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Mr. Test Prep
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January 19, 2015
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A Parents’ Guide to Choosing a Tutor

Parents: let’s talk straight about your role in supporting your child’s educational progress. Sometimes our children need the extra academic support of a professional tutor. Whether the goal is to get better grades in school, prepare for college, or tackle more challenging skills, do you know the best way to identify your child’s needs, find the appropriate tutor, and monitor this service to ensure your goals are met? There are no easy formulas for finding the right tutor or test prep service. However, there are common standards and practices you should expect to observe in the person or company you choose to hire, such as Mr. Test Prep!

  • Test Prep — The SAT/ACT’s have never been more misunderstood or caused so much anxiety among high school-aged students trying to get into the college of their choice. You may choose a tutor who has a strong background in test taking strategies and who understands the most recent content of the SAT and ACT. Skills development/support is often an integral part of a test-prep course or tutoring program. Providing this type of assistance frequently alleviates test taking anxiety and promotes confidence in tackling this important assessment.

Five Areas to Evaluate a Potential Tutor or Tutoring Company

The following areas should be considered when you are choosing a tutor. Talking with potential tutors and determining how he or she will address each should allow you to decide which will best benefit your child:

  • Qualifications—Ideally, your tutor is a college graduate who understands educational theory, instructional strategies, and remedial approaches. A respectable training program outlines the basics of planning an effective session, how a student demonstrates comprehension, and how goals and objectives are to be designed to meet a student’s needs. Graduate students with strong content knowledge can make effective tutors if they also have the skills to connect with the student.
  • Relationship building—This is critical to the success of the tutoring sessions. A tutor needs to be able to put your child at ease, encourage academic risks, be nonjudgmental and observant of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. The tutor should also build a relationship with you by regularly updating you on the progress of your child.
  • Achievement—Of course, this is the crux of why you are paying for tutoring in the first place. A tutor needs to be able to demonstrate growth both academically and in the student’s attitude toward learning. Pre- and post-testing on standardized tests or school grades can be useful objective measures of progress. A good rule of thumb is that after about 10 hours of one-to-one tutoring you should be able to notice a tangible benefit from tutoring.
  • Communication—It is important that you, the consumer, to know how your money is being spent. A professional tutor will provide regular feedback on goals and objectives for your child, session content, progress or lack thereof, and plans for future sessions during a time which is convenient for you.
  • Cost—Often a major factor in selecting a tutor is the cost. Costs vary from region to region and consider different tutoring models. One-to-one tutoring will be more expensive than small group tutoring and in-home tutoring will be more costly than traveling to a learning center.

Give us a call to learn more about how we can help!


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