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How much does tutoring actually help with preparing for the SAT? Is it worth the money?

User
June 20, 2018

My daughter will be taking the SAT next month (and probably again in the fall). She did well on the PSAT, but I'm wondering if it's worth it to sign her up for some SAT tutoring. How much does tutoring usually help?

Answers
London in Palmdale, CA
March 20, 2018

Whether SAT tutoring would help really does depend on the student. If she did good on the PSAT I would suggest a PSAT Test Prep book. Tutors tend to be required if the student isn't as well versed in standardized testing.

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Sagan in Lake Worth, FL
March 20, 2018

Tutoring always helps, but it has diminishing results. The higher you score is, the less it will help. The opposite is true for struggling students. This is because at the top, the amount you need to learn is a lot less and its more about refining your application of knowledge, not rote memorization.

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Katie in Ovalo, TX
June 27, 2018

I believe that anytime you can expose a student to a new educator you are providing for an opportunity to learn something. Even if the student is a high achiever and feels confident with the content, sometimes collaborating with a tutor can show the learner a different perspective or more efficient way to solve a problem/question, which is valuable.

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User in Greenwich, CT
June 20, 2018

For the most part, it's just a matter of test taking strategies . That in itself will prove worthwhile. You either know the material or you don't!! But, the strategies for test taking are well regarded and statistically proven higher. Plus, it's fun and a lesson for life!

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Pavan in Richmond, TX
June 16, 2018

Dear Sir/Madam, Tutoring is a valuable tool in helping students realize their fullest potential while overcoming their areas of difficulty. I help me students by first recognizing their individual strengths and weaknesses. I then work with them in optimizing their efforts and encourage them to constantly keep the goal in mind. I equip them with the study skills needed to succeed in their endeavor. Regards, Pavan

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Eric in Bronx, NY
June 1, 2018

It truly varies on a case by case basis. I find that some people don't benefit from SAT prep classes as much as others but it may be worth it for you two to give it a shot. I taught an SAT Math Course and the improvement I noticed with my kids definitely varied greatly case by case.

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Yes, but a good SAT tutor is usually $30 per hour or more. Even if they charge a lot it does not mean they are for sure good. Try to get recommendations and reviews.

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As someone who took an SAT PREP class, it made a world of a difference. It helps not only with the material, but with strategy for taking the test. I could rave on and on. Definitely definitely worth it.

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User in Spring, TX
Sept. 27, 2017

How much the tutoring helps will depend on your student's attentiveness and also her learning style. If she has done well on the PSAT on her own, she may be able to learn effectively from the activities in an SAT prep book. If she benefits most from hearing problems explained aloud or watching someone else work through examples for her, then a tutor might give her a great deal of help. It is also possible to prep for different sections of the exam differently. Since there is a math, verbal reasoning, and written portion to the exam - she may find it useful to have help preparing for the area where she is least confident but choose to prep for others on her own.

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User in New York, NY
Sept. 21, 2017

It depends on the student and the tutor. Work to find a good fit - if you have a strong student who just needs a little help staying on track taking practice tests and filling in gaps, a reliable college student at a reasonable price might help quite a bit, whereas if you have a student who is really struggling to bring their score up in a particular area like reading, you might want to hire a teacher with significant experience and a history of raising scores.

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Alex in Alhambra, CA
Sept. 6, 2017

it will help if she is profcient in the Math Subjects that the SAT Provides, if she is not proficient in them and or never seen that math than in that case hiring a tutor would be a waste of money

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I am in high school and my friends went to the camp and saw a huge increase in their score. They took a pre and post test to get these results. Worth the money, even though education should not rely on how much money a person has.

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Cam in Columbus, OH
June 1, 2017

If she scored high, then it probably won't help enough to be worth it. I would also suggest the ACT (unless she is only applying to Ivys?) as good natural test takers tend to do really well on it.

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It helps immensely. The ACT or SAT has a certain format to it, so tutoring for the test is helpful.

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The SAT is very important as it is a determinant for college acceptance. SAT tutoring would be great to give the student the exposure. The use of a tutor can increase the odds of an SAT score.

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User in Pembroke, MA
Nov. 21, 2016

Practice is always a good idea. Spending time with a professional who is familiar with the testing format and material can be beneficial for your student. If your student is willing to spend extra time preparing, then any additional time on test-prep will pay off.

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User in Dallas, TX
Sept. 3, 2016

Good SAT tutoring is worth every cent. They teach strategies, not just answers to questions. My grandson has scored almost perfect on the practice SAT, PSAT and the ACTs. yet he has a "private tutor" helping with strategies as being in a class at this point isn't necessary for him. It is costly, but when you think of the college competition each year, being prepared is the best way to go.

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Personally, not much, I never needed to study, only because I have a great memory and I often am the smartest person in a classroom, second to the teacher. However, I can tell that some people could need this more than others.

