|By Soapbrush (Soapbrush) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 11:13 am: Edit|
After I took the PSAT last year and landed a comically-low 1100 (or 1100 equivalent, what have you), I decided that prior to taking the next PSAT - and, more importantly, prior to taking the real SAT in March 2005 - I would seek study resources, and - perhaps - the guidance of an individual.
My dad advised me to only hire a tutor soon before taking the SAT, rather than before taking the PSAT - he suggests that I will retain more of what I have learned that way, and hence will perform better on the SAT test. As such, I have not hired a tutor for pre-PSAT study; but of course, I am still considering the hiring of a tutor for study assistance/strategies over "winter break" (typically December 22-January 2, or thereabouts).
Currently, the closest tutor represents Princeton Review. I am considering requested his/her help over winter break, although I am not sure whether the tutoring program is worth the massive price attached to its services. Is Princeton Review SAT tutoring worthwhile if I am aiming to go from a mediocre score on the old SAT to an as-close-to-perfect-as-possible score on the new SAT? Will my tutor be well-informed despite the fact that the new SAT will not have truly premiered yet? I generally learn better when I have an individual present to keep me on task (my mind drifts easily when I am left to my own devices) - does this sole principle justify the hiring of an SAT tutor? Does Princeton Review's tutoring service outdo Kaplan's tutoring service (although the Kaplan tutor is likely slightly further away, it is still most certainly an option)? Should I save my money, buy one of those "Ten Real SATs" sort of guides and force myself to study it (hah, fat chance)? If the previous question is truly the best route to take, how the bloody heck am I supposed to keep myself on task? Any help is appreciated.
|By Jangel86 (Jangel86) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 03:11 pm: Edit|
If you are motivated enough to use the books, definitely save the money and go that way. I used Gruber's and Kaplan's verbal book, and my score went up 200 points, and I did less than half of each book. However, if you don't think that you are motivated enough, the course may be a good idea. I've personally heard better things about Kaplan, and if their test prep books are any indication, go with Kaplan. I think that Princeton Review is good too though. But if you do take the class, they only way it's going to help is if you actually pay attention and do the assigned work.
As for the new SAT, it is not drastically different from the old SAT, it just combined with the writing tests, and changed the forms of some of the questions. I'm sure that the teachers at either test prep company are familar with the new tests now.
|By Curiouskatie (Curiouskatie) on Saturday, October 09, 2004 - 04:16 pm: Edit|
i answered another post like this-- do a search because i'm sure this question has been asked many times. i did the princeton review course and found it very helpful, bringing my 1180 PSAT up to a 1410 SAT. i actually prefer PR books to Kaplan's, but that's just my learning style. so, yeah, i recommend you take the course, especially if you're not going to do the studying yourself. believe me, knowing that the course is costing so much really helps with motivation
|By Lelalellen (Lelalellen) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 09:58 am: Edit|
Soapbrush, I just hired a PR tutor for my son who will be taking the PSAT in a week and the SAT in March. So, like you, he will be prepping for the SAT in the Spring, although he will be getting his first math session today... just to help him out a bit for next week's PSAT (math is his weaker subject).
I had checked all of the companies that have one on one tutoring and classes in our area which were: Huntington, Sylvan, Kaplan, PR and a small local company. After I'd gone through all of their information and had done searches for reviews here and on eopinions.com, I decided to go with the one on one tutoring program from PR. One on one seemed to be the best option for my son: most convenient, not having to worry that he's with kids too fast or too slow in a class environment, etc. I felt that PR had a good handle on the New Sat... probably more up to date than the smaller companies. Although speaking on the phone with the reps from these companies doesn't really reveal the quality of their tutoring, Kaplan sounded the worst... it was as though the guy was from a used car dealership working on commission. PR sounded the most professional. I liked the fact that PR tutors come to your home... a great convenience.
I have heard some mixed reviews on all of the prepping companies... but there are many that benefit greatly from these programs... especially if they do the practice homework and practice tests as prescribed by their tutors.
I know that there are plenty of kids (especially on this message board) that don't need a tutor to work with them and tell them to do the practice work and tests ... but my son, as well as many, many other kids do not have the self discipline to do all of this alone.
I'll post again tomorrow morning to let you know how his first tutoring session went!
|By Godot (Godot) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 03:52 pm: Edit|
Before you spend $125 or more per hour on an SAT tutor, it's important that you find out your tutor's specific credentials. While the company's reputation can be a factor, tutors can vary greatly in quality within the same company. See if the tutor you will be working with has actually scored a 1500+ on an official exam, find out how much experience he or she has, and see if the company offers at least a 100-point score improvement money-back guarantee (I am pretty sure that neither PR nor Kaplan offers this). Good tutors and programs will generally have these minimum features.
I'm just wondering what area you are in. I actually own a small tutoring company (for the SAT and many other exams). Don't dismiss a smaller test prep company offhand; these often care a lot more about the students and the results.
|By Lelalellen (Lelalellen) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 06:35 pm: Edit|
Soapbrush, PR offers a 200 point increase on the new SAT programs (that includes the math, verbal & writing combined), both with the classroom course or the one on one tutoring. This point increase is based on the initial diagnostic test they give.
PR teachers seem to have very good credentials... the standard one on one tutors (which we've decided to go with) have all had good success teaching the PR group classes.
