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Do I Need a Tutor?

Posted: Friday, December 7th, 2012 | Filed under: CATES Tutoring news, college, education, study skills | author: By Sarah Mollo-Christensen
College Tutor

Student and Tutor

Over the past several decades the popularity of tutoring has skyrocketed, and what once seemed like a luxury is now looking increasingly like a necessity. Particularly in competitive, high-achieving areas like New York, it’s almost the new normal. There are any number of subjects in which tutoring is common, but the greatest growth has been in the area of standardized testing. From seventh graders preparing for the SHSAT or ISEE, through high school juniors studying for the SAT and ACT, all the way up to college graduates taking the LSAT and the MCAT, more and more people are finding that tutoring is a good choice for them.

So, do you need a tutor for standardized tests? Here are some reasons why you might:

Getting an Edge on the Competition

The admissions game really is increasingly competitive, and it’s becoming harder and harder to stand out. In a place like New York City, you are competing against hundreds of students very much like yourself, and so any edge you can get may be worth it. If standardized testing is a place you might be able to stand out, then tutoring could be the thing that pushes your scores from good to great.

A Guide Through an Unfamiliar Process

Some of these tests are confusing, and for families facing them for the first time, they can be overwhelming. Parents who didn’t grow up in New York probably don’t have experience with tests like the SHSAT or SSAT, and even the tests they do have experience with, like the SAT and perhaps the ACT, are different than they were twenty-five years ago. Having someone who knows these tests inside and out and can show you the ropes can be invaluable.

For international students planning on applying to US universities, tutoring is essential, since there are few services available in other countries that can introduce students to the ins and outs of tests like the SAT and ACT.

A Coach

The standardized testing process is not easy, quick, or painless. It’s helpful to have someone in your corner who can push you when you need a push, and it’s even more helpful if that person isn’t one of your parents. The college applications process can be very stressful, and when tensions are running high, a tutor can act as a neutral party, keeping you on task and focused.

Taking Your Game to the Next Level

These tests aren’t like the tests you have in school, and while content is certainly important, strategy is equally important, if not more so. A tutor can give you techniques that will help you on different types of questions, and teach how to deconstruct sometimes-tricky ways these tests have of asking questions. A tutor will also help you come up with a game plan for how you’re going to approach the test, taking into account timing, which questions to answer and which to skip, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

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