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User in Orlando, FL
May 12, 2016

Test prep for the ACT and SAT are really worth the money, whether it is online or with a tutor, it really does help! From my own personal experience with the tests and from tutoring others that took the test, we all saw a dramatic increase in our scores! (You can also use Khan Academy, a free online tutoring website that teaches all subjects and tests, including the SAT)!! ~~~Gracie

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I personally feel that even if you did well on the PSAT and do well in school, SAT prep courses/tutoring are still worth it. The SAT is more about knowing how to take the test than knowing the actual content on the test. Those who tutor for the SAT have tons of tricks and tips to help you get the highest score possible, while being able to manage your time in each section. From one test to another my math section increased by 90 points and I feel that was because I was much better prepared for how to approach the section. I hope she does well!

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User in Modesto, CA
June 14, 2015

If your daughter did well on the PSAT, there is no real need to take the SAT unless you think she can improve her scores. I took the PSAT and got a California State Scholarship in Mathematics, and later graduated with honors from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo in Math with a Computer Science option. The fact that she is taking it again twice sounds like you want her to improve scores still. My wife, Kathy, and I team teach the SAT and ACT using Skype, and other means to prepare students. Our testing will also rank others that go through our process. We review all questions and coach students to answer questions in our process. Contact us only if your are serious about getting great affordable help and can pay through care.com. The efforts of the student are important so we seek ways to motivate with success stories as well. We keep our travel costs down using remote tutoring, however, if you are local to us, we can visit locally but would need to include travel expenses. So being fair, there is not just the need for learning but motivation should be factored in as well. We require you to let us know your child's interests, learning styles and career goals that are assessed in interviewing her. If you want great personal tutoring, you know how to contact us by emailing through care.com or call us by phone to schedule or talk more. Hope that helps you clarify your thoughts. If she lacks confidence, we can aid her to gain it. Preparing for an exam can be difficult but preparing for it can be made fun as well. We have many wise suggestions to guide you both.

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User in Austin, TX
July 25, 2016

If you're having concerns about the English/Language Arts part of the test, I would suggest getting help and/or a tutor because there are 474 vocabulary words to tackle. I recently tutored a new high school graduate strictly on the vocab, and it's a big project.

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I find that tutoring helps students understand the test more than anything else. There are definitely test taking skills that help students score higher mostly because it is a multiple choice test. The SAT also has some math questions that require a different thinking process than some math classes are teaching when the SAT is usually taken. When I was taking the test, I was surprised by how seemingly basic the math was, but I had not looked at similar problems in a while. Depending on the student, I would guess that it could increase the students scores by around 100 points overall. This would be very dependent on how much the student has prepared looking at the SAT books and strategies and how comfortable they are with taking tests that are timed. I would say even 2 saturday or sunday study sessions would just help give your daughter confidence and know what to expect on the test.

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A child who has received tutoring in any subject will have much more advantage over the one that is not tutored. This child will be in a better state of mind to handle himself/herself in the exam room.Of course this child will get a better grade.

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User in Waco, TX
June 15, 2015

From my personal experience with the ACT, a prep course was absolutely worth the money. It made the difference between no scholarship and a $50,000 scholarship. I highly recommend it.

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User in Austin, TX
May 15, 2015

I took the SAT my junior year and then again at the beginning of my senior year (simply because I had a fee waiver and wanted to see if I could improve my score). The CollegeBoard website provides free SAT prep and practice tests online, which is what I used to study. They even have an SAT Question of the Day app for smartphones. The SAT differs from the ACT in that it focuses more on critical thinking skills rather than knowledge. Timing is the most important aspect of studying for the SAT, and the online practice tests are timed, so your daughter can understand what types of questions to spend time on and which ones she should skip (because wrong answers are penalized). It is a general rule that the first few questions of each section are easiest and should only take a minute or less and the last few of the section are more difficult and should take a little longer. Brushing up on math and vocabulary skills is essential. You can also purchase practice books on Amazon that aren't too costly, which is what several of my friends did, but they didn't perform significantly better than I did using only the free resources. Also if your daughter did well on the PSAT then I would not worry too much at all. All of my peers and I found the PSAT to be much more difficult than the real thing, and I believe it is designed that way (both for preparation and because the PSAT scores are used to award full-tuition scholarships). I personally preferred the ACT. It was less stressful, because you are able to guess without being penalized. Also the questions were more similar to the standardized tests we took from 3rd-10th grade (TAKS).

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My advice would be to go ahead and sign her up for SAT tutoring. Even though she did well on the PSAT, I believe you can never be too prepared. It will make her that much sharper and have an edge in selecting colleges.

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When it comes to the SAT, tutorials will help providing extra test taking skills and experience with the test format. The problem is that most SAT learning centers are too expensive. However if you can find an experienced SAT tutor such as myself, that can work one-on-one with the student, it will help her achieve her best score.

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User in New York, NY
Sept. 4, 2016

I think tutoring helps a student engage and develop some confidence. An excellent tutor can provide a significant score improvement, as well, but often not in a month.

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When test-taker does material given it will be different each/every time. However, if she is trained to study then prepare for types Q's & A's by topic, she will be successful. Tutoring always beneficial for practicing content Math, ELA, etc. There are TONS of ways get it FREE or smaller fee on school designated sites/library databases/overdrive account.

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