Chances are you have students at both ends of the spectrum: Those who hire a private tutor and study diligently, and those who don’t do anything extra to prepare, except maybe sharpening a couple of No. 2 pencils.
Traditionally, private tutors have been a great way for students to prepare for the unique demands of the SAT. When a student works with a private tutor, the two of them can work at the student’s pace and can focus on the particular questions that are giving the student trouble. The student can ask for re-explanations without feeling embarrassed, and can ask the tutor to move on when they grasp a concept.
There are downsides to this type of private tutoring for the SAT, however: it is expensive (upward of $100/hour), students only get to spend an hour or two per week with the tutor (which can be hard to schedule), the student often needs to travel to the tutor, and the quality of the private tutor can vary greatly.
You might also have students signing up for SAT classes to prepare for their test date. These classes, while often successful, are no bargain, either; the most effective of these courses cost $1,000 and put 15–30 students in one class.
Another option—one that can benefit a greater number of your students than private tutors or prep classes—is the Method Test Prep online SAT course. Method Test Prep replicates the experience of working with a private tutor while eliminating the downsides noted above. Students using the program have access to audio explanations of every question in the College Board’s SAT prep book, The Official Study Guide to the New SAT. The speaker in these audio explanations is Tom Ehlers, a Princeton University graduate who has more than ten years’ experience helping hundreds of students raise their SAT scores. Ehlers has worked as an SAT consultant for a number of school districts and is recognized nationwide as an expert in preparing for the SAT.
Method Test Prep’s premium Web-based product costs $100 for a one-month unlimited subscription and $300 for a ten-month unlimited subscription.
The Method Test Prep system contains more than 1,400 explanations that students can listen to, and the experience of listening to these audio files is identical to hearing an experienced tutor explain the questions live. Students can pause, replay, and stop these explanations whenever they choose. Also, students don’t have to wait for an appointment with a tutor; they can access the audio explanations immediately upon completion of each practice section. In addition, students have access to a complete set of strategies for all parts of the SAT.
You have many options to offer your students when they are preparing for the SAT. Know your students—their strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes—and help them find the test preparation program that is best for them.