Akil Bello is an educator, speaker, entrepreneur, and a nationally renowned expert at teaching people how to distinguish between A, B, C and D. Going on his fourth decade in the shadow education industry, he has developed dozens of admissions and test preparation programs, written oodles of articles, and helped thousands of students prepare for standardized tests from the APGAR to the LSAT. 

Described as a refreshing mix of brilliance and foolishness, Akil is a public intellectual who combines deep research with a sardonic wit to inform the public about issues of testing, equity and educational access. He’s been featured in national newspapers, at conference keynotes, in front of the movie camera, on the computer screen, and even on your mobile phone, where his legendary Twitter pseudonyms and hatereads have earned him thousands of followers (or bots). 

After selling Bell Curves, a socially responsible test preparation he founded with his brother, Akil served as the Director of Equity and Access for The Princeton Review, where he continued to work to increase access to education for disadvantaged communities. In his current full-time job as Senior Director of Advocacy and Advancement at Fairtest, Akil works to end his more lucrative part-time job as a highly paid test prep tutor. Akil lives in the birthplace of hip-hop with his wife, two sons, and internet daughter, Enid. Akil graduated with a degree in Architecture from THE Hillman College.


Here are a few of my speaking engagements that have been recorded and live on the interwebs:


Interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:


Interview about SAT and Test Optional on EdCast: 

Panel at Georgia Tech:

All of the Above: A Conversation About Higher Ed Admissions and Testing:


The Admissions Leadership Podcast:


The Crush Podcast:


A few presentations I’ve done:

Presentation on SAT Prep for teachers in DC:


Harlem Business Alliance Summit – Presentation on Entrepreneurship


GMAT Workshop at Georgia Southern University



A few articles I’ve contributed to:

“The American education system is death by a thousand cuts for low-income and underrepresented students,” said Akil Bello, the founder of a test-preparation company, Bell Curves.

– The Chronicle of Higher Education: How the Wealthy and Well Connected Have Learned to Game the Admissions Process

Changes Announced to ACT Retakes: EdWeek and NY Times

The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Admissions Activists Are Here to Make You Uncomfortable, College Board Bars Registrants Who Aren’t Taking New SAT for ‘Intended Purpose’

Washington Post: Why one testing expert says New York state’s ever-changing standardized testing program is ‘useless’

Vanity Fair:  Born on Third, Stealing Home, Paying Off the Ump: The Unhinged Greed of “Elite” College Cheats 

Daily News Op-Ed: SHSAT test changes: Too timid to improve diversity

USA Today: SAT testing company to add ‘disadvantage’ score to some students’ exams

Politico: Crucial flaw remains in college testing process

The Hechinger Report: Why the new SAT is not the answer

Amsterdam News: The Lack of Black and Brown Students at Specialized High Schools

Inside Higher Ed: A New SAT, Making the Case for Test Optional, Donors Endowed Coaching Posts; Children Subsequently AdmittedMassive Admissions ScandalWhy Are the Wealthy More Likely to Get Extra Time on the SAT?How Much Do Millionaires Pay to Get Their Kids Into College?Fallout From Exposé About Transcript FraudShould Colleges Admit Students in Front of Cameras?

The Atlantic: New SAT, New Problems

Diverse Issues in Higher Ed: Ed Grants for AP Exams ‘More Pyrite than Gold”

Ed Week: SAT Scores See Slight Increase as Test-Taking Surges

WNYC: Stuyvesant Parents Association Dives Into Debate Over School Entrance Exam


Other things that exist online:

Newsweek mentioned me using tweets to find PSAT source passages.

Black Enterprise named Hashim and I “Entrepreneurs of the Week” click the tab for video

Back when I was under 40, I got a 40 under 40 award.

I was on NPR radio for all of 4 minutes.

Business.com interviewed me about entrepreneurship.

Black Enterprise featured me and my brother.


Books I’ve contributed to or been mentioned in:

The Princeton Review Accelerated LSAT In-Class Casebook 2006-2007

Cracking the New York City Specialized High Schools Admissions Test

Cracking the GMAT

The Perfect Score Project


I wrote a thing about prepping for the LSAT:




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