essai header-14.png

Essai radically raises your standardised test scores and the quality of your college applications. Our students gain admission to the best universities in the world. 



Course Outline

The first stage in our process is a thorough diagnostic assessment to determine whether the students is better suited to the ACT or the SAT.

After this decision we can begin the small group classes, during which we'll follow a creative curriculum developed (and continuously updated) by our tutor team. We'll focus on teaching the skills necessary to succeed, as well as test-taking techniques and essay writing.

Each batch typically meets three times per week, and each student can expect to take a minimum of fifteen full practice tests under exam conditions. For those with special requirements or schedules we design tailored one-on-one classes.

Progress Tracking

We hold regular full practice tests under exam conditions for all of our students. We use the data from these exams to identify areas for development and closely monitor progress. We have seen a close correlation between number of full tests taken and eventual score outcome.

My friends had hyped up the ACT so much – everyone told me how difficult it was – so I was pretty nervous at first. But everything was actually so much easier than I expected, because essai taught me to understand the basic rules and strategies which you can rely on for each section. The chilled atmosphere made me feel like I could be honest and ask questions without being judged. I always felt confident in class and counselling sessions, because I knew that no-one was going to get cross with me for making mistakes or having doubts.

Ayush, MSVV ‘18, USC Marshall ‘22

Mili and the counselling team have been so great – motivating me and helping me to grow the project. I’d really like to partner with more NGOs or schools in Delhi, and eventually go to the surrounding villages to run the education sessions.

Ananya, The British School ‘20, Silver Pramerica ‘Spirit of Community’ Award



Essai is expanding our offering – we now offer full tuition for the SAT. We took a brief hiatus from the SAT when it was overhauled in March 2016; however, we have now been able to build a programme of study suited to the new 1600 SAT format. Just like our ACT curriculum, we have a programme built around small classes, teaching the skills necessary to succeed in the SAT and in college.

There are four international test dates for the SAT per year. Due to the examination schedule of most students in India, we recommend that you aim to take the test on May 4th and December 7th.

The ACT and SAT are both rigorous tests that demonstrate a student’s readiness for college. Please get in touch to see which is right for you.

We had to work, but we also had conversations. You made an effort to know us and talk to us and make things interesting. I’ll always remember my first class – Farhad tried to explain the root of the word ‘inference’: it comes from a Greek word.

Samara, The British School ‘20

Our students improve their ACT scores on average by 7.7 points


of our students improve their scores by

10 or more


of our students improve their scores by

6 or more


of our students improve their scores by

3 or more

Find Out More About:


Putting you in the centre of your application

Essai’s Counselling team works with students and families to navigate international higher education admissions for the world’s best universities.

We believe in end-to-end high-impact counselling. Through careful multi-year programming and one-on-one mentoring, we help our students accrue a record of demonstrated academic engagement via targeted social work, structured internships, relevant online courses, verifiable school engagement, and creative socially-oriented projects – which are then communicated memorably and authentically in the application essays.

StrateGic Profile-Building

We aim to guide, support, and amplify student efforts. With our resources and strategic partnerships, we are equipped to provide advisory and operational profile-development support, focusing on deliverables which include creative products, published academic research, and scalable social initiatives.

Our students’ profiles are visible, targeted, academically-oriented, and fun. We have facilitated the development of student social initiatives in areas ranging from women’s health to environmental sustainability to science education access. Some of our successful projects have included health clinics, upskilling seminars, voting registration drives, hygiene and sanitation apps, hackathons, competitive sports leagues, business incubators, and ethical clothing lines.

I worked better in the office than when I was sat at home by myself. I was given the time to think freely and creatively when writing my essays. My favourite counselling moment was during a session with Sonali when we sat outside in the winter sunshine drinking green tea, wearing shades, laptops on laps. It really changed my attitude towards the whole process when Nick told me that you shouldn’t be writing to impress a college – you should be writing for yourself – about you. I ended up writing about my experience of trying to re-assimilate in a country that was supposed to be my home.

Simrin, The British School ‘18, Stanford ‘22

Comprehensive Application Support

We love helping our students express their passions. Our Counselling Service assists with every stage of the application process: developing and refining the college list, ideating and editing the common application essay, structuring the LORs, completing the application forms, and researching the supplemental essays for 10+ universities. We have an outstanding record of results with this service - see below for more - and we love to help students approach this process with a spirit of fun, discovery, and creativity.


Many places selectively release results; others misleadingly show their results based on the number of offers received. We don’t.

