Mark Lopez, PhD − Melbourne’s Specialist English Tutor for high ATAR scores and VCE (English)

Specialist VCE English Tutor, Dr Mark Lopez, has over 25 years of experience in English tuition for high school students, helping them enter prestigious courses like Medicine and Law. He is the author of the highly effective study guides (The Little Black Schoolbook, Volume 1 Essays and Volume 2 Exams) and he provides perceptive and comprehensive original text notes for novels, plays, films etc. for students wanting top scores.

The VCE years are challenging and stressful for students and parents alike. But students wanting to improve their university entrance scores (SACs, exams, ATAR) need expert assistance to excel in an increasingly competitive education environment.

Students will receive comprehensive tutoring support and study resources with Dr Mark Lopez’s proven methods for achieving more effective learning, higher grades, and far less stressful and more successful exam experiences.  

High scores are very important, but there is more to education.  Dr Mark Lopez also provides students with what could be called a proper education − the knowledge, skills and refinement that will give young people the sophistication and bearing of being an educated young man or woman.  Consequently, they can be proud of themselves and their parents can be proud of them.

Dr Mark Lopez understands that education is about cultivating in young people a curiosity about the nature of the world and the human condition, and inspiring in them a hunger for knowledge and achievement that can inspire them now and throughout their life.

Dr Mark Lopez also understands that education is also about cultivating talent. In English, this is writing ability.  As a published author, Dr Mark Lopez has a profound understanding of how to bring out the talent in his students so they can express themselves creatively and fluently in ways that not only bring high grades but also generate pride in their achievements bring delight to others who read or hear their work.

Dr Mark Lopez also puts a premium value on generating in students the ability to reason.  In a patient, clear and easy-to-follow manner, he teaches his students deductive and inductive reasoning, and how to avoid the logical fallacies and cognitive biases that can compromise arguments.  These are universal skills necessary for success in all subjects and they provide the basis for a life of learning and achievement.  This fundamental ability is, sadly, neglected in schools.  But the students of Dr Mark Lopez need not worry. They will learn these fundamental (and empowering) thinking skills that all students should be taught.

Dr Mark Lopez recognises the importance of English as a compulsory subject, so, in addition to helping students in this subject, he cleverly uses tutoring in English as a vehicle to teach students powerful study skills that will help them in all their subjects.

Dr Mark Lopez also recognises that if a student is taught properly in the school years, he or she is set up for a successful transition into university and, after that, into the worlds of business or employment.  The tutoring Dr Mark Lopez provides is designed to facilitate these successful transitions.

VCE confidence needs to be steadily and systematically built so concerns are reduced and everyone in your family can feel happier and more relaxed during the challenging final VCE year.

Dr Mark Lopez understands that by helping students, you help families.

This means providing, and effectively explaining, the detailed, sophisticated subject knowledge required, along with giving students the effective skills that enable them to produce sophisticated answers.  It involves ensuring that students know precisely what to do in each task.

  • As a quality tutor, Dr Mark Lopez has limited places, so inquire promptly and ENROL EARLY
  • Dr Mark Lopez’s rates are $85 per hour for private tutoring in English
  • For small groups (minimum 2 students per session) it is $50 per hour per student
  • Read more on Dr Mark Lopez’s HOME page including HOW he works with VCE students for HIGHER scores on SACs and exams for a higher ATAR.

Phone or text Dr Mark Lopez on: 0419 310 958

Or email him on: 

Students will benefit from quality tutoring and study resources with Dr Mark Lopez’s proven methods for more effective learning, higher grades, and less stressful and more successful exam experiences.

Dr Mark Lopez: VCE specialist (year 11 and year 12), English specialist, essay writing specialist, study skills specialist, exam preparation specialist, provider of additional exclusive study notes on English texts and coursework, guide and mentor with a high success rate

  • ACCOMPLISHED TUTOR with over 25 years of experience and author of innovative and effective study guides
  • TRACK RECORD in helping students attain high results for VCE crucial to university entrance

Innovative, effective Study Guides and insightful English text notes

The Little Black Schoolbook, Volume 1 (Essays), The Little Black Schoolbook, Volume 2 (Exams)

These study guides provide you with the insight and skills to achieve success at school and university.


