Private SAT Tutor: Should You Hire One?

Most colleges require the SAT (or ACT) scores from prospective students as a way to quantitatively measure students’ abilities, so achieving a high score will help make any college application strong. For students who are juniors and seniors in high school, taking the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) can be daunting. Rather than sitting around getting anxious, start developing a study plan and begin preparing for the test in advance -- whether by studying alone, taking a SAT prep course, or hiring a private SAT tutor.

Get familiar with the format and content of the SAT

The SAT is nearly four hours long, and it covers writing, critical reading, and mathematics. The writing topics include a 25-minute essay, which requires students to create an original essay in response to a prompt; a 25-minute section on improving sentences and paragraphs and identifying errors in sentences, which requires students to replace incorrect words or phrases with correct ones or to show which part of a sentence is wrong; and a 10-minute section on improving sentences.

The critical reading topics include two 25-minute sections that test students on reading comprehension and ask questions about passages, and a 20-minute section on completing sentences and reading comprehension questions for longer passages.

The math sections cover most math topics that students learn in high school, including geometry, algebra, basic statistics and probability, and equation solving. In addition, the SAT also expects students to have mastered elementary math skills (such as basic mathematical operations) and to have strong quantitative reasoning and problem-solving skills. The math sections include a 25-minute and 20-minute multiple choice section, as well as a 25-minute section with both multiple choice questions and grid-in questions, where students must come up with the appropriate answer and write it in.

Is A Private SAT Tutor Your Best Option?

Because the SAT covers such different academic areas, it can be challenging for a student to prepare for both the math and writing/reading sections on his or her own. For students who would benefit from one-on-one dedicated attention to help them improve or polish their skills in math, essay writing, or critical reading and textual analysis, hiring a private tutor may be the best option for test prep. Other students, depending on their skill-set and personality, may do just as well with self-study or by taking a class. Check out our article on the different approaches to SAT test prep here.

Private SAT Tutor As Math Coach

If a student is not completely comfortable with some of the math topics that will be tested on the SAT, an SAT tutor can help clarify problem areas and create practice problems until the material seems more familiar. One of the most important things to do when learning new math skills or brushing up on old topics is to practice. While many SAT prep books will have sections explaining challenging math topics, they lack the large number of problems that students need to do to fully learn how to utilize math skills. A private SAT tutor can give students many practice problems in order to make sure that students completely understand a concept, both through SAT-style questions and one-on-one instructional time.

Private SAT Tutor As Writing Coach

For students who want to brush up on essay writing skills or become more adept at skills needed to succeed in the critical reading sections, a private SAT tutor also provides countless options for test prep. An tutor can create SAT-style prompts and go through the steps that would lead to a great essay, and this kind of individual attention will help a student improve his or her writing. In addition, a private SAT tutor can help a student develop his or her own technique for organizing and crafting essays, which will be an invaluable tool in college and later in life. Similarly, the strong reading skills and analysis skills that students develop for the critical reading sections will be useful throughout life. Students who struggle with teasing out important information in passages may want to work with a tutor to increase the speed and thoroughness with which they understand passages.

As the SAT is a crucial part of a strong college application, students need to be prepared to do well on both mathematical and reading/writing topics. In order to make the SAT prep process more streamlined and efficient, students may want to consider a private SAT tutor. Most importantly, students should create a study plan in advance, because the more familiarity with the SAT a student has, the better off he or she will be.

Want to Hire a Private SAT Tutor? We Can Help!

If you are considering hiring a private SAT tutor to help your child prepare for the SAT, Origins Tutoring can help. Please call us at 917.287.7927 so we can begin to develop a personalized, private SAT tutoring program.