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You’ve taken the PSATs. You’ve tried to learn vocabulary using flash cards. You’ve had your older siblings book sitting on your desk under a pile of papers for four months. You’ve made it through the first quarter or more of your junior year. You’re put it off… and now… you are ready to start your test prep process.

Options are:

Do it yourself. Or Take a class. Which leads to the even bigger question:

The big question is: individualized tutoring versus a group class.

Regardless of what you are thinking… here is what the statistics say:

  • Students who prepped for standardized tests perform better than students who do not prep
  • Students who hire professional tutors perform better than students who take group classes
  • The length of a prep course is not necessarily related to proportionately increased test scores
  • The cost of individualized tutoring varies greatly
  • The effectiveness of individualized tutoring depends on the quality of the tutor and the ability of the student to utilize skills learned in the process

In an article on Bark.org researchers interviewed students who hired private tutors. While results varied, nearly every student felt that hiring the tutor was worth the cost and investment. At the same time this did not absolve the students having to do the work to get the results that they wanted. Some of the courses asked students to do several hours of homework every week. Prices for individualized tutoring vary tremendously as shown in this graphic:

tutoring costs

Pricing will very regionally and in different demographics and geography.

A much more thorough analysis of the use of private tutors was done by the national Center for educational statistics in 2010. The Study is available here. In short, the study concluded that the number of students asking for, and getting private tutoring increases every year.

So where do you start?

It is a good idea to know what you need before you begin searching for help. Some of the preliminary exams, like the PSAT, may help to clarify a student shortcomings and other areas that need to be bolstered. A qualified tutor or educator and also administered diagnostic tests of their own in order to determine these areas of need as well.

Here is a link to a video which details the seven most important topics and questions you should consider before setting up a tutoring program, not just for test prep, but for any educational experience.


This is an excellent video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZutQJevzG8c?rel=0&wmode=transparent]

What do you think?
Are you planning to hire a private tutor?
Are you planning to do a group course?
Will you class be online? face to face?

Let’s hear you comments and suggestions.

Do you want to understand your PSAT scores? For a free analysis of your PSAT scores including a section by section analysis and needs determination: contact Dr Steven Greene at sgreene@makethegrade.net

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