Details: VCE Study Guides.

However, when you are tutored by Dr Mark Lopez, you will have access to his specific course-related material, such as his insightful, effective text notes and other perceptive study materials designed so YOU excel at your English essays and exams.

You can taste some of this material by clicking on Meanings of English Texts (for Free) to see Dr Mark’s The Meaning in a Nutshell.

Dr Mark Lopez has also published a major work on Australian history studied in universities in Australia and globally, The Origins of Multiculturalism in Australian Politics 1945−1975, published by Melbourne University Publishing (MUP).

This is Dr Mark Lopez’s PhD thesis published as a book.  In a sense, this enables you to check Dr Mark Lopez’s academic qualifications and his command of the art of scholarship by visiting a library or by purchasing the book.

Information for students considering tutoring assistance:

Please read the HOME page for more information (click here) and/or visit PUBLICATIONS and STUDY NOTES pages.

Phone or text Dr Mark Lopez on 0419 310 958

Or, email him on:

A note from Dr Mark Lopez:

English tutoring is what I do FULL TIME. That means I have to be the best at what I do, because, unlike most tutors, this is my MAIN occupation, not a sideline.

  • I have tutored from PRIMARY years to SECONDARY years, and tutored university students from UNDERGRADUATE through to PhD level, in English and in most Arts and Humanities subjects.
  • I focus on VCE English to help you succeed there, but, while I do this, I also provide you with advanced study skills to help you with all your subjects, study skills that will help you at school, university, and beyond.
  • What I teach you will set you up for a smooth transition into university, so you get a head start while others will be wishing they know what you know.

IMPORTANTLY and EXCLUSIVELY, while teaching you English, I also teach you about THE PSYCHOLOGY OF YOUR ASSESSORS.  This is an original and powerful dimension of what I offer.  I teach students how to psychologically profile their examiner so that everything they put into an essay can be calculated to pay a dividend in grades.   This means that it no longer matters whether you have a biased or fair examiner, or a competent or confused examiner, or an egotistical examiner (who just likes to see their own ideas reflected in their students work) or a broadminded examiner.  No need to be upset, you just adroitly change your tactics to confidently deal effectively with every circumstance you may face.

These original and highly effective techniques are clearly explained in The Little Black Schoolbook Volume 1, Essays, and The Little Black Schoolbook Volume 2, Exams, available through Connor Court.

This insight and skill is often the decisive factor that enables students to consistently ACHIEVE HIGH GRADES in any and all circumstances by being able to put their assessors into such a positive frame of mind that they are thinking of rewards rather than scanning for mistakes.

I know what makes assessors tick − so I know where the very top marks are to be found.

  • Not only are my tutoring methods highly effective, you will enjoy the lessons and share a laugh or two as your ability and knowledge steadily improves.
  • My intention is that eventually you can look back on this tutoring experience as one of the most rewarding educational experiences in your life.

Phone or text Dr Mark Lopez on: 0419 310 958

Or email him on: 


I provide the quality education you always wanted for your son or daughter from which they will benefit all their lives. This is so they succeed at school and simultaneously set themselves up for success at university. I use the mentor-student or master-apprentice approach, which is the best form of education possible. I am a published author, so your son or daughter will be learning from someone who knows the skills to be a writer. This is a quality service, not a generic one, so I do not go door to door. I have valuable resources here (including a photocopier) and we work in my well-stocked library. I must emphasise, this is a service for those who want quality. You are welcome to sit in on lessons if you wish, and some parents very much enjoy attending the lessons on classic tests (like Shakespeare) or when I analyse films.  I am close to public transport and ample parking is available nearby.  In addition, the beach, parks, cafes and restaurants are also close if you wish to relax while your son or daughter is being educated.


