Testing, Admissions, & Review 

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Teaching Staff


John Swartwood 

Best Credential: What students say.  

"I chose Swartwood over the other people that teach it for several reasons. One, he really cares about us.  John cares that we will do well.  He just wants us to get most out of his teaching, the most out of the experience...It’s always really high energy in here, fun. Studying isn’t always fun but John somehow makes it fun…I think John is just different.  That’s just a good word for him…he’s the smartest person, smartest human being, I think I’ve ever met in my life, and he knows how to teach.  That’s important.  He’s not just a textbook.  He really teaches the material. So, I always walk away learning something new."

Lauren Appell- Former SWARTWOOD MCAT Student and UCLA undergrad (Alabama Medical School Student)


Mini CV: 

  • Head Instructor for SWARTWOOD.  SWARTWOOD students are now at Harvard, UCLA (David Geffen), Case Western Reserve, Johns Hopkins, UCSF, Stanford, USC (Keck), Miami, Cincinnati, Duke, Loma Linda, Albany, Alabama, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and Commonwealth among other schools.
  • MCAT/Basic Sciences Instructor (Touro Med School)
  • Book proposal evaluator for Barron's.
  • Was the Biology Instructor for the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Program (PREP) and the Re-Application Program (RAP) at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
  • Was the MCAT Strategies Presenter for PREP/RAP.
  • Was one of the top three instructors in the nation for one of the biggest testprep companies in existence (when he entered the scene at 21).  His classes had the highest average score improvement, and his evaluations were the highest recorded to date when he worked there (perfect 5 average- 1000+).  They actuall created their first salaried postion (for an instructor) to retain him as he was considered their TOP instructor before he left.
  • Awarded the first-year mathematics teaching award at UCLA (reinstated specifically for John since first-year teaching assistants are normally not awarded teaching honors).
  • Chosen as the pitlot instructor (Math 3C) for the VIGRE UCLA Program in order to help win a National Science Foundation VIGRE Grant (UCLA) for the Mathematics Department.
  • Taught for three departments at UCLA- Mathematics, Psychology, and Communications.
  • Pefect 9 evaluations (200+ lecture, UCLA)
  • Chosen as PEERS facilitator for Math 31A, 31B, 32A, 3A (UCLA). 
  • Only person to have instructed a Math 199 (The Unimodality Conjecture for the Alexander Polynomial of an Alternating Link Type) with enrollment over 10 (15) (under Professor Brown's supervision- UCLA).

Teaching: MCAT (ALL Sections), Verbal Intensive, Physics Intensive, DAT, OAT, GRE (Verbal, Math, Writing), (LSAT, GMAT- no longer actively teaching) 

Education:  B.A. Psychology
M.S. Mathematics (UCLA) 
PhD (ABD) Mathematics (UCLA)
PhD Mathematics (in progress) (UCLA)
Academic Interests:  MCAT, DAT, OAT, GRE, Spaces of Orderings, Knot Theory, Classical Mechanics, Cosmology


Val K. (Senior Instructor)

Many a student has heard Val's brash voice echo down the teaching halls, but with it comes the assurance that what follows is both challenging and thought provoking.  With interests as varied as flamenco guitar and general relativity, Val's lectures are assured to delight.    

Teaching: MCAT O-chem, DAT O-chem, DAT Quant, GRE Math, GRE Verbal, Physics Subject GRE 
Education: BS Mathematics- UCLA
Academic Interests:  M-theory, Relativity, Theory of the Mind, Math Education, Teaching Theory of First Order Logic




Senior Instructors Emeritus

Negeen Shah. (Senior Biology Instructor- retired, now a med student at David Geffen, UCLA)

A SWARTWOOD success, Negeen took the simplest path to a 35 and then returned to teach for us.  

Matthew S. (Senior Instructor- Biology, Quant- retired, now at Florida Med School)

Matthew's care in his teaching shows.  Students know that he always has their best interests in mind and will take the time to make each and every concept clear.  

Leah W. (Senior Instructor- G-chem, Quant, O-chem, Bio- retired, accepted at UCSF Dental)

Leah returned to teach for us before starting dental school at UCSF.  She was a part of the "Golden SW DAT Summer" - 4 out of 10 students from her SW study group ended up going to UCSF!

Sharon Noh (Senior GRE Quantitative Instructor, retired, now in a PhD program)

Jennifer B. (Senior Biology and O-chem Instructor, retired- now at Keck)


General Instructors

Yooshin (Bio, Quant)

Kristine (PAT, Bio)


Management and Marketing (Teaching Offices)

Mai Swartwood (Manager)

Stephanie Mizuhara (Coordinator)

Jennifer Redgraves (Assistant Coordinator- also in the corporate office)

Jennifer H. (Marketing Coordinator)

Maria S. (Financial)

Yalda Safai (Marketing Coordinator)

Ruth M. (Marketing Coordinator, Researcher)


Instructors and Developers Emeritus

Sina T (now at Yale Med School)

Patrick K (now at Vanderbilt)

Ryan (now at Yale- PhD program)

Denys S. (Marketing)

I. W. (Marketing)

Hyder (now at UC Irvine)


Nick B

Andy Chen (now in Med School)

Tiffany H. (now at Johns Hopkins Med School)

Sherif R. (now at UCLA Med School)

Ziyad K. (now a resident in California, graduated UCLA Med School)

Lori R. (now a Resident Physician at Cedars Sinai Hospital, went to Albany Med School)

Hannah S. (graduated UCLA Med School)

Michelle L. (now in Med School)

Christa S. (graduated UCLA Med School)

Ariel M. (graduated UCLA Med School)

Gebina S. (now in Med School)

Ruth M. (USC Med School)

Brandon C. 

Ramee Y. (now a Resident Physician at Olive-View UCLA Medical Center)

Alicia F. (now at UC Davis- PhD in Mathematics)

David C. (now in Med School)

Shaila P. (Tufts)

Natalie A. (now in Med School)

Jason L. (now in Pharm School) 

Masha (now in Medical School)

Vasily R. (now in Medical School) 

Zubana A. (Public Health)

Neha C. 

Benjamin B. (now in Medical School)

Joseph B. (now at UCLA Dental)

Lili S. (now at Boston Medical School) 


Olivia M. 

Mike P. (now at KECK Medical School)

Nathaniel H. (now at Loma Linda Dental)

Ashley T. (now in Medical School)

Catherine Y. (now in Medical School)