The testing season has started.

As aspirants begin their preparation for the SAT or ACT, a gateway to pursuing college admissions in the United States, getting the perfect score becomes paramount to achieving the college of your dreams. In this wake, many students turn to private SAT tutoring to help them prepare for the test systematically.

There is no dearth of SAT tutors who can help you familiarize with the format, understand concepts and help you build strategies around test taking. However, finding the right tutor for your child can be a daunting task as not every tutor can understand your child’s mental temperament.

While a tutor calls for an investment in both time and money, ineffective tutors can not only hurt you financially and limit your budget but also waste a lot of your child’s time which could have been used productively otherwise

Also read: 5 Tips to Build an Effective Summer SAT Study Plan

With a sea of tutoring options to sift through, how do choose the right SAT tutor for your child who has the perfect teaching style and SAT understanding? Try asking potential SAT tutors these 5 questions before you select a tutor for your child:

  1. What Pedagogy do you follow? 

    The first and foremost question to ask a potential tutor is the pedagogy he or she is going to follow when tutoring your child. Some tutors are strictly teachers and work with just the facts while others connect with their students and nurture them.

    It is essential for a tutor to understand the child’s aptitude level and form adaptive teaching strategies rather than following the same old teaching rut of ‘one-size-fits-all’ method. Asking the tutor about his/her approach to teaching can tell you a lot about their teaching styles and openness to adapt.

  2. How can you improve this score? 

    This is actually an important question.

    Make your child take a mock test before beginning the preparation. This will give you a raw assessment of your child’s aptitude level without tutoring. Now ask the potential SAT tutor how he or she will work with your child on improving this score.

    A score increase depends on a multitude of factors like test performance, student effort, personality and parent attitude. A tutor who promises a hard number is someone you should be skeptical about. Chances are he or she would apply the same teaching methodology to all students irrespective of their aptitude levels, which may end up hurting your child’s chances.

    Rather look for a tutor who advocates for diversity in teaching method and talks about processes to increase scores he has witnessed with his/her previous students rather than focussing on a hard number.

  3. What SAT materials do you use? 

    A booming test prep industry leads to an endless supply of different test prep material offline and online in the form of videos, flashcards, practice tests etc. This often confuses students as to which prep material is the best to follow.

    Assess your SAT tutor based on his or her likeness to stick to official study materials released by the College Boards. Study material and practice tests produced by other companies try to be as close as possible to the real thing but do not get it exactly right. Your tutor should follow the official guides for study but can help your child develop a deeper understanding by delving into supplementary materials.

  4. How to Cope up with Test Anxiety? 

    A lot of students prepare for the D-day but often fail to practice anxiety coping mechanisms for the test day. Anxiety induced during the test can hugely affect a test-taker’s performance, in turn hampering your child’s chances towards a good SAT score.

    Test anxiety and time management are one of the two most common struggles students face when writing the SAT. Therefore, it’s important to ask your tutor what experience he/she has when dealing with both and what is the tutor’s approach to combat such weaknesses in students. A good tutor will be easily able to explain their strategies.

  5. Does your Tutor Provide a Comprehensive Prep Guidance?

A good tutor’s influence on a student should not be limited to the study session. Rather, it extends over the entire preparation period. The best tutors will do more than teaching you concepts or answering questions during the study session. They will motivate you to push your hard limits, inspire you to be creative with grasping concepts and help you mitigate your weaknesses and strengthen your strong areas during the entire prep time.

The best tutor can have a lasting effect on the student, teach you the most effective way to review missed questions and find ways to increase your score. A good tutor will help you increase the effectiveness of your study time outside of the tutoring session. Therefore it becomes essential to assess your potential tutor not only based on SAT tutoring but whether he/she is able to provide comprehensive guidance to the student.

To get help on how you can devise an effective summer plan for preparing for the SAT, you may want to read our tips on creating an effective summer SAT plan

Not able to find the right SAT tutor for your child? Find the best SAT tutors  at Talentnook.