follow, and if you don't understand a concept, he takes the time to explain in a way you can understand” - Matthias K
“ Tara is humble, ­­understanding, and patient. He has a very cool / calm / collected demeanor, which makes him very easy to work with. Despite the GMAT being a horror of an exam, I always looked forward to our sessions.” - Cal L

Let’s face it, test prep can be pretty boring, especially if you do not like math. Without an engaging instructor who is patient and understanding, students often find improvement can be extremely challenging, if not impossible.

Competitive prices

“I began my GMAT preparation with a Manhattan GMAT online class and MGMAT workbooks. I even added a MGMAT private tutor (who was much more expensive than Tara), but I still couldn't crack the test. I then searched for help elsewhere and was fortunate to find Tara, who was the highest ranked tutor on every online forum I visited.” -Brad M
“At the price he is charging, I can safely say that a student of his gets much more than they pay for.” -Michael D

Money is important...but secondary. I am aware of the prices the big test prep companies are charging, and despite having better success results than theirs, I have kept my prices lower so that I can help as many students as is feasible.

I am always careful not to expand my services to the point where money becomes the primary driver, instead of the pursuit of my passion for teaching.

Someone who truly cares!

“Tara went above & beyond to ensure I was succeeding. I was pessimistic at times, especially after completing practice tests & feeling frustrated with the results. He provided reassurance & even an emotional level of support that helped re-instill the confidence I needed when walking into that exam.” -Lali B
“...he made the tutoring experience about me and not about him, which I found from researching other tutoring services, was not the case as they tried to ‘fit me in’ their schedules based on what worked best for them.” - Marilyn

As I have stated elsewhere, I have continued to work as a GMAT and GRE coach for so long due to encouraging student feedback and suggestions that my expertise is needed in this field. Nothing gives me more fulfillment than my students getting the score they deserve and getting admissions to their dream institutions.

Success Stories: Results that speak for themselves

Calvin L
Harvard Business School
Noah G
Tuck Dartmouth
Brad M
Harvard Business School
Joseph R
UCLA Anderson
Q 159
Q 167
Anne S
Jacob N
Northwestern University
Q 139
Q 153

Success Stories: Client Score Reports

Calvin 770 GMAT Score Report

Calvin scored a 770 on the GMAT on his first attempt, but before meeting with Tara B, he was at 680 on a GMATPrep practice test. Follwing this excellent score, Calvin was admitted to Harvard Business School.

“I worked with Tara for several weeks this past spring on GMAT math, which culminated in a 770 GMAT score (99th percentile: 49Q / 45V). I'm writing this review because I am pleased with my score, and believe that Tara is directly responsible for the good results…”

Anne 333 GRE Score Report

Before working with Tara, Anne had scored the exact same score on her two GRE exams, 160Q, 165V and 4.5 AWA. She felt stuck and sought professional help from Tara, who helped her score 165Q, 167V and 5.5 AWA.

“Tara clearly knows the test extremely well. He was able to show me small, nuanced tips and tricks that were easy to grasp and saved me huge amounts of time on the test. He was also quick to identify the issues that I myself didn't know I was specifically struggling with, and was able to easily find similar problems to reinforce my newly learned skills.”

Success Stories: Hear Directly from our clients

Success Stories: Where our clients ended up

The best way to reach out to me (by far) is via the Web Contact Form below or by email at
The second best way is via text messaging at 312-487-1783. Calls are not as good as email or text as I get an awful lot of spam calls, but if you do decide to call me, please leave a voicemail, and I will call back asap.

Web Contact Form