If your kid is currently studying for end of year exams, or prepping for college, it all comes down to those crazy tests that all families dread.
Tutors are a great option for those children who need an extra helping hand or for those parents who want to ensure that their kids have everything at their disposal to get ahead of the pack.
Before hiring a test prep tutor, it’s important to know what to look for and which tutor is right for your child to have every advantage come test day.
Here are a few useful steps to run through in order to find the best tutoring for your child:
Talk to Your Kids
If your child has been juggling school all year without much help, online tutoring could be the cheapest, easiest option for the whole family. And your child knows the subjects in which they are confident and where they need extra help. They should voice an opinion about what they think the best exam preparation strategy is for them. Allow your child to be in control of their future plans – at the end of the day, it is them who will be taking the test.
Have your child take a practice test in order to give you a good idea of how much test preparation they will need. It can also give you a snapshot of strengths and weaknesses you may have missed. Practice exams are available online from the relevant exam bodies, and the more your child takes them, the better, as familiarity is the key to doing well on these exams. If a tutor doesn’t offer this option, move on.
Weigh up the Costs
If you decide to pursue tutoring, you will have to spend some money. Most private tutors tend to be cheaper than study centres but there are free online services such that offer exam prep at no cost. If your child has scored well on practice tests, this may be a better, and less expensive, option for you to try out first.
If your child’s life outside of school is filled with extracurricular activities, such as after-school sports, jobs or volunteer work, you need to realistically figure out how much time he or she can commit to preparing for their exams. Perhaps weekend classes make more sense than tutoring sessions after school. Assess the calendar before adding something this important into an already busy mix.
Is your child a self-motivator or do you have to remind them constantly to crack open the books? A self-motivator may benefit from a self-paced, online course, while that same program would not work for a procrastinator. A super procrastinator may struggle even in classroom-taught preparation courses, so private tutors may be the most beneficial option. Determining how your child studies and how he or she best learns will help you make a better-informed decision about which method to pursue.
Examine each tutoring option based on how it fits with your child’s personality. The student who benefits from a collaborative classroom environment will find a classroom course to be a more engaging. Also ask whether a tutor will allow multiple students to study together, because social interaction can improve results for test takers.
Evaluate Tutors Strengths
Find someone with experience and a good vibe to fit your child’s learning abilities. Read online reviews of tutoring centres and look into an individual tutor’s background. Check for what their experience and track record shows. Do they have reviews from other students? What books, material or software is the tutor using? If you can get the material on your own, then you probably don’t need them.
Look at All Resources
Look around you for help. People who have been through this process already, or are currently thinking about it, may be great sources and put you in touch with specific tutors you might not find otherwise. Also talk to other parents; you’re not alone in wanting to seek the best approach for your child when it comes to preparing for exams, so chat with others to find out what they have learned about your area’s options.
Once you’ve selected an option, check in regularly with your child and tutor to make sure things are progressing well. The best preparation for taking exams is a combination of being present for classes or tutoring sessions, taking notes, participating in discussions, having ‘study buddies’ and getting help when needed.