I will provide you with an enriching and enjoyable educational experience that you will eventually look back on fondly as laying the foundation for success in school and for future educational achievements. Proper education is engaging and fun.  The lessons are packed with knowledge.  You will be amazed at how much you can learn in an hour.  Grades are extremely important and they should be a priority, but a quality education is its own reward. And another thing, when facing these challenges, you will no longer be alone. I know what you need to know and what you need to do.  For whatever makes you anxious, I can fix it.


Specialist English Tuition designed to help students who want high ATAR scores to study Medicine or Law 

ABC – Interview with Dr Mark Lopez

More about Dr Mark Lopez, English Tutor for VCE, SACs, exams and ATAR

  • Specialist English Tutor Dr Mark Lopez offers you over 25 years of experience and expertise in English tutoring for high school students.  This has led to an impressive degree of refinement in his craft and an accumulation of highly effective resources that will benefit those parents and students who want and seek quality tutoring.
  • Dr Mark Lopez keeps up to date with the latest curriculum and course developments so you are fully informed and there are no surprises.
  • Dr Mark Lopez has also tutored in most Arts and Humanities subjects at school and university levels, so he comprehensively understands what it takes to succeed and achieve excellence at all levels in the education system.
  • Dr Mark Lopez is also an insightful critic and commentator on the education system, having published several books and many articles on the problems and what needs to be done to address them.  He has also been on radio and television articulating these concerns.  Importantly, for you, this means that he is fully aware of how to provide you with a quality education.
  • He has published two highly effective Study Guides − The Little Black Schoolbook, Volumes 1 and 2, available from Connor Court.  Not only do these guides explain the art of: research, essay writing, logical reasoning, note-taking, long and short-term exam preparation, and exam performance, they offer something original and highly effective.  This is the art of psychologically profiling your examiner so that everything you put into an essay or exam response can be calculated to pay a dividend in grades.  Understanding how your examiners think as they assess your work is often the decisive factor in achieving consistent success.
  • Dr Mark Lopez understands that often it is not the student’s fault that the grade was lower than expected or deserved.  It was the fault of the biases or limitations of the assessor.  Quality work may not be enough to please some assessors and with some it may even get in the way of receiving the highest grades from that assessor.  Dr Mark Lopez shows you how to deal effectively with every situation you may face.  The education system has many pitfalls and potential injustices.  With these powerful techniques you can maximise the benefits that can come from formal education and dodge the pitfalls.  No other tutors offer this, unless, of course, they have purchased The Little Black Schoolbook Volumes 1 and 2 and are using the techniques developed by Dr Mark Lopez.
  • Dr Mark Lopez has produced his own insightful and detailed notes on the English texts being studied, covering:  the meanings, themes, and style of the text, along with the context in which the text is set and the context in which it was written.  This is accompanied by detailed explanations of the relevant evidence in the chapters or scenes that are clearly linked to the meanings, themes and messages of the text and the issues raised by the text.  Dr Mark Lopez believes that lessons should impart knowledge.  Not only does this make for extremely insightful and enjoyable lessons, it will make you into an expert on every text taught to you by Dr Mark Lopez.
  • Dr Mark Lopez understands that the more that students are taught, and the more pertinent information they are given, the more their intellectual and creative talents are liberated.  This frees them to then contribute to their own education, building on this solid foundation.   Dr Mark Lopez tells his students the meaning of the novel, play or film being studied within the first minutes of the lesson.  With that riddle solved, and that obstacle overcome, students can then find that very soon they are making intelligent, perceptive and constructive contributions to their own understanding of the material.
  • Dr Mark Lopez believes in the value of providing patient step-by-step guidance for all tasks, along with examples for you to learn from and model until you can perform effectively on your own.  This can include, for example, completed ‘argument and language’ analysis sections of past exams.  This provides so much relief to students who can finally know exactly what they can aspire to and what they need to do to produce quality work.  This enables students to produce quality work that is authentically their own.
