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  • Writer's pictureJason Flurry, CFP

Why having a SAT/ACT tutor can change your child’s life

Think of a person who is THE BEST at what they do… Maybe it’s in sports, or in the music or entertainment industry. Maybe it’s an entrepreneur or someone who has achieved great success in business, the sciences, or the arts. Whatever it is and whomever it is, think about someone until you can see them clearly in your mind. Do you have them now?

Okay, good.

Now here’s the cool thing about whomever you chose. He or she has undoubtedly risen to the top with the help of someone else (or a team of people) who coached, encouraged, and mentored them at different points in their journey. In fact, the most successful people today tend to have a small army of coaches helping them move the needle every day in matters of personal development, health, business, and so on.

So, what does this have to do with you and your children?

Maybe you and your family could benefit by having a coach that can help you reach your goals too. And in your student’s case, the most impactful coach you can get is likely an ACT/SAT tutor.

Consider this:

A. Having a strong SAT or ACT score greatly improves your student’s chances for success with college admissions and scholarships at some of the best colleges in the country.

B. Getting into some of the best colleges in the country provides them with opportunities to study under brilliant professors, participate in world-class internship opportunities, and make lifelong connections with peers and mentors who can open substantial doors for their future.

C. And, with those kinds of opportunities and connections, not to mention the knowledge they gain while in college, they become equipped to achieve more in their life and career than you or they ever imagined possible.

But, none of it is going to happen by chance - it has to be carefully engineered.

And it all starts with you thinking about your children’s future and making a plan that will help ensure that you usher in the very best future possible for yourself and your family.

Understanding your options There is no magic number with SAT or ACT scores, but taking a “higher the better” approach to building a score you can leverage into the opportunities you desire is a smart move. It’s just not something that is usually accomplished alone.

There are 4 basic types of tutoring options and each one has benefits and burdens you need to be aware of before you consider adding one to your team.

1. Online program – This can be a series of videos and other materials, like practice tests, that can give someone who’s an independent, self-starter a nice advantage when it comes to understanding the SAT or ACT’s format and basic content. The tutoring program is usually structured as a “move at your own pace” type of curriculum and there can be a lot of depth included in the material. The cost is usually affordable for most people with an average program costing somewhere between $99 and $499. Just like anything else, you’ll get out of it what you make of it, so consider your student’s ability to self-manage the vast amount of content and time needed to really leverage this tool before purchasing any resources like this.

2. A class facilitator – This options can be effective IF you have a good facilitator and if the class size isn’t too large. You want to be able to have good interaction with the instructor and get your questions answered along the way. The structure of the class adds accountability, which can be helpful for some people, and the costs for these types of classes usually aren’t too bad considering all the instruction time you get. I’ve seen problems arise with this option when the class dynamic is bad or when the teacher is bad. And, once you’re in the class, you’re stuck there, so there is some risk involved with taking this approach. Most of the time things do go well, but I’ve not see the best results come from this approach compared to the next two options.

3. Tutoring facility – There are many companies who have a facility students can go to and receive tutoring, not just for ACT or SAT, but also for any academic classes they may find challenging. These centers are often staffed with high school students and college students or even school teachers looking for some extra money on the side. The personal attention and depth of knowledge in a variety of subjects they offer can be very beneficial, but the costs can be prohibitive for many people. I’ve had several private clients who have paid between $4,000 and $6,000 in fees for a block of hours at tutoring facilities like these. Yes, their kids were high achievers taking very rigorous classes, and yes they were trying to squeeze out a couple of extra points on the already very strong ACT score, but still. That’s a lot of money to pay in hopes of getting that extra boost you’re after!

4. One-on-one private tutor – The best results I’ve seen with our private clients and with my own children has come from one-on-one private tutoring. Like the tutoring facility, you usually buy a block of time or pay as you go on an hourly basis with private tutors. Also, like the tutoring facility, they can usually provide instruction and help with a variety of subject outside of just SAT and ACT prep. Some of them will come to you and work with your students in your home. Others sometimes meet at a library, at Starbucks, or in their own home to tutor students. We also have some private tutors we work with who do all of their tutoring online as virtual sessions, which is very convenient and effective. The cost varies between tutors, so shop around to find one that meets your budget. And be sure they can provide proven advice to help your student’s improve their results for SAT and ACT. Some are way better than others when it comes to these tests vs. tutoring other subjects, so ask the hard questions so you can find someone who is the perfect match for your needs.

If you don’t already have a tutor helping you maximize your SAT and ACT scores, I would encourage you to shop around to see who is available and discover what types of instruction they provide. As I mentioned, prices can vary a lot, so compare them in the context of value so you get the best match and best outcomes possible.

Also, if you already have a tutor, be sure to use them to the fullest! And, if you’re at the top of that tutor’s ability to help you improve your score, find another tutor who has experience getting people to the next level, whatever that is for you. Athletes and other professional do this all the time. It’s one of their secrets to achieving such high performance.

The SAT and ACT score isn’t everything, but having a strong showing in this category can make a HUGE difference for you with your student’s college planning. Having success in this area can help lead them to other successes and then to another and then another… and before you know it, you’ll look around and find out that they’re leading the pack – living a life of success and significance; of purpose and passion, and of joy and wonder.

Take your student’s SAT and ACT prep seriously and make sure they keep their grades up as high as possible too. With a combination like that, you’ll be amazed at how far that can take them!



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