Standardized tests are stressful for everybody. If a couple of points is all that’s standing between you and a top tier college or a full ride scholarship, seeking a test prep tutoring is understandable. With all the tutoring options available – popping up even before you indicate any interest, you’re bound to be wound tight trying to make a choice. Here are things you should keep in mind before opting for a tutor.
Know the Difference Between a Course and a Tutorial
With a course, you get a full syllabus, which the whole class covers. Regardless of your areas of strengths and weaknesses, everyone has to move at a similar pace. If something’s easy for you, you have to wait for the rest to catch up. Where you’re having difficulties, the class will need to speed up so the entire curriculum is covered. Class sessions will hold and run for some months – ending close to the test date.
With test prep for tutoring, the tutor works with your schedule, learning pace, and areas of strengths and weaknesses. Feedbacks are also more immediate, because a tutor won’t have a full class to grade.
Speak With Previous Students
Reviews are there for a reason. If a company says they can increase your score by 200 points, simply speak with their previous students or parents or review their progress. Note though that because everyone has his or her own unique learning style, agreeing or disagreeing with a test prep tutoring style should be based on multiple, not single reviews.
Ivy League Tutors aren’t ALL THAT – if they can’t teach
Okay you might learn some really valuable insights from them, but the idea is to be swayed by someone who can teach, not someone who’s from an ivy league school. A lot of courses employ ivy league tutors, simply because they have a top tier university on their resume. Your investment won’t be worth it if they’re cool and knowledgeable but poor teachers.
Half the job of studying for a test is staying motivated. And being sent off with the occasional homework might remind you to keep going, it won’t give you the butterflies. With great test prep tutoring, you’ll feel your tutor invested in your success, which is more likely to motivate you to stay on the right track.
At the end of the day, opting for a tutor isn’t just about improving your score (though that’s clearly the biggest reason), it’s also about staying motivated by great teachers who want you to succeed.