Future test-takers and parents alike often find themselves wondering if SAT tutoring is worth it. There are many forms of SAT tutoring out there. They range from free online practice tests to paid online courses, individualized tutors to class practice sessions. It might seem silly not to take advantage of free resources you can use right at home, but what about private SAT tutoring? Is it worth the money, and does it have a positive impact on test scores?
Reports state that some parents spend as much as $10,000 on SAT tutoring classes for their teens. With that amount of money on the line, parents want to make sure the classes show results.
Potential Benefits of SAT Tutoring
There are several potential benefits to each method of SAT tutoring. However, the results will vary significantly based on the individual. Engaged students who want to participate in SAT tutoring methods of any kind are more likely to absorb the information and use it when test time comes around.
Online SAT Tutoring Benefits
Free online practice tests are available to anyone who wishes to take them and can help students gauge where they’re at in the learning process. They can help identify strengths and weaknesses, enabling them to focus on trouble areas.
Paid online courses may be slightly more tailored than free tests, and you may be able to choose specific practice areas to work on. The benefits of both types of online SAT tutoring classes include the ability to work at your own pace, at any time of day, from your own home. Online SAT tutoring can be ideal for students with busy schedules, tight budgets, or lack of transportation.
If you have a kid who is always on-the-go, online courses can be an excellent tool to teach your teen time management skills. They will have to block out the time themselves to complete the work and adhere to the time limits of each test. If they struggle with distractions, it can also be an opportunity to teach them how to take a break from social media and put all their brainpower towards a single task.
SAT Tutoring Class Benefits
SAT tutoring classes provide students with a more interactive approach to learning. While an instructor brings the group through a series of test problems, there is time to stop and ask questions. A class setting can provide the benefit of having questions answered and see how a problem is solved.
Online courses often do not offer future test takers this opportunity, and students may be left wondering why they got a problem wrong. Additionally, every person’s learning style is different. Some students may do fine taking online prep courses on their own. Others may learn better audibly when they can listen to an instructor explain the answers.
Private SAT Tutoring Benefits
Private SAT tutoring provides the most individualized approach for test preparation. Students are guaranteed dedicated one-on-one time with an instructor whose full attention is on developing a teen’s skills. While some kids are easily distracted in group settings, private SAT tutoring sessions offer privacy and personalized teaching.
Additionally, studies show that people are more likely to ask questions when they aren’t in front of a group. This may be due to social anxiety disorder or shyness. A private setting gives students the confidence to inquire about things they don’t understand and makes them more likely to get the answers they need.
Does SAT Tutoring Work?
There’s no doubt taking a free practice test at home will help students become familiar with the test. However, there’s much speculation over whether SAT test tutoring shows tangible results.
Some Say No
The National Association for College Admission Counseling conducted a study regarding test preparation in an attempt to find the answer. The main goal was to determine whether the difference in scores among those who received SAT tutoring was significant enough to justify the amount of time and money spent on the process.
The conclusion was that while SAT tutoring does tend to result in higher scores, the impact is generally small. Meaning that while those who participated in private SAT tutoring showed higher scores, there was not enough difference in whether or not they gained college admission.
Others Say Yes
Many SAT tutoring companies make GR8 claims, such as “Guaranteed score of 1,400+” or “We Guarantee up to a 220 point increase.” These promises seem hopeful and hard to turn down when you’re trying to get into the best colleges. They use words such as “proven curriculum” and “satisfaction guaranteed.” According to these companies, their methods work.
However, there is plenty of fine print to read on these sites that outline strict terms to qualify for the guarantees. Things such as missing a single homework assignment or class can disqualify students from the promised high scores.
The Final Verdict on SAT Tutoring
Other sources state that SAT tutoring can undoubtedly be useful, though it’s not based on the method of test preparation, the company, or the private SAT tutoring service you choose. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual taking the courses to put in the hard work to improve their test score.
It’s also important to recognize if you’re a helicopter parent. Students need self-care too, and pushing your teen to do something they’re adamantly against is not likely to yield the desired results.
For students who have trouble studying on their own, dedicated courses and private SAT tutoring may be a GR8 help.