I will report back after tonight's session to let everyone know how it went!
|By Lelalellen (Lelalellen) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit|
Godot, I am in central NJ... the small private company in my area is called Mac Testing. I didn't choose them because I'd have to bring my son there 3-4 times a week which would be too hectic for us. I like the idea of the tutor coming to our home. My son will be going to the PR classes a few times to take a some proctored tests which will give him the experience of taking the real thing.
|By Godot (Godot) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 08:14 pm: Edit|
Three to four times a week sounds excessive. Most of my students do sessions once or twice a week. I can understand why you might like a tutor's coming to you. Many of my tutors, in fact, meet the students at their homes.
The 200-point guarantee can be misleading. It's NOT a money-back guarantee, only a "come back for more free sessions" guarantee. I once had a student who supposedly went up about 100 points based on the DIAGNOSTICS in a PR class. When she went up only about 20 points on the OFFICIAL exam, however, the center refused to give her a refund or offer her another free class, because they claimed that she had already achieved a 100-point increase on their diagnostic exams. (Then, she came to me, and went up about 160 points, on the OFFICIAL exam.) That, to me, is not good business. Make sure you scrutinize that guarantee of theirs.
|By Jedi_Jaina (Jedi_Jaina) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 09:59 pm: Edit|
My 2 cents:
The first time I took the SAT I studied with my dad using the 10 real SAT book. The second time I took my school's mandatory SAT class and my score went DOWN 50 points. Granted this is only my one personal experienve. What works for some doesn't work for everybody.
|By Godot (Godot) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 11:31 pm: Edit|
I'm not surprised at your experience. School SAT courses are notoriously ineffective. High school teachers can be great at teaching high school classes, but they are not typically experts on the SAT. I would venture to say that even self-study would be better than a high school SAT course, if that is your only option.
|By Sqingx (Sqingx) on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 12:01 am: Edit|
Princeton review sucked!!!! I was enrolled in their class, I found the teacher extremely INCOMPETENT. even though that's was i thought, i went from a 1220-1300ish, my only reason there was to get my verbal score up, but i couldn't find just a verbal tutor (too pricy), so i took their course for 1000 CANADIAN dollars. My verbal score didn't go up at all, i started at 540 and ended with 540. and the math, Man i practically taught the teacher, she made countless mistakes (for example, according to her, 35/5=6). Anyway, it's not worth it man. They can't help u at all. I hated thier course. It sounds good, but it's all bull, it's crap i tell u it's crap. (DON'T TAKE IT)
|By Sqingx (Sqingx) on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 12:10 am: Edit|
oh by the way, about the guarantees, once u enroll, they say it's a "Verbal" guarantee, which means there is no contract, it just says if you don't increase by that many points, you can come back to study with them again to try to help you. I mean wat good does that do if you take the SAT like 15 times to acheive a 150 points increase? it's ridiculous. the best way to do better is practice and get like 5 wordlist and start cracking like 60/night. b/c basically that's wat the tutors are going to tell u. they say that they can't help you improve (that's after you pay the non-refundable fee), no one can help you but yourself, they are just there as guide.
However, If you must have a tutor, i do recommend going with chinese or korean tutor (don't mean to be racist) but a friend of mine went from 1200ish to 1500ish from a korean teacher and that only costed him $500, unlike PR which is $1000 in canada.
so before you go and sign yourself up with some course, plz consider my advice (Don't do it)
|By Lelalellen (Lelalellen) on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 08:26 am: Edit|
Well, my son's PR Math Tutor was here last night. We LOVE him! Not only is he BRILLIANT in math, he can RELATE & TEACH as well!!! He spent a good half hour talking with our family, then settled in with my son for about an hour and a half. This first meeting was to prep my son for the PSAT he'll be taking next week, the remainder of his tutoring will be spent dealing with the New Sat.
Our home is quite small so I was able to hear some enthusiastic dialogue between them at times... but the truth was revealed when the tutor left and my son thanked my husband and myself for getting him tutors: He said at first it was a bit awkward working with someone one on one, as he was used to one teacher with 20 to 30 students in school... BUT, soon the awkward feelings subsided and he got so much out of this brilliant man! My son said with just that one session, he felt he could tackle math problems he had had difficulty with before and also learned techniques to enable him to do far better than he had done initially! My son also said he felt bad that more kids couldn't have the privilege of having a tutor to help prepare for the PSATs/SATs, because he felt many would be at a disadvantage, like he was last year when he took his first PSAT.
So far, so GREAT! In a week or two we will be starting with the verbal tutor and I'll report back on how both are going!
|By Worthfightingfo (Worthfightingfo) on Monday, October 11, 2004 - 01:09 pm: Edit|
i had a princeton review writing tutor. he was pretty good - a little perfectionistic but pretty good...i learned a heck of a lot more about writing than i ever had known. You can give me any sentence and I can seriously tell you what's wrong with it.
i had a princeton review class for SAT I's. 6-7 people in my class - from my school so it was pretty rowdy haha. it went ok - he was kind of incapable in math...took a lot longer. so i got a private tutor the second time i did SAT I, and boosted it 30 points..? i also had a verbal tutor and my score went down 50. LOL. but good thing they look at best ones individually cuz now i have 1300ish .
i think private tutoring..is for people who have hardly any time. I would have trouble going in 2 times a week plus a saturday because I am very busy. So I got a private tutor. plus one-on-one attention makes you do the work.
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