Neil Thornton

New Zealand


  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • University of New Orleans (MFA)

When not onstage telling jokes, Neil Thornton loves teaching you to beat the GMAT and GRE. Since 1991, he’s coached thousands of students through the GMAT, LSAT, MCAT, and SAT, and trained instructors all over the United States. He scored 780 on the GMAT, a perfect score on the GRE, and a 99th-percentile score on the LSAT.

As the son of an engineer father and English-teaching mother, Neil has developed a unique ability to break down tough math for poets and to get mathematicians excited about grammar. After earning his degree in writing from Carnegie Mellon University (where he started teaching SAT and GMAT classes), Neil moved to New Orleans in a desperate bid to become a more interesting person. While in New Orleans, he amassed an alarming number of Mardi Gras costumes and earned his MFA from the University of New Orleans. He published fiction and essays in several journals and taught college English for 9 years, running classes in composition, literature, creative nonfiction, and technical writing. After moving to New York City in 2007, Neil became a working stand-up comic, performing everywhere from major comedy clubs to seedy dive bars. More recently, what was supposed to be a six-month adventure in New Zealand has turned into a semi-permanent home. Neil now teaches online from Wellington, New Zealand, where he continues to write, perform standup, and raise two giant Alaskan Malamutes.

What students are saying

“Neil is a wonderfully engaging and fun teacher. He encourages us to work smart without being overbearing.”

What students are saying

“Neil is patient, friendly, funny, enthusiastic, and motivating.”

What students are saying

“After a 10 hour work day, it is impressive that Neil is able to keep my focus and attention!”