Exam Tutoring Saved My Grades


There was once a spunky, 17-year-old girl, who decided to take the SAT and ACT without any preparation, just for the heck of it. She quickly found that she (unsurprisingly) was not at all prepared for either test, and had no real sense of time management, or even how to approach many of the questions. Needless to say, this poor girl was overwhelmed, and had no clue where to begin.


I was that naïve 17-year-old. Just by reading this blog, you’ve shown more drive and initiative than I had at your age. The truth is, standardized testing is one of the most significant pieces of data that higher education institutions weigh while considering you for acceptance. It’s a great addition to the baseline of grades that helps round you out as a candidate. Unlike grades, which can vary depending on each teacher and how they structure the curriculum, standardized tests are just that – standardized

Because every test taker is receiving the same exam, by nature, the results are much easier to compare. The good news is, there are countless ways to prepare for these exams. You could buy self-guided study books, take a prep course, take practice exams, or even practice writing essays. Any of these options will set you on the right path to ace the SAT or ACT. However, just because the test is standardized doesn’t mean that the way you prepare for it should be. 

SAT and ACT prep courses are an excellent place to get started. The basic test-taking strategies, time management, and structure of the exams are taught across the board, as well as tips and tricks for what to do if you’re stumped on questions. Unfortunately, not everyone learns and retains information in the same way, so what may be effective for one student might not be as helpful to another. 

Enter: personalized tutoring.

I genuinely wish I knew that this was a viable option when I was in high school. I was reluctant to take a prep course where it would essentially be like taking on the load of another class. The concept of having your own tutor who knows you and your unique learning style seems almost too good to be true. Imagine having a home tutoring service you can enlist to get help solving math word problems, for example, specifically in a way that is easily digestible to you. Not only will the tutors have an in depth understanding of the exam questions, they will also be able to cater to what will be the most compatible with your learning style. If I had done enough research and worked with a tutor, we could have capitalized on the fact that I am a visual learner, and utilized outlines, color coding, and visually rewriting math problems in a way that is clearly organized. 

The NOVA, DC and MD area that we live in is an extremely competitive region academically, and the pressure to perform better than your peers is overwhelming. Take advantage of all the resources at your disposal to be fully prepared for anything the SAT and ACT may throw at you, so that you can perform to your best ability.

Don’t be like younger me, who did not even realize that the ACT had a science section until she was taking it, and look into developing a great relationship with tutors who will help you achieve your goals.

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