Posted by: Preston | February 23, 2010

Hello world!

I’m new to this blogging thing, so please try to bear with me.  I assure you that it will be well worth your patience…

With the SATs seemingly always around the corner, I wanted to start with a series on test preparation, in which you may or may not decide to use the services of a private tutor or SAT preparation company.  Today, I will discuss how to go about determining if you need such services, or whether to just go it alone.

The easiest way to determine if you should self-study, or if you might need the services of a professional tutor or SAT preparation course, is to take a diagnostic SAT.  These are available on the College Board website for free or at the front of the most recent edition of “Barron’s How to Prepare for the SAT” book, my personal favorite for its thoroughness and test “tactics.”  After receiving your computer scores from the website or self-scoring the Barron’s test, you must then decide if those scores are acceptable or within a reasonable range of your target goals.  To help with this determination, search the websites of the universities/colleges to which you intend to apply and see their SAT score criteria.  If your scores do not meet with your satisfaction or with those criteria, or if there are several skill areas in which you are deficient, then you should consider consulting with a private tutor—a preference for those individuals who want customized 1:1 attention and require strengthening in specific areas–or enrolling in a preparation course.  If you choose to hire a private tutor, do not assume that a student who has scored close-to-perfect on an SAT will make the best tutor.  S/he must be able to convey material in an easily understandable and intelligent manner, which an experienced educator may be better qualified to do.  Before hiring that educator, be sure to check their credentials and references.  The main advantages of a private tutor are the ability to customize your study plan to best meet your needs, as well as the likelihood that private lessons actually will be more affordable than a preparation course.

I hope you find this information helpful.  I would appreciate your comments.  That’s all for now.  Bye.


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