How to pick the best test prep tutor?
When it comes to the SAT or ACT, practice matters. One of the best ways to maximize your test taking potential is with a test prep tutor.
Finding a test prep tutor for the SAT or ACT is an important decision. But how do you go about finding the best test prep tutor for you? Here are some tips and best-practices to consider when you are looking for a test prep tutor:
One of the first questions you will need to answer is regarding your budget. We recommend that you talk to your parents to see what is doable for your family. SAT and ACT tutor fees can range wildly from $10-20 per hour to “comprehensive” packages that cost thousands of dollars.
Online or In-person?
The great thing about the internet is that high-quality test prep tutor can be accessed anytime and anywhere. In-person vs. online tutoring is a personal decision and depends on your style. Are you comfortable working with someone over Skype or video chat? Or do you prefer to communicate with someone “live” and in-person?
Ask for an intro consultation
Many tutors will offer a free consultation to prospective clients. These consultations can be great for a few reasons. First, the consultation session will allow you to see how you “gel” with the tutor, as well as their tutoring philosophy. This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about how their process works.
Be wary of anyone who makes any promises
A good coach or tutor knows their limitations. Notably, they are unable to specifically “create” outcomes for their client. If a tutor promises a specific score increase, you should be very skeptical. Goal-setting is certainly an important part of the test prep process, but there are no guarantees.
Ask a friend!
Do you have any friends, family members, or acquaintances who have gone through the test prep or admissions process? If so, ask them for recommendations. They will be able to give you the inside scoop on potential tutors and their experiences. Similarly, your school guidance counselor may have some suggestions.
Don’t forget about “robo” tutors!
If you are looking for high-quality test prep that is even more affordable, you should check out the Magoosh platform. Magoosh will guide you through the test-prep process with personalized support, video lessons from experts, and thousands of practice questions. At $99 per year, it is also one of the most affordable options for students.
There are also some awesome SAT and ACT resources that are totally free:
These can be a great supplement to having a tutor (particularly because both of the free resources include official ACT and SAT practice tests).