Is tutoring really necessary?
My honest answer is: Probably.
Many students have succeeded on the SAT or ACT by studying on their own, and there are many resources out there for a driven young individual to use to improve their skills. Some of these include SAT/ACT Study Guide books and free study videos.
The benefit of tutoring is that it can make your tutoring experience much quicker and more effective by the minute. And if you find the right tutor, they can provide two very important things: motivational guidance and expert direction.
Studying for the SAT/ACT on your own
To be honest, I studied on my own too, and I ended up doing very well on the SAT. But I’ll tell you, it was a really tough experience, including some cancelled scores, two boxes of flashcards, and practice books that ended up tattered, looking like ancient scriptures.
I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I had a great deal of drive and ambition as a teenager. And yes, I was quite a nerd. It took a lot of self-sacrifice in order to get the score I got. There are some geniuses out there who can do the same thing with minimal effort. I was not one of them. I’m hard-work guy, not a genius.
Likewise, if you’re going to study on your own, you need to have a really great work ethic. You have to be able to keep yourself disciplined.
The best way is to do practice tests. But just blindly doing practice tests will not help. Your goal should be to examine your mistakes and try to learn from them, whether they are math concepts, reading flubs, vocabulary, etc. The important thing is that you really need to want to improve every time.
If you can do this on your own, more power to you. Bravo, and be on your way.
How Tutoring can Help
What tutoring provides for a student is the following: motivation and guidance.
- Guidance: A tutor can help you stay motivated, stay focused while you’re working (to ignore your cellphone), to keep working beyond frustration, stay consistent in your work.
- Expert Direction: A tutor can help you to spend your time more wisely, tell you what weak points to focus on, help you find the most effective practice at each stage, interpret your results to tell you the significance of your results, and explain concepts that are hard for you.
There was an article released that found that tutoring did not help students get a better score on the SAT.
I believe their results are accurate on the broad scale. I would say that this is due to the fact that many tutoring places merely have their students do practice problems. Many tutoring places gather a bunch of students in a room and tell them to work. They are able to claim incredible results because they have offices throughout the nation, and they can claim the accomplishments of some of the small percentage of students that crop up. (Who may have been able to accomplish that with or without the help of the tutoring place)
I think the statistics hide the fact that the right tutor can truly make a difference. In the two ways mentioned above: through motivation and direction.
Do YOU need tutoring?
You may not need tutoring if…
- You have strong self-motivation and discipline
- You know how to improve your weak areas
- You are already at or close to the score you need to get accepted into your school
You may need tutoring if…
- You have low self-motivation, or get distracted easily by phone, computer, etc. or are discouraged easily by failure.
- You’ve been stuck at the same score for a while, and you don’t know why. You may benefit from another set of eyes, especially those of an expert.
- You need to spend your time wisely, because you are busy with a lot of different other obligations.
Finding the right tutor
But even if you feel you need a tutor, studying with an ineffective tutor can be a waste of your time and money. I recommend that you spend some time researching so that you can find a good, dedicated tutor who can truly make a difference.
A good tutor should be thinking constantly about your weaknesses–evaluating your skills, understanding what you do best, what it is that’s dragging you down. And then they need to come up with the best way to shore up that weakness. Some weaknesses, like math concepts, are a simple matter of addressing that issue, like by teaching that concept. Other weaknesses are more complex, like issues with time or reading comprehension. With these the right answer is harder to find. The issue may be more based on your mental approach. It takes a good tutor to help you frame things in a different light by saying just the right thing, to encourage a paradigm shift in the way you approach reading passages.
At Sky High
At Sky High tutoring, we want to make every minute count. We are tracking your progress down to the details. We are looking for your more straightforward weaknesses as well as the more complex ones. Our tutoring is based on years of research that is kept up-to-date with the latest developments. Our curriculum makes sure you know everything you need to know for the tests, including things you didn’t know you didn’t know. We choose tutors who not only have top-class credentials, but also have a great teacher’s intuition and skill.
We want to make your time with us count. Start with us today with a free trial class.