What follows is the list of essai’s complete results based on student matriculation. We’re proud of each and every one of them.


of our students matriculate at

Top 10 colleges


of our students matriculate at

Top 25 colleges


of our students matriculate at

Top 40 colleges

Harvard | Princeton | Stanford | Stanford | Stanford | Stanford | Stanford | Yale | Yale I Columbia | Dartmouth | U Chicago | U Chicago | Cornell Engineering | Duke | CMU Architecture | Stanford | Northwestern | USC Film | Columbia | Columbia | Cornell | Cornell | UPenn | Williams | Amherst | Duke | Duke | Carnegie Mellon SCS | UC-Berkeley EECS | Duke | Georgetown | USC Roski | Vanderbilt | NYU-Stern | Occidental | Georgetown SFS | USC Engineering | Johns Hopkins | Claremont McKenna | UVA | Barnard | Pitzer | Haverford | UC-Berkeley | UC-Berkeley Engineering | UC-Berkeley | Haverford | UC-Berkeley | GA Tech Engineering | USC Marshall | UCLA Engineering | UC-Berkeley Engineering | UT-Austin | Parsons | Emory | UCLA Computer Engineering| UCLA | Emory | USC Marshall | USC Marshall | USC | USC | USC | USC | UT-Austin McComb | Scripps | NYU | U Michigan | NYU Engineering | American University | UIUC Engineering | U Wisconsin Engineering | Northeastern | UBC Business | Fordham | Union College | U Washington Engineering | Babson | Boston University | Boston University | Northeastern Business | Rutgers | Loyola Marymount

*** All statistics are based on the US News and World Report 2019 (National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Doctorate Bearing Engineering Rankings)



Putting teaching into technology

Essai has recently taken the first step into the app-world by creating Cucu, a reading game aiming at teaching the skills necessary for critical reading at grassroots level. It is the result of our realisation that many students who come for the ACT and SAT preparation classes lack basic critical reading skills. School prepares them very well for math, but not for the kind of higher synthetic reading abilities demanded by the tests.

This makes our job to get them a high English score much more difficult because we are constantly struggling against gaps in their knowledge and mindset that should never have been allowed to remain until so late in their intellectual development. Cucu is an attempt to foster early development of critical reading abilities in young people who are more than ever used to consume more than they can reflect.

In today's world we consume so much that we become less and less critical about what we consume. Cucu makes consumption more reflected by giving usually silent texts inquisitive voices that throw a number of challenges at the reader's feet as he or she navigates through the flow of data. Cucu is a game that that oils your synapses, polishes your grey cells, and gets your lobes firing on all neurons.

Learn more here.


Our Team



Farhad graduated from Yale in 2010, where he read sociology, and spent some of his spare time as the president of Society Electronica. Farhad has worked with UNESCO in Senegal, in New York as a consultant with ReD Associates, and with the One Laptop per Child Project at MIT. He likes books and trees and is a co-curator of delhi_tree_spotters



Nick graduated from Harvard in 2006, during which time he rowed for the heavyweight crew and occasionally read philosophy. After graduation, he taught at the Shrewsbury School (UK). In 2010, he wrote Pearson's "Official Guide to the SAT". In his spare time, he enjoys writing plays. 



Sonali graduated from Yale in 2017, where she majored in philosophy, did A Cappella, and ran around New Haven, CT as publisher of the Yale Rumpus: Yale’s premier (and only) humour publication. In her spare time, she enjoys watching plays, writing children’s stories, pretending that she works out, and listening to NPR.



Mili graduated from Occidental College in 2013, where she was a recruited swimmer and studied Public Policy and Spanish. She then worked as a fellow with Teach for India, after which she received an MA in Education Policy and Sociology from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Essai team, Mili was working as a college consultant in Singapore. In her spare time she enjoys spontaneous adventures and listening to music.



Jessica graduated from Cambridge in 2016, where she studied Anthropology and enjoyed participating in numerous sports and societies. She has taught in UK schools, as well as privately tutoring students of all ages. Her interests include politics, travel and fitness.



Laksh graduated from Ashoka University in 2018, where he majored in English Literature and read film. He likes thinking about literature, philosophy and politics, and often hopes to translate his thoughts into moving images (and has done so on two occasions). Outside cinema, he is fond of walking, playing racquet sports, and making breakfasts.



Zohra graduated from St. Stephen's College, Delhi University where she read Philosophy and was often mistaken for an English major. She is mostly pondering over general uncertainty of the world while trying to embrace the present through words. She enjoys making quirky lists and having sentimental conversations/ watching sentimental cinema.



Kabir graduated from Purdue University, USA in 2010 where he studied Business Management and Marketing. After pursuing a career spanning various industries including Food Technology, Hospitality, F&B and Telecommunications, he eventually received his MBA from Les Roches, Switzerland with a specialization in Corporate Finance. His passions include golf, football, and food.



Anuva  graduated from Brandeis University in 2014, where she studied Psychology, Public Policy and Legal Studies. She then worked at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC, before returning to India and joining the Litigation team at Luthra and Luthra. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga and playing tennis, baking and travelling. 



Gurbani graduated from École hôtelière de Lausanne in 2016, where she studied International Hospitality Management. She has since been working for an F&B company in India as well as volunteering her time at different education-based NGOs. She likes to try different foods, have long conversations about religion, politics, and feminism, and enjoys listening to electronic music. 