  • Dr Mark Lopez also guides students on how to brainstorm and plan answers by drawing on the material he has taught them and that they developed themselves.   Students learn how to use their notes and their knowledge to formulate insightful answers that resolve the question in a manner that is supported by pertinent evidence.
  • Dr Mark Lopez also provides focused practice, astute correction, and detailed feedback (especially for exam preparation) so his students are constantly improving.
  • Dr Mark Lopez believes in leading by example.  He seeks to bring out the best in his students and inspire them to do what it takes to succeed.  Importantly, students will save time by avoiding false starts and wild goose chases.  They will therefore have more time for practice and revision.  Your study time will be more productive because you will be focusing on what you need to do.  This complements Dr Mark Lopez’s insights into knowing how examiners tick so that students know what they need to do to be awarded high grades from each examiner.  This elimination of confusion is enormously beneficial in reducing procrastination and improving motivation.
  • Dr Mark Lopez has the ability to adjust to communicate effectively with all students at all levels.  In this context, Dr Mark Lopez teaches ‘up’ not ‘down’.  He starts from where his students are at, and then raises his students up to higher levels by expanding their knowledge and the vocabulary that goes with that knowledge.   He also cultivates their fluency in expression, both written and verbal.  Dr Mark Lopez treats every student who walks through his door as if they can receive an ‘A’.   This achievement comes easily for some, and takes more time with others.  Some struggling students have achieved the first ‘As’ they ever received in English.  Dr Mark Lopez has found that most students who usually receive ‘Bs’ and ‘Cs’ can improve to consistently receive ‘As’.
  • The lessons are provided in Dr Mark Lopez’s well-stocked library.  When you see the wall-to-wall books, along with all the other materials he has prepared, you will immediately know you have come to a true place of learning.
  • Dr Mark Lopez stresses that this is not a service for those who merely want something to complement or supplement school.  Others provide that and that is fine.  Upon being tutored by Dr Mark Lopez you will quickly discover that this tutoring will become the main game educationally in English and for study skills.  Dr Mark Lopez’s intention is to offer something special for those who want and value a quality educational experience.
  • Dr Mark Lopez also warns against the false economy of cheap generic tutoring.  What they achieve in an hour pales in comparison to what Dr Lopez achieves, so it ends up costing more (in more sessions) to achieve far less.  That is why Dr Mark Lopez offers budget-conscious families small-group tuition at a saving.  But the onus is on the students from these families to form their own study group from students in their school at the same year level or in the same class.
  • Dr Mark Lopez has sought to push the boundaries of private tutoring to new levels of effectiveness and benefit.
  • Students benefit in the following ways:
    • the acquisition of comprehensive, relevant knowledge in the form of detailed notes and knowledge-packed lessons on all tasks
    • the acquisition of effective skills in research, note-taking, essay writing, public speaking (for oral presentations), exam preparation and performance
    • the provision of top quality examples from past tests and exams to model as you practice purposefully to produce your own authentic work at a higher standard
    • opportunities to practice and receive expert feedback and astute advice on how to improve at every stage
    • insight into the psychology of your assessors (what is going on in their minds as they assess your work) to enable you to pursue targeted high-scoring strategies
    • lessons in the ability to reason, which is not only essential for essay and exam responses but the most important thing that Dr Mark Lopez can ever teach you since since this knowledge will give you the ability to think for yourself
    • the building of your confidence, which comes as a result of your improvements in knowledge and ability
    • the encouragement of your curiosity about the world and the human condition, and the building of your general knowledge
    • the cultivation of the qualities that give young people the impressive bearing of being an educated young man or woman
    • in addition to receiving the comprehensive support and guidance you need for high-scoring VCE SACs, exams and ATAR, Dr Mark Lopez also intends that you will come to share his appreciation that a quality education is its own reward.

Phone or text Dr Mark Lopez on: 0419 310 958

Or email him on: 

Specialist English Tutor Publications, Study Guides and Resources

Testimonials and Reviews Melbourne English Tutoring

Read reviews about Dr Mark Lopez – Specialist English Tutor (Melbourne)

Reviews and Testimonials | Melbourne

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Page last updated: 23 August 2021.