David graduated from Oxford in 2016, where he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics, while bumping his way through three years of college rowing. He spent two years in Amsterdam working as a night manager, and reading the Guardian’s ‘100 Greatest Novels of All Time’. In his spare time, David enjoys books, films and mountain hikes.


Shagun sethi

Shagun is currently a student of Political Science and Sociology at Delhi University. She is the President of the English Debating Society at JMC. She founded 'Be A Man' as an initiative towards gender equality. Her interests include naps, fries and debating about feminism.


Sheryl sahni

Sheryl will graduate from the Delhi University in 2019, where she studies Political Science and Sociology. She is extremely interested in art, and recently completed an 'Art Crime' program at Sotheby's Institute London. She begins her mornings by reading the works of Dostoevsky and in her free time she enjoys binge watching T.V shows and rehearsing 'dancehall' routines.  


Maya welch

Maya graduated from Tulane in 2017, where she majored in Political Economy and Mathematics and was involved in various environmental justice campaigns. She has since worked in sustainable development supporting women and environment focused interventions. Maya likes prints, plants and parks. 




We want teachers, communicator, and creators. Our Teaching Fellows design and deliver innovative test prep content for Indian high school students that leverages the strengths of the existing educational infrastructure against the global standard for secondary learning: the ACT/SAT. While facilitating this preparation, the Teaching Fellows field tests material in live classroom settings, always seeking improved efficiency and economy of instruction. Our methods are analytical and data-driven. Our philosophy is experimental. Our results are outstanding.

Communication skills are a must. We’re looking for creative and motivated individuals who want to help young people discover their passions while enjoying the support, freedom, and flexibility to pursue their own - and we want to help our team acquire a set of value-adding educational skills that they can practice anywhere in the world.


Essai is launching the Essai Fellowship Partner Program, a highly selective two-year fellowship opportunity in New Delhi for passionate young college grads who want to make a difference in the world. Candidates will be selected through a rigorous application and interview process on the basis of demonstrated academic interest, leadership potential, and relevant education experience. All nominated Fellows will receive a generous salary and support in the Visa process.

At Essai, our mission is education. But to us, the best teachers are always the most motivated students. The Essai Fellowship Partner Program aims to support highly motivated young educators in their personal and professional growth by facilitating structured work experiences with dynamic and impactful organisations.

We are currently seeking applicants for the following fellowship programs: 

·      The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) - a leading think tank dedicated to conducting research for sustainable development of India and the Global South.

Essai-TERI fellows will split their time evenly between both organizations. At Essai, fellows will provide ACT tutoring services, which includes instruction for all aspects of the ACT exam: English, Math, Reading, Science, and the essay. Fellows may also be involved with curriculum development and design, contributing to Essai’s mission of keeping learning fun, engaging, and tailored to individual student needs. As a new and rapidly growing company, Essai also welcomes team involvement in various aspects of business development, from graphic design to social media management. At TERI, fellows will be given the opportunity to contribute to ongoing initiatives relating to sustainable development, renewable energy resources, and community outreach. As a research-focused organization, TERI is primarily interested in knowledge creation and project implementation, throughout both its Indian and global networks. Fellows will have the ability to help shape projects that relate to their specific interests surrounding environmental issues, with the possibility of creating and leading their own such projects.

Find out more about TERI

·      Learning Matters Foundation - an innovative, non-profit organization that seeks to address the educational needs of all children, specifically those who experience a range of learning challenges

The Essai-Learning Matters Fellowship is intended to facilitate the practice of innovative teaching and learning in a variety of settings for students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. At Learning Matters, Fellows will work at a cutting-edge child centered, early childhood education program called Right Start; and will implement effective teaching strategies in the Student Success Program, an intervention program for primary grade students with learning differences. At Essai, the Fellow will have the chance to develop ACT material for small groups of high-schoolers, field test new learning methods, and pioneer new technologies that can help us glean insight into the fundamental processes of reading, comprehending, and interpreting.

Better understand the work of Learning Matters Foundation

·      CUCU (Developer) - an interactive reading game created by essai. 

We are in the early stages of developing an exciting game app, CUCU, which transforms users into better readers whilst connecting them to the freshest online content. Our goal is to revolutionise the way in which young people engage with written material, and to put the enjoyment back into reading. Essai is seeking a motivated and competent individual, with experience in app development, who will be able to oversee the development and growth of cucu. The ideal candidate will also be able to pass on their technical skills to our students, through teaching computer science (and also potentially science or math) classes to small groups. As a new and rapidly growing company, Essai also welcomes team involvement in various aspects of business development, from graphic design to social media management.

Learn more about CUCU

SOUND INTERESTING? Email with your resume/CV for more info!



Our Office

A2 Gulmohar Park,
Upper Ground Floor,
New Delhi

Call us at +919831044594, +919560622100

Email us at

Name *